Photo: The big yellow school bus that served the library well has a new home at Pleasanton Elementary. Caleb Secrest is sure to recognize it.

We continue to weed our shelves of books and movies that are damaged, or haven’t been checked out in some time. Our storage area has been filled to overflowing, so we’re reviewing what to keep and discard there as well. One of the items we recently determined might be useful elsewhere is a big yellow school bus. It was generously donated to the library by Mary Lynn Sylvester and Kenton Bell years ago. Once filled with stuffed animals and toddler books, it’s been languishing in our storage shed due to lack of space in the children’s area. We offered it to the Pleasanton Elementary School library and they happily accepted it!

Not willing to add too much to the landfill, we try to re-home some of the items in our vast collection of “stuff.” Our local residents are good to offer donations of books, craft supplies, puzzles and furniture. We’ll make every effort to reorganize our space to utilize these items. As they are received, we review what they might replace. Many times the donations are upgrades of what we currently have. Especially after the old library burned many years ago, we accepted many donations of discarded shelves and books from other libraries. These served us well, and most are still in use. Our online library list-serv often contains messages from other libraries about items they are willing to give away. We’ve accepted numerous chairs and books this way and, most recently, a rolling cabinet that holds over 4,000 DVDs. Kansas is a large state and, unfortunately, some items are too great a distance to retrieve and must be passed up. Hopefully, libraries closer to the items can benefit as well.

Our generous residents have provided monetary donations over the years allowing us to purchase book collections, and upgrade furniture. We strive to retain seating areas for our visitors’ use, and maintain the building for everyone’s comfort. Recently, we had three overgrown trees removed from the front of the library to prevent roots seeking moisture and damaging the foundation. Smaller slower-growing ornamental plantings are being considered. Another recent upgrade is new guttering, with gutter guard to prevent clogged downspouts and water infiltration inside the building. Both of these are intended to save the cost of more serious damage to the building.

We’re always open to suggestions about how to improve the library, so please contact us if you have ideas. We look forward to hearing from you.