Thank you to all who came to our open house! It gave us an opportunity to share our excitement for what was, what is, and what is going to be, and our appreciation for those who have generously given to make it happen. The pictures and posters are still on display and we would love for you to come in and take a look. We would also be more than happy to give you a tour of our plans for the future.
With Phase One being done, we are now turning our attention to Phase Two. Phase One was done to make Lincoln Library more patron-friendly; Phase Two is being planned with the community in mind. The annex, when finished, will provide the opportunity to hold a variety of events in a facility with a kitchen, ADA accessible bathrooms, and a large space complete with plenty of electrical outlets and adjustable lighting.
We are in the process of searching out grants that have compatible criteria with our needs for Phase Two. We will also begin an active fundraising venture in the very near future. We are excited to see this phase get rolling, but the financial challenges are real and will have to be met and overcome before we can move from plans to reality.
Come check it out, along with a book, movie, or magazine. We’ll gladly give you a mini tour if you want to stop by and use our paper shredder to shred your documents. If you need copies, or you want to send a fax, or use a computer, we can help you with that, and show you around.
So, here we go on another phase and more adventures, and as the great Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “Adventure is worthwhile.”
The Lincoln Library Board and staff will be hosting an Open House at Lincoln Library on Saturday, October 23, 2021 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM. The emphasis during the Open House will be on the completion of Phase One and appreciation for those who contributed and ushered the collected group of ideas, plans, thoughts, and suggestions through to reality.
Members of Delta Lodge #77 approached the Lincoln Library Board in 2019 with the proposition of selling the Mason building to Lincoln Library. The Board moved forward with the unexpected opportunity; the Mason building became part of Lincoln Library in August of that year.
Discussions began soon afterwards concerning issues that needed to be addressed. One of the most pressing concerns was the separation of children and adult computer users. With the progression of the conversations came the realization that the project was too large to focus on it in its entirety. It was decided to break the plan down into Phase One and Phase Two.
Phase One included all of the changes that were to take place in the present library space and the double doors that would lead into the former Mason building. Beyond those doors would be considered Phase Two.
Members of the Board and Expansion Committee invested hours of their time on the plans. A $2,500.00 Professional Services Grant from the South Central Kansas Library System (SCKLS) helped defray the costs of consulting with an architect. The Board applied for a matching $25,000.00 Libraries Transform Grant through SCKLS in September of 2020 and received word several weeks later that Lincoln Library was the recipient of the grant. After a number of disappointments and setbacks during the process, receiving the Libraries Transform Grant had an inspiring effect that made all of the possibilities seem much more reachable.
Everything began to fall into place in the early weeks of 2021. Lincoln Library put the job out for bids in March and on April 21st, the library metamorphosed into a construction site. Stevens Construction took on the project knowing that Phase One needed to be done by June 30th.
The library became a busy place as George and Alan Stevens brought the plans alive and Eck Services worked on all things electrical, including the after-hours challenge of the breaker box.
Stevens Construction and Eck Services were relentless, and by the end of May, most all of Phase One was complete. Even with the wait for the arrival of carpet and Formica, they still finished ahead of deadline. Staff and the summer reading program participants were able to enjoy the advantages that Phase One had to offer.
Adults and children now have separate computer areas, and both groups are happy with the results. They are brought back together at the Lego tables where all ages can enjoy creating. Before Covid-19 came to town, the Peoples Heartland Foundation Grant provided $500.00 that was added to by a generous personal donation from Mark and Connie Watts. These monies provided the funds for Lincoln Library to purchase board games for anyone and everyone to play. Because of Covid-19 and the remodel, the games, table and chairs, were not purchased until 2021.
Lincoln Library received a matching $2,420.00 General Technology Grant from SCKLS in April of 2021 to equip the adult computer lab and multipurpose room with computers once those rooms were completed. A $1,500.00 H.U.G.S Grant (Southern Pioneer Electric Company) provided funds to furnish the rooms with ergonomic chairs. The multipurpose room offers a higher level of privacy for tutoring, job coaching, proctoring, and video conferencing. Mamas with young babies will also find the room convenient and the rocking chair comfortable.
Children do not seem interested in venturing into the adult domain. Their areas are much more expansive, colorful, and to their liking. Lincoln Library received $750.00 from the State Library CARES Grant to purchase craft and bingo supplies. Bingo happens on Mondays and Thursdays and is a much-anticipated activity by many of the young patrons.
The changes Lincoln Library has experienced over the past two years have not always come easy. As with everyone, Covid-19 created additional difficulties at the library. The need to clean and quarantine books for a week was a time-consuming task. It was a sweet relief for the staff when a $4,300.00 Barber County CARES Grant paid for a book sterilizer. There have been other hurdles that have had to be cleared and a number of challenges that have had to be overcome on the path to the completion of Phase One.
The members of the Lincoln Library Board, Expansion Committee, and staff, are excited about the changes that have taken place and grateful for everyone who has been involved in the process. This Open House is an opportunity to enjoy light refreshments, tour the changes brought by Phase One, and hear how advantageous Phase Two will be for the community and surrounding area.
I solemnly swear that this will be the last column about the summer reading program for weeks and weeks and weeks. I also promise to keep this short and to the point, to the best of my ability. “Short and to the point” isn’t my strong suit!
Our readers were divided into several groups for the summer reading program. The youngest of our patrons, ages birth through two years, are the Rubber Duckies. There were 10 Rubber Duckies signed up for the program. Virginia Lytle had 100 books read to her and came away with first place and a pop-up tunnel to play in. Rilynn Doman came in second place with 64 books and received an electronic animal book. Third place went to Brian Traffas with 53 books; he received a 50 flaps board book.
Our next group was the Nonreaders. We had 23 signed up; the top three having the most books read to them were Trevyn Flora, Lucy Schwerdtfeger, and Harlee Cox. Trevyn had 230 books read to him and he received a light-up board. Lucy listened to 155 books and received a large badminton game. Harlee had 130 books read to her and a wooden turtle puzzle was her reward.
There were 19 young readers signed up who kept track of the titles of the books they read. First place with 235 books was Shaylee Flora. Second place with 101 books was Callan Traffas. Third place with 78 books went to Kellen Barnes. Shaylee took a moon lamp home for her efforts, Callan walked away with a drone, and Kellen received a Lite-Brite set.
There were also readers who kept track of the time they read instead of the titles of the books. The top three readers in this group of 55 were Darcie Miltner, Stuart Schmucker, and Alayna Flora. Darcie read 87.5 hours and received a moon lamp. Stuart read 75.75 hours and became the owner of a drone. Alayna read 75 hours and took a kinetic sand castle home.
Our top three teen readers out of the 12 signed up were Elijah Schmucker with 110 hours, Piper Bishop with 95 hours, and Meara Bishop with 75 hours. The first-place prize for Elijah was a solar charger. Piper received a deluxe comfort lounge and Meara added the soothing sight of shifting sands to her personal belongings.
The top three adult readers, of the 45 signed up, were Myrna Sutter, Ruth Shelite, and Carroll Moore. Myrna read 200 hours and was happy to take home a Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager. Ruth read 141 hours and received a hammock; the perfect thing for someone who recently retired and loves to read. Carroll Moore read 140 hours and now owns a comfort pillow, which according to her husband, she is already quite fond of.
We had 75 prizes that participants had the opportunity to put entries towards during the 7-week program. These prizes included puzzles, games, kits, books, a doll house, a mega water gun, a blanket, slime, kinetic sand, and a bunch of other kind of cool things.
It was a good summer reading program and we are thankful for all of the participants for making it so. We will start working on next summer’s program towards the end of September or the beginning of October. There are things we want to change; we are hoping to make it easier for the moms of the littles. There is additional programming we want to do next summer that will take time to plan. We are already throwing around ideas and we would love for you to throw your ideas and suggestions in the mix! Who better to help with the planning than the participants? What kind of activities would make you reach for a book you would not normally read? What would make your child choose a book over a screen? How could we streamline the program in a way that could be easier incorporated into busy lives? You know where to find us; we have an open mind and we would appreciate hearing any answers you have to these questions.