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Celebrating the Completion of Phase One

children pointing up to expansion project sign on outside of new buildingThe 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.

Open House Oct. 23, 2021

library buildingBecause we are thankful, grateful, and appreciative, Lincoln Library is having an open house highlighting Phase One!

Please join us for light refreshments, a tour of Phase One, and a walk-through explaining our plans for Phase Two!

Saturday, October 23, 2021, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM

Hosted by the Lincoln Library board and staff

A Farraginous Column

constructionThe word that would best describe this column is farraginous. It is great to read something that flows as smoothly as the brown waterfall of enticing sweetness that cascades from a chocolate fountain. I’d say this column will be more like a popcorn machine: mixed up, jumbled together, and randomly chaotic.

We have been talking about our remodeling project here at Lincoln Library for a long time. Covid-19 was detrimental to everybody and everything, including the process that had to be completed before we could actually begin bringing the development of our ideas to fruition. Phase 1 of our remodeling and expansion adventure has begun. Our goal is to have Phase 1 completed by the 30th of June.

Anytime you have a remodeling project going on, there is going to be a bit of mess and inconvenience. Some days it may be a challenge to be open, but as long as there is an active use of patience on both sides of the counter, we will do just fine! If you would rather avoid our quite noisy atmosphere, just call ahead with what you want and we’ll meet you at the door with your books!

In preparation for Phase 1, we have had to clean out every storage area we have and move most everything next door. Although things are a little less easy now, we are going to be watching a whole lot of wonderful take shape right before our eyes, and we are excited!

Tails and Tales Summer Reading ProgramNow just to take the challenge up a notch, we will be having our Summer Reading Program sign-up beginning June 14th, so there might be just a bit of overlap. We will be holding the sign-up at our annex to the north, the former Mason building. Our book sale, also in our annex, will be going on at the same time as the sign-up. If you are wanting to add to your personal library, this will be a most opportune time to do just that!

Our Summer Reading Program will actually begin on June 21st. Although programming will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, there will always be a variety of other things to do. Early on in our program, on June 24th, Dan, Dan, the Magic Man will be in Medicine Lodge at the Christian Church at 10:00 AM.

When we start gearing up for the Summer Reading Program, I start seeking donations. This is the largest library sponsored program for the entire year and it takes quite a bit of extra everything. Last year we changed things up and it was a good time. This year we are keeping a lot of those changes, but, we are going bigger and better.

So just to simplify the process, we are generous with entry blanks that can be entered into the prize or prizes of your choice. It worked well last year. The people who put in the effort and spent hours and hours of reading during the program, playing the games, and visiting the library frequently, came out of our last programming pretty happy! We had lots of good prizes and readers worked hard for them. You say that is bribing people to read, maybe, but it certainly worked and it was a great time for all ages.

We appreciate donations of individual packaged snacks and drinks; the little bags of chips are a favorite. We’d love donations of craft supplies, prizes, and, of course, money is good!!

Speaking of donations, we have been blessed with a bunch of books and movies recently! (Thank you, Dollar General, Linda, Tom, and Jerry!) We had a patron who walked through the door with a bunch of drink pouches; we so appreciate them, Cathy.

Now, do you see why I described this column as farraginous? Farraginous is a word that runs around in the back of my brain that I like and will use in writing, but not in conversation. It is with all of the rest of the words that I know how to spell, know what they mean, but hate to speak them because of the fear of them coming out of my mouth sounding weird and wrong. Some synonyms of farraginous are mixture, motley, confused, mixed, random, jumbled, haphazard, mottled, and assorted. Farraginous just seems like a good word to sum up this column and the past week in general. Here’s to this week being more like a chocolate fountain and less like a popcorn machine!

Please Excuse Our Mess!

stuff moved to storage areaFirst off, I want to apologize to everyone who comes into the library for any reason. We have started the process of preparing for the contractors who will be completing Phase 1 of the expansion project. This means that there are a lot of books and objects that have been, and more that are going to be, shuffled to another area in the library.

Before this started getting real, as in only in my mind, the preparation seemed fairly simple and straight forward. Then when the actual process began and I realized just how much needed to be moved, I rolled my eyes at myself, and Malorie and I began.

Some shelves have been moved closer together. There is still room for the reader looking for a book, but one must watch how one bends over to look for books or they will displace a portion of books on the next shelf over. I know that to be a fact, from experience!

The books from the SCKLS rotation have been moved into the reading room. The majority of the Young Adult collection has been compressed to make room for the overflow on the back shelf. The free books found in the meeting room are now in the main room on the very last row of shelving.

The room that is the most disrupted at this point is the children’s room. We are clearing shelves in the main room for many of the children’s books. We are hoping to get most everything done during this cold snap so all of the books will be easily accessible once everyone is out and going and ready to restock!

We are extremely excited to get this project up and running because the end result will be so good for those who use the library! There is going to be a lot of work that takes place between now and then, and we will continue to do our best to put our patrons first in all of the chaos. We ask that you please have patience with us during this process, but never hesitate if you have any questions and need anything that we can help you with.

Oh, and if you see Malorie out and about, maybe comment on the size of her “guns” or ask her if she has been lifting weights. It would be great inspiration to keep her motivated through this physical stage of the project. Or cookies, cookies motivate all of us!!!