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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!

Stepping into 2021

2021 and shoesMany are stepping into 2021 with a mixture of hope and apprehension as 2020 goes down in our memories as a year full of inconsistencies, unrest, anxiety, loneliness, and a pandemic. Most eyes show the effects when the topic of the past year comes up in conversation and most mouths have stories of how 2020 has adversely affected them. My hopes and prayers are that we will never look back on 2020 fondly!

We at Lincoln Library have all had our own personal struggles this past year. The library itself has also had some setbacks and did a bit of stumbling around in the dark as we tried to find a balance in between keeping the door open, but yet keeping our patrons safe. We have had to make lots of changes and, unfortunately, most of them have shortchanged our younger patrons. We have cut computer privileges, games, and other activities that involves larger groups of children gathering due to the difficulty of sanitizing and maintaining social distancing amongst that age group.

We are open our normal hours and you do not have to have an appointment to come in. We send faxes; the cost is 50 cents per page to send a fax and 10 cents a page to receive a fax. We make copies; we charge 10 cents for black and white and no more than 75 cents for a copy in color. We do have computers available for public use for adults only. Children may use the computers if they are doing school work.

We have books, lots of books! If we don’t have what you are wanting to read, we can usually get it for you through Interlibrary Loan. We have a good selection of movies; we can also order movies through Interlibrary Loan. You are more than welcome to come in and read the newspapers and magazines in the reading room. You can also check out the magazines to take home to read.

We also accept donations of magazines, movies, books, after-school snacks, and prizes for bingo. We will be having a book sale this spring as a fundraiser for our expansion project! It will be an excellent way for individuals to build their own personal library!

We want Lincoln Library to be a place to go to get away from it all! It is clean, warm, and you will be welcomed!

Investing in Kids’ Lives

basket of treatsOh my, here we are going into the last month of 2020! Although I don’t think that many will be bidding a fond adieu to the year, I do believe we will all be welcoming 2021 with a bit of trepidation.

The kids used to swarm into the library hoping to find an empty chair at one of the computers. COVID-19 brought that to a screeching halt many months ago. Consequently, the number of children coming through our door dropped considerably. Reading kids walk in knowing pretty much what they want and off they go. Lately, we have seen the number of children coming in, just to hang out, rising as the library is somewhere warm to go.

So as much as I like seeing them walk in the door, it does present sort of a conundrum. If our young patrons are at the library and they are not interested in reading, then there had better be an alternative. We have incorporated encouraging our young patrons to finish color sheets, connect-the-dots sheets, and word searches before receiving a snack when they are heading out the door! Trying to plan within the borders created by COVID-19, space, and time restrictions are the components that makes up this conundrum.

We have decided that we will play bingo for 60 to 90 minutes at the end of the day. Using grant money, we recently purchased a Bingo game, disposable sheets, and a good supply of daubers. It may not be a perfect solution, but it is probably going to come as close as anything else! It is an activity that all ages like to do, each participant will receive a snack when leaving the library for the evening, and we will work out a point system where the winners can vie for prizes.

I said all of that to say this, we would be so very thankful if anyone would like to donate snacks or prizes, or even take a turn or two of calling Bingo. Investing in the lives of these kids is worth every dime and every minute. They can be messy, wild, and teeth-clenching annoying; and then there are those other times that makes everything okay and extremely worth it all.

Word of the Week: The word of the week is “petrichor.” It is a noun and is pronounced /ˈpe trīkôr/. The word means a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather. The musty, barky smell of fresh rain fallen on the dry earth is petrichor.

Helping Our Community 2020

downtown Medicine LodgeAs we come to the end of 2020, everything looks different! We are living life behind masks as we go about our day-to-day activities. Instead of meeting the gaze of those passing by, eyes seem to be cast downward as we hurry through what we need to do. Instead of relaxing into conversations with others, many avoid the luxury of that connection in fear of being the target of a sharp tongue, fueled by hate.

Doubt and uncertainly casts a shadow on the upcoming holidays. Should you or shouldn’t you travel, invite, or gather together like you do every other year? What is the best for those you love? We all individually have to ascertain the answers to these questions.

Things are different; maybe we need to roll with it the best way we can and make some unique memories. If you can’t be with the ones you love on Thanksgiving, write them a note and tell them just how thankful you are to have them in your life. Maybe take advantage of social media and modern technology and let it be a part of your holidays. Turn your imagination loose and let it gallop around the pasture that is fenced in by Covid-19 restrictions. Although the grass may be greener on the other side, it is definitely safer inside the pasture.

There is a group that has gathered together to recreate the Medicine Lodge Area Chamber of Commerce and they are amazing. All of them are extremely busy in their personal life with jobs and families. They still meet and plan activities and events to enrich the lives of those who live in this community. They have a couple of things on their calendar for this month. There will be a Community Work Day on Friday, November 20, 2020 at 2:00 PM. Everyone is meeting behind the old middle school building and working on setting up the light displays.

They are also sponsoring a Christmas Open House on Sunday, November 22, 2020 from 2:00 to 6:00 PM. Your support and participation in these community activities will nourish your sense of community spirit while helping and encouraging the sponsors and vendors. Lincoln Library will be doing a Story Time that day from 3:00 to 3:30 PM.

Activate your common sense and take the suggested precautions! If you are sick, stay at home! If you know of someone sick, make a porch drop of food and other necessities, books, magazines, or other luxuries. Call those who are sick and offer to run errands or assist them in other ways. Check on people who are alone a lot. Mental health is as important during this stressful time as physical health.

If we all do what we can to make our corner of the world better and take care of those around us, we can make it through this! Yes, things are different, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t squeeze a whole lot of positive out of the negative and make life better for others and ourselves! One thing I think we can all agree on is that we can be extremely thankful that there are only a few weeks left in 2020.

Word of the Week: The word of the week is “excogitate”! The word is a verb and is pronounced /eksˈkäjəˌtāt/. The word means to plan, to think out, to devise. Some problems are harder to solve and thus takes longer to excogitate a solution.