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Book Sanitizer Machine

book sanitizer machineWe keep busy here at Lincoln Library! Of course, the most important aspect of our days is doing our best to take care of our patrons, but there are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes! Keeping the building clean, tidy, and inviting are daily tasks. Program preparation takes up many hours, as well as our Interlibrary Loan service. Shelving books, magazines, and movies can be quite time consuming, as it is easy to lose one’s focus and end up straightening and correcting the alphabetizing on an entire section. Of course, there is the ordering and finances and everything else that it takes to keep a place up and running. Covid-19 added to it! Not only were there extra cleaning responsibilities, disinfecting, and sanitizing, we began quarantining our books.

We used the large tables in our meeting room to clean and store our quarantined books for a week before returning them to the shelves. The process was inconvenient in many ways: the room was no longer available for meetings, new books were out of circulation, and we could really feel the crunch on our time.

We were approached about applying for money from the Barber County Cares Act. After thoughts were thrown around, our Board’s President, Mellissa Mixon, suggested a book sanitizer. We went with it, they went with it, and we ordered it. The Library Book Sanitizer Machine sanitizes up to 6 books at a time in 30 seconds with UV-C light and high air pressure. Not a cheap alternative to antibacterial wipes and quarantining, but a good one. We so appreciate the $4,300.00 from the Barber County Cares Act and so appreciate this machine. As I emailed back and forth with an employee of PIKinc., he informed me that as of right now, we are the only ones in the State of Kansas with one of these machines.

Books are now being returned quickly to the shelves. Our meeting room is open for meetings and our new books can circulate much quicker to waiting patrons. We like our machine so much that we are searching for the perfect name for her. Things this important cannot be rushed! Our thanks go out to everyone who made this purchase possible. After nine months of cleaning and quarantining books, we appreciate this machine every single day.

Expansion Project Phase 1 Progress

expansion project blueprintsLincoln Library purchased the Mason building, right next door to the north, in August of 2019. Our imagination took off as we discussed the many possibilities that could become reality with the addition of the building to our library. We talked and had meetings. We contacted an architect. Many hours were spent by committee members in fine-tuning the remodeling plans for the existing library and speculating on the most community friendly floor plans for the new acquisition.

I don’t have to tell you how decelerating and interrupting COVID-19 has been to everything and everybody. It definitely slowed down our plans. We continued to move forward, although at a much slower pace. As our plans were finalized, realism crept in, pulling a hefty price tag behind it. We decided to break down the project into several phases and concentrate on the first phase only.

We have thrown around a variety of funding ideas from the very beginning. As we watched our preliminary steps coming to fruition, we decided to apply for the Libraries Transform Grant through SCKLS (South Central Kansas Library System).

SCKLS serves public, school, academic, and special libraries in 12 counties since 1968, including Barber County. The organization not only provides expertise in a large variety of areas, they offer several different grants. The Libraries Transform Grant is a matching grant up to $25,000 to go towards a project and program of change for a community library.

Lincoln Library Board members moved forward with the application process and on Friday, December 4, 2020, we received notification and a $25,000.00 check through the mail.

We had smiling faces and grateful hearts as we spread the news of the grant. As much as those zeros make a difference to this project, even more so is the motivational affirmation that completing phase 1 is within reach.

SCKLS is where we turn when problems arise and advice is needed. We appreciate the staff members and their guidance in the areas we need direction. Receiving the Libraries Transform Grant is just one more reason to be thankful for the staff and for the organization.

Our next step will be advertising for bids. Everyone is welcome to stop by and check out the plans; we would love to show them to you!

Word of the Week: The word of the week is “perspicacious.” The word is an adjective and is pronounced pur·spuh·kei·shuhs (\ˌpərspəˈkāSHəs/) and means having acute mental vision or discernment. The perspicacious salesman earned a great living because he knew how to read his customers.

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.