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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!!!

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!

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.