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Ellinwood School and Community Library Year in Review
Ellinwood school and community library

Maker Spaces were the buzz-word for 2016. We provided coloring areas for adults, young adults, and youth, as well as crafts for the youth. These were very successful and we will be starting them up again this Spring. Displays for the year included: St. Joseph’s Art Display, Quilt Display, Ellinwood High School Art Show, Ellinwood Grade School Art Show, Joyce Schulte’s Santa Display.
We hosted three author visits and assisted with another this year. Jefferson Knapp came with his 25 ft. electronic python in April to EGS. The kids loved him. Crystal Bradshaw shared her book, “Eliza: A Generational Journey” in April. Darcy Leech discussed her book, “From My Mother: Surviving and Thriving in a Family Ravaged by Genetic Disease” in June. Marion Blumenthal-Lazan was a hit with her book, “Four Perfect Pebbles” in September. With the authors at this library, we held Chamber Coffees to support attendance, and that is always very beneficial.
The Library Board presented an Amazon gift card to the top high school and middle school readers, Sarah Hammeke and Aidan Ricker.
Our Library Board is purchasing chairs with money from the Archer Grant and from the Public Education and Library Foundation, and are expected to be delivered sometime in January or February.
It was necessary for my daughter, Breanna and I to rearrange the books in the adult/teen section of the library. We were having issues with vandalism and students not behaving. We were here from 9:30 a.m. to 1:45 a.m. to complete the moving. It has proven to be beneficial, and we have not received any complaints.
Shatlyn Thomas did an excellent job for us during Summer Library with the assistance of Olivia Casey, Kala Robl, Julie Blakeslee, Rachael Dickson, Sarah Hammeke, Macy Munson, Monica Hammeke, Erin Hammeke, and Kylie Troyer. They had an On Your Mark, Get Set, Read theme, and our wrap up session ended at the swimming pool with the “Water Olympics” We included 30 children from St. John’s CDC and had our largest attendance for Summer Library. We appreciate the maintenance staff who all get together to help with the cleaning and any repairs of the library during the summer.
We applied for a grant for Kansas Notable Books, and the Kansas State Library will reimburse ESCL for 14 books. We received a CKLS grant for technology and purchased a new TV for the library to run the Chamber Channel. You would be surprised how many people stop to check it out. Our biggest change for the summer was the addition of our 3D Printer. Seven Service Centers in the state of Kansas each chose one library in their area to receive a 3D printer, and we were given the one for the CKLS area. This was paid for, along with training for Julie by
ESSDACK by the State Library.
At the EGS Library several books were weeded last spring and were donated to an organization that sends the books to Ethiopia. We will be making another donation this spring with books from the ESCL library. The curriculum we purchased has been very beneficial to our students, and we continue to assist the classroom teachers as well. We had a successful Book Fair in October and purchased many new books, and still have several books to purchase for next spring. We have been running the AR program through the library, and this seems to be working well, too.
Kala and Stephanie attended a Youth Services Workshop at CKLS. We have 29 3-5 year-olds signed up for Story Time. We assisted the PAC in hosting a movie night a few weeks ago. 175 people were in attendance. There were several positive comments, and it was very successful.
I received a certificate from Chris Ripple of CKLS for the completion of Applied Public Library Education Training. It was very well worth our time.
Looking forward, we will be hosting the “K is for Kansas” Exhibit from the Koffman Museum in Newton, Kansas. It was set up Dec. 27 and we will host Chamber Coffee on the first Friday in January. All of the programs and services offered by ESCL wouldn’t be possible without the work of Julie Blakeslee, Kala Robl, Stephanie Robl, Kay Linden, Amy Hammeke, Michele Martin, Olivia Casey, Shatlyn Thomas, and Mildred Burroughs. We are blessed with an amazing staff. We appreciate all of our patrons who come to visit us throughout the year, and we work hard to try to meet all of your needs. We wish you all the best in the New Year.

Sheri Holmes is the Director of Library/Media Services at the Ellinwood School and Community Libraries