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2019 Year in Review
Check it Out
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ELLINWOOD —  Another year is coming to an end, and we are grateful for all who continue to utilize our School/Community Library! Looking back over the past year, we continue to learn, change, and grow with the needs of our library. 

Our Library Board consists of  President Dirk Ricker, Vice President Dick Waters, Secretary Marlene Clayton, and Treasurer Karie Gibson.  Other members include Delores Schwertfeger, Deanna Rogers, Irlan Fullbright as our mayor representative, and new member, Melanie Krier.


A few of the events we have hosted include:

Alyssa Bliven, artist from Great Bend displayed her works focusing on fibers and found object art.


In February, we displayed St. Joseph’s students’ work; March, drew in many patrons to see our Twilight Stitchers Quilt Guild famous Quilt Display; in April, we hosted our EHS Art Display; and in May, the EGS Art Display. Our patrons look forward to these displays each year, and we are thankful to all who are involved in putting them together!

StoryTime, Baby & Me, and Summer Library continue to be great programs for our youth! Julie Blakeslee has worked with Treva Paden and Karie Gibson to prepare fun activities for our 3-5 year olds. Michele Martin facilitates read alouds and games for our parents with their children  under 3 years old. Melody Johnston, with the assistance of Nicole Bailey, Monica Hammeke, Kaden Baird, Grace Hoskins, Caden Rowan, Mahra Johnston, and Alaina Straub, take reading to a whole new level during Summer Library!

Programs coinciding with our Summer Library included: 

The COSMOSPHERE with Robert Lounsbury III, presented  “It’s Not Rocket Science”.

The KANSAS WETLANDS with Pam Martin, presented “Celestial Creatures, Featuring animals in the stars!” 

Share A Story, part of Smoky Hills Public Television mission to encourage children to read. Miss Jessica read a story, taught the children a craft project and sent each one home with a book for them to enjoy with their families. 

Coding with Joseph Kern was a fun addition for our students in 3rd-8th grades.  Joseph, with assistance from his family at times, shared their knowledge and technology with our young patrons.


Also this summer, CKLS assisted us in weeding our Adult Non-fiction Section, and Drew Kaufman came to pick them up and sends what he doesn’t use to Ethiopia.  


During After Harvest Fest, with the assistance of Ellinwood Kansas Historical Society, we hosted Community Art Through the Ages! This event was well attended, and we hope to host something similar next summer!

With the new school year approaching, we hosted an Ellinwood Chamber Coffee, with a meet & greet, welcoming new USD 355 Staff.


Banned Book Week was an entertaining display created by Melissa Long and Monica Hammeke this fall!  Everyone looked forward to seeing who would be caught next! Mr. Westerman was definitely a favorite!

Ellinwood Energizers 4-H Club displayed several winning projects in October. Also, Ellinwood School/Community Library hosted 2 of EGS “Families” for a “Fast Friends” event. Marcia Berchek, Red Meier, Marilyn Sauber, Sharla Thill, Roy Robl, and Howard Herter all had 5 minutes to become fast friends partnered with 2 students at a time! Last, the performance of “Oliver Twist” by Brett Crandall was a huge hit with our EGS students!

In November, we had an awesome turnout for the EHS History Club’s Veteran’s Day Recognition! Forrest Williams shared his military display with us for the month, and we can never thank the Veterans enough for their service!


For Christkindlmarket, we have our Polar Express Story Walk posted in downtown Ellinwood’s windows and it will be open through December 26th.  We hope families will take advantage of the nice weather to participate! 

We are currently hosting a Nativity Collection from Phyllis Miller.  These are treasures she has collected over the years!  They will be displayed through the end of December. 


Again, thank you for utilizing our library! Our staff of Julie Blakeslee, Treva Paden, Karie Gibson, Melissa Long, Chase Tillotson, Monica Hammeke, Kay Linden, Amy Hammeke, Michele Martin, Melody Johnston, and myself, Sheri Holmes, work hard to meet the needs of our community! Looking ahead, we are working on a partnership with Kansas Humanities and the Smithsonian to bring a “Crossroads” display to Ellinwood School/Community Library next fall!  Wishing you all the happiest of New Years!  

Sheri Holmes is the director of library and media services for the Ellinwood School and Community Libraries. She can be reached by email at