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Great Bend Public Library staff to attend Salina conference
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Great Bend High School art teacher Sergio Ramirez painted this image of Ivan the silver backed gorilla, the central character in the USD 428 One District One Book selection for 2016. The image will be on display at the Great Bend Public Library through the month of October. - photo by Veronica Coons, Tribune staff

Friday, Great Bend librarians and CKLS staff will travel to Salina to hear Valerie Gross speak about why Kansas needs libraries more than ever. She will outline how libraries equal education for a community, and it happens in three ways: self-directed education, research assistance and instruction, and instructive and enlightening experiences. GBPL board members were invited to attend. The trend of highlighting and partnering with schools and the community through library leadership is already underway, according to Children’s Services Supervisor Dayna Ball, who presented the department report to the GBPL Library Board Monday afternoon.
Ball is a community overseer for this year’s USD 428 One District One Book program. The library’s partnership brought 95 kids into the library this month for two out of three different library events built around the book “The One and Only Ivan,” by Katherine Applegate, the district’s selection for its second year participating in the program. So far this month, children have built banana boats snacks, and learned about helping animals who are also endangered species when Pam Martin from the Kansas Wetlands Education Center brought one snake and one wounded kestrel to the library. The third event, planned for later this month, a field trip to Long’s Pumpkin Patch will include a craft activity where children will cut out human and gorilla hands to decorate, showing the similarities between humans and animals, Ball said.
Visitors to the children’s library are also helping the district raise $1,000 for the upkeep of a gorilla troop for one year. So far, $143.28 has been raised at the children’s library.
A team from the library plans to volunteer their services at the Great Bend Zoo Boo later this month, Ball said, manning craft tables to provide relief for children as they wait in line for their turn to tour the zoo.
Ball also reported that a kiln has been procured for the library in anticipation of upcoming pottery classes. Ball has an identical kiln at home, and will soon be able to report to the board what increases in energy consumption they may anticipate from its use.

Other items of discussion included:
A review of the monthly financial statements indicated in the ninth month, just under 70.25 percent of the budget has been used.
During the month of September, 153 purple caps were crocheted by library patrons for the Period of Purple Crying campaign.
The library will be open after the Christmas parade this year, and due to anticipated bandshell repairs at the Courthouse Square, some post-parade activities may be moved to the library grounds.
Board members expressed appreciation for work by library staffers on Tuesday nights, helping patrons with social media and electronic reader set-up. Two incidents were witnessed and noted during the discussion.
A five minute executive session was requested for the purpose of discussing non-classified personnel. Upon return to regular session, no action was taken, and the meeting was then adjourned. The next library board meeting will be at 4:45 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14 at the library director’s office.