The month of January has been observed as National Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention Month since it was designated in 2010 by President Obama. Although it is easy to think that trafficking is something that happens far away, in big cities or other cultures, the truth is that Kansas is an “originating state” for trafficking, meaning that Kansas residents are at higher risk of becoming victims of trafficking or the slave trade. Wichita has been identified as a large source for sex trafficking, and labor trafficking is a higher risk in rural communities, but moderately-sized towns have risks as well.
Human Trafficking is the criminal activity of holding another person for the purpose of exploitation, either through forced labor, sex trafficking, or both. The National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) reported 8,759 cases in 2017, which was up 13% from 2016. 2018 numbers are not yet available, but they are expected to increase as trafficking is on the rise. In fact, it is now believed that trafficking is the second largest criminal activity in the world today, with only illegal drugs being more widespread.
To learn more about trafficking, how to spot warning signs of trafficking, and how to protect your loved ones, you are welcome to attend an informational meeting at the library on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. Marissa Woodmansee, Director of Juvenile Services in Barton County, will be sharing important information and taking questions until about 4 p.m. If you are out and about for the local Health Expo, please feel free to stop by whenever you finish there.
If you are unable to attend the presentation on Saturday or would like more information, visit https://ag.ks.gov/public-safety/human-trafficking. If you are a victim of trafficking, or suspect that someone else may be, please call the national hotline at 1-888-373-7888, or text HELP or INFO to 233733. The hotline is available 24/7, completely confidential, and is available in over 100 languages.
See the schedule below for the library’s activities this week. For more detailed information on any library events, programs, or resources, check out our website (www.greatbendpl.info), send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or call the circ desk (620-792-2409). You can also “like” and follow GBPL on Facebook.
If you’re looking for something fun to do on Monday, Jan. 14, consider taking part in our social media “Dress Up Your Pet Day” photographs. You can find posts on Instagram and Facebook that will let you know how you can get involved and share your fun photos with the community.
Michael Adamyk is the Marketing and Technical Services Manager at the Great Bend Public Library. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.
Great Bend Public Library Schedule
Saturday, Jan. 12
11 a.m.: Bullet Journal Your Year (register online)
2 p.m.: What is Human Trafficking?
Monday, Jan. 14
All day on Facebook and Instagram: “Dress Up Your Pet Day” photos
6 p.m.: Crochet Club
Tuesday, Jan. 15
9:30 a.m. & 6 p.m.: Baby Bounce Class
10:30 a.m. & 6:30 p.m.: Early Literacy Storytime
7 p.m.: Open Book Club: “The Librarian of Auschwitz”
Thursday, Jan. 17
3:30 p.m.: Read with Luna (register online)
4 p.m.: Chapter Chats: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”