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Ellinwood Library prepares for Smithsonian exhibit
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ELLINWOOD — The Ellinwood School/Community Library has been chosen as one of six libraries in the state to host the “Hometown Teams” Smithsonian Institution exhibit from Jan. 31 to March 15, 2015.
“It’s about a variety of sports and how they affect small towns,” said Sharon Sturgis, librarian at Ellinwood. “We’ll get a fabulous exhibit.”
The exhibit explores the way sports unite and build communities, including photographs, hand-on components and audio and video clips from little leagues to the big leagues, and also including when women were able to enter sports.
The library will receive a $2,000 grant from the Kansas Humanities Council to create programming and buy books and posters for the exhibit. The library will only pay $200 for shipping costs.
“There was info sent out from the state on how to apply,” said Sturgis. “You need open square footage to handle the exhibit and a certain height of ceilings.”
Although there are tables in the library, they will go into storage for the exhibit.
As a part of the application process, the libraries were asked what local tie-ins they could provide. So Sturgis came up with creative ideas to complement the Smithsonian’s work, representing a variety of time periods.
“There will be a wall exhibit of past sports teams in Ellinwood,” said Sturgis. Also, the library will show a film series during the exhibit, including some movies as “Remember the Titans.” They may also hold Book Club meetings.
An exhibit with a tie-in to Leroy Zahn and Fred Meyer will also be included and other local sideline heroes. Sturgis said, “We’ll highlight heroes inside because they impacted the event, too.”
Zahn either took photos or took copies of photos of sports teams and then attached the team records to the photos. These photos hung as a collection in his work  office for decades, and now they are in a display at Ellinwood High School.
Fred Meyer, school business manager for a very long time, took meticulous statistics for the school, Sturgis said.
Additional hosts for the 2015 Kansas Tour of “Hometown Teams” include:
 • Goodland, High Plains Museum, Mar. 25 - May 3, 2015
• Greensburg, Kiowa County Historical Museum, May 9 - June 21, 2015
• Atchison, Atchison County Historical Society, June 27 - Aug. 9, 2015
• Perry, Perry Pride, Aug. 15 - Sept. 27, 2015
• Humboldt, Humboldt Historic Preservation Alliance, Oct. 3 - Nov. 15, 2015
For more information about the Kansas Tour of “Hometown Teams,” contact the Kansas Humanities Council at (785) 357-0359 or visit