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Library taking food for fines during week-long celebration
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Great Bend Public Library, 1409 Williams St., will be waiving fines and giving away prizes all week, to celebrate National Library Week.

Reference Librarian Cara Negaard said the theme for the week is "Create Your Own Story @ the library." Visitors can do just that -- publishing a children's story online or preparing a resume and cover letter with help from the staff this week.

"All week we will be doing Food For Fines," said Negaard, who is also head of the library’s acquisitions department. "This has been a hit in the past and we are bringing it back this week with some extra perks. You can bring in one non-perishable food item for every $1 in fees owed to the library. These fees include damaged and lost items. The food that is collected will be donated to the Community Food Bank of Barton County."

Using a library card any time this week will automatically make a patron eligible for a prize. There will be three prizes given away: one for children 6th grade and younger, one for 7th through 12th graders, and one for adults. Negaard invites anyone who doesn’t have a library card to sign up for one this week. "They are free and you only need to show proof of current address."

The Friends of the Library will hold its regular meeting at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Kansas Room. Friends member Mary Ann June said this is a group of volunteers who advocate for the library, raise funds where needed, sponsor programs and special events, and host the annual used book sale. Membership is $10 a year, with forms available at the front desk.

At 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Children’s Librarian Eric Coulbourne will show young people how to write a children’s story, which can then be posted to online social networking sites. A second session at 6:30 p.m. is for parents and grandparents; they will need to have a working e-mail address if they would like to save the work they create.

"On Tuesday we invite those who are looking at creating the future of their own story through a new job to come to a presentation on resume and cover letters," Negaard said. "A representative from KansasWorks will be giving the presentation at 4 p.m. in the Fine Arts room of the library."

Volunteers from Friends of the Library will be back on Wednesday, serving free coffee from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In the spirit of being "green," June said people are invited to bring their own cups, although cups will be available.

On Thursday the library will host the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce Coffee at 9:30 a.m.

On Friday the public is invited to attend a free movie with popcorn. The movie will begin at 7 p.m., with the north doors opening at 6:45 p.m. Described as a feel good movie for all ages, this is the story of a young girl, Opal (AnnaSophia Robb), who learns to create her own story with the help of a big, ugly, happy dog named Winn-Dixie, by learning about the lives of other people in her new town, and about her past.

The special week will wrap up Saturday with several mini courses. "Throughout the day, staff will be available to guide you one-on-one through the great features of our online catalog, Pathfinder Center," Negaard said. At 10:30 a.m. there will be a Basic Genealogy program by Kathy Rippel from the Central Kansas Library System; at 1 p.m. Coulbourne will give a program on Facebook; at 2:30 p.m. Negaard will talk about Skype and at 3 p.m. she will present "What Google Can Do For You."