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Traveling exhibit, K is for Kansas, on display at Ellinwood library
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David Kreider, museum technician for the Kauffman Museum, and a helper set up the K is for Kansas exhibit now on display at the Ellinwood School and Community Library. The exhibit opened last Friday, and will be on display until Feb. 11. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

ELLINWOOD - An exhibit that opened at the Ellinwood School and Public Library last week has been a draw for young and old alike. The “K is for Kansas” travelling exhibit opened earlier this month, courtesy of the Kauffman Museum, and will be on display until Feb. 11.
Resembling a set of alphabet blocks strewn across the floor as though giant children had been playing and were suddenly called away, the story of Kansas is told, letter by letter.
“We’ve had a great response, said Sheri Holmes, director of library services.
The Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce brought in 50 people during its opening Friday morning, Jan. 6, and since then, Holmes has introduced students in grades K-5 to the exhibit with a variety of age appropriate activities.
Younger students found the first letters of their own names, and learned what part of the story it corresponded with. Second graders worked with Kansas symbols found throughout the display. Third graders worked with map skills, locating rivers and waterways with coordinates. Fourth and fifth graders were challenged with scavenger hunts and next week, sixth graders will learn how an exhibit like “K is for Kansas” is created and set up.
Activities pertaining to the exhibit aren’t just for the kids, Holmes said. On Jan. 23, Linda McCaffrey, an educator at Barton Community College, will present a program about the Santa Fe Trail and how it was important to Ellinwood and how it fits into the Kansas story. Also, the Ellinwood Historical Society has something planned, to be announced at a later date.
Local is underscored with the exhibit, just as it was with last year’s traveling Smithsonian exhibit, “Hometown Heroes.” Many of the classes have created related interpretive reports, including power points, which have been printed off and on display too.
“Our patrons are interested in all the aspects of these exhibits that have to do with Ellinwood,” Holmes said. “Local is important too.”
In related news, Ellinwood Public Library was one of 11 Kansas libraries awarded three stars by Library Journal, a trade publication of public libraries, in November. Kansas is ranked number seven in the nation for the number of star-awarded libraries in 2016. Stafford’s and St. John’s public libraries were also winners, each receiving five stars. Awards were based on usage and attendance.
The exhibit “K is for Kansas” can be seen during regular library hours, Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.