Happy 2011! The New Year at the library always brings a moment of reflecting on what was accomplished the previous year and plans for what we would like to do this year. As always, patron input is welcomed. If you have an idea for a program or service you’d like the library to offer, please visit with one of the staff about it. One recent addition to the library is a big screen television mounted at the front desk which presents a slide-show-type array of activities going on at the library. In case you overlook a flyer hanging in our hallway or a take home slip on the counter, you can now keep informed on what’s happening.

Things that the library does do not always confine themselves to the area within our walls. Children’s is once again doing Snack Attack at the Recreation Center. This educational endeavor is presented twice monthly and teaching is shared with a representative of K-State Research and Extension. Snack Attack is a way to teach healthy eating and fitness strategies with young people in a fun way.

Fourth graders in our district, as well as home school and private school students, will get a chance to learn a bit more about soil this month. Seward County Conservation District has arranged for Miami County’s Soil Tunnel Trailer to come to Liberal. It will spend the day touring in designated locations so that these young people can take part in this learning activity.

A big out-of-the-library event we are preparing for is the 8th annual Children’s Healthy Fun Fair, which will be March 5. Planning meetings are already taking place so that this event can be a big success for families in our city, county, and beyond. Mark your calendar!

Inside our building, our story times continue for little ones on Thursday mornings throughout the month of January. It’s important to start little ones down the road to early literacy. If you know someone with a little one, please have them contact the library for more information. For older children, kindergarten through the fourth grade, don’t forget that their literacy is important too. Have them check out our After School Club, which meets monthly the last Tuesday of each month. No dues or scary initiations. All you need to do is just stop by the Cooper Clark Room and see what book character we are featuring and the fun activities we have to go with it. This month we will meet on January 25 with Judy Moody as our feature.

The library has a wonderful opportunity annually to apply for a early literacy grant from Smart Start of Southwest Kansas. That grant has made it possible for three years to provide some special services to children enrolled in Head Start. Those services include five special field trips to the library during the school year. The trips allow them to become familiar with the library and to share in special story times while they are here.
In December, an additional grant became available from Smart Start for which we qualified. This grant made a certain children’s coordinator giddy with excitement as shipment after shipment arrived. It was just like Christmas! New items so far include a four-piece activity table, early literacy DVDs, early childhood music CDs, books of all kinds, and a wonderful platform glider (which is perfect for story time). Stop in and see our new things. You can even try out the glider!

Hopefully you rang in the New Year on a positive note and plan to try to make your little corner of the world a better place in 2011. We’ll look forward to you brightening our corner when we see you at Memorial Library!

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