Summer Reading Week 4

super-whyAs we find the Library coming into the last turn of Summer Reading, we find the activities at the library hitting full speed. We have been amazed by the number of people who have shown up at activities and programs. There have been a few mishaps along the way, but we have persevered with smiles intact. There are two more weeks left of summer reading and if you haven’t had a chance to participate in some way now is your chance.

For the fourth week of Summer Reading we will have the following special programs:

For kids we will have:

  • Rattlesnake Andy, Tuesday at 2pm.—Cobra has nothing on Rattlesnake Andy! Come and see some snakes. (We promise there won’t be any live rattlesnakes.) Open to children of all ages.
  • Hometown Heroes, Tuesday at 6pm.—Cops and Robbers with the Kansas Highway Patrol. Come by the library and meet a hometown hero and here all about the job of a highway patrolman.
  • Strong and Strength, Wednesday at 2pm. –Superheroes can stretch, bend, and have huge muscles. Test your agility and strength by joining us for an afternoon workout. Open to children 8 and older.
  • Super Why, Friday at 1:30pm.—Super Why is stopping by the library. Join Wyatt, Red, and the Princess for fun. Stick around for the movie at 2pm.
  • Movie Day, Friday at 2:00pm.—We can’t tell you what the movie will be, but we can say that there will be popcorn and that the movie will feature a theme related to heroes.

roll playing diceFor young adults we will have:

  • YA Super Tournament! Monday from 4pm-5:30pm: Mecha, Anime, Battle of Heroes, Stone Cold Crafts, and Games, Games, Games!
  • YA Hawkeye Day! Thursday from 2pm-3:30pm: Hawkeye is awesome: Discuss. Archery practice, make your own bow and arrow. Manga fresh from Japan.
  • YA All Ages-Game Time! Saturday starting at 11am: Board games for all ages, D20 role playing game demonstration. There will plenty of RPGs for you to choose from. Also featuring Nintendo Streetpass.

into thin airFor Adults we will have:

  • Nonfiction Bookclub, Tuesday at 6:30pm: We will wrap up our discussion of “Into thin Air” and hand out copies of the next book club book. See you there. This is a perfect time to join the club.
  • Healthy Fun Night, Thursday at 6pm: Amy Thompson from the Kansas State Extension office will be here at the library to talk about Nutrition. A perfect opportunity to be part of a small group discussion and ask questions.
  • Prize Day, Friday at Noon: Each Friday we will draw for our weekly prizes. Get those reading slips in!

Summer Reading Week 2

Escape the Ordinary_K copySummer Reading at the Library is in full swing. Our first week is in the books and we are now moving on to our second week. Thanks to all who signed up and attended events the first week.

Last Monday we had Boot Camp with the National Guard, Medusa’s Funky Hair, and multiple programs for Young Adults in the Learning Center. For Adults we had Recipe Swap (my new favorite program), Nonfiction Book Club, and Trivia Night.

For the second week of Summer Reading we will have the following special programs:

For kids we will have:

truckTruck Day, Tuesday 2pm-4pm.

The parking lot will be host to all kinds of different trucks and work vehicles. Rough, tough, and heavy duty. Get up close and personal with the vehicles! Have all of your questions asked by the people who drive them.

Hometown Heroes, Tuesday at 6pm.–Seward County EMS is going to be on the scene. Come check out these Hometown Heroes and learn more about the work they do in our community.

Smoky Hills TV, Wednesday at 2pm. –Smoky Hills TV is coming back to the Liberal Memorial Library. This program is aimed at children 8 and under.

Mad scientistMad Science, Thursday at 4pm. –Mad Science is showing off superhero science at the library. You’ll see if superheroes really can fly and maybe see a few super powers demonstrated. Free and Fun for Children of all ages.

For young adults we will have:

YA Fanfic and War, Monday from 4pm-5:30pm: Feature such topics as Shojo Anime, Halo, Fanfic: the good, the bad, the ugly; and the Watchful Owl.

YA We All Wear Masks, and Thursday from 2pm-3:30pm: Features Fanfic Redux, Is the hero the man or the mask? What is your mask? And Manga fresh from Japan.

YA Ask Darth Vader, Saturday starting at 11am: Meet the men behind comicon’s Stormtrooper and Darth Vader! Ask about how they made their awesome costumes, the 501st Legion and More!

For Adults we will have Adult Crafts on Monday at 6pm, Library and Lunch on Tuesday at Noon, and Healthy Fun Night with Kay Burtzloff on Thursday at 6pm.

In addition to these special events we also have events every day for children.

And I hope that the adults in our community do not feel left out. For them we have Adult Summer Reading. You can participate in the June program, or just stop by to fill out drawing slips with a book you have read. We will draw for prizes each Friday. Currently prizes include a $25 Amazon Gift Card, Summer Reading Shirt, and more.

It is not too late to stop into the library and take advantage of these awesome programs and opportunities. All programs are free and a lot of them also offer snacks.

See you there!

Summer Fun for Kids at Liberal Memorial Library

Sign up is still going on for the Summer Reading Program at Liberal Memorial Library. There are programs for all ages (kids, teens and adults). You can sign up online or at the library.   Parents know that reading to their kids is important, so signing your children up for the Summer Reading Program is one way to reward them for reading (and it’s free for you).Omalley_laughing

Here’s how the program works – parents sign their children up at the Library and set a reading goal of at least ten hours. Read throughout the month of June. By July 8th, bring that log back to the library and get a free t-shirt for your child. It’s that easy!

There is more to summer reading than just reading. Kids (and families) can come to all of the programming that we have going on at the library throughout the next five weeks. All of the programming is free, you don’t have to register and if you haven’t signed up for the reading part of the program, that’s ok (although I will probably ask you to join).

Here’s what we have going on in June for kids in Liberal. For more information, contact the library at 626-0180.

Hometown Heroes: Tuesdays in June @ 6:00 Come and meet some of Liberal’s Hometown Heroes! Bring a blanket or lawn chair, because if the weather is good, we will be on the front lawn of the library! Each week is something new! Open to all ages.

Movie Fridays @ 2:00 Bring your friends to beat the heat and watch a movie. We’ll have five different movies on Fridays during the month of June and on July 3rd. All movies are rated PG or G. Fresh popcorn and ice cold lemonade will be served, so bring your friends.

Medusa’s Funky Hair – June 3rd @ 2:00. Superheroes need disguises, right? Learn new hairstyles, get a funky do or even get your hair colored temporarily with chalk! It’s free and fun for girls and boys of all ages.

Truck Day – June 9th from 2:00 to 4:00. The parking lot is being taken over by rough and tough trucks. See some of the heavy duty trucks you see driving down the road up close and personal. Have all your questions answered by the people who drive them. Come any time between 2:00 and 4:00! Open to children of all ages.

Smoky Hills Public TV – June 10th @ 2:00. Smoky Hills Public TV is coming back to Liberal Memorial Library! This program is aimed at children 8 and under.

Mad Science – June 11th @ 4:00. Mad Science is showing off superhero science at the library. You’ll see if superheroes really can fly and maybe see a few super powers demonstrated. Free and fun for children of all ages.

Beejays – June 16th @ 2:00. The Liberal Beejays are coming to the library to show off their baseball skills. Bring your glove and your questions! Open to children of all ages.

Southern Pioneer Electric Power Van – June 17th @ 2:00 and 3:00. Electro isn’t the only one who can throw bolts of lightning! Join us to see electricity in action. Southern Pioneer is coming to the library for two presentations that will have you seeing flashes of lightning. You may even learn a bit about electricity! At 2:00, the program is inside and is aimed at smaller children. At 3:00 the action begins outside and is geared towards older children and teens, including what happens if you touch a power line (hot dogs are involved). These programs are free and open to children of all ages.

Rattlesnake Andy – June 23rd @ 2:00. Cobra has nothing on Rattlesnake Andy! Come and see some live snakes (we promise there won’t be any live rattlesnakes!) Open to children of all ages.

Strong and Stretch – June 24th @ 2:00. Superheroes can stretch, bend, and have huge muscles. Test your superhero agility and strength by joining us for an afternoon workout. Open to children 8 and older.

Super Why – June 26th @ 1:30. Super Why is stopping by the Library. Join Whyatt, Red, and Princess Pea and then stay for the Friday movie at 2:00! Open to children of all ages.

Self Defense – July 1st @ 2:00. Learn how to get out of a scary situation! Join the Liberal PD with this program on self-defense for kids ages 8+.


Free Books for New Parents – A Baby’s Bookshelf

The librlogo 2ary has a relatively new program to help parents and their babies to get in the habit of reading from an early age. The program, called A Baby’s Bookshelf is aimed at newborns. The goal of the program, which is funded by the Friends of the Library is to get books into the hands of babies in the community. Sign up your baby and come to the library before the baby is two years old. Every two months, when you come to the library, your baby will get a book that they can take home absolutely free. The earlier you start, the more books you get! We have books available in English and Spanish!

You may be asking why you should read to your baby. Studies have shown that children need attention, bonding and communication for healthy brain development. Reading to a child is doing all of these at once. You are interacting with your child, communicating with your child and holding your child close to you when you share books with them. Books (even books for children) have a different set of vocabulary than spoken speech does, which is important for the growing brain. Reading at an early age helps your baby’s brain to develop!
At first, when your baby is still small, you might only be able to read for a few minutes at a time. Try doing that a few times a day. By the time your child is older, he or she will be able to pay attention to books for longer periods of time.

Reading to your children from birth is super important. By the time a child is three years old, a lot of the brain is already developed. That means that it is the first three years that are important for babies. The Baby’s Bookshelf is just one of the ways that the library is helping these children have a good start in life. Other programs that we have are Family Place Library and a Baby’s Lapsit for children under the age of two on Tuesdays at 11:15. Parents of children are invited to come and read stories, sing songs and play. It is a lot of fun, totally free, and no registration is required. Little ones get a chance to meet new friends. Pick up a calendar while you are picking up your book!

If you are a parent of a baby, come to the library, join our Baby’s Bookshelf program and see what the library has to offer. Bringing your baby to the library will do a lot for your child. Not only can you start your own family library but you can also use our other services designed for children and families while at the library. The Baby’s Bookshelf program is a good way to introduce your babies to books at an early age and new parents are encouraged to participate in this valuable program.

If you have any questions about this program or any other program at the library, give the library a call at 626-0180 or email me at

Mark your Calendars for the 12th Annual Children’s Healthy Fun Fair

Last year at this time, I was nervous about the Children’s Healthy Fun Fair because I really didn’t know what to expect. This year, I’m less nervous about the logistics of planning the fair. Now, I am nervous about getting the word out about the fair and getting more people who may not know about the fair involved. I wonder why there aren’t more families that know about the fair that don’t take advantage of the Children’s Healthy Fun Fair.

Before I get ahead of myself, I really should give the details of the Children’s Healthy Fun Fair. This year, the 12th annual fair will be held on Saturday, March 7th from 10 AM to 1 PM in the Ag Building of the Seward County Fairgrounds. Best of all, everything is totally free. Last year just over 600 people visited the fair, and this year, I hope to get even more children and their families into the fair. What is the Children’s Healthy Fun Fair? Well, the Children’s Healthy Fun Fair is not just about health. It isn’t just row after row of boring booths that kids won’t be interested in. What makes this fair different than other fairs is that the information is aimed at the children more than it is aimed at the adults. The goal is to have fun, get educated on how to live a healthier life and learn about some of the great services that are offered in the community. While the goal of the fair is education, of course, all of the different booths try to get kids and their families involved in the learning in active ways. Many of the booths are not only going to have brochures and information, but they will also have games, giveaways or food.

It’s hard to write about the Children’s Healthy Fun Fair because it’s hard to describe what the children who go get out of it and it’s also hard to describe what the agencies who put on the fair get out of it. The kids who come to the fair have so much fun learning about healthy habits. Southwest Medical Center has a booth every year that tries to show kids what exactly is on their hands (and will finally allow your children and yourself to see whether or not just rinsing your hands will get them clean). Kids (and their parents) seem grossed out to see how dirty their hands are. A lot of booths have games and activities for children to do, promoting a healthy lifestyle.

The groups that have tables at the fair are all excited about sharing what their organization does with young people. Last year, the Library promoted the Family Place Library program at the Children’s Healthy Fun Fair and were super excited to get a lot of new families involved in the program that we met at the fair.

We hope to see you at the Children’s Healthy Fun Fair on Saturday, March 7th from 10:00 to 1:00 in the Ag Building of the Seward County Fairgrounds. Remember, the fair and everything at the fair is completely free, so come on down and enjoy the information, giveaways and activities that are planned! For more information about the fair, contact me at 626-0180.

Fall Library Fun for Families — Carnival and Family Place Library

I know you are all getting tired of me promoting the Family Place Library Parent/Child Workshop that is starting again this Thursday.  For the last time this year, I am going to tell you how great and fun the program is. I am super excited to announce that our two professionals for the first week are a physical therapist and a speech pathologist.  If you have questions for our professionals come on down to the workshop, which starts at 6:30.  You can get all of your questions answered while your kids play and have fun.

We invite a different professional for each of the five weeks of the workshop to facilitate early intervention and for parent education.  Most parents have questions about whether or not what their child is doing is “normal”, and the Parent/Child Workshop gives you a chance to get those answers.  When my daughter was four, she still couldn’t say her name properly because it had the letter “l” in it.  I asked the speech pathologist from the Family Place Library Workshop whether that was normal.  She said that it was no big deal, and she would eventually be able to say her l’s.   And now, at almost six, she is saying her l’s like a pro.   There are so many other stories of parents getting reassurance that what their kid is doing is ok. If something needs more investigation, a lot of our professionals know where to get further help.

If you don’t have any questions for the professional that week, you can just come to play.  We are bringing out all of our toys, and with a lot of kids, I guarantee that your children are going to go home tired and happy.

The Parent/Child Workshop is aimed at kids from birth to age five and is really a lot of fun.  This is one of the few programs at the library where registration is required, and you can either register in person at the library, by phone or online.  To register online just go to our website and follow the link to register.

Another event that we are having that is aimed at families is our Fall Carnival.  We have had this carnival every year for the past few years and it is a lot of fun.  This year the carnival is on Saturday, September 20th from 11:00 to 1:00 in the library parking lot.  We will have food, games and fun for the whole family.  Some of the highlights of the carnival are the soda ring toss, the kissing booth (hubba hubba), book bingo and sack races.  Prizes are awarded freely and the whole event is free of charge for everyone in the community.  The library will remain open during the carnival for normal Saturday hours (9:00 AM to 1:00 PM).  After you have had all of the fun you can handle and all of your prizes are bulging out of your pockets, check out a few books to read at home!


Family Place Library:  Thursdays from September 18th to October 16th from 6:30 to 7:30 at the library for children from birth to age five and their family.

Fall Carnival:  Saturday, September 20th from 11:00 to 1:00.  Games, food and prizes for the whole family.   The library will be open normal Saturday hours from 9:00 to 1:00.

If you have any questions about any of these events or just want more information, please contact the library at 626-0180.

Hot Kid’s Series for Hotter Summer Days

While the summer reading program is over for kids and teens, the adults are still reading for a Bingo! If your teens and children haven’t turned in their summer reading logs, make sure to bring it by the library soon to get a t-shirt.

Just because summer reading is over, doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything to do at the library! The month of July is going to be really busy in the children’s department (and every other department) of the library and parents are encouraged to pick up a schedule in the library, look online at or give us a call at 626-0180. For July, we have board game days, movies, games on the lawn, Roblox days, rainbow looming and, of course, story times. All activities are free of charge for children in the community.

While reading to earn a t-shirt is over, we still have a lot of great books at the library. Here are some of the series that are hot, hot, hot this summer:

The Kylie Jean books star Kylie Jean a lovable girl who has a lot of personality. Kids who like Junie B. Jones or Judy Moody will like these books because of their sparkle and pinkness and parents who hate Junie B. or Judy Moody will like the kinder, gentler Kylie Jean. Kylie Jean always gets into a bit of mischief, gets out of the scrape and then learns a lesson. Kylie Jean is the Spelling Queen, Cupcake Queen, Singing Queen and more.

For slightly older readers (both boys and girls) we have the Geronimo and Thea Stilton books. These books with a mouse hero and heroine are great beginning chapter books because they have a lot of pictures, use easy words and are in color. The series goes on and on, so it will keep kids reading for trip after trip to the library.

For fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid who have finished Hard Luck and are looking for something to read before the ninth book, The Long Haul gets released in November, we have a lot of great series that are similar. The Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger. This series of five books (plus the activity book) is so much fun, and you don’t have to be a Star Wars fan to get it. The book is based on journal entries to find out whether or not the origami yoda is wise enough to give good advice.

A second Wimpy Kid read-alike is the Loser List by H.N. Kowitt. When a middle school kid finds himself on the loser list on the inside of the girl’s bathroom wall, he gets caught removing his name and ends up getting detention and changing the way everyone at school looks at him. There are four books in the series so far.

Finally, we have a lot of the popular series books in Spanish. We have Dork Diaries, Wimpy Kid, Goosebumps, Judy Moody, Stink, Junie B. Jones, Harry Potter and more. These are great for parents to read to their kids or for kids who are learning Spanish to read during the summer so they don’t lose what they’ve learned in the school year.

We are always ready to give book recommendations to kids and their parents at the library. Check out some of our new books today or pick up an old classic.

I’m Not Going to Beg, but…

If you haven’t signed up for summer reading at Liberal Memorial Library, then pop into the library or apply online at our website ( We’ve already had hundreds of children sign up already. The goal is to get more kids signed up, more kids to complete the program and more total hours read than last year. We will still accept applications for a little while longer (and since the program is free and fun, you have no excuse not to sign up). One of the best parts of the summer reading program is the weekly sessions that we have. This year, we have six different groups – the wee ones, toddlers, preschoolers, grade 1 & 2, grade 3 & 4 and grade 5 & 6. Since the theme of the summer reading program is Fizz, Boom, Read, each of the weekly programs is going to be a lot of fun, because we are going to have science experiments, stories, crafts, music and other activities.

Last year we had worms as a mascot for the summer reading program. Kids had a great time digging through the newspaper bedding to find the worms cowering in the bottom of the box. This year we are having another mascot – since the theme of summer reading is a science theme, what better animal to have at the library than a monkey? Well, since I would probably be fired for ordering a real monkey on the library’s credit card, we are going to discover the scientific importance of sea monkeys. In the first weekly session (which is this coming week), each group is going to try their hand at growing sea monkeys. I’ve dug out the magnifying glass, so we should be able to see something almost instantly. The sea monkeys will stay in the library until the end of the summer reading program so that each week the kids can see them grow.

While you are at the weekly programs, make sure to check out a few books. Right across from the circulation desk, we have a lot of books from the American Library Association’s summer reading list on display. This list has some great books for kids of all ages – from story books to chapter books. We’ll keep replenishing the display with books that are favorites with kids. Don’t worry, there won’t be any boring books on display.

We also have some great special programs lined up for the beginning of the month. Professor Popcorn from K-State Extension is going to come on June 4th. We’ll have two groups – one at 2:00 and one at 2:30. This program is limited to 20 participants from grade one to six in each group and is going to be an exploration of food science.

One June 11th at 2:00 we have a science show – Fizz, Boom, Pop, Science Rocks. Kids (and adults) are going to see the exciting side of science and what happens when things get mixed together. It’ll be fun for all ages. It’s free and open to as many people as we can squeeze in the library!
If you don’t have a library card, now is the time to get one. Kids of any age can get a library card with their parent’s permission. To get a first card, mom or dad needs a photo ID and a piece of mail that was sent to them (like a utility bill) so that we can verify an address. The card will be mailed to you and then you are ready to start checking things out.

Don’t forget to start reading and logging those minutes once you sign up for summer reading. Set aside time each night to read. Turn off the TV for a half an hour, and read as a family. Mom and dad can set a good example by signing up for the adult summer reading program and completing a bingo over the course of the summer.

Check out our website (, call (626-0180) or come into the library to find out what is going on each week. It’s an exciting summer at Liberal Memorial Library as we plan to Fizz, Boom, Read!


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!