Building A Better Library

We’re building a better library in our Children’s room! Please excuse the mess for the next few weeks while we repaint shelves, rearrange books, move things around, and change the space to become an enchanted storytime forest! It’s going to be an improved space for kids to read, play, and listen to stories.

Here’s what’s coming up at the library the rest of this month:

  • Teens ages 12 -18 can enter our drawing contest! Create your own manga or anime character to enter the contest. Drawing, painting, and other methods are welcome, but you can only use one sheet of paper. Write your name, age, and phone number on a separate sheet of paper. Only one entry per person, and entries are due on April 28. Either bring your artwork to the front desk of the library, or you can mail it to the library. Prizes will be awarded, and winners will be announced at our annual Comic-Con on May 6.
  • This week is our Friends of the Library Booksale! Friends of the Library are welcome to come to buy books on Monday from noon – 4 pm. The booksale will be open to the public 6pm – 8pm Monday, and during library hours on Tuesday – Thursday. Books will sell for $1.00 each Monday – Wednesday, and $1.00 a bag on Thursday. Pick up some great used books and DVDs! We will also be selling some of the stuffed toys that used to be on top of the shelves in the Children’s room.
  • Don’t forget about our weekly storytimes, Tuesdays at 6 pm and Thursdays at 11:15 am! This week, we’ll be reading some Easter stories and making an Easter Egg craft.
  • Tuesday at noon, join us for Library & Lunch. Bring your lunch and discuss the book The Nest by Cynthia Sweeney.
    • Adults, make an Easter craft on Thursday at 6 pm! Refreshments will be served.
  • School’s out on Monday the 17th, and we’re having a Videogame Day starting at 2 pm! Come play our Wii, Playstation 4, and Xbox! All ages welcome.
  • Want to learn how to use the library’s 3D Printer? Come to our Beginner’s 3D Printing Workshop on Monday the 17th at 6 pm! We will walk through the process of finding a print-ready file online that you can print as-is or alter to fit your needs. Sign up on our website at
  • Bunco will be Thursday the 20th at noon! Join our popular dice game. Registration is required, so talk to Shannon or check out our website. Adults only, snacks provided.
  • Recipe swap is on Tuesday the 25th at 6:30 pm. Bring a Mexican or Tex-Mex dish to share along with the recipe, and enjoy everyone else’s dishes!
  • School will also be out on Friday the 28th, so we’ll be showing a fun movie at 2 pm! Popcorn and lemonade will be served.
  • We’ll be celebrating El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children’s Day / Book Day) on Saturday the 29th at 1 pm! Make a craft, listen to stories, and play games! Plus, take a book home to keep! Sign up on our website at

Second Annual Comicon

darth vaderOur second annual comicon is less than a week away! I’m as excited as I can be, and I am hoping you are too. Last year we had a door count of around three thousand, and I hope we can break that this year! In fact, I want everyone in Liberal to stop by, if even for a little bit on their busy Saturday morning.

One great reason to come: our mayor, Joe Denoyer and the city council have declared Liberal to be the Crossroads of Fandom for May 7th, the day of the comicon. And we are! You don’t have to try hard to find someone around you who loves something from pop culture. It’s the mythology of our age, it’s our comfort food, and it’s a thing that can give us great joy and build community with other people who love what we love.

Besides games and prizes, we have panel discussion and costume contests and choosing the best super hero. Everything from superhero storytime to pictures with Darth Vader will be happening, and there is something for all ages.

The best part? You don’t need to be a kid, or a comic fan to come out and have fun. Comics aren’t just for kids, even though there are enough superhero cartoons and comics to keep any child busy. They’re for adults too, and while you’re here, you can check out our young adult and brand new adult (grownup) graphic novel sections.

But if you’re not a fan of comic characters, that’s ok too. We are happy to have fans of anything come to celebrate with us! Children’s cartoons, science fiction, fantasy, Adventure Time, Outlander, BBC Sherlock, Doctor Who… if you can think of it, and if you love it, this con is the place for you! We will be celebrating the things we love fanatically with others who understand our passion.

I hope you will come out and join in the fun with a t-shirt or costume that shares your media loves, or that you just visit us and enjoy the spectacle. Enjoy video or tabletop games, life-sized Candyland, movies and TV shows, and adult coloring. We have something for everyone, even a new quiet space for when the library gets too rowdy.

We hope that everyone who visits will go home with a comic or poster, maybe a prize or two, and plenty of memories. All of my best con experiences have been when I have met wonderful people who love the same pop culture things I do, and made lasting friendships or shared moments of laughing or bemoaning the very things we love. Hopefully you will go home with a story or two to share with friends, and will be ready to come back next year!

Train Your Brain and Get Smart With the Arts

April is packed until the end of the month with things to do at the library.

microphoneIf you missed Friday’s Open Mic, join us for next month’s Open Mic Nite at 6 pm in the library basement. We love having new performers (contact Tammy or Elizabeth to get on the bill for next month), but we also need a great audience! Check out new and familiar local performers, or come and try out your poetry, music, dramatic readings, or any other performance you wish to share.

Now that I have gotten that pitch out of the way, it’s probably time to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart: Comicon! This year will be our second year, and we’re going to be bigger than before! We have superhero crafts for kids, and games with super hero themed prizes. For the gamers among us, we have video and tabletop areas for kid and adult gamers alike. We’ll have video rooms again for anime and other TV you might want to catch up on, such as the BBC Sherlock Holiday Special. There will be panels again this year to discuss your favorite pop culture stories.

Darth Vader and his Storm Trooper friend will be among us once again, thanks to the 501st Legion. They may be visited by a wookie and other friends, you never know. As always, costumes and nerd memorabilia will be encouraged and rewarded with our late-in-the-day costume contest for all ages.

I am so excited about our expanded offerings this year! If you have any questions, please let me know! If you want to contribute to panels, or have a skill (such as game-leading) you would like to contribute, we’d love to have you!
star wars force awakensAnd this isn’t even the half of it! We’re still looking for Bunco players for the 24th, which is also our Earth Day Party. Our adult coffee klatch and craft is going to be faux stained glass (you can’t mess it up! I promise!) at noon on Wednesday the 27th. Tuesday the 26th is our DNA party where we will build monsters and create life! Thursday of the same week is our monthly Sensory Storytime for children of all ages with communicative and developmental disorders such as autism, and lastly, when the kids are off school on Friday the 29th, we will be doing crafts at 1pm and watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens at 2 pm.

Next month we’re firing off Summer Reading with a bang! Watch this space, and our website for more info!

This week at the Library

It’s been a busy week at the library. We have had activities and movies every day for kids, and a special St. Patrick’s Day Party in our new downstairs activity center area. It gave us a place to spread out and have multiple activities going on at once, with kids and teens doing puzzles for prizes, making crafts and playing board games. The movies had stellar attendance, and everyone got movie theater style popcorn from our popcorn machine to help with the movie atmosphere.

That is how I, Elizabeth, the Children’s Librarian, and many of our staff members spent our week, and it was exhausting, but great! We had familiar faces at the library, and new ones, trying out activities they might not have experienced before.

candle - decorated 2Now we’re looking forward to new things happening at the library, like our adult candle and coffee party on Wednesday, the 23rd, where we will decorate and ‘Jazz up’ candle holders and candles, with most of the materials being easy dollar store finds, so they can be replicated at home. We will also be enjoying a variety of coffee, thanks to the magical power of Keurig and flavors like Cinnabon Cinnarolls and Toffee to Churro-flavored coffee.  All materials are provided, including the cream and sugar!

We also have our Spring Fling on Tuesday the 29th, just after Easter. We’ll be celebrating the official start of Spring, which happens on the 20th, by making catapults and seeing who can fling objects the furthest. Refreshments, crafts and games will also be on-hand to help us kick off the new season. Hopefully the weather improves!

Next month is going to be National Poetry Month, so look out for great adult, kid and teen activities that involve words, art, and music.We’ll also be having our monthly Bunko game, and our lunchtime book club.

We will also be running our bilingual storytime and our new Sensory Storytime for all children, but especially for those with developmental and communicative disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. The last Thursday of the month, we will tell stories and play, using all five senses in a safe, quiet and calm environment in our Cooper Clark room.

Lastly, I want to remind everyone of our upcoming Comicon! May 7th is the date, and we will start bright and early at 9 am, with costumes, discussion panels, games, prizes, and importantly, comics for attendees! All fandoms are welcome, so dust off your My Little Pony ears, your Stormtrooper helmet and your Batman cape for our costume contest, or just for the fun of it. We will be spread out throughout the library, including the new downstairs activity area, and if weather permits, outside the library as well.

I hope that we will see all of our old friends, and some new ones too, at our programs in the upcoming months. If you would like more details about any of our programs, please call the library, or check out our website at

What’s going on at the library?

darth vaderWhat’s going on at the library? What isn’t going on at the library! Last Saturday we had our first comicon, which was incredibly successful by all standards. Three thousand people attended, and got to meet Darth Vader and a Stormtrooper from the 501st Legion (, talk about their favorite comics, and participate in a host of other activities, including more door prizes than I could count.

Am I making you envious that you didn’t attend? Good! Save the date. Next year’s One-Day Comicon will be on Free Comics Day, the first Saturday in May. Even better, we may be moving to a much bigger space, so there will more to see and do, and maybe some vendors from whom you can buy your all-important comic book memorabilia.

So, that’s it for all the stuff you missed. What about the things that are coming up?

Summer Reading! You knew I was going to drop that bomb, didn’t you? As usual, we’re having events and activities for adults, young adults and children. Our sign ups have begun, and run through the end of the month, and Summer Reading itself starts June 1st. I know the adults are going to have a nice time with the casual, social events planned, and as always, Casandra consistently schedules great performers and activities for the kids for the summer. I am sure that you will find out all about that in the coming weeks.

UnmaskSloganRight now, I am here to make my pitch for Young Adult summer reading. Summer is a time when you should be able to read whatever you want, without the restrictions normally placed during the school year. It’s a time to read for fun, to satisfy curiosity, and to go down pathways of discovery. I think young adults are at a prime age for this–they have interests they love to delve into deeply, and unlike adults, they haven’t gained a fear of creating and being excited for their creations.

This summer, I will be your Discovery Dealer. And while discovery is addictive, it’s good for you and won’t cost a thing.

We have a brand new anime and manga on-demand service through CrunchyRoll, so that young adults can watch and read things the library doesn’t own, just about as quickly as they come out in Japan. There’s going to be gaming, an intro to spycraft and cryptography, and we’ll be delving into the world of Marvel’s archer-in-residence, Hawkeye (with free graphic novels for everyone who participates) and the sport (and life-skill) of archery. You will also have a chance to write and share fanfic, or just recommend your favorites to all of the rest of us.

One thing that the Young Adult program has going this year is that door prizes will be available at all YA events. We will also provide opportunities by going to events and doing extra activities to earn an extra prize not available to the children’s summer reading program.

Our Summer Reading Fire Up party for the Young Adults will be Monday, June 1 at 4pm. We can get excited together, and get ready to have fun!


comicon dragonball ZComicon. You may have heard about the library’s comicon from radio spots, or from flyers around town, or even at the library. I’m here to make one final pitch for why you should come.

But, you’re saying to yourself, what if I don’t like comics? I have seen that San Diego Comicon (SDCC) monstrosity on the news and it looks terrifying!

Fortunately, comic and entertainment conventions come in all shapes and sizes. There’s everything from the SDCC city-of-nerds to smaller regional shows like Pittsburgh’s annual comic convention which features a variety of booths where attendees can visit with stars (I met Ernie Hudson from Ghostbusters one year!) or purchase art, or other unique prizes to show their pride in the entertainment they love. Probably every t-shirt I own has come to me from a comic, science fiction, or Doctor Who convention.

Why do I go? It usually starts out because I love a thing. A TV show, or a comic, or even a book. Going to an entertainment convention allows me to have more fun with the entertainment I love, and to make friends with similar interests. All of my friends are people I have met and connected with at conventions. I even met my husband over our mutual love of Batman. And there’s a convention for everything out there, if you’re willing to travel. Science fiction and fantasy novels, specific television shows, even My Little Pony and that cartoon show from the 1980s, Jem.

I don’t think that most of us can spend the time or the money that it takes to travel around the country to these events, so our library is bringing one to Liberal. We’re going to be celebrating everything from Superman to science fiction to fantasy, and even a tiny bit of Sherlock Holmes. We’re having Star Wars Story Time for the little ones (complete with tiny foam lightsabers for the young Jedi-in-training) to presentations about making your own fan works, to discussions about BBC Sherlock and Superman.

We have so many other things planned, like gaming and trivia that I can’t even list them all. But there will be something for almost everyone, big and small. There will be quiet spaces, and spaces where you can be as enthusiastic as you want.

And like any good convention, we will have the traditional costume contest, which is open to all ages. Even if you don’t want to be in the contest, come in a costume or fannish t-shirt, just to join in the fun.

Lastly, the advantage we have over the bigger conventions is that everything is free. There is no price for walking in the door, and all of our events, prizes and give-aways require absolutely no money. And our convention takes place on Free Comics Day, so every single person who comes will receive SOMETHING.

I hope to see all of you there. I will be dressed like the Eleventh Doctor, from Doctor Who, and I will be explaining to anyone who will listen how Lex Luthor is really the hero of the Superman story!