Library eResources and Coming Events

basic eslThe library has recently added a few links to the eResources menu on our webpage.

Basic ESL

Practice your basic English as a second language skills for free by following the Basic ESL link on our website. It includes help with learning English from twenty different languages, including Spanish, Somali, Korean, and Vietnamese.

Mango Languages


For those of us who are trying to learn a second language, if you follow the Foreign Language Learning link on the library’s website, you will find Mango Languages. Mango is an excellent resource for learning over sixty different languages and is made available to Kansans by the State Library of Kansas.

For both websites, you can use the site as a guest or you can create a login and password to keep track of your progress.

Driving Test Help

If you’re studying to take your driving test and want to practice taking the written test, you can follow the link on our webpage for Driving Test Help. The link, will take you to free 2015 Kansas DMV permit practice tests, including car practice tests, motorcycle practice tests, CDL practice tests, online handbooks, and a frequently asked question section.

Coming Events this week

Summer Reading will come to an end in the first week of July, so come in and enjoy it while it lasts.

Recipe swap – Monday, June 29th at 6:30 p.m.

This month’s recipe swap will be all about picnic foods. So join us and share your favorite recipe with others who share your passion for cooking.

Healthy fun night – Tuesday, June 30th at 6:00 p.m.

On Tuesday, Leslie Bissell from the Southwest Guidance Center will come talk to us about Stress Management. This will be second half of our Healthy fun program for adults, a chance to come learn about health and healthy living.

Self-defense for kids – Wednesday, July 1st at 2:00 p.m.

Learn how to get out of a scary situation.  Join the Liberal Police Department with this program on self-defense. This program is open to all and is for kids ages 8 and over.

Adult summer reading wrap up party – Thursday, July 2nd at 6:00 p.m.

Adults bring in your Summer Reading passport and get a chance to win the $100 Amazon Gift Card.

Summer Reading Movies – Friday, July 3rd at 2:00 p.m.

We will have the last of our Summer Reading movies on Friday at 2:00. It’s fun and free.  Popcorn and lemonade will be served, so bring your friends because the more the merrier. All movies are rated G or PG.

Saturday, July 4th

The Library will be closed Saturday, July 4th for Independence Day.

Learning Language in Liberal

How hard is it to learn a new language? Most of us have taken foreign language classes in high school. But I bet for most of us, those languages remain just that–very foreign. We start by learning numbers and colors and the alphabet, then progress to basic phrases like saying our name, asking how someone is doing, and locating the bathroom. I think with one of my foreign language courses we actually progressed all the way to asking which train went to which foreign city, before the school year was over.

After three years, I still struggled with basic sentences. It was like I could understand intellectually what needed to happen, but somehow it never made it to my tongue. Learning a new language in the sterile environment of the classroom does work for some. My sister became quite good at German after only a year. When they got lost on a trip to Germany, she managed to get a cab and get her group to the right city.

Is she smarter than me? I admit. She probably is. But she was clever enough to do something I wasn’t. She was chatting on IRC (am I dating myself?) with German speakers who were more than ready to correct her phrasing and word usage via text. She also took to watching TV shows from Germany on YouTube, with the subtitles off. She learned more in that one year than I did in all of high school.

As I have said before, one of the reasons I came to Liberal was for the challenge of learning Spanish. I came knowing a little, mostly those embarrassing lessons from Spanish class that never really stuck in my head, and seemed to make me more anxious than anything. I have been taking lessons from my sister, I listen to the Spanish radio station to and from. The library. I keep an ear in on every conversation with our front desk staff and our Spanish speaking patrons. I have recently gotten teenagers to help me with very basic Spanish. No, not those phrases about finding the bathroom. We have been reading baby books.

I figured, babies have to learn somewhere, right? They learn from their parents’ voices what the sound of their culture is, even before they learn the words. And then slowly they begin to associate images or actions with words. It could work for me too, right?

I can say, right now I am very solid on my vegetables and circus animals. And soon I may be ready to move up from the library’s collection of Spanish baby board books to picture books for three year olds. I can understand parts of Spanish conversations in the library, and I can read over Spanish books enough to (mostly) be able to figure out what they are about. I still keep up with the DVDs and audio books I am using to learn, but I can say diving straight in has been far more effective than all of the classroom time in the world.

I have a lot of respect for anyone, anywhere, who goes to a new place for a visit or to live, if they don’t know the language. It is difficult to get around. I also have respect for those who have learned second or third languages on their own. It isn’t as easy as it looks to incorporate yourself into a new culture with a whole new language.

There are those of us for whom learning a new language isn’t second nature, even with immersion. But we are all trying. So I hope you will be patient with me, and them. Our brains will eventually wrap around it.

Also, I am sorry I have two of the Spanish language DVD sets checked out right now, if you are looking for them. I will return them as soon as possible. However, if you are interested in learning German or Portuguese…