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!

Library Events for the week of Easter

catapultComing Events this Week

On Tuesday at 4 p.m. we are going to ring in Spring with a children’s party filled with snacks, crafts and… catapults! We are testing our skills to see who can fling their objects the furthest.

Afterwards we will have our regularly scheduled evening story time at 6 p.m. There will be stories, crafts, and songs. Story times are open to children of all ages.

On Thursday at 6:00 p.m. we will get together in the Cooper Clark room to have a special quiet and gentle story time for children who need a safe environment in which to explore. In Sensory Story time, we will move at a slower pace and focus on experiences with the five senses. All children are invited, but those with special needs are especially encouraged to attend.

Easter related book display

In keeping with the Easter holiday, we’ve set up a book display loaded with Easter, egg, and bunny related books. Here are a few.

great book egg decoratingGreat Book of Egg Decorating
by Grazia Buttafuoco

From the Book Description
Make beautifully decorated eggs…The techniques are described in detail and are the most treasured the world over.

  • Wax embossing on natural shells
  • Wax embossing on colored shells
  • Drilling
  • Decoupage



Rabbit HandbookThe Rabbit Handbook
by K. Gendron

From the Book Description
The information you need to raise healthy rabbits. Facts, advice, and fascinating insights tell you all you need to know about

  • Purchase
  • Nutrition
  • Health Care
  • Housing
  • And much more

Scorched EggsScorched eggs
by Laura Childs

From the Book Description
In Laura Childs’s New York Times bestselling mystery series, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni—co-owners of the Cackleberry Club café—are equally good at serving up breakfast and serving up justice. This time they turn up the heat on a deadly firebug.

As Suzanne is getting her hair colored at Root 66, she’s stunned to witness the County Services Building next door suddenly go up in flames. Concerned neighbors throng the streets, and the fire department does their best. Unfortunately their best isn’t enough to save long time civil service worker—and friend to the Cackleberry Club—Hannah Venable.

Soon enough, it’s discovered that an accelerant was used to fan the flames. Someone set the fire on purpose — was Hannah the intended victim? Suzanne, Petra, and Toni vow to smoke out the culprit.

Easter BlessingsEaster Blessings: The Lily Field\The Butterfly Garden
by Lenora Worth and Gail Gaymer Martin

From the Book Description
“The Lily Field” by Lenora Worth
World-weary Mariel Evans comes home to soak up the simple life, never expecting to fall in love with Heath Whitaker, a man of strong faith-or to come to believe that God watches over her, each and every day. But can Mariel let go of her fears and take a chance on love…?

“The Butterfly Garden” by Gail Gaymer Martin
After an accident leaves Emily Casale paralyzed, she abandons God and the hope of ever leaving her wheelchair. When Greg Zimmerman sets his sights on her, Emily starts to rebuild her faith and believe in herself again. With a little help from the heavens above, will Emily find the courage to take a walk down the aisle?

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

Spring Into Fun at Your Library

spring flower and eggSpring Break is here! It can be a fun time to relax, maybe take a trip, catch up on reading, and catch up on sleep. But if your kids find themselves bored over Spring Break, or you just feel the need to get them out of the house for a while, Liberal Memorial Library has a lot of fun stuff that they can do!

Our basement has been transformed into a great space to make crafts, watch movies, and listen to fun speakers. On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday this week, kids and teens can join us there for a craft at 1 pm and a movie at 2 pm. We will be serving popcorn and lemonade at the movies. And, kids have the chance to win prizes playing games over the craft hour (1-2).

This Thursday at 4 pm, kids and teens should come to our St. Patrick’s Day Party! Wear green and enjoy green snacks along with games, prizes, crafts, and party favors.

shamrockWe will also be having a special St. Patrick’s Day Storytime at 6 pm on Thursday. Come hear some stories and do a craft that relate to this green, lucky holiday.

You can also get yourself out of the house, as adults can come on Thursday at noon for another game of Bunco! Bunco is an easy-to-learn dice game, and players had a ton of fun last time. Seating is limited, so call the library at (620)626-0180 to sign up.

Don’t worry, the fun doesn’t stop just because Spring Break ends. On Tuesday the 23rd at noon, adults can join us to “Jazz up your candles and coffee.” We will be using simple techniques to make candles smell and look more interesting. We’ll be doing the same with our coffee! Register on our website:

We will have Bilingual Storytime on Thursday, March 24 at 6 pm. Join us for stories and songs in English and Spanish along with a craft.

The library will be closed on Friday & Saturday, March 25 & 26 for Easter.

On the 29th, we’ll have a Spring Fling for kids and teens – we’ll be making catapults! Have fun catapulting objects across the room, and compete to see who can fling their objects the farthest!

We will have our second Sensory Storytime on the 31st at 6 pm. This is a quiet and gentle storytime for children who need a safe environment in which to explore. We will move at a slower pace and focus on experiences with the five senses. Children with special needs are especially encouraged to attend.

As always, we will have our normal storytimes every Tuesday at 6 pm and every Thursday at 11:15 am. Come join us for Easter-themed stories and crafts this month as we look forward to that holiday.

william allen white awardOne final note – Kids in grades 3-5 and 6-8 can vote on which book will win the William Allen White Award until April 15. So, if you have a child in one of these grades, see if you can get them to read one or more of the books on our William Allen White Awards shelf! The nominees can be found online at:

Kansas Day

Kansas Day is celebrated every January 29th to honor the day that Kansas was officially admitted into the Union in 1861.

Here are some of the books that the library has to offer that are all about what Kansas has to offer:

The-Kansas-guidebook-for-explorersThe Kansas guidebook for explorers
by Marci Penner

From the Book Description
Marci teaches you how to see Kansas “with new eyes.” Whether you’re looking for a day trip, a long vacation, or just want to travel from your armchair, The Kansas Guidebook for Explorers is a priceless resource.


Kansas curiositiesKansas curiosities : quirky characters, roadside oddities & other offbeat stuff
by Pam Grout

From the Book Description
Kansas Curiosities is your round-trip ticket to the wildest, wackiest, most outrageous people, places, and things the Sunflower State has to offer. Humor columnist Pam Grout has combed Kansas for one-of-a-kind gems that make her home state truly unique.


Kansas off the beaten pathKansas : off the beaten path : a guide to unique places
by Patti DeLano

From the Book Description
Devoted to travelers with a taste for the unique, this easy-to-use guide will help you discover the hidden places in Kansas that most tourists miss.



Ghost towns of KansasGhost towns of Kansas : a traveler’s guide
by Daniel Fitzgerald

From the Book Description
This illustrated guide to Kansas ghost towns will delight travelers and armchair tourists alike. Organized by region, it tells the story of 100 towns that have either disappeared without a trace or are only “a shadowy remnant of what they once were.”


Kansas Day Story Time

Don’t forget to join us at Liberal Memorial Library for a special Kansas Day themed Story Time on Thursday, January 28th at 11:15 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. There will be stories, crafts, and songs. Story times are open to children of all ages.


Super Bowl Recipe Swap

Tomorrow we will have our monthly Recipe Swap. This month’s theme is “Super Bowl snacks”. So come in and share your favorite recipe with fellow patrons who share your passion — cooking!

It will be on Monday, January 25th at 6:30 p.m. in the Cooper Clark meeting room.



tax formsTax Forms at the library

It’s that time of year again. If you come in to the library looking for federal and state tax forms, we will be happy to help you find the forms you need.

The library doesn’t receive as many paper tax forms each year as we did in the past, but the forms are available online and we can help you download and print them. There is also a place on our website,, that gives information about tax forms.

Please remember that the library staff cannot offer tax advice, but we can help you find tax forms that you need.


Fun at Storytime

One of my favorite parts of my job is sharing stories with the kids at storytime. Storytime has been something that I’ve enjoyed since I was little. My mom will tell you how I asked her to read Green Eggs and Ham again and again when I was a preschooler – and I had the book memorized, so she couldn’t skip a page, lest I complain. There’s also a picture of me in preschool playing “teacher,” reading (or pretending to read) a story to the rest of the kids. Fast forward a couple of decades, I remember when I worked in childcare, I loved when I got the chance to read to the kids one-on-one. The kids would ask for one book again and again – Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. There’s just something about the rhythm and the part where all the letters fall off the tree that makes kids love that one, and I loved being able to read it to them.

dooby dooby mooNow that I’m a Children’s Librarian, I get to read to kids three times a week. We have Storytimes where all ages are welcome on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 11:15 am, and Tuesday evenings at 6 pm. The kids get to experience the fun of hearing a few stories, but that’s not all! They also get to sing some songs (often with actions, for added fun) and make a craft that relates to the theme of the week.

Believe it or not, these activities have been shown to be beneficial for children’s learning. Even before they can read, children are learning that letters make up words – and we can reinforce this lesson by reading books aloud to them. Songs are a good way for younger children who are still learning to talk to learn more words. Songs also help older children gain awareness of the individual sounds (phonics) that make up words. And crafts help children remember what they have read about.

So, if you make an ice cream craft, you can later look at it and remember reading and singing about ice cream. And of course having fun at storytime helps kids learn that books are fun, and this will hopefully encourage them to read once they learn how! Even if a child can’t quite pay attention to all of the stories or even a whole story, they are still learning that books are fun. This is one of the most important things to learn about books at a young age, since a background of positive interactions with books will make kids more willing to do the hard part of sounding out words later.

Turns out that this week is “National Farm Animals Awareness Week,” so at storytime this week we’ll be reading about one of the most popular farm animals that you see in the fields of Kansas, the cow! I don’t want to give away all of my secrets, but the craft will also be cow-related. Bring your ability to “moo.” Join us at the library on Tuesday or Thursday morning at 11:15 or Tuesday night at 6 for fun with cow stories, songs, and a craft.


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!