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Library changing its image

Staff writer

“This is a happening place,” librarian Roger Charles said of the Peabody Township Library. “There is just an awful lot going on here these days — and it is no longer a place where patrons get shushed.”

Charles shared information about a grant the library received in December for $6,000 from the state of Kansas’ UFM Community Resource Act.

“The funds will provide training in technological assets the library has,” he said. “We will be able to offer four-week classes in several different areas from the most basic beginning computer class through Word, Excel, and Publisher programs right on up to social media, Twitter, Skype, and e-books.”

Charles said the grant will provide a stipend for an instructor in the areas to be taught. He is in the process of finding instructors and hopes to add a couple of students from Peabody-Burns High School to act as aides for the classes, providing more one-on-one help during the sessions.

“There will be a minimal charge for enrollment,” he said. “But the grant covers all the other costs.”

The grant needs to be used during the 2014 calendar year.

“Sharing all this technology training during 2014 is appropriate because this Carnegie building is 100 years old this year,” he said. “The library itself has been in existence for 140 years.”

Charles said the library board is making lists of events and projects for the celebration of the library’s 100th year.

“We will have an open house hopefully with displays and information about the building in the early days,” he said. “And one exciting event is called “100 books for 100 years.” We will be purchasing 100 children’s books from a private fund that has already been started.”

Charles said much of the centennial focus will be on the children’s area of the library.

“Thanks to a USDA grant in July, we have new computer carrels in the reference section and the adult section has seen upgrades and changes,” he said. “We realize that the children’s area is a bit drab and not the exciting kid-oriented spot we want it to be. We will be working on that through 2014.”

Charles said the library board also is encouraging the use of the Ann Potter Room on the lower level for meetings and conferences. He said a Peabody Foundation Grant applied for by the Sorosis Beta Club in 2013 has allowed the kitchen sink in the basement and a utility sink in the work room to have hot running water for the first time in its 100 years. A drinking fountain also was installed as part of the USDA grant.

“There is a great deal going on here,” he said. “We have a board with vision and enthusiasm and we have made good strides for the library.

“I hope people will watch for more news about what we are doing and come in to look us over and see what is new.”

The library is open Tuesday from 9 p.m. to midnight and from 2 to 8 p.m., from 2 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Contact Rodger Charles at (620) 983-2502 for more information.

Last modified Jan. 15, 2014

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