Peabody library featured in podcast
Peabody Township Library is featured in the first Sunflower State Small Libraries podcast of 2023.
In a 32-minute program, Rodger Charles, librarian since 2011, talks about the library and the difference it makes in the community.
Although Peabody’s population is about 900, the library serves a township population of 1,100.
Established in 1874, it was the first free public library in Kansas.
The town’s namesake, F. H. Peabody, donated the first building, which now sits behind the library building, Charles said.
In 1914, the library got a Carnegie Foundation grant and built the present building.
The building is on the National Historic Register.
“When I first started in 2011, we were the least funded library in the state,” Charles said.
Current projects include working on structural problems that have developed over the years.
That includes replacing concrete steps that are settling and creating problems downstairs.
“We’re going to be taking those steps out completely and putting on a porch,” Charles said.
He wants small musical groups to perform on the lawn.
He also would like to have a Cinco de Mayo festival with a mariachi band and a taco truck.
At a small library, the librarian has to know everything about the library, Charles said.
Three others have worked alongside him before going on to get degrees in library science.
“I look at our small libraries and they’re kind of a greenhouse for future librarians,” Charles said.
Charles also talked about being good stewards to historical buildings.
The podcast is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI_NYkJ9tDM.