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The Hesston Record
345 Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-4831


Hesston Public Library Becomes Featured Stop For CKLS Tour

Posted 8/30/2018

“When you’re in Kanas, you can be isolated, and many of our libraries are rural libraries. We want to show what other people are doing and give the ma chance to see other libraries. We have noticed that Hesston is doing great things. The shift for libraries is going beyond the book and into the community,” she said. 

With 43 librarians on the tour, Albers said a small library like Hesston split the group into two parts - 20 librarians on tour and 20 in a book folding and cutting class that has been popular with patrons. 

“Our hope is that some of the libraries with take this activity back to their own communities and offer it as an adult or outreach program - or even as a fundraiser,” said Albers. 

 

In an email to Albers, Shafer said, “We have admired you from afar based on your Facebook posts and website. Because of your community's shared tragedy at Excel, we know your library has played an important role in archiving the event and providing trauma recovery resources. I know our librarians would be interested in hearing your story.” 

In addition to sharing information on the archival of the Excel shooting, Albers said she was excited to share the more positive changes and additions Hesston Public Library has added in the last five years. 

“I believe our library is a "poster-child" for community collaboration.  Every new collection, piece of art, and program has a tie to a grant, donation, or partnership,” said Albers. 

On Monday, Shafer said getting to libraries of various sizes was important to show Kansas library staff what different facilities could offer. 

“We want them to have something they can dream about, but also something they can take home and do now. We were impressed with how much Hesston has done with community partnerships and with the new library.  I think it’s exciting to see the librarians find something new they can bring back to their communities and get excited about their jobs again and see what they can do for their communities and make new services happen,” she said. 

Margie Sheppard, also with the Central Kansas Library System, said getting librarians out of their communities is critical to sharing ideas. 

“When you’re in Kanas, you can be isolated, and many of our libraries are rural libraries. We want to show what other people are doing and give the ma chance to see other libraries. We have noticed that Hesston is doing great things. The shift for libraries is going beyond the book and into the community,” she said. 

With 43 librarians on the tour, Albers said a small library like Hesston split the group into two parts - 20 librarians on tour and 20 in a book folding and cutting class that has been popular with patrons. 

“Our hope is that some of the libraries with take this activity back to their own communities and offer it as an adult or outreach program - or even as a fundraiser,” said Albers. 

The board games collection at Hesston Public Library garnered a great deal of attention from the tour group. 

“Several librarians were interested in our new board games collection and how that was managed,” said Albers. 

Palco Librarian Danielle Wells runs a small library as a single staff member. 

“I really like the board games. That’s the coolest thing. I had thought about doing it, but we were struggling with how to make sure what goes out comes back. I thought it was a great idea to do it by weight.  I am hoping to buy about five games and start doing it. I have very limited space, so I wil have to find space for it to make it available to patrons,” she said. 

Wells added, “The challenge libraries are facing is people don’t know what we have to offer. We’re thought of as books, but we do have board games or fishing poles. We have to get the word out we’re not just books. We have to make an effort to bring things into the library - what the community wants or needs - and that’s the biggest challenge in my tiny town,” she said. 

In addition to the expanded collections, librarians were interested in developing community partnerships like those enjoyed by Hesston Public Library and a variety of Hesston businesses and non-profits. 

“It was interesting to hear that other libraries are not as integrated into the community as the HPL.  I never thought of our operation as unusual and just assumed all libraries had broad partnerships.  I see the collaborative mindset and efforts as something Hesston, as a community, does very well,” said Albers. 

Hesston Public Library is currently coordinating with Hesston College on the Community Read, the third year for the collaborative and community-wide program. 

Sharing the Hesston Public Library space, programming and ideas with dozens of librarians from across Kansas Albers said, “was an honor.

“As most Kansas libraries are small-town libraries, showing what can be accomplished though community partnerships, the support of our city leaders, and a stable economic base, provides those libraries with ‘proven-successful’ ideas they can take back home,” said Albers.