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For Immediate Release, September 4, 2013:

Library to Host forum conducted by researcher studying Native Stone Structures

Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library will host a special community forum focusing on local native stone structures presented by artist Tom Parish on Thursday September 19, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at The Alma Branch Library, 115 West 3rd, Alma, Ks.  Community members are encouraged to attend and bring their own stories and experiences to share at this free program.

Native stone, arched-roof cellars, a part of many pioneer homesteads in the Flint Hills, are the focus of work by artist Tom Parish, who is seeking the public's help with a collaborative research project. This work will help with his upcoming exhibition at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University.

Parish is documenting the history of these underground structures, which were once common in the Flint Hills but are now in danger of disappearing. The program at the Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library's Alma Branch on Sept. 19th is the last of three public forums being conducted to collect stories and photographs about these important landmarks. Other programs have been held at the Rock Creek Valley Historical Society in Westmoreland; and the Riley County Historical Museum in Manhattan.

At the Alma forum, Parish will discuss his photographic documentation of the cellars. Attendees are invited to share their own memories or photographs of these structures. According to the artist, since very few of these cellars are found outside of the Flint Hills region of Kansas, they have become an icon of sorts of the region's shared history and community.

The stories and photos gathered at each forum will help Parish with his project for the Beach Museum of Art, which has invited him to create a multimedia installation of high-definition images of the interiors of these subterranean structures. "Take Shelter: An Installation by Tom Parish" will be on display Feb. 4-May 25, 2014, at the museum. The work is based on photographs, maps, written text and sound recordings Parish has collected in the last two years to convey the history of the cellars and their significance to the region.

The exhibition and Parish's research are being funded in part by a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council, a nonprofit cultural organization promoting understanding of the history, traditions and ideas that shape our lives and build community. The council has provided funding for gallery displays in the exhibition and public programs that will bring Parish's creative and historical research to a wide audience.

"Work on this overlooked subject offers insights into the formative years of pioneer settlement that are in danger of being lost," said Theresa Bembnister, Beach Museum associate curator. "The cellars are often the last remnants of pioneer homesteads. Presentations of historical and oral history research and Parish's evocative and beautiful photographic art will encourage a dialogue about these structures and shed light on how they were built and functioned."

For additional information on Parish's project, contact Theresa Bembnister at 785-532-7750 or tbembnister@k-state.edu. If you have questions about this program, or any aspect of library services, please call the PWRL Alma Branch Library at 785-765-3647 or the St. Marys Headquarters Library at 785-437-2778.         



Presentation Explores Early Work Ethic of Eisenhower

Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library will host “The Kansas Work Ethic of Dwight D. Eisenhower,” a presentation and discussion by Roy Bird on Thursday September 12, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at The Alma Branch Library, 115 West 3rd, Alma, Ks.  Members of the community are invited to attend the free program.  This program is made possible by the Kansas Humanities Council.

Young Dwight Eisenhower learned to work hard at an early age. In addition to his daily chores, he worked various jobs from selling vegetables laboring as a farmhand, and working for several years at the Belle Springs Creamery. Bird will discuss how Ike managed these jobs while earning good grades in school and participating in sports and community activities.

Roy Bird is a retired librarian from the State Library of Kansas and former director of the Kansas Center for the Book. He is the author or coauthor of 17 books, mostly about Kansas and the American West.

“Adult audiences find the close identification I have with the location and the era of the Eisenhower family of the 1890s and early 20th century refreshing,” said Bird. “I talk about what Ike learned in Kansas, not events after he left.”

“The Kansas Work Ethic of Dwight D. Eisenhower” is part of the Kansas Humanities Council’s The Way We Worked Speakers Bureau, featuring presentations and discussions examining the theme of work and working in Kansas and how these stories help define us. 

The Kansas Humanities Council conducts and supports community-based programs, serves as a financial resource through an active grant-making program, and encourages Kansans to engage in the civic and cultural life of their communities.  For more information about KHC programs contact the Kansas Humanities Council at 785/357-0359 or visit online at www.kansashumanities.org.

If you have questions about this program, or any aspect of library services, please call PWRL Alma Branch Library at 785-765-3647 or St. Marys Headquarters Library at 785-437-2778.



Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library Now Offers Digital eBooks and Audiobooks

Best-selling and classic titles available anytime, anywhere 

Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library has expanded its services to include digital eBooks and audiobooks. Library card holders can borrow and enjoy digital media anytime, anywhere by clicking the link on the library’s website at www.pottwab.org or visiting the Sunflower eLibrary site directly at www.sunflowerelibrary.org.

If you have a device that you can use to read digital content and want to try eBooks, or would like to have some new audiobooks you could listen to on your MP3 player or other device, then Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library has a great new service for you!

Users may browse the library’s digital content website, borrow titles with a valid library card, and enjoy on all major computers and devices, including iPhone®, iPad®, Nook®, Android™ phones and tablets. The Sunflower eLibrary service is also compatible with Amazon Kindle devices. Titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period. There are no late fees! If desired item is already checked out, users can place a hold. They will be notified by email when the item becomes available. Library staff can always help you if you need assistance!

PWRL has contracted with OverDrive to provide patrons with this new access to digital content through the Sunflower eLibrary. This service is available in addition to statewide access provided by Kansas Library Card digital resources, such as the 3M Digital Library for eBooks and One Click Digital Library for digital audiobooks. Using Sunflower eLibrary patrons can easily browse and check out digital audiobooks and eBooks online. Best of all the service is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so users are free to use it whenever their schedule allows!

The Sunflower eLibrary service is free for PWRL users with a library card. To get started enjoying digital eBooks and audiobooks visit www.sunflowerelibrary.org. Click the link at the top of the page labeled “Discover the Next Generation experience” for an overview, including a how-to video. Additional information, including a link to free software downloads, can be found by clicking the Help button on any page of this website. The OverDrive Media Console App is also available for free download from various app providers including the apple app store and the Google Play store. This app can be installed on many mobile devices and allows users to download content directly from the Sunflower eLibrary site to their device without the need of a computer to complete the transaction.

All PWRL locations, including libraries in Alma, Alta Vista, Eskridge, Harveyville, Olsburg, Onaga, St. Marys, and Westmoreland, have computers with high speed internet that patrons can use for free! If you’re ready to give digital eBooks and audiobooks a try but don’t have a computer or internet access you can do it all at the Library! Patrons may read or listen to eBooks or audiobooks at the Library, or bring their mobile devices and transfer checked out items to it.

This new service will allow PWRL to add thousands of popular digital items to the Library’s collection. Sunflower eLibrary also gives easy access to a huge collection of free public domain titles and don’t count against patron checkout limits. We are very excited to be able to offer this new option to our patrons!

If you don’t already have one, come get your Library card today! Your card is the key to gaining access to the over 100,000 physical items the Library has available to borrow through PWRL’s online library catalog, as well as around the clock Internet access to the new digital collection!

To explore this new resource, visit the Library website at www.pottwab.org and click the link for the service or visit the Sunflower eLibrary directly at www.sunflowerelibrary.org. For more information about the digital eBooks and audiobooks, or any aspect of library service, call the St. Marys Headquarters Library at 785-437-2778 or go to the Library website address listed above.                


Summer Reading Program Scheduled At The Library


The Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library is gearing up for our annual Summer Reading Program. As families begin their annual journey toward the time when there is ‘nothing to do’, we encourage parents to remember that the Summer Reading Program at the Library may be the answer to their problem! Registration for the Summer Reading Program will begin on May 20th. Children may begin checking out and reading books on May 28th. Participants will have until the programs completion on July 27th to reach their reading goals.

The 2013 summer reading theme encourages participants to “Dig Into Reading” at the Library. Children through the eighth grade may participate at any PWRL location, including libraries in Alma, Alta Vista, Eskridge, Harveyville, Olsburg, Onaga, St. Marys, and Westmoreland. Pre-readers are invited to join the program with a parent or helper who will read to them as members of the Read-to-Me Club. Each child will be asked to check out library books at their reading level and record them to earn credit in the program.  Participation in activities at the Library will also be counted as part of the overall program this year. All participants will earn prizes for their efforts.  

Special activities and extra reading opportunities will be scheduled throughout the summer to help promote the summer reading program at the Library and give children an opportunity to exercise their creative side. Ask your local library for details on upcoming events as the summer progresses. All programs are free and open to the public.

Studies show that children who continue to read during summer vacation perform better in the fall when school resumes. The Library’s summer reading program provides a chance for children to keep up their reading momentum, and have fun at the same time. Don’t miss this great opportunity to sign your child up, and take some time to read along with them. Summer reading is fun for the whole family!

If you don’t have one, come get a LIBRARY CARD today!! The card can be used to gain around the clock internet access to PWRL’s online library catalog with 100,000 items available to borrow. Patrons can search the online catalog, place their own reserves on any item they would like to check out, and staff will e-mail or call when the items are ready to be picked up. It the library does not own a particular item it can be requested for their use through a statewide interlibrary loan network. If you don’t have computer access, or don’t want to bother with it, just give the library a call and staff will take care of it for you!!

There is a wealth of information available. The Library has something for everyone, so visit soon and ‘Dig Into Reading’ this summer!!

For more information about the summer reading program, or any aspect of library service, call the St. Marys Headquarters Library at 785-437-2778 or go to the Library website at http://www.pottwab.org.


Celebrate National Library Week at the Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library

The Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library will join libraries in schools, campuses and communities nationwide in celebrating National Library Week during the week of April 14th – April 20th.

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April.  National Library week is an annual opportunity to highlight the value of libraries, librarians and library workers. 

Libraries today are more than repositories for books and other resources. They serve as the heart of their communities and are deeply committed to the places where their patrons live, work and study.  Whether you are getting your first library card, learning new computer skills,  planning your next vacation, or looking for pieces of your family history the library is the place where the search begins.

Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library has an online library catalog that can offer patrons 24/7 access to the library’s collection. PWRL’s library catalog can be found online through a link on the Library’s home page at http://www.pottwab.org. Patrons can also search the catalog directly at http://pottwab-verso.auto-graphics.com.  

Staff can assist patrons with setting up their own online account so they can freely explore our library catalog, search full text online subscription databases, and place requests to borrow any of the 100,000 items PWRL has available for patrons to borrow. Statewide Interlibrary Loan is also available so just about any material that is desired can likely be obtained through the library.

Staff can also assist patrons with finding downloadable audio and e-books that can be transferred to various portable devices. This service is made available to Kansas residents through statewide subscription databases supported by the Kansas State Library.

“Service to the community has always been the focus of the library,” said Judith Cremer, Library Director. “While this aspect has never changed, libraries have grown and evolved in how they provide for the needs of every member of their community. Overall we do our best to provide the resources and services that really make a difference in the lives of the residents of the two counties.”

One way PWRL supports the community is through a focus on actively developing the local history holdings at the library. The library owns microfilm copies of all newspapers published in the Library’s service area. PWRL also is very fortunate to have a researcher who has created birth, death, and marriage indexes for many of the newspapers. Patrons can use microfilm readers to read, scan, or print articles from the microfilm at each Branch Location. Digital copies of articles can also be e-mailed to interested parties.

PWRL recently received a memorial donation that directly supports the library’s focus on local history.  In memory of Jack Messer, a long time resident of the Alma community, the Library was able to purchase two rolls of microfilm for the Wabaunsee County Signal-Enterprise and a membership to Ancestry.com at the World Explorer Level.  These wonderful new resources are now available for patrons to use at the library.

Millions of people use Ancestry.com to discover their family stories. It is the largest for profit genealogy company in the world with access to 11 billion records, 40 million family trees, and two million paying subscribers. All of this history is now available for PWRL patrons to search, for free, at the library.   

The microfilm is also a welcome addition to the PWRL’s collection and it will be consulted by staff and patrons for years to come as they work on researching genealogy and family history at the library.

These new additions are just a part of the valuable resources the library has for anyone interested in community events or local history. Library staff is experienced in the research process, and are always prepared to assist patrons in their search for information. We have the tools to further the research process and give unique access to past events and document important slices of the life and history of Pottawatomie and Wabaunsee County.

To join us in our annual celebration of National Library Week, and take advantage of the Library’s resources, visit any location of the Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library. PWRL Libraries can be found in Alma, Alta Vista, Eskridge, Harveyville, Olsburg, Onaga, St. Marys, and Westmoreland. For additional information see the Library’s Web site at http://www.pottwab.org.  If you have questions about this, or any aspect of Library services, call Judith Cremer, PWRL Director, at 785-437-2778.

 Choose an issue of the library newsletter

Fall 2013 Volume 5, Issue 2

Summer 2013 Volume 5, Issue 1

Spring 2011 Volume 4, Issue 1

Holiday 2010 Volume 3, Issue 3

Fall 2010 Volume 3, Issue 2

Spring - March / April / May 2010 - Volume 3, Issue 1

Winter- February 2009 - Volume 2, Issue 1