Archive for Wednesday, February 23, 2005

McLouth residents rally behind library

Community members support recent renovations, automation process

February 23, 2005

The McLouth Public Library has received a facelift in recent months.

Complete with expanded hours, a new computer area, a children's section and more adult and children's books, the library has experienced quite a renovation.

But library director Carolyn Courtney said it wouldn't have been possible without help from the community.

"The community is really excited about the library," Courtney said. "They work hard here. They know it's their library. They've donated a lot of books and money and time."

Much of that time involved remodeling the library, which is located at 215 S. Union.

During the remodeling process, community members helped tear down various walls, among other things.

"They had to do a lot of work," Courtney said.

The library's renovation basically started last September. About that time, Courtney became the library's newest director.

"I was approached by a board member and was told there would be an opening," Courtney said.

Before beginning at the library, Courtney worked as a library paraprofessional at McLouth Elementary School.

Courtney has lived in the area for roughly 25 years. Her husband, Bob, originally is from McLouth.

Currently, she's working on a degree through Emporia State University.

"It's a program that the Northeast Kansas Library Service offers," Courtney said.

The library is open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

Working with Courtney at the library is Ella Anderson. Volunteers from McLouth High also help out at the library in downtown McLouth.

In addition to the new library hours that started last September, the library recently became automated. A server has been installed and the library has an automated system that is free through the Web.

Through the system, the library now has book and patron records on its computer system.

The library also is offering some activities in the coming months.

A book fair is coming March 5, while a quilt history and demonstration show, entitled "The art of quilting," will be offered March 26 at the library.

And after the school year ends in May, the library will have its summer reading program.

With all the new programs implemented and activities set to be offered, the library has undergone a transformation.

But for Courtney, it comes as no surprise.

"I can't say enough about the community," Courtney said. "They're really behind us and they just know this is their library and they want to make it work and they want to make it nice.

"I love being here because of that. They have really great attitudes. They're behind us 100 percent."

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