Archive for Thursday, June 8, 2006

Library starts settling in new building

June 8, 2006

A couple of yellow signs lead guests to the Basehor Community Library's temporary home off Parallel, but director Carla Kaiser said some people are still having trouble finding the new digs.

"We're still getting phone calls asking how to find us," Kaiser said.

Some unpacked boxes show that library workers still are settling in, but Kaiser said the community's support made the move fairly painless.

"It was absolutely amazing to me how many volunteers came to help us with the move," she said. "Without them, it couldn't have happened."

The library moved to its new Parallel Road site from 155th Street because the new site is newer. The library had had difficulty with mold and the well at the 155th Street location.

While Parallel Road building is only temporary, it likely will be the library's home for more than a year because groundbreaking for a new building on 158th Street between 24-40 and Parallel is scheduled for this fall. The estimated completion date is not until fall 2007.

The temporary location has given the library a little bit more room to spread out, but not nearly as much as they would like.

"If you walk around, you'll still see books stacked on top of bookcases," Kaiser said.

The new library will offer more space which will allow for study rooms, displays for traveling exhibits, extra parking and separate children and adult spaces. More space will also allow for more materials including the library's opening day collection of books.

"The opening day collection will help fill in some of the gaps that we have," Kaiser said.

However, even with the move, Kaiser said there has still been a steady stream of patrons coming through the door, and the library's summer programs are going as planned.

With students out of school for the summer, the library is offering two reading programs for youths ages pre-school to high school to keep them reading and learning during the summer months.

The summer reading program for children in pre-school to sixth grade is called "Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales." Each child sets a goal for the number of books they read or have read to them each week and record these books in a reading log. If they reach their goal, they are rewarded with a prize.

The reading program called, "Creature Feature," is for older youths.

"It is similar to the children's program, but it is aimed at teens," said Amy Shaffer, director of the teen summer reading program.

Each teen must read a book, magazine or newspaper each week to receive a prize. They also have weekly crafts that go along with the theme of the program.

Youths in both groups can enter their names into a weekly drawing to win bigger prizes such as gift cards.

Other programs offered through the library include Amy's Book Club, which meets three times during the summer. Shaffer said the program not only encourages students to read, but it also gives them a chance to make friends.

"Everybody comes to talk about the book they read," she said. "It's a social event. It gives them a chance to meet kids outside their grade or school."

The student volunteer program also gives students a chance to help out the library and occupy their free time. These volunteers must be entering at least the seventh grade this fall and must fill out an application with three references to be eligible. The bulk of their duties involve checking the younger children's reading logs and handing out prizes.

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