Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 21
BAKE A SUPERHERO CAKE
The Henry County Library in Clinton wants to make
sure they have a little something for everyone. One of
the more unusual collections patrons can check out
includes superheroes, trains, ﬂowers and clowns.
"We have more than 100 shaped cake pans," says Sheila Jensen, children's specialist for the library. "And you'd be amazed
how many people check them out."
Nearly 30 years ago, someone bestowed a collection of the
cake pans to the library system and it took off. "They're quite an
investment for people to purchase and use only once or twice,"
says Trisha Crowder, the interlibrary loan clerk in Clinton. "This
allows everyone to enjoy them."
Patrons can check out the uniquely shaped pans for two weeks
at a time.
"Superheroes and Disney princesses are very popular shapes,
as are teddy bears for baby showers," Trisha adds.
If decorating cakes isn't your thing, you might enjoy checking out one of the 110 puzzles the Clinton library has available.
Their branch library in Windsor has nearly as many available for
Last year, the children's summer reading program, which
included musical instruments, led to the library getting ukuleles
via a grant. Now, the library offers nine ukuleles for checkout -
six in Clinton and three at the Windsor location.
Sheila looks back at the shelves where the instruments are
usually stored. "They're all checked out right now," she says,
"And that's not a rare thing."
CHECK OUT A GARDEN OR A DOLL
Most of the items you check out at a public library need to be returned within
a reasonable period of time. Not so with the unique items from the Seed Vault
at the Adair County Public Library in Kirksville.
"We put them out March 1," says Library Director Jami Livingston, pointing to the nearly empty tray of white envelopes containing a variety of seeds.
"People can take 10 packs of seeds. And they don't have to bring them back."
The library launched its Seed Vault three years ago using heritage seeds
donated by Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. in Mansﬁeld and the Seed Savers
Exchange in Decorah, Iowa. Jami considered having patrons return seeds that
came from the produce they grew. But a local gardening guru told her that
might not be such a good idea.
"Somebody might mark it as a pumpkin seed when it is really a sunﬂower
seed or something else," she says. "So he advised us not to do that."
The library offered handouts with info on starting a garden and planting tips
for the seeds. It also hosted a gardening workshop to kick off the seed library.
The program has been a big success, Jami says. "Every year we seem to get
more use. What is really fun is when people take pictures of stuff they have
grown with their seeds and then we can use those pictures and say, 'hey, look
what they did.' "
There's always something new at the library. Young patrons can check out
two American Girl dolls. The dolls - Kit Kittredge and Logan Everett - come in
their own pink carrying case that includes enough accessories for any adventure. Also in the case is a journal where the dolls' adventures can be recorded.
In May the library hosted a comic book day, making up for the loss of the
town's only source for comic books by giving stacks of them away. The library is
lively on Fridays when it hosts Bingo. And while human patrons are the intended audience for books and programs, the library opened its doors to homeless
pets one weekend in the hopes that they would be adopted.
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FISH WITH YOUR LIBRARY CARD
Next to the circulation desk is a unique feature of the Brookﬁeld Public Library: a rack of
eight rods and reels with lines strung and hooks gleaming. The ﬁshing poles - provided
courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation's Rod and Reel Loaner program -
are free for library patrons to check out and come with a package of extra tackle for the
inevitable snag. The loaners are perfect for introducing new anglers to the sport. Brookﬁeld is one of more than 100 libraries around the state that offer them.
"It generates a lot of conversation, even if people don't check them out," says Library
Director Gina Smith. "It's part of helping the community, getting kids out into nature and
the rural areas. We've gotten some wonderful feedback on it."
In addition to the ﬁshing poles, there's plenty to keep up-and-coming readers entertained such as puzzles and Lego tables. There also are resources for small businesses
that don't have the startup capital to purchase their own fax machine or copier, plus
high-speed internet. And as always, it's still the site of choice for community organization
meetings and those folks who just want a quiet place to read the newspaper.
"I think a library is also a community place, so we've got to ﬁnd ways to bring people in
who don't realize there's a book for them. Coming in for our ﬁshing poles, programs and
tours gives them a glimpse of what we offer," Gina says. "Some people think they don't
like to read, but maybe they just haven't met the right book yet."
photo by Zach Sm
Rural Missouri - June 2019
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - June 2019
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - Intro
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - Contents
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Rural Missouri - June 2019 - Cover3
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