Kansas City, KS --Public Library -- August 1, 2007

In their new children's space that is so new they haven't even moved the books in yet. They are one of the few libraries who are still funded jointly with the school district. They have been able to save enough money that they could revamp their children’s area, which is where this picture is. It’s so new they haven’t even moved the books in. In the back part of the children’s area they will have computers to play games on. A library, they said, is a place for community.

Why the new children's addition? Within the last few years they’ve had to reopen four elementary schools in the area. They have an influx in the population—African American, Hispanic, Croatian, Bosnian, Vietnamese, Laotian, Hmong, and French speakers from Somalia. They’ve been growing their foreign language books, especially the Spanish and French language collections.

Windsor county, they explained, where KSK (apparently this is the local way to say it)is located, is going through a Renaissance. The area is being revitalized by the new NASCAR racetrack, which will bring an influx of people spending money to the area.

Carol (on the right): Who went to library school in Austin, TX, likes to read Mercedes Lackey, a fantasy author, and Sherilyn Kenyon, who writes a trashy vampire romance series. It’s different from Anne Rice, she said. Anne Rice is literary and atmospheric. Kenyon is nitty- gritty dirty with action. She also likes crafts books.

Barbara (on the left): Reads an eclectic mix of fiction and non-fiction. She especially likes Richard Russo and Elinor Lipman.

When I got to the library and told the librarian at the information desk about my project, she said I had to meet Barbara. Barbara, like me has a picture collection. Kinship! Twenty-five years ago a friend sent her a postcard of the New York Public library and, not too long after that, she went to Colorado and took a picture of a log cabin library and had them sitting next to each other on her desk.... and then other people started sending her pictures. She now has hundreds. One of the most unique? A book cart they use in a small town in Tennessee. Bellbuckle? This isn’t something unique, she said. She knows of a judge who collects pictures of court houses and a doctor who collects pictures of hospitals.

1 comment:

beyondsurvival said...

Just an fyi, having traveled through KC.... it is Wyandotte County and the "local way" to say it is KCK for the Kansas side, and KCMO for the Missouri side of what is Kansas City. Yup, that's right, folks. Kansas City is not necessarily in Kansas! :)