Tag Archives: Kansas

Amelia Earhart needs a READ poster

My family came to visit me recently.  For those of you who have been so uncool as to not read my blog recently, I moved from Michigan to Kansas.  It was nice to have them come and see my new town and such.

We went to Atchison, KS – the childhood home of Amelia Earhart.  She was a pretty incredible woman.  As a child I always admired her and was completely fascinated with the idea that she had just disappeared into the air…or so it seems.  I often wonder if she lived the last years (or months or days) of her life on a stranded island, shoes in her hand, sleeves rolled up, walking along beaches scanning the sky for planes to save her and her navigator.  It’s a sad thought, really.

But in addition to being an aviatrix (not kidding, that’s the real term they use) she also made incredible guesses about the future of travel that were highly accurate, especially about plane flights and ground transportation.  And as a child, she was a voracious reader.

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“Like many horrid children, I loved school, though I never qualified as teacher’s pet.  Perhaps the fact that I was exceedingly fond of reading made me endurable.” – she is quoted on a placard at the Atchison County Historical Society Museum.

And in another placard, are her views on reading, yet again…

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“Books have meant much to me.  Not only did I myself read considerably, but Mother read aloud to my sister and me, early and late.  So fundamental became that habit that on occasions when we girls had to do housework, instead of both pitching in and doing it, one was selected to read aloud and the other to work.”

And to wrap it up, we went to her childhood home…a tidy two-story in a historic and both formally and currently wealthy neighborhood overlooking the Missouri River.

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It was a cool trip and makes me think that maybe ALA needs to do a series of cool vintage type READ posters.  Amelia would be proud to do it…even if it was posthumous.

One more random fact I learned on that trip…do you know that there was guy who served as President of the United States for only ONE DAY???   Weird political fluke…his name was David Rice Atchison (do you see the connection?) and you can read the story here.

Ridiculously sick…and thoughts on Kansas

So, I was ridiculously sick last week and didn’t even feel like touching my computer.  But while laying in a cough syrup induced semi-coma, I began to think of some of the major differences I’ve noticed about Kansas and Michigan.  Some library related (well, only one), others not-so-much.  Though I miss Michigan and my friends, I’m enjoying Kansas and the life I’ve got here.  It’s fun to see something different and it’s kind of a different culture in some ways.  Keep in mind, I’m in a slightly more rural area of Kansas…so I’m not talking about Kansas City or Topeka or Wichita in my notes.  Need to go do more city safaris.

– No coney islands.  That’s the saddest thing about Kansas to me.  Those staples of metro Detroit life…the coney island restaurant, do not seem to be in existence here.  I’m going to start looking harder.  It appears that once you drive west of Chicago, people no longer need mousaka, chili dogs, or lemon rice soup available to them 24 hours a day.  Breakfast is only served in the mornings in Kansas restaurants.  These people have no idea what they’re missing!

– Now that said, the most positive thing?  The pace of life is so much nicer here.  People don’t honk much when driving down the road.  And for the post part, folks are very, very nice.  I have been in the grocery store and been asked by the employees there if I need help finding anything.  IF I NEED HELP FINDING ANYTHING!  As if it is their job to help me find the groceries I need if I am wandering through the aisles looking lost!  And then I realize…it is there job to help me find something if I can’t find it!  It’s just that in Michigan most grocery store employees try to avoid eye contact.  (I worked in grocery stores for many years…don’t tell me I’m wrong…I’ll kick your…)

– I do, in fact, have an accent.  And apparently it’s obvious.  And people find it humorous.  I uttered the phrase “out and about” (oot and a-boot) a couple weeks ago to the guy behind the desk at the post office and he just about turned his face inside out trying not to laugh. 

– Growing up in a small town in Michigan, I’m used to not having a big food selection at the grocery store.  But I gotta tell ya, the selection in most of the grocery stores in Kansas is lacking.  (I need Middle Eastern food…I was raised by a Middle Eastern dad and a girl needs tabbouleh sometimes).  But the barbeque?  It’s orgasmic.  (Read again…I said orgasmic…).  It’s incredible.  What’s that Japanese term…umame?  Kinda like savory, but better?  I think that’s what makes KC BBQ so good…umame. 

– There is a library system in Missouri that shall remain nameless, but I think they are privatized.  And from everything I’ve observed, it’s not pretty.  One professional librarian at every branch, all the other employees are paraprofessionals.  All cataloging and purchasing done at a main office.  It’s bad for two reasons…non-librarians without a decent amount of training are answering reference questions…but are they doing it well?  (I think there are a lot of paraprofessionals who do a lot of great work at the ref desk, but I’m admittedly a fan of librarians being on desk…it’s a whole other post).  And how can one office purchase for all branches?  You’d hope that a branch would be a reflection of it’s community.  I hope they at least look at circ stats before purchasing from that one main office.

As you can see, I’m feeling a bit fiesty again.  It’s good to be back.  I’m almost fully decongested!  Then I’ll be unstoppable!

Brown Bag Summer Reading

I was at a public library in Kansas over the weekend and they had a neat idea for adult summer reading.  They create grab bags with two or three books of the same genre and patrons can just grab one on their way out the door.  They had mystery, romance, historical fiction, Christian fiction, and some non-fiction in addition to many others.  The books are just donated paperbacks and have no due date.  And smarty pants that they are, they put that big ol’ basket of bags and a catchy display right in the hall between the children’s section and the exit.

Now, if they manage some sort of drawing along with it, I’m not sure, but I bet you could drop a postage-paid postcard in the bag and then the folks could just drop it in the mail if that was easier for them.