Give Back to the Library This Holiday Season with Amazon Smile

amazon-smile

It’s the holiday season once again, and if you are planning on buying your gifts through Amazon, you can give back to the library with your purchases! Through Amazon Smile, a percentage of your purchase can go to the Cass County Public Library Foundation. Just go to smile.amazon.com and select Cass County Public Library Foundation as your designated charity. The Amazon Smile Foundation will donate 0.5% of your purchases to the CCPL Foundation.

The Cass County Public Library Foundation helps fund the prizes for Summer Reading Award Books, author visits, and other programs throughout the year. You can use Amazon smile anytime to spread holiday cheer all year long.

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The Library Celebrates 70 Years!

Picture9

CCPL’s Opening Tea held on December 13, 1947 in Harrisonville.

December marks the 70th Anniversary of the Cass County Public Library. To celebrate, we are holding an Opening Tea on December 7th in honor of our seven decades of service to Cass County. The Harrisonville Branch will also host a month-long exhibit of library history, including photographs, newspaper articles, stories, and more.

Here is a brief look into the first days of the Cass County Public Library:

The Cass County Public Library found its beginning in the school election of 1947. It was out of consideration for the rural schools of Cass County that a measure was put on the ballot in April of that year to establish a library district and a tax levy to fund it. The adoption of a new State Constitution in 1945 by Missouri allowed for the establishment of county libraries that were supported by direct taxation. Billed as an “essential” service for the education of school children in rural areas of the county, the proposition passed with a significant majority.

The newly-minted library district was to be well-funded by a “One-Mill” tax on property that amounted to $1 of tax for every $1,000 of property value. The funds required to support the library before the tax went into effect came from a variety of sources including a $2,500 loan, assistance from the State of Missouri, and an Establishment Grant. By the next year, the library was so well-funded that the Kansas City Star ranked Cass County third behind Jackson and St. Louis counties in most available funds. That, unfortunately, is no longer the case for the present-day library.

Harrisonville was the obvious choice for the library’s flagship branch – it was the county seat and centrally located. Mrs. Martha Stuart Johnson, then owner of Hotel Harrisonville, was credited with solving the library’s problem. Johnson spoke with the Foster sisters, who leased the building at the time, and suggested the hotel’s kitchen and butler’s pantry, which had fallen into disuse.

An Opening Tea was held in honor of the library. The brand new Cass County Public Library welcomed nearly 500 Cass Countians, 131 of which became the charter members of the library. For many in Cass County, this was their first experience using a library. There was some confusion regarding how a public library worked – Dorothea Hyle, the County Librarian, had to explain that library cards were free and that the taxes had already paid for access to all the library’s resources.

Thanks to the library’s dedicated outreach and the Bookmobile’s efforts around the county, by the spring of 1948, 2,500 books were being used by students attending all 67 of the schools located in Cass County. During this time, the Bookmobile made 86 stops each month all across the county, providing access to educational materials and library resources in rural areas not served by physical branches. These efforts continue today, county-wide, as the Cass County Public Library also provides new resources like eBooks, adult education programs, book clubs and story times for patrons of all ages, free access to the internet and subscription databases (just to name a few!).

Join us at the opening tea, which runs all day December 7th, to learn more about our history. Come share your own memories of the Cass County Public Library!

For more information about the library’s history, click here.

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The Library & Workforce Development

Cass County Public Library has access to a great resource to help individuals hone their job skills. Learning Express Library has many practice tests to help you succeed in the Career Center: From Air Traffic Control to Teaching, you can practice specific career exams to prepare. There is also an Adult Learning Center to help you improve your math, reading, and writing skills. In addition to subscribing to Learning Express Library, the library has partnered with the Cass County Corporation for Economic Development (CCCED) to help assess and improve the skills of Cass County’s workforce.

The CCCED has collaborated with other Cass County stakeholders—elected officials, school districts & institutions of higher education, Chambers of Commerce, employers, and other civic organizations to launch a workforce development focused effort called the Cass County Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC) Initiative.

MO WOrk Ready

The local CWRC is part of a national effort centered on identifying and demonstrating the number of qualified workers available in a community and their relative skill levels based upon the National Career Ready Certificate (NCRC) developed by ACT. In Missouri, it is a state-wide program that is in place in more than 80 of the state’s 114 counties.

The NCRC is a portable, industry-recognized credential that documents an individual’s essential work skills in three key areas:

  1. Reading for information
  2. Applied math
  3. Locating information

These skills are required in the vast majority of jobs. To earn the NCRC, individuals complete the WorkKeys assessment. Supported by data from more than 20,000 job skills profiles and rooted in decades of workplace research, WorkKeys assessments are based on situations in the everyday working world.

The WorkKeys assessment can be a valuable alternative to higher education. Some individuals may not succeed in a classroom environment. Others may not want to go on to a college or university. The NCRC showcases the skills an individual has and can help them succeed and advance in their career path. Individuals can take the assessment at any time: in school, for a job application, or to earn the certificate to help in their job search.

When individuals earn the NCRC, they become part of a robust workforce that helps their community’s economy thrive-which benefits everyone. More than 3 million certificates have been issued across the United States. The NCRC helps:

  • Job seekers and current employees improve their career outcomes
  • Students prepare to success in a variety of career pathways
  • Educators gain confidence that their students are ready for life after high school
  • Employers and human resources professionals improve their hiring, training, and promotion decisions
  • Workforce developers better assist those they serve, including displaced workers, in entering or re-entering the job market
  • Economic developers provide evidence of a skilled workforce that helps attract business and industry
  • Industry associations have a foundation for building systems of stackable credentials
  • Policymakers and legislators gain a resource to create policy and legislative solutions to the nation’s economic and educational challenges.

The NCRC WorkKeys Assessment is offered weekly at the Cass County Public Library branch in Harrisonville every Wednesday from 1pm to 5pm. Individuals can also contact the Missouri Job Center in Belton at 109 Congress, Belton, MO 64012. Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The telephone number is 816.318.3922.

If you are an employer in Cass County and wish to sign a letter of support, click here. To learn more about Work Ready Communities, click here.

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Food for Fines

Food For Fines Banner

Food For Fines returns for the month of November!

Throughout November, patrons may bring any non-perishable food items, that are not expired or damaged, to any Cass County Public Library branch. Each item counts as $2.00 toward overdue fines. Donations cannot be used toward lost, damaged, or other fees. Patrons are welcome to donate items even if they do not have library fines.

Donated items benefit the following area food pantries:

  • Ministry Alliance (Archie)
  • Drexel Methodist (Drexel)
  • Heart of Life (Garden City)
  • Shepherd’s Staff (Harrisonville & Bookmobile)
  • Heart-n-Hand (Northern Resource Center)
  • Pleasant Hill Lay Clergy (Pleasant Hill)

We are pleased to offer this service once again. Come in and pay down your fines and give back to your community.

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Author Event: Nancy Pickard

October 15th through 21st is National Friends of the Library Week. This year is the 12th year celebrating Friends of the Library groups, and Cass County Public Library now has its own Friends group! In celebration, the Friends of Cass County Public Library are proud to host Nancy Pickard, best-selling author and Kansas City native, on Tuesday, October 24th at 6:30pm.

Join us at Centerview Community Event Space in Raymore, MO for an evening with Ms. Pickard. She is the only author to receive all four major mystery awards, and her latest novel, The Scent of Rain and Lightning, was made into a movie in March of this year. She will speak about her career and writing, and will be available to sign books that attendees bring. The Friends group is proud to host this special event, and hopes that area residents will take advantage of this opportunity to meet Nancy Pickard. This event is free, but seating is limited. Call 816-331-0049 before October 20th to reserve your seats. Friends applications will be available that night. You can become a Friend for as little as $25.00. For more information and an application to join the Friends, click here.

National Friends of the Library Week is coordinated by United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. United for Libraries has over 4,000 members who represent hundreds of thousands of library supporters across the United States. The organization supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fund raise for libraries and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information, visit www.ala.org/united.

Mark your calendars for November 9th-11th for the Friends of the Library Book Sale. All proceeds support the Friends of the Library. Times and location will be announced soon. We hope to see you in Raymore on October 24th!

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Find Great Reads & Friendships in a Book Club

Joining a book club in your community is a great way to find new reads and broaden your reading interests. It’s also a great way to meet the people in your community. Whether or not everyone in the book club enjoys a book, you can be sure there will be lively discussion. Cass County Public Library offers book clubs at most branches.

HA Book Club

Patrons bring their lunches and discuss this month’s selection at the Brown Bag Book Club in Harrisonville.

All of our book clubs are listed at http://www.casscolibrary.org/bookclubs, along with upcoming selections. We currently have 13 book clubs that meet at 5 of our branches. With a wide variety of interests, we might have just the group for you and your friends. More than a third of those who belong to a book club belong to more than one, so if multiple groups pique your interest, visit all of them! For more information on any of the book clubs, you can always contact the hosting branch. We are more than happy to help you.

Check out all of our branch book clubs below. Happy reading!

Drexel Branch

Beta Book Club
Reading a variety of fiction and non-fiction, this group meets on the 1st Monday of every month at 1pm.

Garden City Branch

Adult Book Group
Reading a variety of fiction and non-fiction, this group meets on the last Wednesday of every month at 6pm.

Harrisonville Branch

Inspirational Book Club
Focusing on inspirational fiction, this group meets on the 1st Thursday of every month at 6:30pm. Selections may not necessarily be religious.

Brown Bag Book Club
This unique book club meets at noon on the 2nd Monday of every month. Bring your own sacked lunch and enjoy a variety of fiction and non-fiction selections.

Monday Evening General Book Club
As the name implies, this group reads a variety of fiction and non-fiction. They meet on the 2nd Monday of every month at 6:30pm.

Mystery Book Club
Focusing on the mystery genre, this group meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 6:30pm.

Northern Resource Center

Connecting Points Book Club
This group focuses on inspirational fiction and meets on the 2nd Thursday of every month at 1pm.

Murder Among Friends
This group focuses on the mystery genre and meets on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 1pm.

Tea Time Book Club
If you love classics, this group is for you. This group meets on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 6:30pm.

The Guys Book Club
This group reads a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction. Gentlemen readers of all ages are welcome to meet on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 6:30pm.

Mother/Daughter Book Club
This unique book club is for girls 10-14 and their mom or other special adult female. Selections are geared toward younger readers and include many classics. This group meets on the 4th Tuesday of every month at 6:30pm.

Book Fanatics
This general interest book club reads mainly popular fiction and literary fiction. A non-fiction title is thrown into the mix occasionally. The group meets on the last Wednesday of every month at 6:30pm.

Pleasant Hill

3rd Thursday Book Club
Reading a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, this group meets on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 2:15pm.

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Archie Re-Opens After Flooding

After nearly 2 weeks of hard work cleaning up flood damage, the Archie branch has re-opened! In the early morning hours of July 27th, the Kansas City area experienced heavy rains. South Cass County received over 7 inches in just 4 hours, causing many areas to flood, including parts of Archie, MO. The Police Station, City Hall, and Library, all located on south Main Street, had between 4 and 30 inches of water inside. The library had about 6 inches of water inside, and had books, computer equipment, and furniture damaged by the water.

Fox 4 KC covered the initial damage here.

 

Many volunteers from the community came to help us clean up as soon as the water receded. Without the help of patrons, the community, local businesses, and donations, we would not have been able to re-open so quickly. We are truly grateful for the support from our community. We would like to extend a very special thanks to the Sutton and Patton families, who both worked with us to get the water out of the branch as quickly as possible. Thank you to Pioneer Supply for lending us fans to help dry out the carpet. Thank you to everyone who donated to help us bear the costs of repairs: the Cass County Public Library Foundation, the Archie Fall Festival Committee, Archie 2000, and everyone locally or across the country who donated to the GoFundMe campaign.

We are still working to replace furniture that was damaged. We are currently using carts to store some of our collection until we can get a new shelving section to replace the one that was damaged. The carpet is dry and disinfected; we were even able to save the children’s rug.

 

The generosity of Archie has not stopped there. The Archie Fall Festival Committee is hosting Bingo at the Fishing Dock on August 30th, and they have graciously offered to donate the proceeds from the event. We are amazed at the outpouring of generosity in the community. Also on August 30th, the Archie branch will be hosting an open house and community appreciation day. It starts at 11am, after Storytime, and concludes with the end of summer party (that was scheduled for the day Archie flooded) at 4pm. For more information on the open house, click here.

If you would still like to help, you can donate to the cause. Thanks to patron suggestions, we also have 4 wish lists on Amazon of all of the items we lost in the flood. Our Large Print and Western collections were hardest hit, but we lost titles from all of our collections.

Picture Books & Board Books:  http://a.co/jboUNV7
Large Print titles: Link: http://a.co/9GTXS9T
Teen & Children’s titles: http://a.co/5RIy88C
Adult Fiction titles: http://a.co/9N1OdcB

Thank you for supporting us through the repairs, and we hope to see you at the library again soon. We are open and ready to serve you.

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