Pleasanton library celebrates move, looks to the future

Updated: Apr 29


Local author Mary Barbara McKay, seated, talks with Stephanie Ferrero and Peggy Petty about her work at the Pleasanton Library open house on Thursday. Other authors at the event included Rogene "Jeannie" McPherson, Neoma Freeman and Ken "Cowboy" Baugh. (Photos by Roger Sims, Linn County Journal)


PLEASANTON – The Pleasanton Lincoln Library celebrated the 10th anniversary of moving into a then new location on Thursday, April 21. More than 85 people attended at some time during the open house, which began at 3 p.m. and lasted until well into the evening.


Four local authors were on hand to talk with visitors about their books. Flavor Full Bites Catering prepared refreshments for the event..


Around 5 p.m., area musicians gathered in a corner of the library – including several guitar players, a bass guitarist and a fiddle player – to perform favorite tunes both new and old.


Stephanie Brown, the chair of the library’s board, said the event was wonderful, and that she was glad to have the live music back after it was halted because of COVID concerns two years ago.

Librarian Wendy Morlan said the musicians asked to revive the monthly jam sessions, and the library was planning to host them on the first Thursday of each month. She said she was not sure whether the sessions would begin at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. The public is invited to bring an instrument and sit in on the sessions or just come to listen.

Brown, who was appointed to the board to fill the unexpired term of another board member in 2018, was recently elected to another four-year term. This is the beginning of her third year as chair of the organization.


A retired reading specialist teacher for Jayhawk USD 346, Brown said she spent considerable time in libraries when she was growing up. “I grew up going to libraries every week as a young child,” she said. “It was like a second home to me.”


She continues to make frequent visits to the library, both because she enjoys the experience and as board chair, she is interested to know what is going on in the library and what kind of services library patrons want to have.

“To me, it’s like the heart of the community,” she said.

Musicians John Burgess, from left, John Petty, Joe Riggs and Carissa Shillito perform at the Pleasanton Library's open house last Thursday. Once a month jam sessions will resume in May after a two-year absence because of COVID concerns.


Brown said she likes the way the library is set up, with different spaces that make it feel like it’s home. Unlike libraries that have rows and rows of books, the Pleasanton Library has shelves arranged to provide different reading spaces.


She said several patrons who come to the library regularly have their favorite chairs in which to read.


But Brown also notes that libraries have changed over the past few years. No longer are they places where quiet is valued above all else. They have become places where activities happen and people gather.

It also now offers additional services to people in the community. Those services include a notary, copying, document shredding, and laminating.


She says the library’s move to the former farm supply building it occupies now was a decided improvement over the cramped area it occupied before. She noted that the current location has four times the space of the old library.

The current space has seen plenty of changes over the course of a decade. New wiring, new air conditioning and heating systems and other changes including a new private Internet space for online medical visits have transformed the space. And Brown said that donated materials and volunteer labor have helped make that happen.


"It's definitely been a community effort," she said.


And while the library continues to be successful in reaching to meet the needs of the community, the board and staff are always trying to make it better. She said the board is in the process of doing strategic planning to make sure the library continues to meet the needs of patrons five years from now.


A correction was made to this story concerning the day the musicians plan to jam every month. We regret the error.

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