September is Library Card Sign-Up Month!

Do you want to open an account at Seneca Free Library and join the NEXT group [our shared catalog system that includes over 40 libraries] of Libraries? Having a library card means so much more than just checking out books and movies, it means access to digital resources Flipster, HOOPLA and Libby! Be sure to ask about these when you open your account.

To open an account in the NEXT system at the Seneca Free Library, you need to be at least 9 years of age,  have a photo identification and proof of current residential address. Yes, that is two separate forms of ID. Proof of address could be a utility bill, insurance papers, or tax papers with your current address printed on it.

We do check to make sure people are not already in the shared catalog system. You do not need a new account if you are moving here from another system library. If that account is not in good standing, fines due or long overdue books, the patron will need to settle with that library before they we can update the account and check out to them.

Children between the ages of 9- 18 children need to have a parent or guardian present to give permission for them to get a card and be guarantor for the account. When the parent has an account, we attach the child’s account to theirs. The parent’s account must be in good standing.

When you sign for your child to get a library card, you agree to be responsible for replacement fees for lost or damaged materials.

Once you have your library card, please bring it with you each time you come to the library. You receive 2 library cards, the smaller one can be placed on a key ring, if you wish.  Our patron base is online with more than 50 other libraries, we are sure to check out on your account if you have your card.

If you do not have your library card, a photo ID will need to be presented.

Thank You for your Donations

Thank You! There doesn’t seem to be a way to adequately say thank you to our generous friends and patrons who donated to the library during Nemaha County’s STEP Foundation Match Day. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Seneca Free Library received $2,294.00 in donations add in the matching funds and our total is $4,588.00!

All of the donations made during this campaign will serve members of the community very well. It is a blessing to have an active foundation such as this in our community. To learn more about them, visit their website at 

For complete list of the organizations that received donations that day, see the link below:

Nemaha County STEP Foundation Match Day will be Friday, August 25, here in our Community Room from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Foundation board members will be on hand to answer any questions you have about STEP and to accept donations. Donations can be given to the general fund, or donors can specify between several entities having accounts with the STEP Foundation.

The library is accepting donations this year that will go towards replacing our microfilm reader. The new machine will still be able to read Microfilm, Microfiche, Aperture cards and 16mm and 35 mm film reels. A new feature is the ability to scan color slides or negatives. How many of you have color slides? How many of you have negatives just filling up a shoe box? You can bring them into the library, view them, then save to a thumb drive for sharing with family, printing, or using for a digital photo album.

For more information about Match Day visit the foundation website: For more information about our microfilm scanner just ask the librarians. We do have donation forms on hand if you are unable to make it to the library that day. 

2023 Kansas Notable Books list

The State Library of Kansas is proud to announce the 2023 Kansas Notable Books list. This year’s list of Kansas Notable Books continues the tradition of celebrating the rich stories and vibrant spirit of the state.

“The authors of the 2023 Kansas Notable Books not only help us gain a deeper understanding of our world but also encourage empathy for others and reflection on our own life experiences,” State Librarian Ray C. Walling said. “Written by Kansans or about Kansas and Kansans, these fifteen books explore wanderlust, transformative collaboration, hidden struggles, inspiring resilience, and the power of love.”

This is the 18th year for the program, which identifies 15 books published the previous calendar year highlighting Kansas literature, authors, and all things Kansas.

2023 Kansas Notable Books list

Cabby Potts, Duchess of Dirt by Kathleen Wilford, Blue Bronco Books

Easy Beauty: A Memoir by Chloe Cooper Jones, Simon & Schuster

Hell’s Half-acre: The Untold Story of the Benders by Susan Jonusas, Viking

Justa’s Escape: A Journey from WWII Ukraine by Justina Neufeld with Russell Binkley, Wipf and Stock

Kansas Speaks Out: Poems in the Age of Me, Too by Dennis Etzel, Jr and Jericho Hockett, An Actual Kansas Press

Letters to Martin: Meditations on Democracy by Randal Maurice Jelks, Lawrence Hill Books

The Monster’s Bones: The Discovery of T. Rex and How It Shook Our World by David K. Randall W. W. Norton & Company

Native American Stories for Kids: 12 Traditional Stories from Indigenous Tribes Across North America by Tom Pecore Weso, Rockridge Press

A New Guide to Kansas Mushrooms by Sherry Kay, Benjamin Sikes, and Caleb Morse, University Press of Kansas

Nothing but the Dirt: Stories from an American Farm Town by Kate Benz, University Press of Kansas

One Boy Watching by Grant Snider, Chronicle Books

River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile by Candice Millard, Doubleday

The Undead Truth of Us by Britney S. Lewis, Hyperion

The Vagabond’s Way: 366 Meditations on Wanderlust, Discovery, and the Art of Travel by Rolf Potts, Random House

Winfield’s Walnut Valley Festival by Seth Bate, The History Press

copied from

Summer Reading Thank Yous

Where has this month gone? Summer sure was fun at the library and we are looking forward to some more fun this fall. Before we get to that though we need to say thanks to some businesses who helped us have a successful summer reading program. Thank you to Cornerstone Coffee Haus for the drinks to go along with those fun swirly straws, to Sweet Pea’s Bakery for the sweet treats for our BEE-NGO players, Freddy’s for making pizza for our bonus readers at the Nerf party, and Haverkamp Dairy for the grooviest shades for our young readers to wear. And as always, thank you to the parents, grandparents, and caregivers who diligently read to or encouraged our littles to keep reading.  


It’s July! That means the downhill slide to complete the Summer Reading Challenge. Don’t delay! The last day to turn in your child’s Reading Record or your BEE-NGO card, if you are an adult, is Monday July 31. That is Nemaha County Fair weekend, and we know we there is too much going on to remember to go to the library.

This year, everyone receives their prize on the spot! Children get a fun straw, a coupon for a drink at the Cornerstone Coffee Haus and a pair of cool sunglasses donated by Nemaha County Dairy Farmers. How fun is that?!

Adults get a sweet treat from Sweet Pea’s Bakery when they get a BINGO on their BEE-NGO card and bring it into the library.

REMINDER: Coupons expire Saturday August 5!

If you didn’t get a cool teal library tote for signing up your children at the beginning of Summer Reading, they are now available for purchase at just $1.00 each. They are handy for books, groceries, going to the pool, taking lunch to work. Whatever you need it for, it will be there for you.

We Collect Food Pantry Donations @ The Library



Time to deliver the goods to the Food Pantry and make room for more donations!

The September Food Pantry Highlight is September Food Pantry highlight is peanut butter and crackers and jelly, too, if you want!

This is a service we offer the community. The Food Pantry is staffed by volunteers and is open one day a week. Rather than having to remember what day and hours they are open, you just need to remember that you can drop your donations by the library and we will deliver them for you. We highlight different items to donate, just to give you some direction. When everything is needed, it can be helpful to have some guidance. We are happy to deliver them to where they need to go.

If you have large donations it is best to deliver directly to the food pantry. We can help facilitate a drop off time if needed. Call us during regular business hours at 785-336-2377.

FYI The Pantry is closed the second Wednesday of the month.

Paper goods and personal hygiene products are always needed also.  Thank you!

Here is a full list of items each family receives, each month:  1 breakfast item, 4 cans of vegetables, 1 can beans, 1 package of rice, 1 pasta and sauce, 1 jar of peanut butter, 1 box of crackers, 2 cans of fruit, 1 can of tuna or chicken, 2 cans of soup, 1 dessert, and a pound of meat.

 These items are always needed at the Food Pantry. We focus on particular items each month as a way to bring attention to the need:  Paper products [toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex], personal products, boxed cereal, oatmeal, pancake mix, syrup, canned vegetables, rice, pasta and sauce, peanut butter, boxed crackers, canned fruit, canned tuna, canned chicken, boxed tuna and chicken helper, canned soups, jello and pudding mixes, cookies, cake mixes and frosting, pie mix, etc. They also accept laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo, bath soap.

Opened and outdated products are not accepted at the Pantry.

We have the cart near our door to make it handy for you to leave your donations. Thank you for your support.

Information to Help You Access Online Resources

Hoopla is a free service offering audio books, eBooks, movies, TV shows, music, comics, and more! We have added information for you to get the most out of the app below. We hope this helps and you get the most out of this new-to-you app!

Libby is another free app giving you access to eBooks and audiobooks. You will need to set up an account and pin with us, so call 785-336-2377– before you begin– between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm weekdays.

Here is a really quick look at how to use the online shared catalog. There is so much more than the video offers, but this will get you started. If you forgot your password, or are having trouble logging in, please call us.

Here is a quick intro to Flipster, our free online source of magazines. You use the same credentials that are needed to access our online shared catalog.

Below is a  link to  YouTube videos from Robin at our Regional Office in Lawrence about Learning Express:

Learning Express videos

myLIBRO app Announced

You can download the app today.

We are excited to announce the myLIBRO app. This app will allow you to see new posts to our website and our Facebook page. It will also give you access to the online catalog where you can check to see what is on hold and what is on the way. You can renew items and place items on hold. Parents can use the app to keep track of all their children’s with library cards – in one convenient place. We are using the Reading Challenge portion of the app as a way for you to keep track of each of your readers too. You can download the app today.

Since the app launched just in time for summer reading, it is not completely how we want it. Updates are coming and we will add new content as time allows during this busy time. Check it out and let us know what you think.

**When you download the app, it will ask for your PIN. Your PIN will be the same as your password for your online library account. For most patrons this will be your Date Of Birth, all 8 digits, no slashes or dashes: MMDDYYY. If that doesn’t work, stop in or give us a call at 785-336-2377 and we will figure it out.

Counting the Days Until Summer Reading Begins

Miss Dee has been out reading to ALL the grade school children in Seneca and talking to them about our Summer Reading program. Everyone listens very carefully about signing up for summer reading, but not to when it starts. It’s great to see them so excited to sign up, but they have to wait until May 18.

Looking forward to seeing you then.

You will have the option this year to use paper reading logs or an app, more details to come about that.

Please remember that bicycles belong in the bike rack, and not on the sidewalk. There is also ample parking for strollers and wagons just to the left of  the library front doors near the designated sign. Parents, thank you for sharing this information with your children and their summer caregivers.


So many of our patrons have asked when programs are, how they can find out what is happening in the library, if there is an app for our circulation software, and so much more. We finally have an answer! Currently there is an app in development for our library patrons. It will be going to a test phase soon with hopes that it will be ready for launch by summer reading sign up time. This app will allow patrons access to KOHA/NEXT for searching the online catalog, placing holds, renewing items, checking due dates on all of the family accounts, and it will be a place to see notices for items that have arrived, are due, or items already on hold. The app will also connect with our Facebook page and website so that you can see both of those in one location. We will also use this app for keeping track of summer reading challenges. We are excited for the upcoming staff training so that we can answer any questions you have. Stay tuned to our Facebook page and website for updates. 

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Gerald and Tess Express Concerns

Gerald and Tess, our pet giraffe and dinosaur, requested a staff meeting. They complained about some rough treatment they have been receiving recently, and are fearful of the summer months ahead. They love to have gentle hugs from children, but they are not built for riding, climbing and being dragged around by the neck. Please remind your children that Gerald and Tess cannot give them rides, and that their necks and legs are fragile. Children can give gentle hugs, but please do not pull them around. Gerald and Tess love to be read to, so if your children would like to sit down and read to them, they would really appreciate that.