May the 4th Be With Us

All items returned will go into quarantine for 72 hours, then will be disinfected before returned to the shelf.

Let us know how we can help you find your next good read. For kids, let us know their interest and we can pull a few books about that topic. We are here to help get books into our patrons hands, even if they cannot come in to our building.

Thank you for your patience. It’s a good day to have a good day!

Library Giving Day

The day to celebrate #LibraryGivingDay is April 23, 2020
Library Giving Day started as an idea generated by the Seattle Public Library Foundation. The concept was to create a national day of giving that public libraries would rally around and that the public would embrace. So, Seattle Public Library partnered with their strategic library fundraising partner, Carl Bloom Associates, to turn the idea into a reality.
#LibraryGivingDay is a one-day fundraising event with the goal of encouraging people who depend on and enjoy public libraries to donate to their individual library system. And in turn, that support will go toward the incredible programs, services and materials provided by local libraries all over the country.
HOW TO GIVE:  Click on our logo below, then look for  GIVE NOW to make a donation. Be sure to choose SENECA FREE LIBRARY from the drop down menu. As we know, public libraries are known for books and research materials, but they also offer many programs that promote lifelong learning, connect patrons to technology, and advance our knowledge.
Though we have been closed during the Covid-19 crisis, we continue to work to make digital resources available to our patrons.
Here is a snapshot of what happened at your library in 2019:


{text copied from}

Library Closing Updated 4/17/2020

4/24/2020  As we write this, Kansas is under lockdown until May 3rd. We are making plans for reopening the library, whenever that day comes. Not only will the library look different physically, our operations will too. We are spending this last [we HOPE] week in isolation making plans for serving our patrons while also keeping you, and us, safe. We are also trying to come up with a plan for our Summer Reading program. Please be patient with us, this is new territory for everyone! Right now we are trying to work around social distancing and limited event sizes. Will there be a limit to the number of people who can gather? What will that number be? If you have answers, we’d like to hear from you.

What we do know, at this point, are the guidelines we’ve been given from our regional office and the state office. The draft proposal shows five phases. We are in Phase 1 which is a total shut down. We will be entering Phase 2 as a soft reopening. For example: to start with we would still be closed to the public, but would give ‘curbside’ service for limited hours, say 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Patrons would have to place items on hold, or otherwise let us know what they want, we would pull items from the shelf and have them ready for pick up outside the library doors. And, yes, we are serious. All returned items would have to go into quarantine for at least 72 hours, then be wiped down with a disinfectant before going back on the shelf. There would still be no computer services, no copying or faxing, or anything that involves physically coming in the doors. No donations will be accepted during this phase of reopening; no books, no bubble wrap or shipping envelopes, no plastic bags. How long this phase will last is yet to be determined.This is a fluid situation and can change daily. Please check our website: or follow us on Facebook for the latest information.  The last phase will be to Return to Normal Services.

The online catalog will allow you to place holds from your home library only.  If your home library is Bern or Corning or any other library in the system, and you are used to picking up your holds in Seneca, that will not be an option. As a patron of these other libraries you would only be able to put a hold on items that library owns. At this time there is no statewide courier service between libraries. Before you begin your search, go to the box on the upper right of the search page and change from All Libraries to Seneca Free Library in the drop down menu. If you are on the Advanced Search page, look below the Collection Types area for that box.

We will be using the Community Room as our quarantine area for returned items. So that means there will be no in person programs or meetings at the library until Phase 5, most likely.

Remember all of our digital services are available as well as our FREE curbside wifi. If you have questions about hoopla, Flipster, or Libby just contact us. The drop box is now available. All returned items are kept in quarantine and then sanitized before being returned to the shelves.

REMINDER: If you don’t have a library card, you are now able to self register for a library card online. Self registration allows access only to hoopla {ebooks, audio books, movies} and Flipster {online magazines}. If you want Libby {ebooks and audio books} you will have to email us and we can help walk you through the process. Any patrons that self register at this time will have to use an e-mail address that is not already in the system. These accounts will expire July 31, 2020.

 4/17/2020  The governor has extended the Covid-19 shutdown until Sunday May 3rd. The Library will continue to be closed during that time. * We finally have the library back in order after the carpet replacement. Now we are working on a plan to keep our staff and patrons safe once we are able to open to the public again. Our regional office and the library community in general have all kinds of suggestions. We have to decide what will work best for our community and our situation.  * We are excited to announce that patrons can self register for a temporary library account online. Look for another post on our website for details.

3.24/2020 Nothing has really changed for our patrons. We are still closed. The drop box is still closed and not back in place.  * Inside we are a jumbled mess. Not just because we miss all our patrons, but because the carpet guy is going full steam ahead. * The good thing is nothing has left the building, so we will eventually find it all back and put it in it’s place. We hope. * We’ve been busy cleaning the shelves, removing dust and dirt while they are empty. We plan to rearrange some things, so not everything will go back exactly where it was, and that will take time to work through. * We’ve been advised to quarantine items as they are returned to us. The Community Room will be used for that space, but first we have to clear out everything we moved over there when the carpet guy arrived. * Remember when we said it is like the story “If You Give A Mouse a Cookie”? We meant it. * The best way to reach us now is by email at: * We hope you are all well and are practicing social distancing. We hope you have been able to access our online resources, if you need something to read.

3/23/2020 How are you today? Our world continues to spin out of control, our control. Today’s updates: As of 4:00 pm Tuesday March 24 we will no longer check items in or out. * Library due dates have been extended to May. * We will let you know when we are ready for you to return the items you have checked out. Keep them in a safe place, but remember where that safe place is. * The drop box is still unavailable * Patrons can contact us by email at * We post often on Facebook and Instagram and, as you already know, since you are here, our website. * Thanks for checking in. * Stay safe and wash your hands!


3/20/2020 Our status is that we are now closed until further notice as advised by state and national organizations. *  As we posted yesterday, if you place a HOLD online, we will pull the items you want and check them out to you when you come up to the door. * Right now our drop box is not available. It’s been pulled away from the wall so the carpet layer can put down carpet in that spot. * We’ve added instruction videos to our Facebook page and in another post on our website. * Though we are closed, one or two of us will be at the library to answer the phone, check emails and Facebook messages, and check the HOLDS list, Monday thru Friday 10~4. *

3/19/2020 The hold feature is live again! Here are the facts:
1. You can only place a hold on items we own and that are currently in the library. Please check the status of items you want. If it is in transit or at another library right now, it will not be available until after April 5, at the earliest.
2. Any item checked out right now has a due date extended through April 20. Don’t worry about getting items back right now.
3. Items checked out right now and returned to us will be held in quarantine and won’t be accessible for some time.
4. Items can only be picked up between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm weekdays. No Saturday service.
5. Please allow us time to process your request. Don’t come until you have received an email, phone call, or text notifying you that your item is ready.
6. Item(s) will be checked out and brought to the door, no one is allowed into the library. You may need to call 785-336-2377 because we might not see you come up the sidewalk.
7. Wear your catcher’s mitt so you can catch your items when we throw them. Just kidding. But, seriously, don’t breathe on us.
8. Call if you have questions.
9. We miss you and we don’t like this anymore than you do.

3/18/2020 Our courier delivery service has been suspended until April 5. So any holds you have on your account coming from another library will not be arriving until after that date. If your hold is here already, give us a call, we can meet you at the door and get it to you.

Most libraries in our area are closed, so holds will not be filled anyway. But also know that the regional office has changed the due date of items already checked out. Don’t fret about returning items. We don’t charge over due fines.

BREAKING NEWS: The library will close at 8:00 pm this evening, March 17. We will remain closed through March 23 at which time we will reevaluate the situation. The Board of Trustees has made the decision based on information from the State of Kansas and American Library Association.

We know this is inconvenient and we do not take closing lightly.
Items on hold can be picked up. You will need to call us and let us know you are coming and we will meet you at the door.

All of our digital services are available.
We can help get you set up with hoopla, Libby, and Flipster so that you have entertainment in the palm of your hand.
Our WiFi is free and can be accessed from the curb or parking along the east side of the building.
Call us, we want to help you. 336-2377.


LEGO Donations Welcome

Have you started Spring Cleaning this year? If you happen to find any LEGO pieces under the couch cushions or if you have some your children are not playing with anymore, consider donating them to the library!

Our LEGO Lab is growing and we could use more bits and pieces. If you have questions let us know. Give us a call @ 336-2377

Youth Art Show at Your Library a Great Success!

Seneca Free Library is hosting our first YOUTH ART SHOW to celebrate Youth Art Month in March.

We hope you made time to come in to see the art work the youth of our community shared with us, you, this week. We are so pleased that we had 14 entries! This was not a contest, we simply want to give students a place to share their talents with everyone. We’ve had very positive feedback from our patrons, we will certainly be hosting this event again. So hang on to the art work your children are creating and mark your calendars year two of the Youth Art Show at the Library.

We will accept artwork from area youth in grades 1 – 12 between March 2 -4 during library hours. There will be an open house for the artists, their family members, and the public Thursday, March 5 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.

  • One item per entrant is allowed. The mediums accepted will be drawing (colored pencil, ink, marker, pencil, etc.), paint (watercolor, acrylic, oil, etc.), and three-dimensional.
  • The size limit on drawing and painting is no larger than 12 x 14 inches, and the size limit on three-dimensional is 12 x 12 x 12 inches.
  • NO artwork from kits, models, molds, prefabricated forms, mass produced, or copies will be accepted.
  • Artwork must be original and never entered or displayed. For example, anything taken to the 4-H Fair would not be allowed.
  • For full details and any questions please contact the library.

March Collection List Announced

Items collected December 2019 ~ January 2020 before they were delivered to the Food Pantry.

Thank you to everyone who has donated items for the Nemaha County Food Pantry. We have delivered two carts full in the last month. During March we will be collecting canned vegetables and beans. The beans can be dry in bags or canned, including pork and beans.

You are welcome to drop off items during regular library hours. Please do not put cans in the drop box as the weight may damage audio and visual materials.  {March 6,  2020}

We delivered a cart full of food items to the Nemaha County Food Pantry at the end of January. We collected mostly soups in December and January. We’ve decided to concentrate on BREAKFAST ITEMS for the month of February.  This includes boxed cereal, oatmeal, pancake mix and syrup, though any items you’d like to donate will be accepted and appreciated. {February,  2020}


The Nemaha County Food Pantry in Seneca is an organization that helps Nemaha County residents fill the needs of food and personal items. The food pantry is located at 518 Main Street and is open each Wednesday of the month from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. People receiving food must be residents of Nemaha County Kansas and have need.

The groceries they receive are the same each month and consist of the following: a breakfast item (boxed cereal, oatmeal, pancake mix & syrup), 4 cans of vegetables, 1 can of beans (any type including pork & beans), rice, spaghetti and sauce, 1 jar of peanut butter, crackers, 2 cans of fruit, 1 can of tuna and 1 can of chicken plus tuna and chicken helper, 2 soups, 1 dessert (jello, pudding, pie mix, cake mix & frosting, or cookies), and 1 pound of meat (hamburger, ground pork, sausage, lunchmeat). Consumers can also have a choice of three of the following: laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, shampoo, soap, and personal products. You can use this handy list when you shop for the food pantry.

The library has always accepted small donations and delivered them to the food pantry. For the new year, starting now, we’d like to focus on certain items each month for patrons to donate, though any items will be accepted and delivered. Now through January, we are asking for donations of canned soup.

If your group does large quantity donations, the food pantry staff would rather have those delivered directly to the pantry. Any non-perishable food items on the above list are acceptable. So, stop in with your soup donations and we will get them to the food pantry.

Repair Work Scheduled for March

And so it begins. Monday March 9th we will begin moving furniture out of the library. All the large furniture, tables, chairs, recliners, will be moved to the community room. Two computers will be moved out at this time also. The city crew will provide the muscle power needed to get the job done, so we will make the most of their time here. The books in the stacks will be moved later in the week or early the next week.
If you know of some young people needing volunteer hours contact the library about how they can help. Or even not so young people who want to join in the fun of being a part of history would be welcome. Give us a call at 336-2377 for details like when and where.  {March 6, 2020}


In March, the library will be having a crack in the floor repaired in the north end, the adult side of the library.

What does this mean to you? To us? We aren’t completely sure yet. We know the carpet will have to be replaced. We know we will have to move book stacks, shelves, and furniture.  We haven’t worked out all the details yet, but it will be quite an undertaking. It is likely to create quite a mess, please be patient with us. Also, stay tuned for notices about what items and parts of the library will be available during this project.

Have you ever read the book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie? Well, it’s similar to If You Have To Get New Carpet At The Library. We are shaking things up around here. We aren’t sure just how drastic the changes will be, but it will probably feel like a whole new library. That’s a good thing.

We started with condensing our non-fiction books and moving the magazines to the east side of the library, near the grandfather clock. So, what will go in the area where the magazines were? Stay tuned. {Feb. 6, 2020}

US Census Workers Still Needed

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting to fill hundreds of thousands of temporary positions across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count.

The map below shows that only a portion of our region has enough Census workers ready to go, the green square. The goal is to have this rest of the  region, the beige area, turn green by March 1.

Census Job Information & Application

Why is the US Census so important?


Photos are from the US Census website