Ever wonder what other people are reading? What interests them? Looking for something new to try and need a ‘suggestion’ from another library patron? Here is your chance to see what others are reading. We plan to continue ‘collecting’ pictures for awhile.

Click on the photo to enlarge & read the title of the books!


<Snapshot: a Day in the Life of Kansas Libraries. Libraries across  Kansas were asked to participate in Snapshot Day the week of November 15 – 20. Public, academic, school and special libraries were asked to pick one day during the week to compile statistics, customer comments, photographs and other data chronicling a typical library day. What is more typical than checking out to a patron at a library?

Yes, the mail man comes most everyday we are  > open, there are days he takes a holiday while we are at the library wondering where he is. He delivers 2 daily newspaper, the Topeka Capital Journal and USA Today. He also delivers the weekly newspapers from Seneca, Marysville and Sabetha. The library also subscribes to over 30 magazines.

<This is our Kansas Express Courier delivery man. This is the man who delivers the books our patrons request from other libraries. In July of 2009 the libraries of Kansas began using a state wide courier service instead of sending all our inter-library loans through the mail.

Books and movies are the most popular items to       > get checked out. DVDs are popular when people are traveling if they have portable players in their vehicles. Also very popular with people who travel a lot are the audio books, books on CD.  We have a nice selection of adult and childrens books on CD and even still a few on cassette tapes, remember those?

<We managed to catch a child reading quietly in the gazebo in the children’s area. Her mother was looking for Accelerated Reading books for her older brother to read. She said she likes to read to her baby sister too.

>The library held a special reading of The Wind in the Willows for children in grades 1-3. On Friday they came to the library to watch the movie and enjoy popcorn in our community room!

<The computers are always very busy after school. Children under 12 years of age need to have a parent come into the library to sign a form giving them permission to be  on our computers with internet access.

BOOKS & BREW a new Book Club!

Seneca Free Library and the Cornerstone Coffee Haus are happy to announce a delicious new blend…


A new book club that will meet at the Coffee Haus the 2nd Wednesday of the month, beginning December 8 from 10:00-11:00.

The first meeting will be informational, to determine how much interest there is in forming a new book club.


Seneca Free Library is joining libraries across the state in participating in “Snapshot: A Day in the life of Kansas Libraries” to demonstrate how important academic, public, school and special libraries are to the citizens of Kansas.

On Friday November 19, we will compile statistics, customer comments, photographs and other data chronicling a typical library day.

We will be tallying how many times did we help someone work on a resume, apply for  a job online, how many people use the computer and simply how many people come through the doors that day.

The results collected at Seneca Free Library will be added to those of other libraries across Kansas to show how libraries provide valuable services every day to Kansas citizens.

Director Karen Holthaus hopes our loyal patrons will stop by and be part of this historic day.  Libraries are more important than ever to our communities. We want all citizens of Kansas to see what a typical day is like for a Kansas library. While funding continues to be reduced, vital programs and services go on.


America’s Star Libraries of 2010, given out by Library Journal, the top professional publication for public libraries in the country, is out. Rating 7,407 libraries across the country, 258 libraries have received 3, 4, or 5 stars, with 17 libraries in Kansas being part of the top libraries.  4 Kansas libraries, including Seneca Free Library, have a 5 star rating, the highest rating given.  Seneca Free Library is also the 4th out of  the 30, 5 star libraries, in the $100,00 to $199,000 budget category. This means in all categories used to decide who are the top libraries, Seneca has a 5 star rating, the best available.

The criteria in which the libraries are judged is based on four per capita service categories: library visits, circulation (how many items are checked out in a year), attendance at library programs and use of public internet computers. To be scored in this index a library must meet four criteria: 1) be a defined public library; 2) serve a population of at least 1,000; 3) have a total operating expense of at least $10,000; 4) report all of the four service criteria on which the Library Journal rates libraries.

The statistics we keep to show our communities how important our local library is, is  more important now than ever. This award shows that during tough times as well as good times the library plays an extremely important part in supporting a community. Today providing internet use, programming, friendly atmosphere and dedicated staff, offering programs for adults and children makes the library a central place to be for many citizens in a community.  The Seneca Library provides not only books but dvds, music cds, books on tape, a community room for meetings, a genealogy room for people from all over the country to find information on local ancestors; all of which contribute to the high standards that the Library tries to maintain at all times.  Technology, including wireless access for those patrons with their own computers, computers with internet access, a circulation system that allows patrons access to over 600,000 items all make Seneca Library up-to-date and available to the communities needs. Statistics don’t tell the whole story but they indicate whether the Library is meeting the needs of it’s patrons and Seneca Library is definitely on the right track.

Seneca Free Library is always working to improve the quality of service it provides to its patrons. The following quote expresses how important it is to collect data that can be used to show how well a library is serving its population:

“There is no branch of library economy(management( more important, or so little understood by a librarian as helps to himself, as the daily statistics which he can preserve of the growth, loss, and use of the collection under his care. The librarian who watches these things closely and records them, always understands what he is about, and what he accomplishes or fails to accomplish. The patron to whom he presents these statistics will comprehend better the machinery of the library and be more indulgent toward its defects”.  This quote comes from Public Libraries in the United States of America from 1876. Seneca Library will continues to work on improving its statistics and it’s library to better serve the Seneca Community.

Being a 5 Star Library and being on the Star Library list for the 3rd time in the last 2 years shows that the Seneca Community is being well served by the Library, the Staff and the Library Board.

Last Week of September is BANNED BOOK WEEK

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted banning of books across the United States. {Copied from the American Library Association website}The library has a display of a few of the books that have been banned or challenged over the years.

The ALA has compiled a list on their website, just copy and paste to view the list:  http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/challengedclassics/index.cfm


The Kansas Notable Books is a list of books published by Kansans or about Kansas. This list contains books published in 2009. There is something for everyone, young and old, included.

The alphabetical list by title of the 2010 Kansas Notable Books follows:

Addie of the Flint Hills: A Prairie Child During the Depression by Adaline Sorace as told to Deborah Sorace Prutzman

The Blue Shoe: A Tale of Thievery, Villainy, Sorcery, and Shoes by Roderick Townley, illustrated by Mary GrandPre

Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford

The Evolution of Shadows by Jason Quinn Malott

Ghost Town by Richard W. Jennings

A Kansas Year by Mike Blair

Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano by Kevin Rabas, edited by Dennis Etzel, Jr.

Nothing Right: Short Stories by Antonya Nelson

One Kansas Farmer: A Kansas Number Book by Devin & Corey Scillian, illustrated by Doug Bowles

Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen by Joe Drape

Silver Shoes by Paul Miles Schneider

The Storm in the Barn written and illustrated by Matt Phelan

To the Stars: Kansas Poets of the Ad Astra Poetry Project edited and with commentary by Denise Low

Under Seige! Three Children at the Civil War Battle for Vicksburg by Andrea Warren

Years of Dust: The Story of the Dust Bowl by Albert Marrin



Over 75  young summer readers completed the Make a Splash! Summer Reading program before the July 31 deadline and were eligible to attend our library Pool Party last Thursday. Seneca Free Library invited Bern, Centralia  and Corning libraries to join in the fun too. Each library set their own rules for earning a ticket to the pool party. There was a great turn out for the party.  For pictures, look at the Flickr photo badge on the left side of this web page. To see the pictures enlarged, click on the badge to open the Flickr page.