Horton Public Library

Our mission statement for the Horton Public Library used to be wordy and so long that it couldn’t be remembered. So we changed it a couple of years ago to: It’s all about Community, Learning & Fun! Whatever we endeavor to do, we look to these 7 words to keep us on track.

Our library sits in northeast Kansas in a city of 1,772 residents and is in a rural setting. But as only 1 of 3 libraries in our county, we not only serve the City of Horton but also surrounding towns and rural areas with a total population of 4,200. Many of these smaller communities, while relatively close to Horton (within 18 miles), do not have libraries. Our county is rich with good, hard-working people, but unfortunately median income levels range from $20-30,000. It was our hope with this grant to be able to enrich their lives by using the concept of the Little Free Libraries.

The goal of our project is to promote literacy and the pleasure of reading. We have selected 5 of our neighboring communities and a near-by lake that is visited by vacationers as the destinations for the little libraries. We currently have library patrons living in or near all of these locations. We will be partnering with our School District, to supply the labor from the high school woodworking class to build the structures. We also plan to partner with the local Boy Scout troop to install the little libraries after they are completed. We will find a Champion

in each of the areas to watch over the libraries and help us to promote the activities that are going on at the Horton Public Library by placing flyers/bookmarks in the little libraries. We plan to hold a design contest so that everyone will have a chance to personalize the little libraries for their towns. The winners of the design contest will have the option to finish the libraries or they will be finished by the high school students. This grant will also cover the initial book purchase to kick start the project. But the concept of the little free libraries is to take a book and leave a book. If needed, our Champions will alert us to low supplies and we’ll step in to restock.

It is our hope that this outreach project will bring smiles to the faces of those who get to use them and will increase our presence in the county as a destination center for activities and fun!

“After reading the email and saying Oh my God a couple of times, along with a few fist pumps and a minute of happy dancing in my office, I raced back to the meeting I was in and let my staff know about the good news. Needless to say, we’ve all had smiles on our faces the past couple of days!”