On August 7, 2021 the library celebrated its official ribbon cutting ceremony! Benita Adams (President of the Library Board) welcomed Mayor John E Koller as he gave his congratulations on behalf of the City of Arapahoe. Visitors to the open house enjoyed a slide show presentation of the project from start to finish, and gathered inside the newly renovated building for tours. The library staff are excited to see the doors officially opened to everyone in the community and look forward to serving their community in this new space.
Our Summer Reading Program in-person events ended with wagon rides around town! Trudy and Queeny took groups of our summer readers down main street, around the park and back to the library. The kids got a chance to ride in a wagon, just like being in a parade. They learned about voice commands, Gee or Haw. It was a fun day and these two girls hauled a lot of children that day!
Our neighbors from across the parking lot stopped by for a visit to see the renovated building. The residents of the Good Samaritan Homes of Arapahoe have been watching all of the progress from demolition to new construction for the past several months. It was fun to welcome them inside of the building after the pandemic. Here, some of the residents are getting a peek at the new community room.
Our friend from South Dakota, Jerome Kills Small, visited us as a part of our summer reading program. Jerome shared tales of his past and sang a blessing for our new building. He asked the ancestors for permission to be here in this location. He taught us the importance of prayer and storytelling to keep us connected.
The Hillbilly Scientists were our very first program in our new community room! The design of our new space has worked perfectly for the kick-off of our Summer Reading Program. The kids enjoyed some silly science and it was great to hear their laughter! We had not had any in-person programming for 15 months due to Covid-19 and our move into a smaller location while we awaited the completion of our renovation. Our last program had been in March of 2020. We had our weekly Lego Club scheduled the week of St. Patrick’s Day of 2020, but had to immediately bring things to a halt with the international health crisis that affected us all. We’re so happy to be in this new space!
From the end of May throughout June, work continued to empty all of those boxes and sacks of books. Many hands made light work at times; we couldn’t have done it without the help of our volunteers! We filled the recycling bins with all of our cardboard boxes. The books are going on the shelves and the last of the to-do list items for the renovation are being completed by our contractors.
How do you shelve nearly 20,000 items? You call in the experts! Jill Snyder (front), Benita Adams and Cheryl Ahrens spent several hours and days helping to organize the books after our move. We still have much to organize, but we’re ready to serve our patrons once again!
Thanks to the help of multiple volunteers, we’ve move our books and shelves back home! Items were brought in from the Sr Center, the Legion Hall and our storage area in the Arapahoe Clinic’s basement. Now we just have to figure out where to put everything!
The renovation project is nearing completion! After nearly a year of moving out of the library and nearly eight months of demolition and construction, the project is nearly done. Paulsen Inc and Adams Construction have been busily working to complete the outside work of pouring sidewalks, prepping the ADA parking area and completing the drive-up service lane. Meanwhile inside, finishing touches like the flooring, painting, ceiling work and electrical and mechanical are being completed. The library hopes to start moving into their refurbished building starting later this month.
The Third Annual Arapahoe Gala was held on April 24th, 2021 at the Ella Missing Community Center and became one of our greatest fundraisers to date! The organizers set a fundraising goal of raising $40,000 and due to the generosity of our local community and beyond, this goal has been met.
Work for this fundraiser began last summer, when a determined team of volunteers began garnering donations for the auction event. This year’s Donor Team had an especially daunting task ahead of them due to the pandemic, but they persisted. Nearly 190 donors gave to this particular fundraiser. The people and businesses of the small towns here in Furnas County played a huge part in this giving and were some of our biggest donors. Our donor team reached out to donors all over SW and Central NE and beyond, and the auction items given made this year’s event especially unique.
Another challenge was for the Gala Committee volunteers who debated on whether or not an in-person event could even be held this year. Last year’s 2nd Annual Gala was abruptly moved from in-person to an online auction due to the health crisis. Health protocols were considered and carried out.
The proceeds made from this event will go directly to match grant funds for the renovation of the Arapahoe Public Library. The Arapahoe Public Library Foundation manages these funds. The library was the recipient of challenge grants from the Peter Kiewit Foundation and the NE Department of Economic Development. The proceeds from these fundraisers are a part of the match for these grants.