January 22, 2021
by Maria Downer

Learning Studio

Our library has been hosting the Nebraska Library Commission innovative studio temporarily for the last couple months. We have tried out the equipment and have found what we think will work for our library. We have also thought about how to best work with the space that we have.

What have we decided? We are going to move forward to make this studio space permanent! A makerspace for our patrons to build with legos, make projects with a laser cutter and learn together with others and more.

The temporary innovative studio equipment will leave on March 1st.  

After that we are going to:

  1. move the vent above the 3/4 wall to the north side.
  2. replace all the lights inside the library to LED.
  3. extend the 3/4 wall to the ceiling to enclose the studio room.
  4. replace the countertop over the cabinets in the studio
  5. Some other minor patches will need to be done.

Then, we will start setting up the studio.  I have graphed out the studio room and it will look like this:

I know this is a very rough draft but if you have any questions just ask.

We are purchasing 6 tables and 12 chairs for this studio. We will also purchase a Glowforge Pro and a 3Doodler Create+ Learning Pack – 12-Pen Kit. We also will have Legos and other building supplies in the rolling carts and a button making kit available for our patrons.

We are excited to set up this LEARNING STUDIO to provide a space at Butler Memorial Library to BUILD. MAKE. & LEARN.

October 19, 2020
by Maria Downer

Finally, It All Falls Into Place.

A little over a year of planning, organizing, calculating, adjusting, then waiting and we are finally at the finish line for this project (I only have the final report left to turn in!). I cannot tell you how excited I was to see the delivery truck this morning!

This project involved updating a few spaces in our library to facilitate access to resources and services. The major focus was to purchase equipment that would address the growing need for internet access. We wanted to provide spaces in our library that were comfortable, provided easy access to our free WiFi and would allow patrons to charge their own devices. After COVID restrictions started, we also realized these spaces would allow us to better social distance as well. Patrons, who want to use the internet, have multiple options now for where they can do that.

After figuring out what we wanted to accomplish, I ended up applying and receiving two Library Improvement Grants through the Nebraska Library Commission that provided the funding for 75% of these two projects. A huge thank you to city for providing the 25% local funds match that was required in order to get these grants.

“These projects are supported in part by the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services and granted by the Nebraska Library Commission.”

A bit of a breakdown of our total project: Grant one allowed us to purchase four new computer monitors and a smart TV…that I am hoping I will be able to use this afternoon to Striv our lady Trojans playing volleyball! Stop by around 4pm and join me if you can!

Grant two allowed for us to purchase new furniture and charging pods to create two separate media stations.

One media station is east of the current patron computer station, that provides two overstuffed chairs, ottomans, a side table and a charging pod. We did also include updating the patron computer chairs. The computer chairs that were there, we are now using in the office to replace our broken ones.

And the other media station is in the area over by the Young Adult books. This station includes a loveseat, coffee table, two over stuffed chairs, an ottoman, side tables and two charging pods.

I have arranged everything in its new home, with a bit of added decoration, some we had already and some I picked up at the General Store this morning. I cannot promise that I will keep it all exactly as picture but I think it is as we wanted.

A special thank you to our library board and staff! I have an amazing team that have all helped this project fall into place.

September 15, 2020
by abbie

A Different Way to Dive Into a Book

Fall is settling in. We haven’t quite hit the official date on the calendar yet, but it starting to feel like it outside. The weather is back and forth from nice hot Indian Summer kind of days to wet was that all we got for fall kinda days. Either way, it is still perfect weather to dive into a book.

As a Home-school Mom it seems we are always reading a book. Either you are being read to or you are taking your turn at reading to your Home-schooled child. There is no doubt in my mind traditional Teachers also get to enjoy this back and forth exercise. Hearing their ability to read more fluently and see them begin to understand what they are reading is an incredible thing to watch develop.

I will confess, sometimes I want to sit next to my student and draw or paint right along with her. All the while, keeping with our habit of me reading while her creative mind transfers onto the paper, I’ve found a perfect solution here at Butler Memorial Library.


They aren’t a new thing. Audio books have been around for quite some time. But maybe they haven’t been on your radar like they haven’t been on mine until recently.

Adult & Children Audio Books

Did you know our library has both Adult and Children Audio books? I’ve gone through all of them and picked a few I thought may be something to pick up the next time you are in. There are several Young Adult appropriate choices that could be helpful when your older students tend to get a little lazy with their reading. Pick one up, make some hot cocoa and set down together. It will give you an opportunity to enjoy each others company and listen to a good book.

Adult/Young Adult

Marley & Me

Written and Read by John Grogan

P.S. I Love You

By Cecelia Ahern

Performed by Victoria Smurfit with Rupert Degas

Twilight Series 1-4

By Stephanie Meyer

Read by Ilyana Kadushin

Seabiscuit An American Legend

By Laura Hillenbrand

Read by Campbell Scott


By Laura Hillendbrand

Read by Edward Herrmann

Children Audio Books

Goodbye Summer Hello Autumn

By Kenard Pak

Read by Tanya Eby

Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting

By Michelle Robinson

Read by Tim Pabon

Pete the Cat: I love My White Shoes

Written and Read by Eric Litwin

There are a number of other titles to choose from. Take a look at them the next time you are in the library. Who knows, you may stumble upon your new favorite way to dive into a book.

September 3, 2020
by abbie

Non-fiction and Close to Home

For those of us who love a good read from the non-fiction section of the library, there is one that stands out for several reasons. The most interesting of facts I found was that the story itself was kept silent until “the principle characters had all passed off the scene…”.

The victims of Annie Cook were still terrified of the woman and the things she had done well past the date of her death.

The author Nellie Snyder Yost states “…written in the hope that the facts set forth will awaken readers to their duty and obligation to report knowledge of any known abuse to the proper authorities and see that something is done to put an end to it.”

Another Interesting Fact

The other interesting fact about this book is the events it contains took place only 83 miles north of Cambridge in North Platte, Nebraska. And not that long ago. Some of my family members remember hearing her name and being told the tales of what she was doing. I was surprised to find that I too recognized a few of the names as I read the harrowing tale of abuse, intentional starvation, murder, and greed.

Standing under the big cottonwood, almost on the spot where Clara’s blood had soaked into the dusty ground, the insurance man asked Joe what he knew about Miss Cook’s death, and he told him. The knowledge that Annie had killed her daughter had been a burden since the day it happened. He knew the doctor and the undertaker were going along with Annie’s version of the death (each believing that he would one day inherit a fine Eighty if he did).

Evil Obsession; The Annie Cook Story

A Road-Trip Idea

You can still go to Annie Cook’s farm. There isn’t much left of the original part of the farm. If you read the book I encourage you to take a drive, put a physical place with the book. If you are a historian and like to research and investigate go to her grave, read the court documents. It adds another element to the realness of the story.

Available at Butler Memorial Library

Look for Evil Obsession; The Annie Cook Story by Nellie Snyder Yost the next time you’re in the library. I promise you won’t put it down.

August 27, 2020
by abbie

Start Back to School with the Right Book

The First Day of School has come and gone. Maybe for some it hasn’t quiet started yet. Never fear. There is always a good book to help you adjust to the new season.

Sometimes the first day of school comes with a lot of nervous butterflies. There’s the excitement to see friends again. Meet your new teacher. Show everyone your new backpack and super cool folders that match your pencils.

Parents need a little help every now and then talking through some of the issues and experiences our kiddos encounter. Good and bad. I’ve found a few books on our shelves that may give you that little help you need.

First Day of School by Annie Silverstro

A good read to help that little person in your life getting ready to head off to school, who may have a few butterflies in their stomach. Look for Butterflies on the First Day of School by Annie Silverstro.

Rosie, the main character of the book, has her nerves fly right out of her mouth on two silver butterflies. Then too her surprise three more! Soon Rosie found herself helping someone else let go of their butterflies. You’ll want to check this book out the next time you are in our library.

The Energy Bus for Kids by Jon Gordon

Even though we wish everyday would be full of positivity it’s inevitable we will have a bad day. And so do our children. In Jon Gordon’s book The Energy Bus for Kids, George, just your average kid gets some helpful tips from his Bus Driver, Joy.

She greets him with a smile. Something we all should practice. Joy helps him with several different issues he experiences throughout his school day.

“That’s okay, George. You’re on my bus now. I call it the Energy Bus. Sit down and I’m going to teach you some rules that will take you on a positive ride through life. ”

~ Joy the Bus Driver ~the Energy Bus for Kids

  • RULE #1: Create a Positive Vision
  • RULE #2: Fuel Your Ride with Positive Energy
  • RULE #3: No Bullies Allowed
  • RULE #4: Love Your Passengers
  • RULE #5: Enjoy the Ride

It’s a good story to help your kiddo through those tougher issues and hey you may even take a tip or two away for yourself. Look for it the next time your in our library.

1000 books before kindergarten program

July 30, 2020 by tobyluedders | 0 comments

Butler Memorial Library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is a fun, exciting, and free way to start your child on the path to success! Any child ages birth to five years can participate. Just follow these simple steps:

1. Register: Pick up program materials at the library or you may have received the materials from school.

2. Track Your Reading: Fill in a circle for each book that you read to your child on your reading record. 3. Every Book Counts: Even if your child wants to hear the same book again and again, you can count it each time. You can also count the books your child hears in story time, in daycare or preschool, or with a friend or family member, as long as the child listens to the entire book. 4. Milestones: We will have prize available for every 100 books completed up to 1000 books. Bring your completed sheets in to collect a prize and a new reading tracker sheet.

Some of the prizes available above

One thousand books may seem like a lot, but if you read just one book a night you will finish you journey in under three years. If you read 3 books every night then you’ll have in completed in just one year! Enjoy your journey to 1,000 books before kindergarten!

Happy Reading!


July 28, 2020
by tobyluedders

Where’s Waldo Final Week

This is the last week to find all of the Waldo characters and turn in your paper for and candy bar. After you have it completed you will need to turn in your sheet and you will be entered in to win a grand prize. If you still want to be entered in for the grand prize get your sheet in before the end of the week or you will not be entered in it. Good luck!

July 28, 2020
by schyler

Back to School!

With school starting August 12th we would like everyone to know that we have accelerated reading books expanding from level 1 to level 7 and above. Accelerated reader usually starts in first grade. This program personalizes goals around comprehension and engaged reading time. What is accelerated reader? According to: 

A parent’s guide to Renaissance Accelerated Reader 360®

“Accelerated Reader is a computer program that helps teachers and librarians manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child picks a book at his own level and reads it at his own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer. (Passing the quiz is an indication that your child understood what was read.) Accelerated Reader gives children, teachers, and librarians feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set goals and direct ongoing reading practice.

Children using Accelerated Reader choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them.”