The Kansas Library Association (KLA) is pleased to announce that Horton Public Library has been named the 2016 Best Small Public Library in Kansas. This award is presented annually and co-sponsored by KLA and Auto-Graphics, Inc. The Library will be honored during the Kansas Library Conference, a joint conference of KLA and the Kansas Association of School Librarians, October 19th – 21st in Wichita Kansas. Award winning libraries are presented with a traveling banner to hang in their library, a plaque, and a check for $500 from Auto-Graphics, Inc. This presentation will take place during the Awards Reception on Thursday evening, Oct. 20th.
The Horton Public Library (HPL) was selected as the 2016 Best Small Public Library in Kansas for their commitment to become the center of the community of Horton by reinventing the library and its services. Making strides to transform themselves, HPL refurbished their existing building giving it a makeover to raise awareness of the library within the community. With only four part-time employees, the library developed a variety of new services including Toddler Tuesdays to promote early literacy, the Book Brag Club for Homeschoolers, the Book Worm Café to serve free lunches in the summer, and their “Kinkos” concept providing office supply store services for the community. The HPL also collaborated with several groups in their community, including the Boys Scouts and Horton High School, to design and create six Little Free Libraries in neighboring towns and a local lake. Finally, the library worked to raise money to purchase a LED sign “to serve as a community bulletin board.” All of their efforts seem to be working as the HPL saw over a 33% increase in library visits and an increase in circulation of materials. However, as the application states, “the greatest advantage has been the increase in the status of the Library, from a building on the corner of downtown to a viable resource for our patrons and an emerging community center.” Congratulations to the Horton Public Library, the 2016 Best Small Public Library in Kansas.