News & More...

Author Archive

Welcome to

Watch the online course How to Use

Your Manhattan Public Library card now gives you access to the 4,595 video courses on All you have to do is follow the link , enter your library card number and password, create an account, and you can start learning from your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

But what is is an online library of video courses on topics ranging from Improving Your Memory to Creating Textures for 3D Animation. Each subject is broken down into smaller video tutorials so you can stop and start, and learn at your own pace. There are videos for all learning levels–from beginner to professional.

Here is a video introducing the service.

Courses focus mainly on computer and software skills, but include information on teaching, stress management, job interview skills, and more. Browse the library to get an overview of what’s offered, or if you have a specific interest, use the search bar to find courses.

Software is s good topic to start with. You’ll find a quick list of the most popular software tutorials, or you can browse alphabetically for everything from Access to GarageBand to Zoomerang.

Is it really free?

Yes, all library resources are free. Manhattan Public Library has paid for the subscription and all library card holders have access to the service. Residents of Chase, Clay, Dickinson, Geary, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Morris, Pottawatomie, Riley, Wabaunsee, and Washington counties can follow this link to get a library card.

Do I have to be in the library?

No, you can access from library computers or from outside the library using your own device. 35 users can access the site simultaneously. After 1 hour of inactivity, you will be logged off so other people can log on. Lynda will keep track of the videos you’ve watched, and hold your place when you log off.

Searchable Transcripts

Read along with closed-captioned transcripts–or search the text to quickly find information within a course.

Download Exercise Files

Download the files used in the video courses so you can practice on your own. Please note: library computers do not have access to all the software taught on, such as Photoshop and AutoCAD. You must have your own copy of the software you’re learning in order to open the exercise files.

Certificates of Completion

Earn a certificate of completion for each course viewed. Print the certificate to show coworkers, friends, and employers what you’ve accomplished.


Contact the library at or (785)776-4741 x141


Posted in: For Adults, For Teens, News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Gratitude for Veterans

left: Rich Wartell, Orris Kelly, Chuck Murphy, Beryl Adams, Mike McDermott, Ron Trewyn, and Mike Kearns.

left: Rich Wartell, Orris Kelly, Chuck Murphy, Beryl Adams, Mike McDermott, Ron Trewyn, and Mike Kearns.

The staff at Manhattan Public Library would like to thank the distinguished group of Vietnam veterans who participated in the Veterans’ Day Forum at the Wareham Opera House on November 11, 2014. We appreciate the time and effort of Beryl Adams, Orris Kelly, Mike McDermott, Chuck Murphy, Ron Trewyn, and Rich Wartell who bravely shared their experiences, with Mike Kearns leading the discussion.


Dr. Ron Trewyn

We would also like to thank the many audience members who came out on a very cold evening and expressed their appreciation for these veterans. We believe everyone found the 90 minutes to be interesting, rewarding, and moving, as they heard these six individuals share details of their life-changing experiences during and after the war.

Events of this size only come together with the help of many people. We are very grateful for the assistance of Dave Ekart and the Flint Hills Veterans Coalition, and Ryan Platt from the Wareham Opera House, for their help planning the event. Dave Lewis and Ron Frank were instrumental in the process, providing sound support and a video recording of the forum. Thanks to Ron Frank, copies of the DVD will soon be available for checkout at the library as part of the Veteran’s Oral History Project collection.

Thank you to Briana Nelson Goff and Kansas State University’s Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families for their partnership and support.

We appreciate the enthusiastic support provided by Cheryl Collins and Allana Saenger-Parker from the Riley County Historical Museum. Their poignant display of artifacts belonging to Roger Parrish, a soldier who did not return home after the war, as well as a series of photographs from the FHVC, will be on display at the library throughout the month of November.

We would also like to extend our gratitude to the Kansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Arts for grant funding that enabled us to provide books and publicity for the Big Read events. These grants are designed to promote reading and a shared experience of storytelling in communities.

The staff at the Little Apple Brewing Company were the generous hosts of a book discussion for the Big Read on November 13. We appreciate the use of your space, your friendly hospitality, and hope to make this a recurring partnership.

A final event is planned for the Big Read on Thursday, November 20 at

7:00 p.m. at the library. Dr. Kim Stanley from the Kansas Humanities Council will lead a discussion of the book “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, and members of the public are encouraged to attend.

We appreciate the support of all the members of the community in showing gratitude to our soldiers. Thank you for your service.

With gratitude,

Judi Nechols

Mary Newkirk

Danielle Schapaugh

Posted in: Adult Services, News

Leave a Comment (0) →

The Things They Carried–Stories from the Vietnam War

by Danielle Schapaugh, Public Relations Coordinator

thingsIn Manhattan, we are honoring veterans with this year’s Big Read program by choosing to explore a Pulitzer Prize-winning book of short stories about the war in Vietnam, The Things They Carried.

Though the days of the Vietnam War are long gone, that conflict remains a divisive issue. Many of us still remember the nightly reports about battles and casualties, while others of us were not yet born by the time the conflict ended. Some may remember protesting the war, and in our military town, many remember the days of deployment.

Perhaps there is no better way to bring all these different groups together than by discussing Tim O’Brien’s personal and masterful novel, The Things They Carried. O’Brien’s account of those who fought in that conflict, their fears and their uncertainties, is a classic tale of young men sent to war. The many readers who cherish the book, and the much-deserved awards it has earned, attest to its lasting and powerful impact.

As part of the programming associated with the book, on Tuesday, November 11 at 4:00 p.m., a group of distinguished Manhattan citizens will gather at the Wareham Opera House to share stories about their own experiences during the war in Vietnam. No tickets are required, and everyone is welcome to attend, although some of the subject matter may not be appropriate for young children.

Mike Kearns, former JAG lawyer and member of the FHVC, will moderate the discussion with: Beryl Adams, American Red Cross who served at Danang Hospital; Orris Kelly, retired Chief of Chaplains for the U.S. Army; Mike McDermont, author and veteran of four tours of duty in Vietnam; Chuck Murphy, medic and former Riley County Health Department Administrator; Dr. Ron Trewyn, veteran and assistant to K-State President Kirk Shultz; and Rich Wartell, veteran and KMAN Radio General Manager.

Then, on Thursday, November 13 at 6:00 p.m., join librarians and friends for Books and Brew at the Little Apple Brewing Company in Westloop Plaza. We’ll discuss O’Brien’s book, share our own experiences, and talk about ways we can facilitate communication in our unique college/military/retirement town on the Great Plains. Register to participate in this event through the library’s website, or by calling 776-4741 x.141.

The following Thursday, November 20 at 7:00 p.m., we’ll be meeting again to discuss The Things They Carried as part of the Good Books Club at the library. A special guest from the Kansas Humanities Council will join us to lead the discussion. We’ll enjoy snacks as we dive into this compelling book, meeting new people and making friends along the way.

We can also do a lot of good for the community by simply saying thank you to our soldiers. All during the month of November, the library will have postcards available to send to service men and women through Operation Gratitude. This organization sends packages to deployed soldiers, veterans’ hospitals, and veterans’ groups around the country. Stop by the library anytime during open hours to fill out a card.

If you have questions about any of the events or would like to reserve a copy of The Things They Carried, please visit the library’s website at, call us at 776-4741, or visit the library at 629 Poyntz Avenue.

The Big Read, funded by the Kansas Humanities Council, is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture by exposing citizens to great works of literature, and encouraging them to read for pleasure and enrichment. Each of the 77 organizations receiving a grant this year will develop unique programming that will provide their communities with the opportunity to read, discuss, and celebrate a powerful book.

Posted in: For Adults, For Teens, News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Are You Ready for Fun?

by Amber Keck, Children’s Librarian

Jan Thomas smallJan Thomas is an acclaimed author/illustrator of many children’s picture books.  She is known for her simple text, bold illustrations and silly stories. Her book, “Is Everyone Ready for Fun?” was even chosen as this year’s Kansas Reads to Preschoolers featured book.

Kansas Reads to Preschoolers week is celebrated annually, to promote reading to children statewide. Each year, a committee of early literacy experts come together and choose a featured book and ask Kansans to read that book to every preschool-aged child in the state during the week of November 16-22. Librarians and caregivers are also encouraged to plan activities around the book through the month of November.

The most exciting events this year involve visits with the author! Jan Thomas will visit Manhattan Public Library on Thursday, November 6th for a book signing. Feel free to drop in with your books between 5:30 and 6:30pm, or purchase a book on site, courtesy of Claflin Books, to be autographed. It will be a special treat to meet this fantastic author.

The North Central Kansas Libraries System also has the honor of hosting Jan Thomas for an event at the Fort Riley Post Library on Friday, November 7. From 10 to 10:45am, Ms. Thomas will be sharing and reading from her books, including “Is Everyone Ready for Fun?” This event is for preschoolers and their families and no registration is required.

Library staff have been gearing up for Kansas Reads to Preschoolers week for months.  Regular storytimes will feature books by Jan Thomas, as well as silly and active songs and rhymes. Plus, each storytime participant will get to take home a copy of “Is Everyone Ready for Fun?” to keep.

  • Monday, November 17th at 9:30 – Preschool Move & Groove
  • Monday, November 17th at 11:00 – Baby and Toddler Time featuring Mr. Steve
  • Thursday, November 20th at 9:30 – Baby and Toddler Time
  • Thursday, November 20th at 11:00 – Preschool Move & Groove
  • Friday, November 21st at 10:00 – Zoofari Tails at Sunset Zoo
  • Saturday, November 22nd at 11:00 – Family Storytime

If you have questions about library events, or would like to explore the full catalog of Thomas’ works, please contact the Manhattan Public Library. Happy reading!

Posted in: For Kids, News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Friends of the Library

MLA Board meeting spring 2014Did you know…theManhattan Library Association has a long history in our community?

A group of pioneer men formed the Manhattan Literary Institute in 1856 to “encourage industry, promote virtue, and mutually assist each other in the acquisition of knowledge.” While the purpose of this institute was to conduct “literary exercises” among its male members, its single greatest contribution was the purchase of a lot at 5th and Poyntz to be dedicated to the construction of a library.

Then in 1900, a group of concerned women saw the need to further promote this aim and organized the Manhattan Library Association. Their goal was “the erection of a building for library, reading room and other purposes.” Not only did the original sixteen women target a membership of 200 with an enrollment fee of $5.00, they also took the initiative to pursue a donation from Andrew Carnegie to build the library.

Through the leadership of Elizabeth Purcell, president of the Manhattan Library Association, this goal was reached in January 1903 when a $10,000 gift from Mr. Carnegie was confirmed. Construction began on the Carnegie Public Library in February, and the building was completed in time for a December opening.

Fast forward to 2014. The Manhattan Library Association, the Friends of the Library, is alive and well. Our strength today can be attributed to all of you, our dedicated members, who share a kindred spirit with the founders of the Manhattan Literary Institute and the original MLA. Our goals are similar: encourage gifts to the Manhattan Public Library; enrich the resources and facilities of the library; build support in the community for expansion of the facility and its programming; and undertake specific projects as determined by the library director.

Through the support of MLA members and the direction of the MLA board and library director, Linda Knupp, we have made great strides in contributing to these goals. Our annual book sale, as well as the sale of books at Rosie’s Corner Book Store in the library, allow the association to fund numerous programs that serve a broad range of patrons. With the aim of fostering literacy in our youngest citizens, MLA donations fund Kansas Reads to Preschoolers, providing free books to youngsters. Jennifer Adams, Children’s Services Manager, appreciates the financial support for all of the story time supplies, interactive toys, early literacy activities, and special events for school-aged children and families.

We are all eager to enjoy the new spaces and explore the neighborhoods as the children’s expansion project nears completion. The library and MLA will be throwing a party on January 17, 2015 to celebrate this accomplishment!

The Manhattan Library Association is also pleased to contribute to adult and young adult services for library patrons. Summer reading programs are not just for children! Summer reading for adults is one of the many programs mentioned by Susan Withee, the Adult Services Manager, that receives financial support from MLA. Throughout the year, the library provides several opportunities to be involved in adult reading groups. The newly formed Good Books Club meets monthly through the fall, and the TALK program occurs on the 4th Thursdays from January to April. In addition, MLA covers our library’s participation fee for the Big Read sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council. Look for enrollment in this program coming up in November, and enjoy reading The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.

Young adults are important and active patrons at MPL. With guidance from Keri Mills, Young Adult Librarian, an advisory group for teens, TLAB (Teen Library Advisory Board), recommends and supports programming for this demographic. MLA supports their projects, purchases books and gift cards for summer reading program rewards, and provides T-shirts for teen volunteers.

As you can see, the advocacy of our Manhattan Library Association members plays a significant role in supporting a broad range of programming for patrons of all ages. Thank you for your dedicated support. Please use the insert in this newsletter to renew your MLA membership. Just think: this is one way you can beat inflation…membership was $5.00 in 1900 and only $10.00 now! Encourage your friends to become Friends of the Library as well!

Working together for literacy,
Elaine Shannon
MLA President

Posted in: For Adults, For Kids, For Teens, News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Do you have a Revolutionary Heart?

Women suffragists in Ohio

If you approached the polls this November and were blocked at the door, what would you do? If you were insulted, ridiculed, told you were less than a person and not intelligent enough to participate, would you give up and go home or would you stand up and demand to be heard?

On October 30 at 7:00 p.m. you will get a chance to discuss these questions and many more with author and independent historian Diane Eickhoff at the Manhattan Public Library’s Good Books Club meeting.

Eickhoff will lead a discussion sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council entitled “Women Rising: How Kansas Women Gained the Vote, 1859-1912.” The discussion is based on research Eickhoff did when writing her book Revolutionary Heart:  The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women’s Rights.

Revolutionary Heart is the featured read for the October Good Books Club, and was named a Kansas Notable Book in 2007. This gripping and poignant work tells the story of a 19th century pioneer who was a passionate and tireless advocate for women’s rights and the abolitionist movement in Kansas.

Stop by the library to request a copy of Revolutionary Heart, or purchase a copy at the discussion. Participants in this Good Books Club event will get the chance to connect with other book lovers, explore local history, visit with the author, and get their books signed!

The Good Books Club is organized and facilitated by staff at the Manhattan Public Library. The club is free and open to the public. Meetings are held once a month to discuss intriguing books, enjoy delightful conversation, and sample delicious treats and refreshments.

The Kansas Humanities Council conducts and supports community-based programs, serves as a financial resource through an active grant-making program, and encourages Kansans to engage in the civic and cultural life of their communities.  For more information about KHC programs contact the Kansas Humanities Council at 785/357-0359 or visit online at


For more information about “Women Rising: How Kansas Women Gained the Vote, 1859-1912” or the Good Books Club, visit the Manhattan Public Library at 629 Poyntz Avenue, call (785) 776-4741. Find the library on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram, too.

Posted in: For Adults, For Teens, News

Leave a Comment (0) →

The Good Books Club

by Alphild Dick, Adult Services Librarian

It’s a natural order of events for a book lover. Go to the library, get books, look for a book club. The first two things are easy to accomplish, but it isn’t always easy to find a book club. In fact, one of the questions that we often get asked at Manhattan Public Library is whether we can  recommend a great local book club. Well, now we can!

Starting this fall, Manhattan Public Library has its very own book club here—The Good Books Club. Meeting at 7pm in the Groesbeck Room on the last Thursday of every month, The Good Books Club will feature delightful conversation with community members and local experts; intriguing books that are sure to capture your imagination; and delicious treats and refreshments. Everyone is invited!

Here are some of the upcoming titles for this fall, and their featured guests:

  • Revolutionary Heart by Diane Eickhoff: 19th century pioneer, Clarina Nichols, was a passionate and tireless advocate for women’s rights and the abolishionist movement. She was also a Kansan. Revolutionary Heart is an engaging, thought-provoking biography of this extraordinary woman who lived in a time when little was certain and battles were perilous. This book group discussion is sure to be amazing, especially because Diane Eickhoff, the author, will be joining us. This event is sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council and it’s not to be missed!
  • The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brian: Manhattan Public Library is participating in Kansas’ The Big Read this year, and we’re excited to feature the book, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brian. A moving portrait of the lives of soldiers serving in the Vietnam War, this book illuminates a part of our history that is fraught with complex emotions. There will be numerous events to highlight the book, including two book club meetings:
    • November 14th: Join us for a special evening of books, brews, and converation at the Little Apple Brewery. Starting at 6pm, the Books and Brew group will chat about The Things They Carried and enjoy some great food and company.
    • November 20th: Our final Good Books Club meeting for the fall, we will meet to discuss The Things They Carried. Refreshments will be provided.

Interested in joining us? Contact Manhattan Public Library to put a hold on one of the featured titles at 785-776-4741 ext. 141.

After the holidays, our book club meetings will resume on January 29 with and exploration of British Classics. The selected writers have delighted the minds, warmed the hearts, and frozen the blood of readers from every corner of the world.  Readers meeting to discuss these stories will travel back to the days when books were the center of conversation among friends and neighbors. How could you stay home?

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (1) →

September Construction Update

The Children’s Library is really shaping up! Everything is still on schedule to be completed in mid-December and the big party will happen on January 17, 2015–unless we’re in the middle of a giant snow storm, that is. (And if that’s the case, come out and party with us the following Saturday.)

exterior of new construction

Flooring and lights have been installed in the storytime room. We have visions of sweeping up glitter, laughing when kids spill glue, and running around like very happy librarians with space for all the kiddos, parents and strollers who come to storytime.

Rachel in the storytime room

New furniture has been arriving by the truckload. We’re unpacking very cool, blue, kid-sized chairs, giant pillows for the window seats, new storytime rugs, and puppet trees. Stay tuned for the play house, loft, and funky couch that will be arriving soon.

blue chairsand table








We also have a big stack of new computers to install. The new space will feature twelve brand-new computer stations with touch screens. Parents will be pleased to learn that each station has a 30 minute time limit. If no one is waiting in line, kids will be able to stay for an additional 30 minutes, however, the timer is also pretty handy for parents who want to say, “Okay, time’s up. Let’s go read a book outside!”

Laura with new computers

Which brings me to the patio and garden space. The fence is up and plants will be arriving soon. The big patio will let us hold storytime out in the sunshine and the sturdy fence will keep kiddos safe from cars.  We’ll have some very nice tables and chairs in place so you and your children will be able to relax enjoy a good book outdoors throughout the day, too.

patio as seen through the storytime room doors

Librarians have been organizing the children’s books into neighborhoods. Miss Rachel announced yesterday that she labeled the very last book! Here’s a preview of how things will look on the shelves. We hope books will be even easier for you to find.


Staff have been given a sneak peek of the new spaces and “ooohs and aaaaahs” were heard from everyone. Architects and construction crews have done a fantastic job creating a new children’s library we can all be proud of.

staff in the new library

Thank you for all the patience and support! I think you will be very impressed with the finished product, and I think kids are going to have a lot of fun reading at Manhattan Public Library.

If you have any questions about the project, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (785) 776-4741 ext. 125 or

Posted in: Children's Expansion, News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Pack the Kids in the Stroller and Roll on Over!

This Saturday, September 20 from 10 a.m. to noon, join us for the first ever Roll and Read day at the Riley County Family and Child Resource Center at 2101 Claflin Blvd.

Walk, push a stroller, or pull a wagon over a one-mile course, stopping along the way for three storytime stations.  This is a come-and-go event so please feel free to go at your own pace.  If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the event will be held indoors at the same location.

You are invited to listen to the stories at each station as a group or sit on a picnic blanket with your children and read one of the books provided.  One of Manhattan Public Library’s READ with Dogs volunteers will be there, too!  The first 200 children who attend (birth to pre-K) will receive a free book.

Officers from the Riley County Police Department will be on hand to provide free car seat safety checks in the parking lot, too.

Roll and Read was organized by USD 383 Parents as Teachers and sponsored by the Manhattan Public Library, RCPD, Raising Riley Right, and the Riley County Health Department.

For more information, contact, visit the Manhattan Public Library at 629 Poyntz Avenue, call (785) 776-4741, or visit the library’s events calendar.

Posted in: Children's Dept, News

Leave a Comment (0) →

How to Become a Lifelong Learner

By Danielle Schapaugh, Public Relations Coordinator

Wikipedia tells me that lifelong learning is the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons.” To me, it means becoming your own teacher, which I think is a wonderful and worthy thing to do.

But why would a person subject herself to teaching and learning after schooling is finished? Doesn’t “finishing” mean that you don’t have to read, write, or do arithmetic anymore?

Absolutely not! Even if you haven’t made a concentrated effort to bring learning into your life, you’ve been learning every day. You’ve made new discoveries and found new topics to excite your senses.

Learning is a vital part of being human; that’s why we aren’t born knowing how to do everything. So why not be proactive and teach yourself something that’s always piqued your curiosity? Also, the National Institute on Aging sites “engaging in social and intellectually stimulating activities” as an important part of preventing Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Plus, it feels really good to learn!

So, now that you’ve decided to try something new, the first thing you have to do is pick a subject. Have you always wanted to paint, make fire with sticks, or speak French? Start with something exciting and see where it leads you.

Next, it’s time to visit the library. You will find resources to study, as well as information about classes offered by local organizations, like UFM and the Manhattan Arts Center, and clubs and groups you can join.

But what if you can’t pick a topic or aren’t familiar with the library’s resources? Just talk to a librarian: we can help point you in the right direction. You can even get a customized list of titles to explore, on any subject you can imagine, with our reader’s advisory service.

Now here’s a secret weapon you might not have considered: the children’s library.  When I’m looking for something completely new, I start there because some of the very specialized research material can be a little dry and intimidating. I don’t necessarily want to read an esoteric paper about cumulonimbus clouds; I just want to know more about the weather. So, I slyly pretend I’m gathering books for children I don’t have and get an armful of fun subjects to explore.

Visiting the library is like building your brain muscles. No one ever says “I wish I hadn’t learned how to _______,” so spend a few minutes daydreaming about new subjects, then take the first steps to becoming your own teacher.

The library is also hosting a trial of the digital service from September 17-27, which offers thousands of video courses on topics ranging from Managing Stress to Responsive Web Design that you can explore on your own. To participate in the trial, call the library at 776-4741 ext. 120 and make an appointment.

There’s a whole world of ready information within your reach!

Posted in: Mercury Column

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 1 of 4 1234