Lives Change @your library

One of my favorite things I loved to do when I was growing up in Stockton, Kansas was to visit the public library. It is a beautiful brick building that is an original Carnegie Library. A new addition funded by money given by Stockton residents Frank and Marvel Walker was added on the south end of the original library in 1984. The addition now holds the books and other materials while the Carnegie building is used as a reading area and for exhibits and meetings. After working here at Forsyth Library for a number of years, I visited that library of my childhood. One of my first thoughts was “oh, it never seemed this small when I was a little girl!”

I remember going to this library to read my favorite magazines and check out the new books. My parents were both educators who taught my sisters and me the importance of reading in your everyday life. I still love to read, and today we have options that I never would have dreamed about as a little girl. Today I can check out a book from the library and download it onto my Nook or I can do it the old fashioned way by checking out the paper copy of a book. You can check out audio tapes and listen to a book as you drive in your car. Music CDs and movies on DVD that can be checked out – for free with a library card! All libraries have computers to access various databases that are subscribed to by each individual library, or you can access the Internet.

April 13-19 is National Library Week and the theme is “Lives Change @ your library”. There are a number of different ways that you can share how libraries have changed your life.

If you Tweet, use the hashtag #LivesChange and #NLW14
Snap a library selfie in a library and share it on your Twitter or Facebook account and use @forsythlibrary
Sign the Declaration for the Right to Libraries
Post on the FHSU Forsyth Library and Learning Commons Facebook page

How has a library changed your life? Share your stories with us!


Memorial Day – Remember the Fallen

Memorial Day is May 28 this year, and here are some web sites that provide information on the holiday and why and how we celebrate it.

From the Library of Congress, the Veterans History Project aims to collect, preserve and make accessible the personal accounts of veterans so that they will never be forgotten.

Rolling Thunder passed by Hays yesterday, May 20, as the motorcyclists made their way on Interstate 70 towards Washington D.C.

Every year, PBS broadcasts the National Memorial Day concert. Hosted by Gary Sinese and Joe Mantegna, the show this will feature Daughtry, Natalie Cole, “American Idol” finalist Jessica Sanchez, and Trace Adkins. The concert will be broadcast on May 27 from 7:00 to 8:30 (Central Time) on your local PBS station.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs has a history of Memorial Day on its web site.

This same web site also provides the history behind those “red” flowers known as poppies which became the official Memorial Day flower.

The VFW’s Buddy Poppy program distributes the red poppies that are made by disabled and needy veterans.

May you celebrate Memorial Day as a remembrance of the veterans who gave their lives while serving our country. Here are some ways you may participate:

  • Place flags or flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers at your local cemetery.
  • Fly the American flag at half-staff until noon.
  • Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 pm. Pause and think upon the meaning of Memorial Day.
  • Attend your local Memorial Day events.
  • Buy a poppy from your local VFW.
  • Visit a local memorial.


Name That Tune (A Christmas Version)

Name That Tune (A Christmas Version)
Test your “Christmas Song” knowledge with this short quiz.




1.  “I still want a hula hoop.”

  • All I Want for Christmas
  • I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
  • Chipmunks Christmas Song
  • A Visit From St. Nicholas

 2.  “May your days be merry and bright
 And may all your Christmases be white.”

  • Home for the Holidays
  • White Christmas
  • Greatest Gift of All
  • Do They Know It’s Christmas

 3.  “In the meadow we can build a snowman
 Then pretend that he is Parson Brown.”

  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Let It Snow
  • It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
  • Winter Wonderland

 4.  “Through the years we all will be together
 If the fates allow.”

  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  • Auld Lang Syne
  • Last Christmas
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas

 5.  “He’s got a bag that is filled with toys
 For the boys and girls again.”

  • Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  • Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
  • Here Comes Santa Claus
  • Santa Baby

 6.  “I wouldn’t touch you with a 
Thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole!”

  • Must Be Santa
  • Where Are you Christmas
  • Nuttin’ For Christmas
  • Mr. Grinch

 7.  “Down thru’ the chimney with lots of toys
All for the little ones Christmas joys.”

  • Here Comes Santa Claus
  • A Visit from St. Nicholas
  • Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
  • Up on the Housetop

8.  “He’s making a list and checking it twice;
 Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice.”

  • Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
  • Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town
  • Here Comes Santa Claus
  • Mr. Grinch

9.  “There must have been some magic
 In that old silk hat they found.”

  • Frosty the Snowman
  • A Visit from St. Nicholas
  • With Bells On
  • It’s a Marshmallow World

10. “You can say there’ no such thing as Santa,
 But as for me and grandpa we believe.”

  • Surf’s Up Santa
  • Rocking Around the Christmas Tree
  • Nuttin’ for Christmas
  • Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer

 11. “And when you walk down the street
Say Hello to friends you know”

  • Pine Cones and Holly Berries
  • Let It Snow
  • Home For the Holidays
  • Holly Jolly Christmas

 12. “Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree.”

  • I’ll Be Home for Christmas
  • Home for the Holidays
  • It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
  • O Christmas Tree

 13. “Outside the snow is falling
And friends are calling ‘You Hoo’”

  • Sleigh Ride
  • Silver Bells
  • Baby It’s Cold Outside
  • White Christmas

 14.  “A bundle of toys he had flung on his back
And he looked like a peddlar just opening his pack.”

  • Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
  • Here Comes Santa Claus
  • A Visit from St. Nicholas
  • Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

 15. “Glad Tidings for Christmas
And a happy New Year!”

  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  • Angels We Have Heard On High
  • Hark the Herald Angels Sing
  • Do You Hear What I Hear

Answers are:
1.  Chipmunks Christmas Song
2.  White Christmas
3.  Winter Wonderland
4.  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
5.  Here Comes Santa Claus
6.  Mr. Grinch
7.  Up On the Housetop
8.  Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
9.  Frosty the Snowman
10. Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer
11. Holly Jolly Christmas
12. I’ll Be Home for Christmas
13. Sleigh Ride
14. A Visit From St. Nicholas
15.  We Wish You a Merry Christmas

 Happy Holidays Everyone!!       J.A.S.

Remembering Jordan Boor

While the academic year at Forsyth Library has yet again begun with optimism and enthusiasm, our usual excitement is dimmed a little this year at the news of the passing of one of our students. Jordan Boor worked last year in the Learning Commons, and was one of the friendly faces visitors to Forsyth Library would see immediately as they walked through the front doors. Anyone who came to the Learning Commons for help on Jordan’s shift would remember him as knowledgeable and eager to help. Jordan had a special gift for trouble-shooting and for technology – his steadfast refusal to give up on a problem astounded and delighted the students and staff who came to him for help.

On the other side of the desk, Jordan’s fellow student workers and the professional staff at Forsyth were treated to a co-worker with a bright smile, a funny story, and a technology tip at the ready.  Throughout the year I spent as his supervisor, I was continually impressed by his innovative approach to his work and his dedication to helping people. Jordan was an integral part of making the Learning Commons a friendly place to visit and a positive voice for technology on campus. His last shift before summer break sums up his attitude and work ethic: hearing about a staff software problem just before we began our end-of-year party, he voluntarily – and without an ounce of negativity – ran across campus and solved the issue before returning to our festivities.

As a newcomer to Kansas who had never worked at a university before, I had a few questions about what I would find in Hays and at FHSU. Although many people helped me see the beauty in the state, the city and the campus, Jordan had an infectious enthusiasm for each that made me appreciate their special charm even more. Among the lessons Jordan taught me were:

  • always keep a coat in the truck, you never know when the weather’s going to change
  • the restart rule applies to all technology, not just computers
  • order the sauerkraut pizza from Lomato’s – you won’t be sorry

Jordan will be missed – and remembered with warm hearts – across campus, in the library, and, especially, in the Learning Commons.


I Can’t Get You Out of My Mind

If you’re a music lover like me, you’ll find that some days you just can’t seem to get rid of a tune that magically pops into your head.  You’re not always sure where it came from, but it’s there, and now you can’t get rid of it.  Know the feeling?

Right now, I can’t seem to get “summer” off of my mind, and maybe that’s why George Gershwin’s old tune of “Summertime” keeps playing in my mind.  Summertime–You know, that magical time of year for vacations, summer festivals, fairs, amusement parks, beaches, swimming, camping, rafting, fishing, dancing, and all that other fun stuff.  The myth of summer is defnitely hard to shake off if you’re working for a living, taking classes through the Virtual College, or getting bogged down with that summer time project that has to “get done” this year.  Although you’re trying your best, you just can’t help but think of past pleasant summer memories when the “the livin’ was easy.”

So–what are your favorite top 10 songs that remind you of summer? 

Some of mine from the fifties were:  Summertime, Summertime (The Jamies); Love Letters in the Sand Pat Boone); Yakety Yak (The Coasters); Summertime Blues (Eddie Cochran); Don’t be Cruel and Hound Dog (Elvis Presley); and (We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock (Bill Haley & His Comets).

Some of the sixties tunes I liked were: California Girls, Wouldn’t It Be Nice, and I Get Around (The Beach Boys); All You Need Is Love  and a Hard Day’s Night (The Beatles); Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (Frankie Valli); This Guy’s in Love with You (Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass); See You in September (The Happenings); Summer in the City (The Lovin’ Spoonful); Heat Wave (Martha and the Vandellas); Wipe Out (The Surfaris); The Twist (Chubby Checker); Stand By Me (Ben E. King); I Got You Babe (Sonny and Cher); Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini (Brian Hyland); and The Theme from a Summer Place (Percy Faith).  

Seventies tunes that put me in that summer mood include: Summer Breeze (Seals and Crofts); Imagine (John Lennon); (They Long to Be) Close to You (The Carpenters); Summer Nights and You’re the One that I Want (John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John);  and Sealed with a Kiss (Brian Hyland).

Some of my favorite summer eighties tunes are: Kokomo (The Beach Boys); Every Breath You Take (The Police); The Loco-Motion (Kylie Minogue); Rhythm Is Gonna Get You (Gloria Estefan, The Miami Sound Machine); On the Road Again (Willie Nelson); Memory (Barbra Streisand); Private Eyes (Daryl Hall & John Oates); Against All Odds-Take a Look at Me Now (Phil Collins); Xanadu (Olivia Newton-John); The Lady in Red (Chris DeBurgh); Arthur’s Theme-Best That You Can Do (Christopher Cross); Lady (Kenny Rogers); For Your Eyes Only (Sheena Easton), and Hungry Eyes (Eric Carmen).

I could go on and on but I think you’re beginning to get the idea.  By now you’re probably beginning to hum a few tunes yourself and being the music lover that I am, I’ll probably join right in.

Hmmmmmm.  Now, where’s that project that I have to work on??????  J.A.S.

A Stroll Through Memory Lane

A couple of weeks ago, two of my library friends and I walked across campus to see the newly renovated Picken Hall.  We went into the east entrance where we saw two touch screen TV’s, three computers, and an elevator.  Walking up the steps to the second floor, we saw some beautiful stained glass windows and offices for Admissions, Admission Counselors, Financial Assistance, and Scholarship Services.  The third floor housed offices for the Registrar, Academic Advising and Career Exploration, Student Fiscal Services, and the Graduate School.  The Kelly Center, Drug and Alcohol Wellness Network, Testing Services and Prometric Testing Center, and Student Study Commons/Computer Lab were some of the services located on the first floor.  There were also spaces reserved for Conference and Seminar Rooms.

Although it was great to see the “new” Picken, it also sparked memories of the “old” Picken.  I had taken a variety of classes that were held in this building when I was a student during the 60’s.  We also had band practice on the third floor on the southwest side of the building where the Registrar’s Office is now located.  The floors no longer creaked, and all appearances of former classrooms had been erased.  Although I was standing in the middle of a newly designed building, I knew in my heart that I would never forget the “old” Picken and the faces of friends who I oftentimes saw in those halls.

As far as history is concerned, Picken Hall was the first building on the campus of the Western Branch of the Kansas State Normal School (now Fort Hays State University).  It was built in 1904 and was known as the “Administration Building.”  In 1909, it was renamed “Picken Hall” in honor of Principal William S. Picken who was the school’s first administrator.  Two wings were added in 1908, a lily pond was constructed on the east side of the building in 1922, and the stately columns on the west were added in 1926.

Picken Hall has been remodeled on several occasions throughout the years in order to accommodate classroom changes, services, and activities.  At one time, the library was located in Picken which also had displays of natural history specimens.  Plays were held in the Picken Hall Gymnasium.  Then when World War II was over, the campus was swamped with servicemen who came back home to continue their education.  Since few classrooms were available and there was a shortage of teachers, classes were oftentimes held in the halls.  During the flood of 1951, the first floor of Picken was completely flooded.  Since the damage was so great, the state architect recommended that it should be temporarily used and then replaced as soon as possible.  However, this did not come to pass, and Picken Hall has continued to be an important landmark for Fort Hays State University.    –J.A.S.

Is Winter Gone for Good?

I know that the calendar says that it’s spring, but since we had snow this last weekend I’m not so sure.

I’ve always hated winter.  I think this idea started when we had a terrible blizzard in the 1950’s.  My parents, sister, and I were living in the country, and we depended on a road grader to clear our country roads.  Although this generally took a few days, we stayed snowed in a lot longer than usual during this particular incident.  Since our farmhouse was located 1/4 to 1/2 mile from the country road and our 4 wheel drive jeep couldn’t make it to the snowplowed road, we had to place groceries and other supplies on a wooden sled and pull it to and from the main road.  As you can imagine, these were not “fun” trips.

Nighttime wasn’t fun either.  We used a kerosene lamp for light.  Since my parents had lived many years without electricity, they didn’t seem to mind it.  However, this was new to me, and I hated the dark.  Although I hadn’t heard of the term “depression” before, I’m sure that I was depressed during this time.  As far as I was concerned, light was a necessity.

The relentless cold was another factor.  If you’ve ever experienced living in a place with no central heat or air conditioning, I think you’re beginning to get the picture.  Keeping 4 of the 20 rooms in an old Kansas limestone house warm was impossible with only two small propane stoves.  We had to sleep in unheated bedrooms too so by the time I got up in the morning I was almost warm enough to sleep.

So as you can see, I really enjoy looking at pictures of lovely snow scenes, but I have too many memories from the past to enjoy winter.

Hurry up Spring!  J.A.S.