Rolling Hills Consolidated Library

Library Updates

Adults can test their spelling chops March 10

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Admit it: You’ve long been out of high school, but you can’t help watching the National Spelling Bee on television and trying to prove your own illustriousness.

If you’re 21 or older, now you can win spelling glory for yourself and some consubstantial teammates in an Adult Spelling Bee on Saturday, March 10, at the library!

The spelling bee is the first Annual Library Fundraiser Bee sponsored by the Rolling Hills Library Foundation and the Friends of the Library. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Foundation’s endowment fund. Future bees will cover such topics as geography, history and general trivia.

Set for 6-8:30 p.m. in the Belt Branch Upper Story, 1906A N. Belt, the event will pit up to 10 teams of four to eight adults against each other through eight rounds. Teams will earn points for correct words spelled, with the words drawn from common adult spelling bee lists. Teams can purchase mulligans to earn and retain points even if they misspell a word.

The entry fee is $10 per team member and $5 for adult spectators, who can purchase mulligans to help their favorite teams. Because beer and wine will be sold at the event, spectators and team members must be 21 years or older.

The fundraising event will provide pizza, snacks and drinks for sale along with a 50/50 drawing and a raffle for a colorful bee quilt created by library staff members. The quilt will be on display at the Belt Branch, the Savannah Branch and and the Friends used bookstore, Books Revisited, before March 10 for the public to purchase raffle tickets.

Teams can register and pay their fees at Books Revisited. Spectator tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door.

Spelling bee rules and a registration form can be found with this postSPELLING-Rolling Hills Library Fundraiser Bee. For more information, call 205-7000.

The vanquishing conglomeration will receive a trophy and the consciousness of being grown-up spellers nonpareil in town!

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Library to open at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2

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Both branches of the library will open late on Friday, Feb. 2, so library staff can attend training classes in the morning.

The Belt Branch and the Savannah Branch will open at 1:30 p.m. and be open until 6 p.m. that day. They will be open for regular hours on Saturday, Feb. 3.

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African American Read-In planned for Feb. 6

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Rolling Hills Library will mark February being Black History Month with an African American Read-In on Tuesday, Feb. 6, that features local residents reading from some notable and favorite books.

From 5 to 8 p.m. at the Belt Branch, residents including St. Joseph City Councilwoman Joyce Starr, Kim Warren and LaToya Fitzpatrick and others will read from African American literature, including history, poetry, children’s books and contemporary pieces.

The public is invited to drop in or stay for the entire program while enjoying a small buffet meal and fellowship.


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Adult Winter Reading Program set to begin

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Reading fans ages 18 and older can win prizes in January and February for taking part in the 2018 Adult Winter Reading Program.

“Color Your Winter RE(a)D” is the theme for the program that asks participants to complete a literary bingo by reading five books from a color-themed reading log/bingo card. Participants can read five topics in a row or choose any five subjects to score a bingo.

Reading topics include such themes as “Book with a Black Cover,” “Green Writers – Debut Author,” “Silver Screen – Books to Movies,” “Red Hot Romance” and “Cure the Winter Blues – Humorous Stories.” Other topics are biographies of an artist, authors of color and Missouri authors. The free space is re-reading a favorite book.

Participants can pick up a log any time during January and February at the Belt Branch, Savannah Branch or the Bookmobile. Once they score a bingo, they will receive an invitation to a program party, a free book, a library mug (for the first 200 finishers) and will be entered in a prize drawing.

Prizes in the drawing will be awarded at each branch (Belt, Savannah and Bookmobile) and include grand prizes of $50 gift cards, second-place prizes of an adult coloring book and gel pen set and third place prizes of $10 gift certificates to Books Revisited.

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Christmas events featuring Santa set for Dec. 2-6

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Children and their camera-toting elders will have several chances to visit with Santa Claus in the early days of December at the library.

The fun begins with “Breakfast with Santa” from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Belt Branch. A free breakfast of doughnuts, yogurt, fruit and drinks will be served in the Community Room. Children can create holiday crafts in the CreateSpace and visit with Santa in the Story House. Mrs. Claus also will be on hand for special Storytimes.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, and at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, the Andrew County Parents as Teachers will host “Stories with Santa” at the Savannah Branch. Preschool-aged children and their siblings will sing songs, hear stories, make crafts, enjoy snacks and visit with Santa.

Laying a finger to his nose and nodding his head, Santa also will appear at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, at the Belt Branch for “Storytime with Santa,” where more books will be read and crafts made.

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Halloween parties in works; costumes sought

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The library is preparing for its annual Halloween parties, and part of the festivities include giving away gently-worn costumes that youths can keep for their own trick-or-treating.

The Belt Branch will stage Boofest from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Kids of all ages can enjoy safe trick-or-treating, games and crafts. The Kiwanis Club will serve a free hot-dog lunch to the first 200 children.

Youths who don’t have costumes can visit “Uncle Fester’s Closet” to pick out free costumes they can wear to Boofest and keep to wear on Halloween. The free giveaway features gently used and some new costumes and costume pieces that have been donated to the library. The closet opens at 10:30 a.m. and will be open throughout the party.

Costumes — either complete sets or parts such as fairy wings and astronaut gloves — can be donated until Oct. 28 at the Belt Branch or the Savannah Branch.

The Savannah Branch will have its Halloween open house from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, with safe trick-or-treating, Halloween stories and a treasure hunt in the library stacks. Library staff will pass out treats to children until the library closes at 8 p.m.

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Volunteer Opportunity

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Volunteers are needed to help staff The Amazing Castle™ exhibit in the Belt Branch Upper Story now through Jan. 5. Volunteers would act as greeters and monitor activity inside the exhibit. Individuals and civic organizations are invited to apply by contacting Hans Bremer at 205-7125.

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Children will learn while playing at castle exhibit

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The latest traveling exhibit coming to the Belt Branch Upper Story will transport children and families to a magical place and time – inside a castle’s stone walls where a peaceful community exists and everyone has a special job to do.

Opening Friday, Sept. 22, and continuing through Jan. 5, 2018, The Amazing Castle™ is designed for families and school groups with children ages 2 to 8 years old but can be enjoyed by all ages.

The free exhibit will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Thursdays; and 1-5 p.m. Sundays in the Upper Story, 1906A N. Belt, which is upstairs from the Belt Branch. A grand opening is planned for 5-7 p.m. Sept. 22, and other special programs are being planned in conjunction with the exhibit.

“We are happy to present this early-learning experience for our community and think children and families will be delighted with it,” Rolling Hills Library Director Michelle Mears said. “It also will be a great learning experience that day-care centers and schools can visit.”

The exhibit features eight themed areas where children can don costumes and engage in role-playing by becoming lords and ladies, villagers and even a court jester. Visitors can try their hands in royal workshops where a blacksmith, tailor, gardener, cook and others work and visit a tower where a sleeping dragon resides.

Upon entering the castle, visitors will find graphic panels that introduce Lord Ben and Lady Evolent and the castle community. A large book that tells the castle’s story is nearby for visitors to read.

Children can play with a castle-inspired dollhouse and build their own fortress out of “stone” blocks. Friends and family can take a seat at the royal table in the Great Hall while children prepare a meal using food from the royal pantry and garden. Then they can become castle entertainers in the royal puppet theater and dress up in costumes to model in a distorted mirror.

Before they leave, children can try to wake Herald the Dragon, who has important announcements to make but keeps falling asleep.

No matter if they visit once or many times, each trip through The Amazing Castle™ will be a unique learning experience. The exhibit was created by the Minnesota Children’s Museum with funding from Curtis and Marjorie Nelson and The Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation.

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Library programs taking hiatus in August, Sept.

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Just like it’s difficult for a mechanic to work on a car while it’s going down the road, it’s not easy for librarians to evaluate and improve the programs they offer to the public while still putting on multiple events every week.

That’s why Rolling Hills Library is taking a programming break in August and September. Except for two eclipse programs on Aug. 19, the library will not offer public programs from Aug. 1 until mid-September.

“A lot of stuff happens in a public library that the public never sees,” Library Director Michelle Mears says. “When it comes to programs, the people who attend usually don’t know how much time and effort goes into planning and preparing for them. Right now, our programs are relatively successful, with adequate attendance and good reviews from patrons.”

The break will be used to gather information, to discuss ideas and to make plans for improving programs. The library is updating its strategic plan and wants to align programs with that plan and is also considering how to take programs outside the normal space of the library.

“Taking this short break will give us the time we need to become more efficient and to offer even more creative and meaningful programs to our patrons,” Mears says.

Programs will return in mid-September with the opening of a traveling exhibit for children and families in the Belt Branch Upper Story. “The Amazing Castle” is an early-learning exhibit from the Minnesota Children’s Museum that allows children to play in a medieval setting with costumes and props to learn about communities and enhance their imaginative play.

The exhibit will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from Sept. 22 through Jan. 5 for families, daycare centers and schools to visit. Other library programming, such as Storytimes and reading groups, will resume the week of Sept. 24.

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  • Hours

    Belt Branch

    M-Thu 9am-9pm
    F-Sat 9am-6pm
    Sun 1pm-5pm

    Savannah Branch

    M, W, F 9am-6pm
    T, Thu 9am-8pm
    Sat 9am-5pm
    Sun 1pm-5pm

  • Get in touch


    Belt 816.232.5479
    Savannah 816.324.4569
    Bookmobile 816.205.7100
    Admin Offices 816.236.2106