Rolling Hills Consolidated Library

Library Updates

Eclipse programs planned for Aug. 19 at Belt Branch

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To prepare patrons for the total solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, we will be handing out free eclipse glasses in August and will have two programs to help explain and prepare for the celestial event.

The glasses will be available at the Belt Branch, the Savannah Branch and from the Bookmobile beginning Aug. 1 and will be distributed in limited amounts.

The free programs are planned for Saturday, Aug. 19, in the Belt Branch Upper Story.

At 11 a.m., Mad Science of Kansas City will present an interactive program for kids about space using several booths to teach about the sun, moon, stars, planets and atmosphere. Kids also will make pin-hole viewers to use for safely watching the eclipse.

At 2 p.m., retired Northwest Missouri State University physics professor Dr. John Shaw will present “The Nature of Solar Eclipses,” discussing how eclipses occur and offering tips for viewing the celestial event.

On Aug. 21, the Belt Branch will begin showing a short documentary about eclipse chasers at 10 a.m. in the Community Room and repeat the video throughout the day. The main areas of the Belt and Savannah branches will be closed 12:30-1:30 p.m. so staff and patrons can be outside to view the eclipse totality that begins at 1:06 p.m. Library lobbies will remain open to provide restrooms and cool places for patrons to relax.




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Sign-up starts May 15 for 2017 Summer Reading

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A juggler, birds of prey, science experiments, fun music and one exuberant snake handler are just some of the highlights of a packed calendar of activities for the 2017 Summer Reading Program at Rolling Hills Library.

“Build a Better World” is the theme of the annual reading extravaganza for youths and adults from June 5 through July 28. Participants will win prizes for reading, with the grand prize being three $100 Walmart gift cards.

Sign-up begins May 15 at the Belt Branch, Savannah Branch and Bookmobile. Participants will set their own reading goals for the number of pages, minutes or books read and keep track of their progress on reading logs.

A four-page calendar brochure also will help them keep track of the many programs and events being offered. The events can be found online at

The summer gets off to a flying start on Monday, June 5, when Operation Wildlife, a wild animal rescue and rehabilitation organization from Linwood, Kan., presents a program about raptors and brings live birds to the library. The presentations are set for 11 a.m. in the Belt Branch Upper Story and 2 p.m. at the Savannah Branch.

Other major events include Touch-a-Truck events on June 12, juggler Brian Wendling on June 19, Mad Science of Kansas City on June 26, singer Rockin’ Rob on July 10 and reptile handler Serengeti Steve on July 24.

Rolling Hills will be going out to the ol’ ballpark on Friday, June 9, when we set up a table at the St. Joseph Mustangs game at Phil Welch Stadium to sign up fans for the Summer Reading Program and library cards. Fans who show their library cards will be able to play Plinko to win prizes.

Teens and adults have their own programs during the summer. Some of the events planned for teens include craft classes, a kite class, a cooking class and a book discussion for the novel “The Last Light.” Adult events include nights for playing mahjongg or chess and checkers, board game nights and a computer class for creating personal websites.

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Friends taking bus trip to Independence

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The Friends of the Library are planning a motor coach tour to Independence, Mo., on May 8 to visit several historic sites, including the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library.

Truman was born May 8 in Lamar, Mo., and moved to Independence with his family when he was 6 years old. He would call Independence his hometown for the rest of his life.

The daylong trip will leave from the Belt Branch at 8:30 a.m. and return at 6 p.m. Other stops in Independence include the 1859 Old Jail, Marshal’s Home and Museum, the National Frontier Trails Museum and lunch at the Italian restaurant Café Verona. The day will end with a glass of wine at the Top Hat Winery.

The trip, which is a fundraising project for the Friends, costs $125 per person and covers museum fees, lunch, wine tasting, luxury motor coach transportation and driver gratuity.

Registration forms can be picked up at the Belt and Savannah branches as well as at Books Revisited. The deadline to sign up and submit full payment is Friday, April 28. Participants can pay in person at Books Revisited or mail in their payments to Friends of the Library, 1912 N. Bely, St. Joseph, MO 64506.


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It’s tax time, and library can help with 2016 forms

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If you need help in filing your 2016 state and federal income taxes, the library can provide some assistance.

We have federal forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ and their instruction booklets for you to take home. We also have three-ring notebooks that contain instruction booklets and tax forms that you can check out for one week. Check their availability status in the library catalog or ask at the front desk of either branch.

Three-ring notebooks for Missouri income tax forms also are available for you to MAKE COPIES FROM. Available forms include MO-1040, 1040A, 1040P and a variety of others.

If you would like personal assistance in preparing your tax forms, AARP provides free preparation help at several locations in northwest Missouri, including the Belt Branch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays from through April 11. Please call (816) 809-2975 to schedule an appointment. More information is available at

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs also are offering free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. Sites include InterServe RSVP, 200 Cherokee St., in St. Joseph through April 15 (call 816-238-4511 to make appointments) and Andrew County RSVP, 12737 State Route E, in Savannah through April 11 (call 816-324-5634 to make appointments).

If you want to prepare your taxes yourself, you have a couple of options:

  • You can download and print forms using your computer. Federal forms are available at and Missouri state forms can be found at Use the search box at the top of either page to find the form you need. If you don’t have a home computer, use one of our public computers or ask a librarian for help. Prints cost 15 cents per page at the library.
  • Order paper forms to be sent to your home. Visit or call 1-800-829-3676 to request paper copies of federal forms. For Missouri forms, call 1-800-877-6881.
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Savannah Branch will reopen Feb. 18

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More time is needed to complete the remodeling project of the Savannah Branch, so the grand reopening is being rescheduled to Saturday, Feb. 18.

The branch has been closed since Jan. 7, and the original plan for the project was to reopen on Saturday, Feb. 11. The day-long open house will begin now at 10 a.m. Feb. 18.

The extra time is needed for construction work, carpet cleaning and moving all 60,000 items in the Savannah collection into their new locations, library Director Michelle Mears said.

The remodeling will flip the library’s floor plan, moving youth materials to the north side of the building and the adult materials to the south side. Two new study rooms are being added along with a designated teen area. A new Circulation Desk is being built along with a permanent wall between the Community Room and the library.

During the remodeling, the Bookmobile will be parked at the Savannah Branch from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and 3 to 5 p.m. Thursdays to serve patrons. Patrons can pick up items they have placed holds on at the Bookmobile.

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Mears to discuss plans for Savannah project

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Rolling Hills Library Director Michelle Mears will have an informational meeting about the upcoming remodeling project for the Savannah Branch at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, at the branch.

Mears will show project plans, describe the changes being made and answer questions from the public. Refreshments will be served.

The Savannah Branch will be closed Jan. 7 through Feb. 10 to allow construction work to proceed without inconveniencing library users. While the library is closed, the Bookmobile will be at the library 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and 3-5 p.m. Thursdays to serve patrons.

The $200,000 project will flip the library’s floor plan to put the children’s and teen areas on the north side and the adult materials on the south side. A new information desk will be built along with a dedicated teen space and two new study rooms. A new permanent wall with glass doors will separate the Community Room from the library, replacing the existing folding wall. Walls will be painted bold colors after the existing wallpaper is removed, and energy-efficient LED lighting will be installed throughout the building.



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Remodeling project set for Savannah Branch

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The Savannah Branch will close in January to undergo a $200,000 remodeling project that will rearrange the library’s floor plan while adding two new study rooms, a designated teen area, energy-efficient lighting and new furniture in bold colors.

The library will close at the end of the business day Friday, Jan. 6, and will reopen Saturday, Feb. 11. While it is closed, Savannah patrons will be served by the Bookmobile, which will be parked at the library 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursdays.

Rolling Hills Library Director Michelle Mears said the decision was made to close the Savannah Branch so construction workers could do their work more quickly and so patrons would not be inconvenienced by the construction work.

The project will move the children’s and teen areas to the north side of the building and the adult materials to the south side. A new information desk will be built along with a permanent wall with glass doors to separate the Community Room from the main library. The wall will replace an existing folding wall.

Walls will be painted bold colors after the existing wallpaper is removed and LED lighting will be installed throughout the building. Another wall will be built to designate a new teen area that will have study tables, computer desks and comfortable seating.

The branch was previously remodeled in 2002, so the look and design are 14 years old and ready for a redo.

“It’s a true makeover,” Mears said. “Sometimes, when you move the furniture around in your home, it can give you a new perspective. We should get that in regards to patrons seeing and using our collection and services.”

About $155,000 for the project comes from two donations to the Savannah Branch.

In 2012, the library received $186,400 from the estate of California resident Margaret Perry, who would visit the library as a girl while visiting her grandparents in Savannah. Some of that gift has been used already to make repairs and do upgrades, including the building’s new exterior murals.

Another $9,000 for the project comes from the estate of longtime Savannah resident Winifred McCauley, who died in May.

Much of the library’s $45,000 contribution will pay for the LED lighting. Not only with the new lights be more energy efficient, but they will produce less heat, which means it will take less air conditioning to cool the library. The library also will receive a rebate from KCP&L for installing the new fixtures.





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Library seeking gifts for those in need

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This holiday season, library staff are asking patrons to help provide clothing, personal care items and other gifts for people in need.

Giving Trees where patrons can leave their donations are in place at the Belt and Savannah branches.

The Savannah Branch is collecting hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, socks and underwear in adult and children’s sizes to give to Andrew County charities. Canned and boxed food items also will be accepted.

The Belt Branch is collecting items for the YWCA Women’s Shelter, where women and more than 20 children up to 15 years old are temporarily living. Patrons can pick up paper Christmas ornaments with gift ideas at the Belt Branch and return the items to the library. The gifts should be new and unwrapped.


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Kids, families can have breakfast with Santa

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Santa Claus is coming to …. the Belt Branch!

Children and families can have breakfast with Santa as well as make crafts, have their faces painted and attend special Storytimes from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, in the Belt Branch Upper Story, 1906A N. Belt. Parents will be able to take pictures of their children with Santa, and all children will go home with a free book.

The program is a come-and-go event and will serve fruit, drinks and doughnuts from Cardinal Country Bakery. No sign-up is required.

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Books Revisited having annual Christmas sale

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DEC. 13!

Books Revisited, the Friends of the Library used bookstore, is a great place to find gently used holiday books and regular books, DVDs and CDs to give as presents this holiday season!

The 12 Days of Christmas Sale through Dec. 12 offers these incredible deals:

  • 1-5 –Christmas items cost $2 for hardback books, $1 for paperbacks and $1 for DVDs and CDs.
  • 6-7 – Christmas items marked down 50 percent.
  • 8 – Buy 2 mass market paperbacks and get 1 free.
  • 9 – Buy 1 mass market paperback and get 1 free.
  • 10 – 25 percent off all merchandise.
  • 11-12 – 50 percent off all merchandise.

Books Revisited is located at 1208 N. Belt, upstairs from the Belt Branch and next door to PepperJax Grill. You can also find us on Facebook.

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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