Pratt Public Library meets school and community needs

Hogan Thompson
Pratt Tribune
Meriam Thompson reads a book at the Prat Public Library.

The Pratt Public Library keeps providing many programs during the COVID-19 pandemic that benefit both students and community members.

To meet local needs during these challenging times, the library provides free wireless Internet, bottled water and healthy snacks for the children, as well as online programs.

Pratt Public Library employees Eric Killough and Derese McAbee gave information on services the library offers.

“The library has a story walk in Lemon Park. We provide a brand new hardbound Curious George or Dr. Suess book to every newborn in the hospital, and the MakerZone is providing takeout craft kits,” said Eric Killough, director.

The library has a Spanish-language newspaper and is building a Hispanic book collection. An in-library tutoring program is offered, and the library has partnered with Blythe Family Fitness to sponsor 20 children in Jack’s After-school Program.

“We have had to recreate the way we present our programs, which is fun, having an opportunity to learn new ways of doing things,” Killough said.  “COVID-19 has definitely changed the way we do things, and some changes will stay even after the pandemic is over.”

Some events coming soon to the Pratt Public Library include pumpkin carving and decorating sessions. The schedule for these, and other library eevnt sessions can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

“There is Monday pumpkin decorating, on the 5th, 12th, and 19th of October. It is $5 a pumpkin, with no registry. We have 100 pumpkins ready; just come and create!” said Derese McAbee. “In November Author Kim Vogel-Sawyer will be coming to the library, and local veterans will host a book discussion.”

The discussion will be over the book, When Hell Was in Session by Jeremiah Denton.

Even in the middle of COVID-19 the Pratt Public Library delivers activities and sponsorships to free GED study books to the Pratt County jail. Killough said that even if they have to shut down because of positive coronavirus case percentrages, the library will do what they can, offering WiFi for the public and if necessary delivering books themselves. 

“If we did shut down again, we would find a way to provide the community with books. If it came down to it, I would find a way to deliver them myself without putting others at risk,” Killough said.