Hays Public Library serves the community through programming

BY CORIE LYNN

In Hays, America, there is no shortage of things to do.

Every week is filled with sporting events, from high school to college, and live music, while downtown Hays boasts plenty of shopping from local businesses.

Residents and Fort Hays State University students alike share a week packed full events. The Hays Public Library, however, is no stranger to this busy schedule.

According to Abby Artz, the Adult Services Programming Coordinator at the HPL, the library’s goal is to improve guests’ quality of life and creativity as well as to expand their knowledge through resources and experiences.

“The library hosts a wide variety of events that align with that mission in order to not solely entertain, but to also educate and inform patrons,” she said.

For this reason, the Hays Public Library has a wide variety of programming to meet the needs of each of its patrons.

“From presentations [and] discussions with local community members and business owners, to crafts and holiday events, to music festivals, the library is an eclectic and progressive hub for the community,” Artz said.

Because of this range of programming, the library is able to cater each event to a certain age range.

Movie Fridays, for example, and hosted specifically for teens and young adults while the Introduction to Tarot on October 9 was planned with college students in mind.

The community takes an interest in each of the events the library staff plans, but patrons do seem to have favorites.

According to Artz, the most popular events are the annual holiday programs, which include its recent Oktoberfest.

Held on October 6, guests enjoyed German food, the live music of The Hotshots and polka dancing.

“I do enjoy polka music and I think this is a great event for people who maybe won’t go to Oktoberfest downtown at the park,” said Jolene Windholz, a teacher who also utilizes the library for her classroom.

Another of the library’s more popular programs is the Summer Reading event. Last summer, though, patrons utilized more than the reading program.

“The library was lucky to host the USD 489 Summer Lunch Program this past summer, so among that awesome program and the summer reading activities in each department, we had nearly 15,000 people through the doors,” Artz said.

According to Artz, it is outreach and programming such as this puts the Hays Public Library within the community.

“The wide variety of events held make it a place for everyone to feel welcome and engaged,” she said.
The library’s full calendar of events can be found on its website. The staff also welcomes suggestions for future programming.

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