From the Stacks
By Carol Ann Robb, PPL Reference Librarian
Many years ago, I suspect it might have been 1996 or thereabouts (it was before, maybe early into the building project), two women came into the library to look around. I asked if I could help and they told me they were in town to explore and get information for a travel guide. So even though it was closing time, I wanted the library to get good press, so I stayed as long as they needed and answered their questions as best I could. And, of course, one of them was “Annie’s or Mary’s?” (I’m not telling for fear of alienating half of my audience).
That was my introduction to Marci Penner and Wendee Rowe, probably the best ambassadors for Kansas, and I’ve been a fan ever since (because yes, they say good things about PPL). In fact, they are favorites of librarians across the state because not only do they like libraries, they understand our value, especially in small, rural communities. Their mission, through the Kansas Sampler Foundation, is to promote, preserve, and sustain rural culture and one very good way of doing that is through tourism.
In 2018, the Kansas Sampler Foundation began holding the “Big Kansas Road Trip,” a weekend event showcasing three counties of the state so intrepid travelers and explorers (you can become an actual Kansas Explorer) can discover parts of the state that may not be your usual vacation destinations.
This year, in fact next weekend, Bourbon, Cherokee, and Crawford counties will be welcoming folks to our corner of the state to show them we’re more than just fried chicken (but we hope they will partake of some while they’re here). But the BKRT isn’t just for outsiders—those of us who have lived her for many years will no doubt discover places we’ve never heard of and will want to take part in some of the special activities.
The library will be one of the “official” information centers from May 5—8. Come by and pick up a booklet that lists attractions in all three counties (then hold on to it for future day trips). We’ll be set up for travelers to rest a spell, charge their devices, take a look around our beautiful building, and maybe even buy some books at our ongoing Friends’ sale.
Also, on Saturday, May 7, Roxie Yonkey, author of “100 Things to Do in Kansas Before You Die,” will be here from 1:00—3:00 p.m. to sign copies of her book. She will be joined by fellow author Amy Piper, who has written “100 Things to Do in Lansing (Michigan) Before You Die,” as well as contributing to “Midwest Road Trip Adventures.” This won’t be an actual program but I have no doubt they’ll be happy to talk to people about their adventures.
Locals often don’t realize the wealth of culture and activities that are available in their own back yards. This is the perfect opportunity to learn more about our neighbors to the south and north and to welcome them to our neck of the woods, too. Get out and road trip next weekend!