Osage City’s Got It: Osage City Library is more than just books – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Osage City’s Got It: Osage City Library is more than just books

Osage City Public Library, 2024. Courtesy photo.

Submitted by Jeanette Swarts

Along with the town itself, the Osage City Library has a very historic past. The Sorosis Club, a women’s literary group, established the library in 1922. They developed a collection by pushing baby buggies around town to gather books.

In the mid 1920s, Edward Lieber donated money to build the first library at 214 S. Sixth St. The Sorosis Club consisted of 26 members; each member volunteered two weeks of their time to operate the library up until 1969. The library had outgrown their club and it became a public supported library in 1970.

With community support, a new library was built in 2000 and the Lieber Library became the Osage City Public Library. A community room, which can be rented, was added in 2016. A plaque honoring the Sorosis Club’s years of service was put on display in the library.

The library’s motto is “More than just books” and is very fitting. The library has a collection that loans out not only books, but a variety of items including audiobooks, cake pans, magazines, movies and television shows, music CDs, puzzles, and video games. The audiobook collection includes CDs, but also Playaways and Wonderbooks. Customers of the library also have access to Flipster, Hoopla and Libby; all are digital borrowing services that provide access to ebooks, digital audiobooks, music, movies, tv shows and magazines for users to enjoy free.

The library provides a variety of programs and services for all ages. During the school year, story time is held twice a week for those five and younger; programs for school age children are held after school on Tuesday and Thursday each week; and Lego Club meets each month. When school is not in session, additional programs are held. A teen group meets to work on projects for themselves and for the library, and the adult book club and bingo are held monthly. Art classes for adults and youths are also held at the library.

During the summer, the library provides library programs and incentives to promote reading, as well as providing summer meals to those 18 years and younger. Anyone needing to laminate, fax, scan or make color or black and white copies, the library provides those services. Also available is wi-fi and computers to use. The library’s genealogy collection includes local newspapers dating back to the 1800s, and Osage City High School yearbooks starting with the 1913 yearbook.

In 2023, 35,907 people visited the library. While there, patrons borrowed 25,826 items, used the computers 2,474 times, and logged onto wi-fi 4,729 times. Patrons also borrowed 5,108 e-materials. The library tallied 303 programs for all ages with a total of 3,874 people attending those events. During the school year, 3,958 snacks were handed out to students after school, a program that is funded by grants and donations. The 2,131 people who have an Osage City Library card have access to a collection of 1,513,921 items.

The Osage City community is important to the library. Library staff visits local daycares to provide story time, and visits assisted living and nursing homes to play bingo with residents. In 2023, the library made more than 200 visits to homebound patrons to deliver library materials. The library partners with AARP to provide tax assistance, and Catholic Charities that brings a resource bus with food, hygiene and baby items.

The staff at the library includes Jeanette Stromgren, library director, Mavet Cooper, assistant director, and clerks Debi Totman, Cherida DeWitt, Cathy Brace, Pam Carey and Mary Buek.

Osage City Library is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. For more information, to sign up for a library card, or check the monthly activity calendar, see osagecitylibrary.org, call 785-528-3727, or stop by at 515 Main St., Osage City, Kan.

Information and photo thanks to Jeanette Swarts, Osage City Chamber of Commerce.

Osage City Public Library, 2024.

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