Library History Display

As you walk into the library, you might notice a new display case next to the Bill Wallace display. The new case, still in progress, contains items and documents relating to the people and events during the early years of this library. Founded in 1905 as a Carnegie Library (the current building was constructed on the same site in 1964), the Chickasha Public Library was the first free public library in what was then Indian Territory, and it has been operating continuously for 116 years.

On the top shelf is a copy of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, which was one of the first books added to the library’s collection in 1905. There is also a photograph of Sallie Thompson (1870-1936), who served as the first, fourth, and eighth librarian of the Carnegie Library between 1905 and 1929. At times she was the only staff member; she also occasionally worked without pay in order to keep the library open. A small square photo next to Sallie Thompson depicts school children arriving with donated books for the opening of the Carnegie Library on March 23, 1905. This photo was taken from the second floor of the library building.

The next shelf contains a handwritten librarian’s report from 1907, a postcard showing the Carnegie Library, a photograph of library board president Stella Brown (1861-1911), as well as Stella Brown’s 1906 resignation letter, in which she called the library “a great success.”

The photograph on the third shelf is Frances Manby Hamilton (1860-1919), a prominent library supporter who greeted people as they entered the Carnegie Library for the first time on March 23, 1905. Frances Hamilton is looking in the direction of the front door so that her photograph can continue to greet people as they enter the library. A small paper brochure from 1962 proclaims “A New Library for Chickasha” and gave information to the public about the need for a new building because the Carnegie building had fallen into disrepair and was unsafe. Next to the brochure is an invitation to the opening of the new Chickasha Public Library when the building was completed in 1964. There are also a few newspaper clippings about the library’s beginnings.

The very bottom shelf contains the first accession book where Sallie Thompson recorded the donated books that made up the entire initial collection, as well as handwritten record books containing receipts, notes, expenses, and other daily tasks, from the 1930s through the 1950s.

Finally, there is a framed document on the wall between the display cases. This was from the very first meeting of the Carnegie Library Committee in April 1904, where the women’s club members who had applied for and received a $10,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie began planning and organizing their fundraising and public awareness campaigns. The process of maintaining, adapting, and growing the library with new information, formats, books, technology, and resources is an ongoing process that continues to this day. 

The documents and photos currently on display are just a small part of the treasures that have been found in dusty boxes and drawers. Everything from letters, library board meeting minutes, notes scrawled on the back of envelopes, financial records, newspaper clippings, receipts, and book acquisitions can give clues that illuminate the daily life of the library as experienced by its staff, as well as the public. Many of these documents were used as primary sources for research while writing the history of this library (available to check out or to purchase for #10) and are tangible representations of the past and the historical context in which the library existed. 

The purpose of the history display is to make these photos and documents available to everyone so that anyone who visits the Chickasha Public Library can learn about and appreciate its role in the intellectual and cultural life of this community during the past 116 years. This library continues to build on that historical foundation while also continuing to evolve to meet the informational and recreational needs of the community.

Does the Library not have the item you want? Request it!

BLURB–This week, Brande discusses the process to request an item at the Chickasha Public Library. 

Last week a friend of mine told me about how the book Jaws by Peter Benchley was the book that made him fall in love with books, reading, and eventually horror movies. I have always felt that reading the book that made a person a reader is a bonding experience, so I trundled down to my local library to check it out. Ok, well, I went to work the next day. He’s a neat guy and all, but I am not going to do something crazy and put on shoes just to read a fella’s favorite book. 

The next day I arrived at work a bit early to grab Jaws before I was on the clock. To my dismay, there was no copy on the shelf. I checked the catalog because certainly, we have a copy. However, I found that we did not. So I did what every proper literary heroine did-threw myself upon the closest divan and wept bitter tears of disappointment. After drying my eyes with a lace-trimmed handkerchief, I submitted a material request for the 1974 bestseller. 

At the Chickasha Public Library, patrons can submit material requests for items that the library does not currently own. Let’s explore the process. 

The staff at the front desk will take your request. We need your name and contact information, of course, to contact you when your item arrives. Most importantly, we will need the title of the book you are looking for or the general topic. You can also ask for titles in different formats like audiobooks on CD or Playaway. We can also take requests for the Oklahoma Virtual Library, but those items may be a bit more difficult to find. 

After staff has taken your request, it is reviewed by the Director or Youth Services Librarian. They consider each request and choose to add it to the library collection via purchase or to use an interlibrary loan to get the item. In either case, they use the Material Selection Policy to decide. 

Requests purchased for the collection are items that fill in gaps in our collection, like books on stock market trading or bathroom remodeling. We have also purchased requested items that continue popular series like the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book (Big Shot will be released October 26, 2021). Requests also help us complete the series as well. This Fall, we received many requests for The Duke and I from the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn, prompting us to check that series and purchase the few titles from that series that were missing. 

When the Library Director or Youth Services Librarian decides not to purchase a request, it will be inter-library loaned. Inter-library is a process where we contact other libraries who own the title and ask to borrow that item for our customers. There are a few reasons that an item would be inter-library loaned over purchasing. The item may be unavailable to purchase, which is often the case for older titles that haven’t reached “perpetually in print” status. Other items that we would inter-library loan are titles that don’t quite meet our material selection policy. Some examples are local history books for other states; we appreciate historical preservation as much as the next library, but a history about the founding families of Chautauqua County, New York, would not be a reasonable purchase for the Chickasha Public Library. 

Once a requested item has arrived, it is added to our system to be checked out by customers. Both purchased, and inter-library loan items have a two-week checkout. 

The Chickasha Public Library strives to curate a collection that will entertain and educate the public. We recognize that there are times when a customer needs a book that we do not own. The library will do the best we can to obtain any item for our customers, however, unfortunately some items just aren’t available.

Book your next travel adventure!

After a year of staying home, cabin fever has set in and many people are thinking about their next trip, whether real or imaginary. Traveling to different parts of the world is one of the best ways in which to interact with and learn from the many cultures, languages, beliefs, and histories that make up the varied experiences of our shared humanity. Unfortunately, travel can also be expensive, but you can always plan and learn about different travel experiences for free by exploring some of the many books at the Chickasha Public Library!

Do you find yourself wondering about faraway people and places that you have not had the chance to visit? How about a place you know absolutely nothing about or a place you have always been interested in? The great thing about the Chickasha Public Library’s collection is that there are no limits to what you can learn and discover. If you are interested in browsing through geographical Dewey decimal categories, look in 914 (Europe), 915 (Asia), 916 (Africa), 917 (North America), 918 (South America), and 919 (Australia and New Zealand). If you read one book from each continent, it can be an easy way to take a mental trip around the world. Reading about the cultural attractions and historic landmarks from different countries and continents can help you plan a future trip, learn more about the languages and history of different places, and find the most beautiful scenery.

Traveling within Oklahoma is relatively accessible and inexpensive for many people, which makes it easy to explore for both quick getaways, as well as longer vacations. It can also be a fun way to experience your familiar home state with fresh eyes. Oklahoma: off the beaten path (917.66 Palmer) can help you discover new and interesting places close to home. Find your next outdoor adventure with Oklahoma hiking trails (917.66 Frates), explore history with Historical atlas of Oklahoma (911.766 Goins), or plan a spooky trip with Weird Oklahoma: your travel guide to Oklahoma’s local legends and best kept secrets (133.109766 Treat).

For road trip enthusiasts, Drives of a lifetime: 500 of the world’s most spectacular trips (910.202 Bellows) describes some of the world’s most beautiful places in which to drive. If you are looking to find pockets of various cultures while embarking on a road trip closer to home, Abroad at home: the best international travel in North America (917.304 Abroad) will help you to visit some of those places without having to buy a plane ticket.

If you want to further immerse yourself in learning about someplace new, there are also language books and dictionaries, biographies and memoirs written by people from various countries, books about how various cultures interconnect with one another, and history books that can give insight into how and why the past continues to affect current events. Reading about different perspectives can give valuable insights into others’ experiences and develop an understanding and appreciation of diversity both at home and around the world. It is never too late to learn about someplace new, or to find new information about somewhere you have already visited. And reading travel books can also give you new ideas about where you might want to go next!    

Finally, if you are feeling creative and would like to start your own country, you can find some examples in An atlas of countries that don’t exist: a compendium of fifty unrecognized and largely unnoticed states (911 Middleton). Imaginary countries can be delightfully whimsical, and they require an incredible amount of ingenuity and problem-solving skills to develop and maintain. Learning about some of these geographical quirks can also spur interest in how communities, states, and countries govern themselves, as well as the many ways in which borders are drawn. 

No matter where you want to go, there is a book for you here at the Chickasha Public Library!

Chickasha Public Library presents Using Art to Build Resiliency with Virginia Savage, LCSW

Join Virginia Savage, LCSW, with over thirty years of experience in the field of mental health on Saturday, June 19th from 10:00-11:30am at Chickasha Public Library located at 527 W. Iowa Ave. for a community conversation about the state of our mental health. The event is free. We do ask that you pre-register due to limited seating, call the library at 405-222-6075 to reserve your seat. This program is geared toward adults and older teens. “We’ve all been through so many struggles this past year and a half. Now is a good time to reflect on our strengths and challenges to assess how we’ve done and how we might do better”, said Savage. We all need to learn healthy ways to successfully roll with Life’s ups and downs. Being resilient helps us have peace of mind. During the presentation we will flesh out the meaning of mental health, talking about what contributes to and detracts from it. We will use some expressive arts exercises that will help us with our ability to be resilient. Join us.

Chickasha Public Library has been focusing on mental health in their Health Literacy Program this year. This program, Using Art to Build Resiliency, is brought to you by the Chickasha Public Library through a grant from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Readers’ Advisory

Even though my current Want-To-Read list is embarrassingly long I still continue to look for more titles to add to that list. I use many sources from wandering the aisles to scrolling through my Facebook feed, but one of the most recent ways that I have been adding to my list is by listening to podcasts. Podcasts are audio programs that are broadcast via the Internet. They are similar to radio programs without the limitations of signal strength. 

You may be familiar with podcasts like True Crime All the Time, Casefile, and True Crime Garage that delve into criminal investigations around the world. Or other podcasts like Secretly Incredibly Fascinating which dedicates each episode to exploring one topic. But did you know that there is a wide selection of podcasts that focus on books? 

The website www.bookriot.com broadcasts several podcasts that focus on general book recommendations like All the Books and Get Booked. They also host other shows specializing in genre recommendations. SSF Yeah! is dedicated to helping spread the word about great new Science Fiction and Fantasy titles. For Real spotlights non-fiction releases across interest levels. Past topics on this show include religious memoirs, love stories, and authors with Asian or Pacifc Islander heritage. 

 Some of your favorite authors may be producing podcasts as well. Gretchen Rubin author of Better than before : mastering the habits of our everyday lives and Outer order, inner calm : declutter & organize to make more room for happiness hosts uses the platform to share insights into how she manages to stay sane in today’s crazy world and advises her listeners on how to establish healthy habits that lead to happiness. Dan Savage transitioned his radio show Savage Love Live to the podcast Savage Lovecast. While his listenership may have grown, Savage still uses his platform to discuss religion, gay rights, politics, and pornography.

But who better to source for book recommendations than a library? The New York Public Library hosts a podcast called The Librarian is In. Each episode two librarians with the NYPL system discuss books and what to read next. The Brooklyn Public Library also has a podcast, Borrowed,  that highlights stories that center around the people of Brooklyn and how they use the library. 

Most podcasts are available through multiple audio streaming apps like Spotify, Overcast, or Stitcher. Some apps may have a premium option that allows you to listen to the back catalog or bonus content, however most new episodes are available at no charge. 

No-Cost Meals program

The Chickasha Public Library is again partnering with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to provide no-cost meals to kids ages 1-18. The Summer Food Program will kick off June 1. This year there will be two locations children and their caregivers can pick up meals in Chickasha. 

Meals can be picked up Monday through Friday at the following times and locations: 

  • 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Washita Valley Park, located at 1500 S. Henderson St.
  • 12 to 1 p.m. at the Chickasha Public Library, located at 527 W Iowa Ave. 

There is no income verification or proof of residency required to receive meals. For additional information, call the Library at 405-222-6075. 

Chickasha Public Library to Host Sing a New Song 2: Changing Lives Through Music

On Saturday, July 17th, the Chickasha Public Library will be hosting Sing a New Song 2: Changing Lives Through Music. Designed for adults and teens and presented by Peter Markes, the goal of this workshop is to develop techniques for songwriting lyrics through a process called sensory writing. The free, one-hour program will begin at 10 a.m., and registration is required due to limited seating. 

Peter Markes (pronounced Marcus) is an award-winning music educator and performer based out of Oklahoma City. Audiences are mesmerized by his one-man band live-looping performances where he takes his 5-string electric violin to create and build pop hits from scratch! Also a guitarist and singer-songwriter, Peter has written and released numerous songs in the folk-pop genre, and his debut solo album, I Have A Dream, can be heard digitally worldwide. He is also a member of the band Kyle Dillingham & Horseshoe Road and has performed and taught in over thirty countries.

Workshop attendees will learn about the process of lyric writing and how that can be used to create songs. The information will be accessible to everyone, regardless of the amount of previous musical experience. 

“Music is an essential part of the human experience,” said Michelle Skinner, a Chickasha Public Library employee. “It is a universal language that connects us all together, as well as a powerful means of communication and self-expression.”

Learning musical skills has many mental and physical health benefits as well. According to researchers from Johns Hopkins University, listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory. Learning and creating new music, such as songwriting, keeps the brain active, helps to preserve memory function, and helps with language and verbal literacy. By engaging the brain in a variety of ways, music enhances both emotional and cognitive functioning. This workshop is a great way to learn about and explore new forms of self-expression while also having fun and developing new forms of creativity.

This program is funded through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries with a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The program will be in person at the Chickasha Public Library, located at 527 W. Iowa. Registration is required due to limited seating. For more information and to register for Sing a New Song: Changing Lives Through Music, visit or call the Chickasha Public Library at 405-222-6075.

Preschool Storytime Schedule

The Chickasha Public Library is currently offering virtual Stoytime sessions via Zoom, in-person Storytime sessions and Storytime at the park! These programs are geared towards caregivers and the children 0 – 5. The calendar below has details on each Storytime session you can register by clicking the link in the calendar’s event description, or by calling 405-222-6075.

July 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
  • Stories on the Radio
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • Preschool Storytime In-person
2
  • Stories on the Radio
3
4
5
  • Stories on the Radio
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
6
  • Storytime @ the Parks!
  • Stories on the Radio
7
  • Stories on the Radio
  • New Readers Summer Reading Program
  • Children Summer Reading Program
  • Tween Summer Reading Program
8
  • Stories on the Radio
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • Preschool Storytime In-person
  • Device Workshop 6:00 P.M.-7:00 P.M.
9
  • Stories on the Radio
10
  • Courtney Sequoyah in Moore
11
12
  • Stories on the Radio
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
13
  • Storytime @ the Parks!
  • Stories on the Radio
  • Friends of the Library Board Meeting 4:30 P.M.-6.00 P.M.
14
  • Stories on the Radio
  • New Readers Summer Reading Program
  • Children Summer Reading Program
  • Tween Summer Reading Program
15
  • Stories on the Radio
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • Preschool Storytime In-person
16
  • Stories on the Radio
17
  • Sing a New Song
18
19
  • Stories on the Radio
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
20
  • Storytime @ the Parks!
  • Stories on the Radio
  • Library Board Meeting 6:00 P.M.
21
  • Stories on the Radio
  • New Readers Summer Reading Program
  • Children Summer Reading Program
  • Tween Summer Reading Program
22
  • Stories on the Radio
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • Preschool Storytime In-person
23
  • Stories on the Radio
24
25
26
  • Stories on the Radio
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • Chapter Chat
27
  • Stories on the Radio
28
  • Stories on the Radio
29
  • Stories on the Radio
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • Preschool Storytime In-person
30
  • Stories on the Radio
31
  • Summer Reading Wrap-Up 10:00 A.M. at Centennial Park

Have you signed your little one up for the Chickasha Public Library’s Raise Readers 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge? You can sign up today using Beanstack, or by visiting the library at 527 W Iowa Ave. For additional information please call 405-222-6075.

Chickasha Public Library’s National Library Week Report

In April we celebrated National Library Week. On April 5th Mayor Mosley signed a proclamation declaring April 4th – 10th, 2021 National Library Week in Chickasha Oklahoma. The proclamation reminds us of the many services libraries across the nation provide including here in Chickasha. Here is a link to it. On April 6th you said thank you to our library workers. Some people brought flowers, some brought fruit, some brought chocolate. The Friends of the Library and the Library Board came and showed their appreciation for our library workers. The staff says a great big thank you. On April 7th it was outreach day. Our maiden voyage in our ‘bookmobile’ occurred (Lillie’s van). It visited Shannon Springs park and Washita Valley park.  It was extremely windy that day. We wanted to demonstrate that the library is not just within these four walls. We want to get and about to serve our customers. We hope to be able to voyage again to other places, maybe even other towns. On April 8th we encouraged people to investigate our virtual services; website, Facebook, Instagram, and Beanstack. On April 9th the library staff showed their appreciation to our support groups – the Friends of the Library and the Library Board, and to our volunteers. The most fun of all for us was April 10th customer appreciation day. We had several outdoor activities culminating in a drawing for several baskets and the opportunity to select titles to be painted on a panel on the exterior of the library. Thank you for being patrons, customers, and friends to the Chickasha Public Library. 

Chickasha Public Library Summer Reading 2021

The Chickasha Public Library is offering programs for all ages throughout the summer. Mark your calendars preregistration begins May 10th, with programs kicking off in June. You can register for the Summer Reading program using Beanstack or in-person at the Chickasha Public Library located at 527 W Iowa Ave. All programs are free, and there will be a variety of program types for all ages. Participants will set a reading goal, track their minutes spent reading, and earn incentives over the summer. The tracking can all be done online or by using the Beanstack mobile app. There is also an option to track minutes using paper and sticker logs.

The Chickasha Public Library will have programs for everyone this summer. There will be in-person programs (registration required each week), stories on the radio, take and make activities and virtual program. The Summer Reading program will also include virtual and in-person performers. 

Please note that in-person events held at the library require registration, with multiple days to choose from each week. Details for each age group are linked below. If you have any questions, please call 405-222-6075.

Summer Reading Program age groups

New Readers Summer Reading for ages 3-5

Children Summer Reading for ages 6 – 9

Tween Summer Reading for ages 10 – 13