Black History Month 2022

Feb 1, 2022 – Mar 1, 2022

There are multiple ways to celebrate Black History Month with the Chickasha Public Library.

You can join the Black History Month 2022 Beanstack challenge. A description of the Beanstack challenge can be found below, along with a link to register.

Celebrate Black History Month! Learn about the history of Black health and wellness in the U.S. and explore mental, emotional, and physical health resources created by and for the Black community. For further reading, check out book recommendations honoring the Black experience. Log your reading and activities to earn badges all month long. Registration is now open.

You can also check out one of the books from our Black History Month display, and children can grab a free Black History Month take and make activity.

Library Programs and Services for Young Children

The Chickasha Public Library now offers various early literacy services for children and their caregivers. In addition, we have Storytime Kits available for checkout and grab-and-go craft bags available for those that visit the library.

The library meeting room is transformed into a pop-up come-and-go early literacy, and sensory exploration space on Tuesdays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Multiple stations will be set up for children and caregivers to explore, play, and learn together.

Storytime at the Park are Wednesdays at 9:30 am at Centennial Park, located at 801-899 7th St., Chickasha. Youth Service Librarian Courtney Mayall will present a program full of songs, stories, and activities for children five and younger and their caregivers. Weather permitting, this program will occur every Wednesday morning through the fall.

Chickasha Public Library to Host Riders on the Orphan Train Program

Free event open to the public on Thursday, March 3 at 6:30 pm – for General Audiences of all ages

Few people today know much about the largest child migration in history. Between 1854 and 1929 over 250,000 orphans and unwanted children were taken out of New York City and given away at train stations across America. Children were sent to every state in the continental United States; the last train went to Sulphur Springs, Texas in 1929. This “placing out” system was originally organized by Methodist minister Charles Loring Brace and the Children’s Aid Society of New York. His mission was to rid the streets and overcrowded orphanages of homeless children and provide them with an opportunity to find new homes. Many of the children were not orphans but “surrendered” by parents too impoverished to keep them. The New York Foundling Hospital, a Catholic organization, also sent out children to be placed in Catholic homes. This seventy-six year experiment in child relocation is filled with the entire spectrum of human emotion and reveals a great deal about the successes and failures of the American Dream.

The one-hour multi- media program combines live music by Phillip Lancaster and Alison Moore, video montage with archival photographs and interviews of survivors, and a dramatic reading of the 2012 novel “Riders on the Orphan Train” by award-winning author Alison Moore. Although the program is about children, it is designed to engage audiences of all ages and to inform, inspire and raise awareness about this little-known part of history.

 Local relatives and acquaintances of Orphan Train Riders are especially invited to attend and share their stories with the audience.

Alison Moore, Author/Humanities Scholar

Alison Moore, MFA, is a former Assistant Professor of English/Creative Writing in the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Arizona and a current Humanities Scholar. She lives in Austin and has been touring nationally since 1998 with the multi-media program “Riders on the Orphan Train” that is currently the official outreach program for the National Orphan Train Complex Museum and Research Center. She has also developed public outreach programs for the Orphan Train Heritage Society of America, Inc. and for ArtsReach, a Native American literacy project in Southern Arizona. She is the author of four books, the historical novel “Riders on the Orphan Train” from Roadworthy Press in 2012, a collection of short fiction, The Middle of Elsewhere from Phoenix International, University of Arkansas Press in 2006, a novel, Synonym for Love (Penguin/Plume 1996), and. a collection of short stories entitled Small Spaces between Emergencies (Mercury House, 1992) one of the Notable Books of 1993 chosen by The American Library Association She received two National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Fellowships in 1993 and 2010 and the Katherine Ann Porter Prize for Fiction in 2004. In  2007/08 she received the J. Frank Dobie Paisano fellowship from the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Institute of Letters. In 2012 she received the Charles Loring Brace Award for helping to preserve the stories of the Orphan Trains.

Phil Lancaster, Presenter/Musician

Phil Lancaster was born in Texarkana, Arkansas and studied art and music at L’Ecole De Beaux Arts in Angers, France. He became a member of a bluegrass band that traveled and played throughout France and produced an album entitled “Bluegrass Oldies Ltd./Traveling Show.” He also worked as a stage theatre technician for La Coursive Theatre Nationale in La Rochelle, France. After returning to the U.S. he met three Arkansas musicians and the acoustic quartet “Still on the Hill” was formed in Fayetteville. They released their first CD in 1997, the second in 2000. The group performed at national and international folk festivals. Currently, he tours France with musician Philippe Charlot in the acoustic duo “Transatlantique.” Phil is a co-producer of the documentary film Gospel, Biscuits & Gravy for the Arkansas Heritage Foundation. He has been touring nationally since 1998 with the multi-media program “Riders on the Orphan Train” which is currently the official outreach program for the National Orphan Train Complex Museum. He received a 2007 Arkansas Arts Council Fellowship in Music Composition. In 2012 he received the Charles Loring Brace Award for helping to preserve the stories of the Orphan Trains.

“…the program far exceeded any expectations I may have had, as did the community’s response…this was by far the most well-attended program the library has ever offered….everyone who attended was moved, educated and entertained…your program truly made an impact on our community.”

 –Cecilia Hurt Barham, Decatur Public Library, Decatur, TX

Newspaper Digitization Project

Chickasha Public Library’s collection of newspapers on microfilm has been digitized and is now freely accessible to the public on the Gateway to Oklahoma History.

The Chickasha Public Library was awarded $20,000 through the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program provided by Oklahoma Historical Society. In addition, the Friends of the Library contributed $3,700 towards the total cost of the project. This money paid for the cost of digitizing 473 microfilm rolls containing Chickasha newspaper records from 1923–2018. The newspapers are now hosted on the Gateway to Oklahoma History for public access.

The goal of this project is to preserve Chickasha’s history and to make that information more easily accessible. Previously, the Library’s newspapers records were on microfilm and could only be seen by one person at a time. Digitization allows that same information to be shared widely. Instead of scrolling through images on a microfilm screen, people can now access this information from any device with internet access. Computers with internet access are also available to the public at the Chickasha Public Library. Searching on the Gateway can be done by collection, date, keyword, or location, which makes it very efficient for anyone looking for relatives’ obituaries, specific articles, or who want to browse for information about a particular person, event, or topic.

The Gateway to Oklahoma History contains thousands of Oklahoma newspapers, photographs, postcards, and more. It is a great resource for researching local history, genealogy, or simply browsing through the items. Searching can be done in a variety of ways, and newspaper images can be easily enlarged, cropped, modified, and downloaded. This allows anyone to customize their searching and reading experience to reflect individual preferences.

According to Michelle Skinner, local newspapers are valuable resources for learning about the past. “The information contained within these newspapers gives a glimpse into everyday life in Grady County. Over 90 years of history have been preserved through digitization and are now freely available and searchable.”

Because Chickasha newspapers from before 1923 are already on the Gateway, this addition completes the online narrative record of Chickasha’s history and ensures that the information is preserved in a format that is both user-friendly and accessible to the public.

Popular Ebooks and Digital Audiobooks and Digital Magazines Available Free 24/7 on the Oklahoma Virtual Library

All you need is a Chickasha Public Library card and you can use the award-winning Libby app to enjoy digital books on any device.

As people increasingly read and listen to books on their smartphone or tablet, they’re discovering one of the best resources is their local public library. Grady residents can access a wide selection of popular digital ebooks and audiobooks and digital magazines free from Chickasha Public Library. With a library card, members of the community can borrow from the digital collection by downloading Libby, the award-winning reading app from OverDrive, or visiting

Many of you may be using the Overdrive app on your devices, and we want to encourage you to make the switch to the Libby app! Libby is simple to navigate, and making the switch is quick and straightforward. If you need help, library staff can help over the phone or in person at the library. 

Named one of Popular Mechanics’ 20 Best Apps of the Decade, Libby seamlessly connects first-time users and experienced readers with Chickasha Public Library’s digital collection. This locally selected collection offers ebooks and audiobooks and digital magazines including bestsellers and new releases. Readers of all ages can select from virtually every subject ranging from mystery, romance, children’s, business and more.

Readers may start reading or listening for free with a valid Chickasha Public Library card. This service is compatible with all major computers and devices, iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets and Chromebook™. Through Libby, readers can also “send to Kindle®” [U.S. only]. All titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period and there are no late fees. Readers can also download titles onto Libby for offline use.To get started enjoying ebooks, audiobooks and more, download Libby or visit

Chickasha Public Library offers free virtual Financial Literacy Mini Clinic

If you’re interested in setting yourself up for financial success, join the Chickasha Public Library’s free Financial Literacy Mini Clinic. This four-week virtual clinic will be taught by Leslie A. Sledge, a NACCC certified financial counselor and credit restoration specialist. 

Each session will cover a different financial topic, including:

  1. Becoming Financially Fit – Our Financial Well-Being is no different than our physical well-being. We set goals on becoming physically fit. Do we set goals for our finances as well? Together lets see what it takes to become Financially fit.
  2. Becoming Credit-Worthy – Very few of us can say that we got a financial education at home or in school. Learning a few basic financial concepts will help put us back on the road to Taking Control of our Finances.
  3. Becoming Debt Free –  Don’t let that three digit number, known as your “credit score” or purchasing goods and services without cash, known as “being extended credit”, confuse you. Lets learn how to build that score and learn how to use credit the way it was designed.
  4. Building Savings for Now, for Investments, and for Retirement – There are options out there when it comes to dealing with and understanding debt. We can look at different strategies for resolving financial dilemmas that some of us may find ourselves in.

“There are so many individuals struggling right now and don’t know where to turn, I just felt like this is the right time to offer the help that many are seeking,” Sledge said. “This is a valuable opportunity to expand your financial knowledge and to plan for the future.”

The classes will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on February 11, February 18, February 25 and March 4. Participants can register for one class or all four classes, and will receive a Zoom link for each class. There is a limit of 20 participants per class, so it is important to register early in order to reserve a spot. To register or for more information, call the Library at (405) 222-6075 or email

Sledge has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. She has been a credit restoration specialist for 6 years and a certified financial counselor for 4 years. Every class will include opportunities to ask individual questions and receive answers, and the final class will include a summary of the information covered in previous classes.

Building Resilience

Spring is a great time to pause and consider our goals for the year. Join Virginia Savage, LCSW, Art Therapist, at the Chickasha Public Library on Thursday, March 17 at 6 pm to 8 pm to continue our community conversation about mental health and how we can improve our resilience to whatever life brings.

The Building Resilience program is free of charge, however, space is limited and registration is required. To register, call 405-222-6075 or visit the library at 527 W Iowa. 

In this program, you will learn a smart method to create achievable goals and then use two-dimensional materials to create unique vision boards for 2022. Participants will have the opportunity to share their thoughts on the process. 

All necessary materials will be provided, however, participants may want to bring images of their own for the vision board. 

Bring your imagination, and join us!

This program is funded through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries with a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.