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Sturgis Public Library, September 17, 2019: Children’s Library Renovation

Sturgis Public Library, September 17, 2019: Children’s Library Renovation

September 18, 2019

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

Oh, how I love a good celebration of literacy. Sturgis Public Library: You know how to do it! I even came upon this tea party today while I was there.  I’m sure our Scruffy (photo posted way below) would love to be invited sometime for tea.

I loved attending the grand opening of the Sturgis Children’s Library September 17. I loved seeing the teeny-boppers lined up waiting for the ribbon cutting so they could get into to see the newly-created Elliott Learning Center.

In the photo below, you can see that I was trying hard to take photos of only the back of children’s heads–out of respect for privacy.  However, this darling little baby was having no part of that and kept peaking at me.  Her mama gave me permission to post this picture. Thank you.

In the days before WinkWorld was a blog, it was a newsletter. In one of these newsletter, WinkWorld, October 2007,  I referred to Sturgis Public Library as The Best Kept Secret in South Dakota. October 2007.  As you read the following excerpt, please remember that it was 2007, I had just retired and moved back to the ranch, and I did not yet have valid SD ID.

My First Sturgis Library Card, 2007

In addition, I want to share with you the BEST KEPT SECRET IN SOUTH DAKOTA: The Sturgis Library, Sturgis is a small, (5000 pop.) town, heavily influenced by ranchers and the Sturgis Harley Davidson Rally, which causes the population to surge to several hundred thousand every August. However, in the midst of all of this is a diamond: The Library. After school, elementary children come flowing in and happily settle into their own room, complete with computers and books. One half hour later, the teenyboppers arrive and head upstairs to their own retro room with more books and computers. I have noticed that the senior citizens come and go all day. The library has an active CD, books-on-tape, and video section, which gets a lot of use. I notice that many of the people checking out and returning books also stop to read. Do I love this? Yes, I do. It is pure joy to sit and quietly observe real literacy thriving. One little problem: I was not been allowed to get a library card, as I do not have the proper South Dakota identification (ID). We drove to town (85 m.) to take the  drivers’ test–wrong day. However, I did get my new SD license plates, which I immediately took to the library. They suggested to me that this was not the ID that they had in mind, but I was allowed to apply, and yesterday my fabulous new library card arrived. The sub-text for this story is that my husband is a county commissioner, and when he tells me what the county has contributed to the library, I always tell him that it is never enough.

Thank you to Elliott family (Mike/Kathy and Albert/Laverene) whose donation made the 2019 renovation to the children’s library possible.
Congratulations to our very own Sturgis librarian, Julie Moore Peterson, who was just honored to be one of two to receive the South Dakota Distinguished Achievement-in-the-Humanities awards.  Also, congratulations to Scott Rausch, who also received the award. Here is a photo of Julie with Mike and Kathy Elliott.

At the ribbon-cutting celebration, I was honored to be asked to share this fabulous poem from Laurie Halse Anderson.  Please click below to read her amazing poem!

“Lovebrarians” by Laurie Halse Anderson

Below here I am posting photos of some of the kids celebrating literacy.  When these two boys entered, they raced to these books, and the one boy on the left immediately began giving a super Book Talk to his friend.

In the photo below, this dad is reading to his daughter in the little hexagon hideaway.

And, just for fun, more library news from around-the-world follows:

First, a friend sent me this photo from the Greek Isles, specifically Mykronos, this summer. Enjoy.

And, checking in to see what Scruffy is up to these days.  Oh, that Scruffy: Look what he has to share  about libraries.   Wise little teddy bear, huh?

And, just in case some of you did not stop to read that beautiful poem, Lovebraians by Laurie Halse Anderson, in that live link from 2007, I am retyping it below here for your convenience. This poem was published in Anderson’s book, SHOUT: A Poetry Memoir.


I hated reading. Loathed the ants
swarming across the page, lost
my excitement about school, fought, reduced
to a puzzle with missing pieces.
Once branded,, the feeling of stupid never fades
no matter how many medals you win.

But then we rode the bus downtown
me and Leslie, who majored in music
and lived in our attic, Mary Poppins
with a Jersey accent, we rode the bus downtown,
the coins hot from my hand plink, plink
in the box next to the dirver, all the way downtown
to a Carnegie library built by an immigrant
so everyone could read, free
and untrammeled by politicians seeking
to bind them into ignorance,
chair them to the wheel.
Leslie promised she’d read me the books
so I didn’t have to be afraid of mistakes
and I wrote My Name in big letters
got my first badge, a library card
I asked the librarian, “Can I take out all the books?”
and she answered quite seriously
“Of course, dear, just not at the same time.”

And so, with extra Leslie help and a chorus
of angels disguised as teachers and librarians
for years unstinting with love and hours
of practice, those ants finally marched
in straight lines for me
shaped words, danced sentences,
constructed worlds
for a girl finally learning how to read

I unlocked the treasure chest
And swallowed the key.


  • cathy yaap

    My beautiful friend is always in bloom. Love seeing and hearing where that happens.
    Love you!

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