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Monday, December 18, 2017

MLK Jr. Day student contest

The Stillwater Public Library is working with Stillwater Community United , OSU Division of Institutional Diversity and City of Stillwater on Climbing Back to the Mountain Top,” a two day celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. taking place Jan. 14-15. The event includes a film screening, march and a community celebration. All events are free and open to the public.

The celebration also includes a poster and essay contest for students. Sally Houck, a member of Stillwater Community United, says that the purpose of the posters and essays is to reflect on Dr. King’s vision for our community, country, and world, and to encourage future study and involvement in peacemaking.

For inspiration, entrants are encouraged to watch Dr. King’s 1968 speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” which is available at

The poster contest is open to Stillwater students in grades K-5, and entries should reflect the theme, “. . . with liberty and justice for all.” Winners will be named in categories grades K-1, grades 2-3 and grades 4-5. Posters can be made using pencils, crayons, paints or markers and must be no larger than 12”x18”. A 2-8 sentence explanation should accompany the poster.

Students in 6-12 grades are invited to enter the essay contest which should discuss the declaration, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” Essays by students in 6-8 grades should be 300-500 words, while essays by students in the 9-12 grade category should be 500-750 words.

Posters and essays are due at the Stillwater Public Library by 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 9. Essays may be emailed to

Winners will be notified before MLK Day and will be presented with awards, including gift cards and prizes, on Monday, Jan. 15, during the MLK Day community celebration. All submitted posters will be on display during the celebration, and some winning essayists may be asked to present a portion of their essay during the celebration. Winning essays may be published in the Stillwater NewsPress.

Additional guidelines for the contest can be viewed online at For questions, please email or call the library Help Desk at (405) 372-3633 X8106.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Thank you Stillwater!

We want to give our community a huge thank you for the support you have given the library this year. Some of that support came from attending events and checking out books, while other support came in the form of shopping our semi-annual book sale or making monetary gifts to the Stillwater Public Library Trust (especially appreciated during the Jan.-June budget cuts!)

This year, the library circulated over a quarter of a million items, had nearly 200,000 visits and held over 700 programs, Over 1665 community members enrolled in summer reading, 200 adults got healthier through our Simple Steps to Better Health program and 220 got computer tutoring, while hundreds more got on the spot assistance.

Your support enabled the library to make huge strides in promoting reading, helping the community advance technologically and making sure that fellow community members had somewhere to turn for information, education and answers.

We could not have done it without you! And we have even bigger plans for the New Year. In March, we kick-off a six week reading series of “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which will culminate in our first time hosting a New York Times bestselling author! March through June features the unveiling of our StorywalksTM in Couch Park meant to encourage young readers to exercise and young exercisers to read. And summer brings eight weeks of “Libraries Rock” reading programming.

If you would like to continue supporting the library in these efforts, there are several ways you can help.

·         Make a year-end tax deductible donation. The donation can be made using the “End of Year Giving” link on the front page of our webpage at Online contributions are made via Pay Pal, but you can also contribute via check mailed to Lynda Reynolds, Library Director at 1107 S. Duck, Stillwater, OK, 74074. Gifts are still tax deductible for this year.

·         We encourage every community member to make shopping locally a priority for their families. It helps provide jobs for your neighbors and services like police, fire, and the library. If you do need to use Amazon, please use the Friends of the Library Amazon link on our front page. Amazon gives the Friends a percentage of the sale at no cost to you. Anything you purchase at Amazon, not just books, count.

·         Purchase a gift for family or friends by buying a $3 book tote or a Friends of the Library book sale gift certificate up at the checkout desk. Visit the business office to make a book purchase in the name of your loved one.

·         Make a book purchase in honor or in memory of a loved one or friend. Please contact the Business Office for more information at (405) 372-3633 x8100.

Thank you all and we hope you, your family and the entire Stillwater community have a fabulous New Year!

Friday, October 20, 2017

A Night under the Stars by Stacy DeLano and Shaila Yearout

A few years ago, the Stillwater Public Library began working with several parents who have adult children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). We began meeting with the parents, Parks and Rec, some of the organizations serving this population and some of the individuals to figure out how to provide additional educational and social opportunities for them. The result was Roundup Stillwater, which includes a book club, a weekly theater class, seasonal dances and several summer activities.

Working with this group is one of the most fulfilling things I have done while at the library. When many of us were in school, students with special needs were off in another part of the school and we rarely interacted. What I didn’t realize is that the students often missed important events that most students enjoy, like Prom. One thing I hear consistently from many people who are over thirty in our group, is how much they regret not getting to participate in this rite of passage.

This year, we were incredibly excited to have the United Way contact us about organizing a formal dance for the group. Groups like Mpower, Stillwater Group Homes, Community Access, Parks and Rec, along with the library and several parents are working with United Way to give our group members the kind of experience that we got to have in school---a “Night Under the Stars.” This formal event will take place in March, with a DJ, dancing, dance contests, college student escorts, crafts and hopefully carriage rides.

This week, one of my closest friends from the group, Shaila Yearout, is working with me to raise funds for the dance. She made posters about the dance and she is contacting businesses to go and talk about the event and why they should sponsor it. I asked Shaila why the dance is important to her. 

“I am so excited about this dance because we can meet new friends, have fun and there’ll be food. I want my friends to have fun, get out in the community and have a chance to feel the freedom you feel when you get to dance. We all are different in so many ways, but we have a voice and we have a dream.”

If you would like to make a donation for the dance, we would love to have you join us in making this experience happen. If you are a business considering making a local donation in the community this year, please let me know so that we can make an appointment to come by and tell you about the dance and the benefits of sponsoring it.

The individuals in the group will be the ones making up the fundraising artwork, calling businesses for appointments and giving the fundraising speeches. It is an excellent opportunity for them to boost their self-confidence, practice public speaking, learn about self-advocacy, and yes, even how to accept rejection professionally.

A United Methodist Church group will be accepting the donations, so checks should be made out to “FUMC - Sowers Class” with “Spring Gala” in the memo line, but the donations can be dropped off at the Stillwater Public Library Help Desk or the United Way at 109 E 9th Ave, whichever is convenient. You will receive a tax donation receipt from the FUMC Sowers Class.

Shaila would like you to know that she thanks you  and would like for you to have a nice day! For more information, please contact me at (405) 372-3633 x8124 or

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Retire to Your Library

Every year around the start of football season, I see a lot of people new to Stillwater who have decided to retire to the community. Some loved the community so much while they were in college that they decided to return, while others simply chose Stillwater as an ideal place to live. I don’t disagree and I hope that our library is one of the reasons people like Stillwater so much. For those who have just retired here and for anyone who is retired and just didn’t know, the library has tons of opportunities to enrich your after-work life. Here are just a few taking place this month:

·         Making the Most of Retirement - Making the Most of Retirement is a monthly program from the OSU Emeriti that meets the third Wednesday of the month with speakers on a variety of retirement related topics. All area retirees and those preparing for retirement are invited to this free series.

This Wednesday at 1:30, Making the Most of Retirement will host Cristy Morrison, President/CEO of Visit Stillwater, will discuss reasons why Stillwater is a great place to retire. On Oct. 18, armchair travelers will take a journey with Stan and Barbara Grogg who will present “Cruising from Cape Town South Africa to Singapore." The Nov. 15 program features Laura Payne who will be discussing volunteer opportunities at the OSU Botanic Garden.

·         Payne County Genealogical Society (PCGS) – PCGS has really stepped up its activities over the last couple of months with dedicated program topics at their monthly meetings and more opportunities to get help from PCGS experts. The group meets the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. At the Sept. meeting, taking place this Thursday, they will introduce the website Family Search, give tips on using it, and providing info on what the site gives that you cannot get on other genealogy pages. Beginners can get help on how to start their genealogy and people with more experience can get help from PCGS members on most any search problem.

·         Friends of the Library (And the Booksale!) – Friends of the Library (FOL) is the organization that raises funds for library programming, books and equipment by holding a bi-annual sale. It just so happens that the latest sale starts THIS Thursday with the FOL members’ preview (anyone can become a member at the door for $10) and continues through Sunday’s $1 per bag sale. FOL spends the year sorting through donated books, categorizing them and preparing them for the sale. New members who would like to help with sorting or with future sales are always very welcomed. Give us a holler at the Help Desk to find out more.

·         Bookclubs – The library hosts many community book clubs and has three clubs of its own. Two of the clubs are currently full but there are several openings in the club that meets the First Friday of the month at Noon. Book clubs are a great place to meet new people who share a love of reading and a way to make yourself continue reading challenging books. If you are interested in joining this club, send an email to

To see other available programs, visit our website at or call the Help Desk at (405) 372-3633 x8106.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Wanted: artifacts from Stillwater’s old library by Robin Cornwell, Library Board President

Did you know that the first meeting of the Stillwater Library Association took place in May, 1922?  Forty-eight people signed the membership roll at that meeting, and Stillwater’s first “free” library opened in rented rooms at the United Brethren Church parsonage in January, 1923.  Later that year, Mrs. Harriet Woodring was hired as “Keeper of the Library” at a salary of $25 per month.  The library was open 3 hours each day, except Sunday.  From humble beginnings, the Stillwater Public Library has grown to become a bustling center of activity for the whole community!
I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering at the Stillwater Public Library for several years, and I’m currently working with Adult Services Librarian Stacy Delano to produce a permanent display about the history of the Stillwater Public Library.   Over the past year, I’ve spent many hours leafing through scrapbooks and library board minutes, taking notes and searching for highlights and meaningful tidbits of information.   

The library has lots of good historical data, but not very many artifacts. Might you have materials relating to the old library at the corner of 6th Avenue and Husband Street?  If you have an old library card, “date due” slip, library program flyer, poster, bookmark, or any library artifact from before 1994, we’d love to see it!  

To share your historical library item, please get in touch with Stacy at , or 405-372-3633, extension 8124, or bring your item to the library during regular open hours.

Being a library volunteer is fun and rewarding. I encourage anyone with an interest in books and reading to support the community by volunteering at the library.  There are a few special events coming up this fall, like LexiCon on Sept. 9 and the Fall Used Book Sale Sept. 21-24, so become a library volunteer, and be a part of the most happening place in town!