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After working as associate director for the law library at the University of Kansas for 15 years, resident Mary Burchill was pleasantly surprised to find herself working back in a library in retirement.

“We moved into Lawrence Presbyterian Manor in late 2000 and it was probably 2002 when I was asked to be in charge of the library committee here. I am a librarian, so I thought sure, I’d be delighted,” said Mary Burchill.

Once a month, Mary and her library committee of six other residents meet to discuss any problems that have arisen in the library.

“There aren’t many, but the main thing is keeping the books in order. We go through the books and do our library stuff and then we sit around and talk about books. It’s great fun! It’s a good group that enjoys reading, reads a lot and has real ideas about how we should do things,” said Mary.

With an estimated 500 books covering everything from romance to adventure and suspense to religion, there’s a good chance you’ll find something you’ll enjoy reading at our community library.

“Books are filed alphabetically by author. We don’t have a number system, we have sections: biography, fiction, non-fiction and a small section on Kansas. The other category we have we call “memoirs” – these are remembrances people in the Manor and committee have donated to us. It’s interesting and I encourage residents who have written any kind of thing like that to give us it and we’ll put it on the shelves,” said Mary.

To check out a book, simply sign out a title in the notebook. When you return it, cross it out. “We don’t have any due dates,” Mary added.

Interested in a particular book? “We have incredible service from the public library. They come to the community once a week for an hour and bring books people have put a hold on. He’ll bring a selection of books – around 75 – both small and large print, and he does a great job figuring out what people will want to read. It’s a great service,” said Mary.

That’s not the only great thing about the library, according to Mary. “We don’t throw any books away.” The committee goes through the donated books and chooses which ones will be added to the collection. The rest are either sold to the Dusty Bookshelf, donated to the Friends of the Library sale or put on a bookcase for staff and residents to bring one/take one.

As we celebrate Library Month in February, we want to thank Mary and her committee for maintaining our library and giving us a variety of great books to read!

PHOTO: Our library committee keeps around 500 books organized and enjoys reading and discussing books. Pictured are Esther Kinsey, Effie Simmons, Carol Ann Vernon, Mary Burchill, Dottie Daugherty and Jo Doles.

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