The Road to Annual: Tuesday, June 11


Rossville Community Library

The library in Rossville, Kansas, serves a population of just over 1000 residents as well as people from surrounding towns who flock to Rossville Community Library to take advantage of its services and resources. The library boasts some of the strongest Wi-Fi in the area (“You’ll see people on the swing shift parked here at 2am”), a book club that has been meeting monthly for seventeen years, an after school “Snack Attack” program, even children’s bingo, the boisterous and heavily-attended event that pushed our interviews to a building next door.


Emily and Christi McKenzie, director of the Rossville Community Library.

Library director Christi McKenzie is also committed to supporting local businesses, offering a suite of office services for community members. Abigail McCrory used those services as she built Grounded on the Go, a mobile coffee camper that makes appearances at events in the Topeka area. Books about how to form an LLC, a fax machine and printer, and quality Wi-Fi are part of that story, but it’s the people in the library who really make the difference. “Everybody is in the library,” McCrory told us. “It’s a great place to bounce ideas off of a lot of different people.” ALA members know that Libraries Build Business, and McKenzie’s library demonstrates that commitment every day.


Emily interviews Sean Bird, President of the Kansas Library Association and Senior Associate Dean, Washburn University.

The Rossville Community Library is also the home library of Sean Bird, President of the Kansas Library Association and a 2021 I Love My Librarian award winner. It’s where he grew up as a reader, returning first as library director and later as chair of the Board of Trustees. We talked with him about the challenges facing Kansas libraries and the need to stay close to our mission and connected to each other. “We need to do what we always do,” said Bird. I couldn’t agree more.

Mileage: 109

Soundtrack: Still Woozy, Toro y Moi

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