As Morrill Public Library celebrates its 140th anniversary in 2022, staff and trustees also wish to celebrate those in the community who continue to support the library and its essential services.
The library manager said Jere Bruning is unquestionably a strong supporter of the Morrill Public Library and the Hiawatha community as a whole. She said Bruning served for eight years as a library administrator from 1995 to 2003, taking charge of numerous projects and committees during his appointment and he participated in continuing education activities for more than 60 hours. . Bruning also received a certificate from the Kansas State Library Library Employee Training Program in 2002.
Verbick said even after his two terms on the board ended, Bruning continued to donate generously to the library, increasing the number of essential services provided to the citizens of Hiawatha.
“One of Jere and his late wife Patty’s long-time projects is the library’s AccuCut and AccuQuilt cutting machines,” she said. “The couple have donated several times for these machines, including the initial purchase of both and several new die packs. Teachers especially appreciate these machines as they are able to quickly cut out shapes, letters, pennants and other objects for their classrooms. Several options are also ideal for birthday decorations or decorating the children’s room.
Verbick said the AccuQuilt machine was added in 2014 after several local quilters, who were also frequent users of the library, requested its use, and Patty Bruning happened to be a quilter herself. The AccuQuilt is specifically designed for cutting fabric and the library has several large dies in different designs that quilters may find useful. Mayme Noll was another donor for the AccuQuilt machine.
Verbick said that along with other donors, the Brunings also donated to AWE stations located in the Bill & Bernard Martin Children’s Library. These computers have touchscreens, games and drawing apps that children can use, while remaining offline and in view of caregivers in the children’s library.
“Jere helped launch the library’s 1,000 Books Pre-Kindergarten program in 2017,” she said. “Although the tracking process has moved to the library’s Beanstack site, this program continues to be extremely successful and popular with children and their parents. Any child who has not yet started school can s register and, with the help of their caregivers, track the number of books read (even re-reading the same books counts!) and within a few milestones, the child receives a reward. books, he receives a certificate, t-shirt, and photo with our 1,000 books Before the kindergarten teddy bear mascot Friends of the Library and Sorosis of Hiawatha also donated to this program.
Verbick said the Library Digitization Project, in which the Hiawatha World Library collection was digitized and made searchable in an online database, is another widely used service to which Jere Bruning has donated. Together with the Mary Helen Hawks Trust and the Dr. Delbert Larson Memorial, the library can now provide these newspaper archives, which date back to the late 1800s, for patrons to access anywhere and anytime.
“More recently, Jere also graciously donated for the library’s lighting system and latest renovation project,” she said. “The library was able to meet immediate needs in 2018 thanks to a donation from Mr. Bruning so that the aging light ballasts could continue to be used while further renovation had not yet begun. Once the renovation was completed and trustees were in the furnishing phase, Jere’s $1,000 donation helped the library purchase a large refrigerator and new microwave for the large meeting room.”
Verbick said these items are used almost daily by patrons who use these rooms for community engagement, and the library has seen more than 400 meeting room reservations in 2022 alone.
“The library is fortunate to be supported by so many organizations and individuals in Hiawatha,” she said. “Without their partnerships, time donated to the library, expertise donated, and many other resources, the library could not continue to be a pillar in the community. Librarians and administrators deeply appreciate and thank Mr. Jere Bruning for all the resources he has donated throughout his decades of advocacy.”