Sunshine City Library

207 Kansas
Prairie View, KS 67664

The Prairie View Sunshine City Library had its beginning as the Sunshine Library in the basement of Bill and Vivian Jansonius in June of 1967 under the sponsorship of the Sunshine Leaders Home Demonstration Unit. The library consisted of 3 red boxes of books from the rotating collection of the Central Kansas Library System. Some members took turns acting as librarian. Members of the Sunshine Leaders Unit at that time included: Geneva Book Gingles, Margaret Breathouwer, Dorothy Brands, Marguerite Brown, Marie Hogan, Vivian Jansonius, Grada Nyhoff, Jo Pakkebier, Marlene Romjue, Mae Rupke, Carol Short, Roberta Soodsma, Stella Sprick, Hazel Stutterheim, Ann Tien, Bette Tien, and Doris VanDiest.

In 1971, the library moved into the former John Brands Barber Shop in the Bethke building on Main Street. The women painted the small room and were excited about installing a few shelves and an old desk. A library was really "wanted" as there was no heat or bathroom facilities. The volunteer librarian dressed for the weather when they "sat" for an hour every Saturday morning. People donated books and other books were purchased in addition to the CKLS rotating collection.

As the library grew, more space was needed. In 1972, the local telephone office became vacant. Part of this building was remodeled for a library. As time went on, the roof of the building leaked, a number of books were ruined. Once more, the library was looking for a new home.

In April 1975, the people of Prairie View voted to establish a city library. A library board was appointed and 2 mills for support was levied by the city council. At this time, the name was changed to Sunshine City Library. This new library became a part of the Central Kansas Library System in June. In September, the Sunshine City Library was accepted as a qualified legal library.

The former home of Stevanna VanDeWege, on the corner of First and Kansas was given to the city for library services and was gratefully accepted. Thus in 1985, the library moved again. As another ten years went by, we again had weathering problems.

Snow was blowing in between the flooring and walls. The bathroom floor had sunk and was permanently closed. Termites were eating the walls and flooring. This time discussion led to building a new 40 ft. by 50 ft. building for our library. November 1997 found the library moving to temporary quarters so the old house could be dismantled. Many volunteers as well as professionals worked together in creating our new library building. November 1998 had us moving into our new building.

February 6, 1999 was our dedication. It was a beautiful day and many friends, patrons, and library officials attended.

Our library couldn't have continued to grow as it has without our great volunteer group, including board members and librarians. Some original members of the Sunshine Leaders HDU continue to serve this support group.

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