Library Kimberly Offutt MHS Librarian.jpg

Kimberly Offutt

MHS Librarian

It’s May, and as we wrap up this school year, I’m already planning for the next.

A wall of shelves has been taken down in the library (thank you to the maintenance crew!). In its place will be a hanging art gallery featuring student art. I’ve wanted to showcase student art in the library, and with the hanging gallery, it will look clean and polished. Preparing the space has been a months-long process, but it’s going to look great when it’s done. 

A new seating area will be placed near the gallery. The new furniture helps me fulfill part of the MHS Library’s mission of meeting student and faculty needs through programming, meeting space and information access. 

In the R-II district, one point of information access is the database provider EBSCO. Through EBSCO, students and faculty can search periodicals, newspapers, peer-reviewed journals and more. I promote student use of this resource, as I’d much rather see students using a curated database for research than Google. However, a lot of this is new to me and I’m learning right along with the students.

Of course, learning is more fun when you get to pursue your own interests, and I’m lucky to see students doing just that in the library. 

I have a group of students interested in World War II and during lunch they come in and recreate WWII-era flags with Plus-Plus blocks.

Plus-Plus blocks are an engineering toy. I initially purchased a small set for the library and quickly learned I needed more. I reached out to the Plus-Plus Corporation and told them how much my students enjoy their product and would they be interested in sending us more? They sent me a box of 1,800 pieces! 

On the dry erase tables I’ve placed in the library, students have left creative doodles and positive messages. But, one of the best things I’ve seen a student do is draw an entire map of the United States, including state names and capitals - from memory. It was incredible. The map was so good it looked like it had been traced.

The MHS Library accepts donations of new and gently-used books published within the last five years, and of interest to our core audience – young adults. Call me at 660-562-4100 or send an email to if you have any questions about donations.

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