By JAMES BELL
An afternoon of fancy and fun is planned soon at the Hays Public Library.
From 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 5, the Hays Public Library Foundation will host a traditional afternoon tea in the Schmidt Gallery of the library at 1205 Main.
“We're going to have an afternoon of different kinds of teas and some fantastic treats,” said Hays Public Library Communications Coordinator Callie Kolacny. “We'll have some bread from Cathy's Breads. We're going to have some cookies and just different kinds of yummy things that go with the different kinds of teas.”
For those unfamiliar with the etiquette of a proper afternoon tea party, she said in line with the library’s mission, the event will be a learning experience and all are welcome.
“One of our foundation board members is really into these, and she goes to them all the time,” Kolacny said. “She's the lead on this and knows what she's talking about when you're talking about an afternoon tea party.”
She said attendees would be taken through the different types of teas and things that you can do with the teas.
“It's just going to be a fun, fun way to experience something a little bit different for this area,” Kolacny said.
While formal dress is not required, Kolacny said it is encouraged.
“Some ladies will wear dresses, they might wear big hats, pearls and gloves, things like that,” she said. “The men will dress up a little bit nicer than they might otherwise.”
The event, while geared toward a more adult crowd, could also be a fun experience for an older child, she said.
And while the experience will be an enjoyable experience, it will also serve as a fundraiser for the foundation.
“The Hays Public Library Foundation is basically the fundraising arm of the library,” Kolacny said. “And so when donations come in, then it goes through the foundation.”
Along with events like the Afternoon Tea Party, she said there are various ways to support the organization throughout the year.
“You can … write a check to the foundation, or you can bequeath something when you're looking at your financial planning for the future, you can include the public library in that, and that goes through the foundation,” Kolacny said. “We also have an account with the Heartland Community Foundation, so you can make donations in that way.”
Those foundation funds go to support the library in various ways.
“They kind of fund the needs that aren't already budgeted,” Kolacny said. “The library, of course, has its budget, and we have our plans of what we're going to do, but other things come up, and we need funding for them.”
She noted a few recent examples that the foundation helped fund include the Bookmobile and the large remodel of the facility.
“All of the donations do support the library in some fashion,” Kolacny said.
Those services and upgrades, in turn, allow the library to serve as more than just a repository for books but also a gathering place for the community.
“With all the digital resources, we still have a significant collection of physical books, and people want those,” Kolacny said. “But we also have all of the programs, and they're for all ages. We've got stuff for the littlest kids, the teenagers, we try to keep them active, especially after school we have some programs for them. And then, of course, adults, we have lots of programs for adults too. So, it's more of a community center. It's a meeting place, it's a place to gain some knowledge, to socialize and to just enjoy yourself.”
Tickets cost $35 and can be purchased at the event or online at hayslibrary.org/event/.