February 2024: The support so many have shown the Nora E. Larabee Memorial Library is very much appreciated. The generosity of donors added up to $140,000 in contributions after the initial $50,000 donation was given in 2021!

Our library received a $100,000 Heritage Trust Fund (HTF) Grant from the Kansas Historical Society this year! This new grant will help cover the cost of:

Restoration of three basement windows

Restoration and repair of three beveled-glass surrounds (total of 15 panels)

Restoration and repair of five stained-glass surrounds around Nora’s portrait window

These three projects will complete the restoration of the exterior envelope of the building! We will use the remaining funds from individual donations as the match for this grant.

The HTF grant requires that a formal bidding process for the projects be completed. Although this can be time-consuming, it will assure that the project costs are reasonable and competitive. This process will soon be started and will be overseen by the grant committee and library board. The Kansas Historical Society will also lend its expertise in providing review and consultation for repairs and restoration.

We have already committed to several projects that can be completed while the HTF Grant projects are in progress. We are currently exploring options for window shades with the help of Marsha (Murphy) Cumley (SHS ’68). The handrails for the front steps have been ordered from Metal Arts LLC and are expected to arrive mid-April. We will address the front yard this spring.

The remaining projects will not start until the HTF Grant window projects are complete. These projects include ADA handrails for the south entry ramp, interior hand rails at the east room, and exterior paint. Progress will continue to be posted on Facebook (Larabee Library and Preserving Nora’s Legacy) and here.

Anyone who is interested in donating to this restoration fund for future projects may contact the library or make an online donation by accessing the PayPal button on the PNL Facebook page.

It’s a wonderful thing to consider that we now have the dollars to match the dreams of restoring this legacy library!