Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Default Passwords Now Include Area Code

In the Rolling Hills Library account system, the default PIN/password is the phone number on the account.  We had designated 816 as the default area code because at the time most users were in 816.

We have decided to implement a change to remove the 816 area code as the default because we have a new 975 area code for northwest Missouri that started being issued in our area in October.  Many people who move here from other areas choose to keep their existing number, so there are many in our system who list all 10 digits anyway.

If you already have a custom PIN/password set, nothing changes.  If you are still using the default with only 7 digits, it will change to 10 digits on December 1.  You can start using all 10 digits right now, no need to wait.

This will affect access to online resources and logging into the catalog to place holds or title requests.  If you are blocked or can't get in, try again with the 816 added to the front and see if this works.  Please email help@rhcl,org if you have any questions or need further assistance.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Imagination Library is now in Missouri

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is now available to all Missouri children!
From birth to age five, registered children receive a free book each month. To learn more and register, visit
Please share with friends and family with children under age 5 so they can start getting books every month. The Missouri Imagination Library was made possible by legislation (Section 178.694 RSMo) that identifies school districts as the local partner for this initiative. Full funding was included in DESE’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget to establish and administer Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library for all children in Missouri age 0-5. There is no cost to parents or schools for the books or the postage to deliver them.

About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book-gifting program in the world. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has gifted over 200 million free books in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and The Republic of Ireland. This is achieved through funding shared by The Dollywood Foundation and Local Community or State Partners. The Imagination Library mails more than 2.6 million high-quality, age-appropriate books directly to children’s homes each month. Each child enrolled in the program receives one book per month from birth to age five - at no cost to families. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading and inspiring children to Dream More, Learn More, Care More and Be More. The program’s impact has been widely researched, and results demonstrate its positive impact on early childhood development and literacy skills. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For more information, please visit

Monday, September 25, 2023

New! Re-launch of Our Library News Blog

We are getting back to our news blog so our users can subscribe to our posts and read some longer entries about the library and our activities.  We will post stories from our quarterly newsletter and hope to launch our own podcast soon!

Are there stories you want to hear about?  Questions about the library you want answered?  Just make a comment or drop us a message to and we'll find the answers.

In the meantime, here is the Director Column from the Fall 2023 issue of our newsletter:

Readers Know Better 

Reading gives you wider knowledge to help make decisions

    How do we know what we know? How do we stay informed and learn new things? 

    In libraries, we call the ability to search for and locate information “information literacy.” Like all literacies, we are talking about the ways that we add stuff into our brains and then use that information to make good choices and lead better lives. But what happens when people can’t tell the difference between fact and opinion? When all statements are treated as equally important and valuable? 

    Freedom of speech is a bedrock of the American way of life. We value and honor our rights to read and think and say what we want, but this does not mean there are no limits. You can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater if there is no fire because you could cause a panic and people could get hurt trying to exit. But the presence or absence of fire is pretty straightforward. What happens when we move into areas where it is not so clear? 

    The ability to look up information on a computer is part of information literacy. Selecting a search service, typing in search terms, and examining the results are all a part of this process. Nearly everyone these days relies on looking stuff up online instead of using printed or other verified sources. What if you find a large number of results but decide you don’t believe any of them? Or if you are persuaded to believe something that is a lie? Who decides what is true? 

    I don’t have all the answers, but I do know one thing – readers are always better off than non-readers. Even readers of fiction are better at selecting high-quality, factual information for research and decision-making. People who read have a greater understanding of how resources are created and how content is reviewed before publication. Expanded vocabularies and broad comprehension skills help us be better consumers of information. Readers are harder to fool and have more empathy for others. They dig deeper and look at more sources before making up their minds about an issue. 

    The best way to fight disinformation is to be a reader and make sure your family and friends are readers too. Let the children in your life see you reading and set aside time for them to read as well. Read out loud and read together. The best skill you can teach your children to prepare them for whatever life has in store for them is to READ and enjoy reading! 

Michelle Mears 

Rolling Hills Library Director 

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Have you heard? Audio books are growing in popularity

Reading Revival 

Have you heard? Audio books are growing in popularity 

    Where do you think the majority of “reading” takes place? In a cozy armchair or sitting at a desk? You might be surprised to find out that a growing number of people are reading while they commute to work, mow the lawn, or while exercising. Before you start ranting about the dangers of distracted drivers, this reading is taking place with the ears and not the eyes. The growing popularity of audiobooks can’t be denied. It is the largest category of usage on our Hoopla online service. 

    I’m not much for audio, but I do read a combination of e-books and printed books. I think I read faster than I can listen, but there is something about narration of non-fiction that makes it much more enjoyable for me. If you have ever listened to a podcast, you can understand how it can take a mundane topic and make it so interesting that you have to gorge on every episode. Digital audiobooks are like this. 

    The reading of books out loud and then recording them is nothing new. Even during the vinyl record phase (which is making a comeback in certain circles) there were spoken word recordings available. In libraries, the phrase “books on tape” is still used to describe audio recordings even if they are now on CD or digital download. Cassette tapes were great because they stopped at any point and could pick up right where you left off. CDs were not quite as user-friendly and were not as durable for the kind of use/abuse that library users could put them through. 

    Now, physical media is quickly giving way to digital downloads where you can put titles on your mobile device and listen wherever you are, with headphones or Bluetooth connections to your car or home sound system. 

    As you enjoy the outdoors this summer, bring along a good book to listen to around the campfire or when walking your dog.  If you need some assistance getting started with digital audiobooks, you can make a technology appointment with a librarian for one-on-one help. Try a book you have never read or maybe a favorite title you want to experience in a new way. 

    You may find yourself transported to another world while at the same time enjoying the great outdoors.

Michelle Mears, Rolling Hills Library Director 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Notary public services available now at library

Voter registrations. Passport applications. Now add notary public to the types of services Rolling Hills Library offers to the public besides helping people find something to read or watch. 

Several staff members at the Belt and Savannah branches have completed training to be notary publics and can witness and authenticate the signing of certain types of documents, administer oaths and take some affidavits. They also will can notarize mail-in ballots for the November elections. 

The notaries are available during library hours on a walk-in basis. No appointments are needed, so it’s best to call ahead to see if a notary is available before coming to the library. No fees will be charged for notary service. 

“Our mission is to serve the residents of Andrew and Buchanan counties, and we believe notary public services is something we can easily offer,” said library Director Michelle Mears. “A lot of people think of banks first when they need a notary. But with bank lobbies being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, people may be having trouble finding a notary. We can help them now.”

Monday, May 18, 2020

Registration is open for Summer Reading Program

Sign-up is now open at for the 2020 Summer Reading Program, and while the annual effort to promote reading promises plenty of books and prizes, it will have a different look than past years.

There will be no in-library events including the featured weekly performers, but there will be virtual Storytimes for young kids, book discussion groups for adults and crafts and activities for all ages from June 1 through July 31. This year’s theme of “Imagine Your Story” highlights fairy tales, fables and make-believe stories.

The coronavirus pandemic may have shortened the summer agenda, but it hasn’t diminished the importance of reading for youths and adults. Libraries use summer reading programs to help stave off the “summer slide” in students’ reading capabilities, library Director Michelle Mears said. And with many local students being out of school since March, the library is making it as easy as possible to register.

Youths from babies to teens and adults can sign up online at or by calling the Belt Branch at 816-232-5479, the Savannah Branch at 816-324-4569 or the Bookmobile at 816-205-7100 to speak to a staff member. In-person registrations will be taken when the library reopens to the public on Tuesday, May 26.

Everyone who registers will be entered into prize drawings for gift baskets and three $100 Walmart gift cards. Participants who reach their reading goals will earn a second entry for the drawings as well as other prizes. Youths will receive a cloth book bag full of activities to do at home when they register.

While youths and families look forward to the many summer events at the library, Mears said, the library opted to cancel all in-person programs to keep everyone safe from possibly spreading the coronavirus in crowds.

“We are very disappointed that we can’t bring the performers to our communities this year,” Mears said. “We want kids to be safe, and we know there could be many parents who might not bring their kids to these events to keep them safe, so we had to weigh those factors and cancel the programs.”

The library will announce online programs on its online calendar at and on Facebook. Some events are already posted while others will be added throughout the summer.

Monday, February 10, 2020

2020 Library Fundraiser Bee is a spelling bee for all ages


Registration is now open for the third Annual Library Fundraising Bee, and this year’s event will test participants’ spelling prowess – and pit all ages against one another.

Scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Saturday, March 28, in the Belt Branch Upper Story, the bee is a spelling contest open to all ages. Participants are encouraged to put together teams of friends and family members. Teams can register and pay their fees at Books Revisited, the Friends of the Library bookstore.

The contest is limited to 10 teams of four to eight spellers. The entry fee is $15 per person, and spectators can purchase $5 tickets at the bookstore or at the bee. Sponsored by the Friends and the Rolling Hills Library Foundation, the event will benefit the library’s endowment fund.

Teams will face eight rounds of spelling. Words spelled correctly are worth four points, while words spelled with the help of mulligans are worth three points. MIsspelled words earn one point. The team with the most points will be the winner.

A variety of mulligans will be available for spellers or their fans to purchase and use in case they run into trouble spelling. The mulligans include a “team huddle” to consult with team members and “15 seconds with a dictionary” to look up a word but then spell it correctly without looking at the dictionary.

Because minors could be participating or attending the bee, non-alcoholic beverages along with snacks will be offered for sale at the concession stand. A 50-50 drawing will be the event’s other money-making effort.