May is a great month. It’s a month to celebrate mothers and graduates and a month to honor those who’ve died. School lets out for the summer, the pool opens and people fire up their grills. Amidst all the busyness of May, don’t forget to mark your calendars for a few events and programs happening courtesy of the Hays Public Library.

On Friday, the library is sponsored a chuckwagon dinner and concert at the park. This event was part of the library’s celebration of Ellis County’s sesquicentennial. Chuckwagons were used to feed hungry cowboys, soldiers and travelers in the era of the wagon train and would have been in use in 1867, when Fort Hays was established.

On Saturday, Aaron Krerowicz presented a program titled “From the Shadow of JFK: The Rise of Beatlemania in America.” In his sixty-minute presentation, Krerowicz explained how and why the presidency and untimely death of John F. Kennedy primed the nation for the Beatles’ arrival and success.

Music abounds in May. At 6:30 p.m. May 22, “Ragtime” Jeff Radcliffe will be giving a free concert. Radcliffe will delight the audience with powerful vocals and piano stylings of songs from the ragtime, jazz and Appalachian traditions.

Throughout the month of May, the library is promoting a “memory jar” program. People can stop by the library anytime this month to pick up a Mason jar to fill with memories of a special person, place or thing. Interpret the project as broadly or literally as you want. After you fill your memory jar, return it to the library, where it will be on display in the Schmidt Gallery throughout the month of June until the summer art walk.

In July, the library will host a “community threads” program. Patrons of all ages will be able to browse donated clothing. All items will be available free of charge, and there will be no limit on the number of items a person can take. The library will be accepting donations from Monday until June 7. Clothing should be clean and undamaged. Undergarments and broken accessories will not be accepted. If you clean out your closet during the next month, keep the library in mind for your unwanted items.

The library offers several book clubs for a variety of tastes. The Cozy Mystery book club meets every third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. The Women Reading Women book club meets every third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m., and in the months of May, June and July, the Kansas Humanities Council is sponsoring a Talk book series. May’s book is “The Slow Air of Ewan Macpherson” by Thomas Fox Averill. Sara Jane Richter of Oklahoma Panhandle State University will lead the discussion of the book at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Schmidt Gallery.

For more information on all of the programs and events, visit or call (785) 625-9014.

Lucia Bain is communications coordinator for the Hays Public Library.