The Story of Betsy

Buckle Up Betsy was part of the Kansas City Cows on Parade in summer 2001. The artistic installation featured approximately 260 life-size cows artistically rendered and on display around Kansas City. Buckle Up Betsy was on display at Union Station near downtown Kansas City and was created by LSNHS art teacher Jeanette Parsons. All of the cows were auctioned off for charity in October 2001. Many were auctioned by Sotheby's at Starlight Theater on October 5, 2001; Betsy was part of an internet auction on Amazon starting the same day.  Betsy was originally sponsored by three Lee's Summit area businesses: Carl Chinnery and Associates Law Office, Ray Adams Toyota, and Twin Lakes Insurance agent Mike Smith.  The winner of the internet auction donated Buckle Up Betsy back to Lee's Summit North. For several years Betsy resided in the commons, but after threat of being turned into either a sophomore's new car or steak at lunch, Betsy moved to the safer pastures of the Library Media Center, where she gazes (or grazes) out on one of the best views in Lee's Summit.

Banned Books Week 2021

Each year the American Library Association celebrates Banned Books Week to bring light to the dangers of censorship and to celebrate each individual’s freedom to read and access information. The LSN Library celebrates your freedoms as well.

Here are many resources where you can learn more about Banned Books Week and your Right to Read.
– This LSN Library page displays the information collected by the ALA Office for Intelectual Freedom concerning book challenges in the United States. This includes a video and slideshow concerning the top 10 most challenged books in 2019.
– Here is the official home of Banned Books Week. It contains information and resources for teachers.
– Here is a Collection of banned and challenged books that you can check out from the LSN Library. Here are instructions for how to check out books during Virtual Learning.
– The ALA’s Library Bill of Rights explains how the library protects your freedom to read and explore your interests widely and privately.
You can also read the ALA’s Freedom to Read Statement, which was first adopted in 1953, and continues to be reaffirmed to this day.

Top 10 Challenged Books 2020

Summer Reading Opportunities

There are a lot of great summer reading options available to you this summer. Many have already started!

In our LSN library, starting May 17 you can check out as many print books as you want to be responsible for. Bring them back the first day of school, or drop them off at the summer school library.

Our online eBook provider, Sora, has audio books and eBooks available 24/7. Plus, their Sweet Reads summer reading program gives you more than three dozen new titles that are always available! This program runs now through early August. The thousands of books we've curated for high school students is always available on Sora

Through Sora, you can also add the library: Audio Sync to get two free audio books every week. While you have to download them the week they are available, once you've download them to your device you'll be able to listen to them at any point in the next 99 years! First, click Audio Sync to sign up. You can even have them send you a reminder when new books are available each week! Then, to add this library within your Sora, 1) Open Sora on your device. 2) In the top right corner, look for a drop-down menu that has 'add a library' as an option. 3) Click 'add a library.' 4) Search by name Audio Sync 5) log in with your email.

Mid Continent & Kansas City Public's Sora Libraries: Why not add more choices to your Sora catalogue? Follow the steps above to add a library to your Sora, but search Mid-Continent. Your library card number is LS + your school ID (lunch) number.

As a Jackson County resident, you can also request a new library card from the Kansas City, Missouri public library on their Website. You'll get a digital card instantly that you can use to check out materials through their Sora library! Follow the same steps to enter KCPL on your personal Sora, giving you up to four libraries to find books in one single search.

Mid Continent Public Library's summer reading program begins June 1. You can win free books and prizes from the KC Zoo, Science City, the Truman Library, and more.

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month.
We have some amazing poetry books on display and ready for check-out in the library. Please stop by!
You can also find great poems and more information at…

Senior Scholarship!

Seniors, the Library offers a $500 scholarship each year for the best research project. You can find all the details by following this link.
All submissions are due by March 11th.

Libraries and eBooks | May 12, 2020

With our physical libraries closed until next school year, our digital eBook collections have become more valuable than ever during distance learning. By far our most popular eBook library is Sora / Overdrive, home to thousands of new young adult novels you can read or listen to for free.

We are about to enter our tenth year offering eBooks and audio books through Overdrive in our LSR7 high schools and middle schools. Between August 2011 and the time I’m typing this (11 AM on May 11, 2020) our students and staff have checked out 86,612 eBooks and audio books, and they have placed 25,530 holds. We’ve seen 11,180 unique users in that time. What we never anticipated was that there would come a time when our eBook library would become the library. 

In this post, I want to take a moment and offer a glimpse behind the curtain of our eBooks platform about the business of eBooks. As a library, our relationship with eBooks is different than with print books. With print books the process is fairly straightforward: the library buys a book and we own it. We check that book to our patrons until it becomes unusable, which might be decades after we buy it. For the most part, if you personally buy an eBook or audio book, you most likely own rights to that digital file until you delete it from your device. 

The eBook world is very different for libraries. Regular users will notice that we have some books only for a little while, while others have been around since the beginning and are part of a permanent collection. It all boils down to licensing, and how the publishers decide to allow us access to those licenses. Not all publishers do things the same way, and some have different policies for public libraries vs. school libraries. Most of the major publishers have changed their policies on eBooks over time -- some of them multiple times.

Think of our eBook library like Netflix. You’ve probably noticed that the Netflix lineup changes week to week and month to month. Our eBook library changes too, sometimes day by day, as titles that we licensed for one to three years expire and we add new titles that have just been published. We license some books for a total of 26 checkouts. Some we get to keep in our permanent collection. It all comes down to what a particular publisher’s policies are when we want to license a title. You might notice that sometimes we have titles that Mid-Continent doesn’t have, and vice-versa. It is frustrating when the public library has an audio book on their Overdrive but we can’t license it on our Overdrive for school. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen due to publisher choices regarding licensing.

Some publishers only license their eBooks or audio books for twelve months, sometimes for as much as $50 for a single year. Unless a title is on a current award list (such as Gateway or Truman), we don’t license a book under those terms. That’s another instance where Mid-Continent might have a title where we don’t. This is just my opinion (Mr. Russell here, by the way), but I don’t think that’s a good use of taxpayer money. The return on investment for us simply isn’t worth that amount of money because there’s a chance that title might only get used two or three times -- meaning a cost of $17 to $25 per checkout. (MCPL, on the other hand, has an exponentially larger patron base where a single license for $50 a year might get enough checkouts to be worthwhile).

More than that, I believe in that old saying of voting with your dollars. We license thousands of dollars in eBooks a year -- and nearly all of that goes to ‘vote’ for titles with 26 checkouts or that go into our permanent collection.  In a way, it's a bit like providing feedback to publishers in terms of sales. Often, if I decide not to license an eBook due to publishers insisting on a one-year term, I will add an extra copy or two in print that we can keep as long as we want. While we might lose access to a handful of good titles in eBook format, there are plenty of great young adult novels from publishers willing to license books at a reasonable fee and with reasonable terms to school libraries. I am happy to support those publishers with our library funds.

One other note to mention about eBooks: there is a slight change coming to Overdrive in the next few months. Overdrive is the app and platform we’ve used for new fiction titles since we started offering eBooks almost a decade ago. However, the company behind Overdrive is retiring that app this fall in favor of the newer app, Sora, which has been out for about a year. Logins, passwords, and access to all our eBooks remains the same on both platforms. Sora allows you to win badges for different things, which some users will find entertaining. Starting in late July or August, our LSN LMC Web Page will link directly to Sora instead of Overdrive.

As always, if you have questions or suggestions about our eBook collections, please contact us! 

MCPL and LSR7 Partnership

Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, the LSR7 School District partnered with Mid-Continent Public Library so that every student has a Mid-Content Public Library card. Below is an email from Mid-Continent explaining the details and a bit about some of the many awesome resources students can access via MCPL.

The short version though is this,
Students' MCPL Library Card = LS1234567 (Capital LS+Lunch Number)
MCPL PIN = MMDDYYYY (Eight digit birthday)





During this critical time when you and your students and their caregivers need help the most, Mid-Continent Public Library provides access to a wide range of online resources that can help with schoolwork at home. As you contact your students, please remind them that they can use the Library virtually with their Student Access Passes (Library card).

You can help your students begin using their Access Passes today!

The Lee's Summit School District has chosen a special format for Student Access Pass numbers, which gives access to Mid-Continent Public Library’s online resources:

“LS” + student ID number (i.e., LS1234567)

By using their Student Access Pass numbers, your students can use the following from home:

Online Resources: MCPL has more than 200 online resources that can be used for research, school projects, online learning, and more. One such resource is Live Homework Help from, which is available in English and Spanish and connects students with a live tutor who can assist them in a variety of subjects. When accessing any online resource on, type in the student’s Access Pass number using the format above.

Digital Content: The Library provides a wealth of materials that can be downloaded or streamed, including eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMovies from OverDrive; eMagazines from RBdigital and Flipster; eNewspapers from PressReader; and eMusic from Freegal Music and other free resources. Access these and others at

We look forward to seeing you at one of our branches in the near future.

*All students are eligible for a student ID-based account unless their parents opted out during this year’s school registration.



Our student library staff helped the library get ready for winter with their fun displays. Our SBEs are cooler than your SBEs. #SchoolLibrary LSNLMC photo
What have we been up to in the library??? A book hunt with ELA 10, a chili cook-off with teachers, and Chess Club to name just a few. #SchoolLibrary LSNLMC photo
Great field trip today with our Book Club friends from LSHS & LSN. This month we read books about indigenous peoples and then viewed the amazing Native American collection at the @nelson_atkins LSNLMC photo
What have we been up to in the library??? Research lessons, Breakout boxes, teacher PD lunches and breakfasts, Book Club, Banned Book Week, book talks… Good times. #SchoolLibrary LSNLMC photo
Book Club meets this Friday. Check out our new books and get the permission slip for the all-school field trip. LSNLMC photo
Celebrate your freedom to read in the
library this week and every week. Visit the
library to discover more information about
banned and challenged books. #READ
LSNLMC photo

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