Murphy's Landing sign in the Barton Library


Library Summer Semester Hours 

Sunday: CLOSED
Monday - Thursday: 6:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday: CLOSED
Saturday: CLOSED

Full Schedule of Library Hours & Closings

The Barton Library offers patrons access to more than 12,000 print books, 69 periodical titles, 272,000 eBooks, 92 databases, and nine electronic media collections. More services and resources are available in the links to the left and below.

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Director's Welcome
Director's Welcome

Welcome to the Barton Library website. We serve Barton Community College’s students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the Barton, Ellsworth, Pawnee, Rice, Rush, Russell, and Stafford County communities. It is our privilege to help facilitate your learning endeavors, whether you are on-campus or online. The Library provides academic support to the College’s four campus locations, and to remote learners. We encourage you to take full advantage of the collections, resources, and services available to meet student and faculty academic needs.

In addition to maintaining an extensive collection of print books and periodicals, the Barton Library provides curriculum-appropriate online journals, eBooks, and streaming media that can be accessed through the Library Resources page or the MyBarton Portal. We also furnish researchers and community learners with in-person access to the special collections of the Cohen Center for Kansas History.

The Roman poet Horace once encouraged a friend to "dare to know," and by similarly promoting the pursuit of knowledge and the free exchange of ideas, we seek to be a center for teaching and learning. All our librarians and staff members adhere to the Library’s Mission Statement:

The Barton Library’s primary mission is to provide a well-balanced collection of resources essential to supporting the learning opportunities offered by Barton Community College. In addition, the Library strives to develop, arrange, and maintain information services that spark curiosity, cultivate critical thinking, and encourage a lifelong love of learning.

To further those aims, we provide expert support to help you best utilize the full range of our collection. Our librarians are available in-person, by telephone, or through e-mail to aid in accessing library materials, conducting research, or answering technology questions. We encourage you to make use of our technology resources, such as computers, laptops, Chromebooks, printers, and scanners, and to collaborate with your colleagues in the Quiet Rooms. Let us assist you in discovering how the Barton Library can be an essential component to a successful academic career.

I am honored to serve you as the library director. Justin Winsor, the first president of the American Library Association, advocated in 1880 for making “the library the grand rendezvous of the college for teacher and pupil alike.” That outlook has stood the test of time. I and the entire Barton Library team hope you will consider us a partner in your education and a resource for quality information during your time at Barton Community College.



Darren L. Ivey

Director of Library and College Archives

About the Library
About the Library

The Role of the Community College Library in the Academy discusses the functions of libraries in the community college setting and the Association of College and Research Libraries' (ACRL) position statements on information literacy, library support of distance learning, and learning resource centers.

Barton Library's Frequently Asked Questions may provide you with answers about Library hours, checking out and returning materials, accessing databases, the printers, and the document scanner.

The Services & Resources List describes the various means of academic support the Library offers.

Similar to the majority of academic libraries, the Barton Library utilizes an organizational arrangement developed by the Library of Congress for its print and electronic collections. See Understanding the Library of Congress Classification System for assistance in learning this widely used system of library classification.

The Barton Library catalogs its electronic collection of federal government documents using the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification system. The SuDoc system is the United States government’s classification method for identifying and cataloging official publications. See Understanding the Superintendent of Documents Classification System for an explanation of the federal government’s approved system of call numbers.

The Kansas government publications among the Barton Library’s electronic holdings are arranged using the Kansas Documents (KSDOC) classification system. Similar in design to that used by the federal government, the KSDOC system is the State of Kansas’s cataloging method for official documents. See Understanding the Kansas Documents Classification System for further details.

For more on the Library's practices for acquisitions and weeding, see the Collection Development Plan.

See the Library's Rules and Guidelines for information on patron conduct, the borrowing of materials, and food and drink in the Library.

Library Accounts
Library Accounts

Each student is encouraged to bring their Barton Community College photo ID card to the Library and create a patron account. Your photo ID then becomes your library card for borrowing materials, renewing these items, and requesting books and periodicals from academic and public libraries throughout the state and the nation.

We also provide patron accounts to community members residing within the College's service area. A valid driver's license and a Kansas public library card are required when first creating the account.

Library Catalogs
Library Catalogs

The Barton Library is your first stop to find books, periodicals, or audiovisual media.

Barton Library Catalog Link

If the object of your search is not among our holdings, try the Kansas State Library's Catalog.

 Kansas Library Catalog Link

If you need to take the search wider, WorldCat is an online database with more than 1.2 billion records for books and other materials in OCLC member libraries, worldwide.

WorldCat Logo

Once you have your item, go down to Inter-Library Loan.


ArchiveGrid provides access to online archival finding aids, detailed collection guides, and inventories of primary source materials held by over 1,000 archives, libraries, museums, and historical societies.

Inter-Library Loan
Inter-Library Loan

Inter-Library Loan User Guide

What are Inter-Library Loans?

  • Inter-Library Loan service allows Barton Library patrons to request materials not part of our collection that are held by other Kansas libraries.

Who may use Inter-Library Loan?

  • This service is open to Barton Community College faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students, and to the general public when using a current Kansas library card. Barton Library accounts must be in good standing.

 How do I submit an Inter-Library Loan request?

  1. Search the Barton Library Catalog to confirm the needed book or periodical is not among our physical holdings.
  2. Search the Library’s databases to confirm the needed book or periodical is not among our electronic holdings.
  3. Once verified, fill out the Book Request Form or Periodical Request Form.
  4. If assistance is needed, you may contact Library staff at or (620) 792-9365

How much does Inter-Library Loan cost?

  • Materials are borrowed from lending libraries in Kansas free of charge. For out-of-state materials, lending libraries have the discretion to request patrons pay the shipping costs.

How much time should I allow for the processing of my Inter-Library Loan request?

  • We cannot guarantee a specific arrival time. Requests are processed during the weekdays. Typically, materials are received within five (5) to seven (7) business days.

Where do I pick up / return my Inter-Library Loans?

  • The pick-up and drop-off location for physical materials is Murphy’s Landing in the Barton Library on the Barton County campus. Patrons are responsible for using ILL materials carefully and returning them to the Barton Library promptly and in good condition. Most periodical articles and book chapters are delivered electronically.

How do I renew items?

  • The lending library specifies the length of the loan (usually two to four weeks), the conditions under which material may be used (in-library only, no copying, handle with care, etc.), and the possibility of renewals. Some libraries do not grant renewals, so prompt pick-up and use of materials is vital.
  • To make a renewal request, contact Barton Library staff three (3) business days before the due date in order to allow time for a response from the lending library. If the request is granted, we will adjust your due date to reflect the amount of time the lending library allowed and send you an email message. If the lending library denies the renewal, we will send you a message asking you to return the item by its original due date.
Reading Fiction
Reading Fiction


Literature that is comprised of prose narratives created from the author’s imagination, and are not presented as fact, although works may be based on a true story or situation. Formats in the fiction genre include the novel, the novella, the short story, and the graphic novel.

Benefits of Reading Fiction

Reading for knowledge is vital for navigating the ebbs and flows of life, but research suggests that reading fiction may provide far more important benefits:


Fiction can be divided into literary fiction and popular (or genre) fiction, although the two delineations are not mutually exclusive.

Works of literary fiction exhibit one or more of these characteristics:


  • Intended for smaller, more highly educated audience
  • Reading is more active; readers are asked to search for meaning and produce their own perspectives


  • The setting is familiar, but considered in a different way


  • The author structures the plot in an unconventional way that challenges accepted conventions and reader expectations, such as non-linear narratives and ambiguous endings


  • The protagonist is the center of the story and drives the narrative forward
  • The protagonist is complex, with a full inner life and multifaceted motivations


  • Literary novels have a wide range of content; themes are drawn from the whole of human life
  • There may be commentary on society, nature, or human behavior


  • Scope is extremely broad


  • The author uses literary devices to enrich the story, such as allegories, allusions, imagery, metaphors, similes, and symbolism
  • The prose is sophisticated
  • Language is chosen with care; each word packs a punch
  • Relies more on description; dialogue is more written language than spoken

Style and Tone

  • The author meditates profoundly on the human condition and universal life experiences
  • The author is philosophical about human nature and the meaning of life, offering a higher emotional impact
  • Writers draw on variety of styles and can transcend genre (e.g., Cormac McCarthy)
  • Writing is generally of a higher quality

Other Considerations:

  • Written for artistic endeavor and creative expression as much as for money
  • Work is considered more prestigious
  • The work and/or the author has received awards reserved for more literary works (e.g., Pulitzer Prize, Nobel Prize, Booker Prize, National Book Award, etc.)
  • Work has stood the test of time and is read by successive generations; the individual influence is greater and more lasting
  • Sets the standard for popular genres (e.g., Joyce, Chandler, or Tolkien)
  • Literary fiction might have been elevated from popular fiction by the common agreement of other writers, literary scholars and critics, and readers


  • Isaac Asimov
  • Michael Chabon
  • Raymond Chandler
  • Philip K. Dick
  • C. S. Lewis
  • Salman Rushdie
  • William Shakespeare
  • Zadie Smith
  • J. R. R. Tolkien


Works of popular fiction exhibit one or more of these characteristics:


  • Intended for larger, more mainstream audience
  • Reading is passive; the plot provides the meaning and the perspective


  • The setting offers the reader the chance to escape


  • The plot follows a standard genre formula that readers expect
  • Plots follow a similar trajectory
  • Characters possess certain shared traits and motivations


  • Plots are based more in characters’ actions than in the characters themselves
  • The plot drives everything, and the character serves the plot


  • Themes are derived from the action
  • Themes are basic (e.g., love, death, good vs. evil, coming of age, power, corruption, survival, courage, heroism)


  • The scope is relatively narrow


  • Prose is accessible and written in everyday vernacular
  • Generous in use of dialogue
  • Writing and use of language is generally of a lower quality than literary fiction

Style and Tone

  • The author wants to strictly entertain; stories are more adventurous or sensational
  • The novel adheres to the theme, and the content is well defined and predictable
  • Authors maintain a consistent style and observe standard genre conventions; they are unlikely to mix elements of multiple genres

Other Considerations:

  • Needs to please the reading public in order to make money
  • Forgotten within several generations unless they become “genre classics” that are read by fans of that specific genre


  • Tom Clancy
  • Stephen King
  • George R. R. Martin
  • Mickey Spillane
  • Scott Turow
  • David Weber

    Fiction Genres and Sub-Genres
    Reading Graphic Novels
    Reading Graphic Novels

    Graphic Novels

    Full-length fiction (especially science fiction or fantasy) or non-fiction stories published as books in comic-strip format.

    A graphic novel is a format that presents a number of literary categories such as literary fiction, popular fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature. The term was coined by artist Will Eisner in 1978. Graphic novels are similar to comic books, as they typically present a narrative through concise text and sequential art. However, some may not contain words. When they do, text is presented in the form of captions or speech bubbles. Other visual representations include icons, pictorial runes, panels, page layout, and sound effects. Unlike comic books, however, graphic novels are generally long-form works published in a stand-alone volume or a series of volumes, or within an omnibus. Two modes of communication—written text and visual images—work together in a graphic novel to impart a more complete message to the reader. They usually involve more complex characterization and plot development than a single comic book issue. These modes, often using two levels of narrative, can create conceptual themes that foreshadow events or frame the graphic novel’s focus.

    The first graphic novels appeared in the United States in the late 1970s, but the format did not become mainstream until the rise of Japanese manga in the mid-1980s. American comic book publishers quickly entered the market, and the popularity of graphic novels has increased, along with their availability in bookstores and libraries.

    Benefits of Reading

    Develops visual literacy skills: Visual literacy, the ability to comprehend, create, and comment on images, is being recognized as a critical skill for 21st century learners. Readers are able to form a connection to images, derive meaning through language, which puts the image in context, and enhance writing and critical thinking skills. Visually literate readers can then communicate ideas and concepts found in a visual medium. Authors use the artistic images to further communicate concepts, perceptions, and emotions found in the printed text.

    Advances and challenges reading skills: Rather than being dependent on images, readers of graphic novels must simultaneously exercise their visual and verbal literacy. Merely reading the text of a graphic novel, or looking only at the artwork, is not enough to create meaning and comprehend the story. Readers of graphic novels must be able to interpret the two modes of communication and integrate them. This visual-text interaction enhances the grasping of sequencing and inferencing, literary themes, mood, and tone, permits insight into character and plot development, and enriches the understanding of narrative, figurative language, dialogue, perspective, and appropriate punctuation and grammar rules.

    Builds vocabulary: Although graphic novels may feature fewer words than a prose work, their limited space demands language that is richer and chosen for maximum impact. In turn, this allows readers to better create complex sentences and sophisticated word choices. Reading textual and visual mediums also simultaneously improves word recall.

    Fosters imagination and creativity: Graphic novels often feature different presentation styles and inventive storytelling. This type of out-of-the-box approach encourages mental flexibility and non-linear thinking.

    Increases art appreciation: A graphic novel features both textual content and expressive illustrations, each of which may be considered an art form. When combined, they offer readers an opportunity to appreciate a distinctly new piece of artwork. Additionally, readers may compare and contrast the style and design elements used by different artists working in the graphic novel medium. Artists support the narrative through the use of metaphoric images, lines, colors, forms, shapes, patterns, and detail.

    Reinforces difficult texts: The language, style, and concepts of The Iliad, Hamlet, Moby Dick, or other classic works may be challenging for some learners. Reading the classic text alongside the graphic novel may result in a greater understanding of the story.

    Engages unenthusiastic readers: Graphic novels provide a viable alternative for those who are reluctant to read prose novels or have trouble visualizing text. The fast pace of many graphic novels may hold their attention and keep them occupied. The visual content can inspire an interest in the story and provide a motivation to read more widely.

    Develops and challenges social and emotional learning (SEL) skills: Authors and artists are able to convey characters’ feelings through printed dialogue, and illustrated facial expressions and body language, which allow readers to visually recognize emotional cues. Realizing these expressive subtleties promotes emotional intelligence and improves one’s sense of empathy.

    Types of Graphic Novels
    Recommending Library Materials
    Recommending Library Materials

    The Barton Library welcomes suggestions and recommendations for new library materials. Please check the Online Catalog to verify the Library does not yet own the item. Suggestions from faculty, staff, and students are given the highest priority as the collection is primarily intended to support student coursework and the research needs of the Barton community. Factors that determine purchasing decisions include relevance to the curriculum and budgetary constraints.

    Faculty and students in each department or program has an assigned subject specialist librarian to answer questions and provide assistance identifying titles or formats that are available for acquisition.

    Please complete the Acquisition Suggestion form for non-fiction materials (books, DVDs) and the Book Recommendation form for fiction books. Provide as much information as possible so the request can be processed more quickly and efficiently.

    The addition of new electronic resources and periodical subscriptions is governed by the Collection Development Plan.

    The Library reserves the right to make all final decisions on acquisitions. However, every recommendation will be given the proper consideration.

    Library Advisory Board
    Library Advisory Board

    The Library Advisory Board is an institutional team that seeks to maintain direct lines of communication and enable the exchange of ideas between the Library and students, faculty, and staff across the College's four campuses.

    Meet the Barton Library Staff
    Meet the Barton Library Staff

    Darren L. Ivey
    Director of Library and College Archives

    Subject specialist librarian for: Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Emergency Management-Homeland Security, Emergency Medical Services, Geography, Hazardous Materials, History, Journalism, Leadership, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religion.

    Shelby Cunningham
    Library Assistant, Circulation Services

    Subject specialist librarian for: Accounting, Arts, Business, Business Computer Management, Communication, Dance, Early Childhood Education, Economics, Education, Health and Physical Education, Information Technology, Music, Nursing, Pharmacy Technician, Sociology, Theater.

    Kate Fiala
    Library Assistant, Outreach Services

    Subject specialist librarian for: Agriculture, Chemistry, English, Life Sciences, Literature, Mathematics, Modern Language, Physical Sciences, Physics, Statistics.

    Alan Riedel 
    Library Volunteer