Wichita Public Library
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Wichita Public Library
Wichita Public Library
LocationWichita, Kansas
Access and use
Population served353,878
Other information
DirectorCynthia Berner
Staff148 (116.3 FTE)[1]

The Wichita Public Library is the local public library system in Wichita, Kansas. It consists of a central library located downtown and eight branch locations distributed throughout the city.[2]


Four district/regional branches (Alford, Evergreen, Rockwell and Westlink) offer a mix of basic research tools and popular materials for education and entertainment, while the neighborhood branches (Angelou Northeast, Comotara, and Linwood) offer mostly popular fiction and media titles in their limited spaces. The Linwood Branch is located in a recreation center. The Comotara Branch Library, located inside a Dillons Supermarket, was the first branch library branch in the United States to open in a grocery store.[3]


Local business owners funded the establishment of the library in 1876. In 1915, it expanded into a Carnegie library that would remain open until the establishment of the current Central Library in 1967.[4]

On October 16, 2007, the Wichita City Council decided on the preferred site for a new Central Library. The site is at Second Street and McLean (Geographical coordinates: 37°41?15?N 97°20?50?W / 37.68750°N 97.34722°W / 37.68750; -97.34722). [5][6] The initial building program resulted in a projected budget exceeding the amount allotted, forcing the Library to consider alternatives. In 2011, a study found that expanding the current Central Library facility would be possible, but would be more expensive than building a new facility and would not resolve building access issues. In 2012-13, the Library's Board of Directors considered a phased construction approach. The City Council authorized a request for qualifications, with a presentation by a preferred design team in summer 2014.[7] In January 2015, Wichita City Council voted in favor of a funding agreement with the library foundation to perform the design phase.[8]

In December 2014, the "Orchard Park" branch inside Orchard Park Recreation Center at 4808 West 9th was closed.[9]

The Central Library will replaced by a new facility, named the Advanced Learning Library, in May 2018. The $33 million library is two stories and has 99,930 square feet (9,284 m2) of interior space; it is also designed to withstand storms and act as a storm shelter.[10][11]

Reference services and resources

The Wichita Public Library offers resources including reference in person, by telephone, mail and e-mail.[12] As of 2011, its holdings included more than 1 million volumes[13]

The library offers the most research capabilities from its Central Library, located downtown. Many electronic resources are offered from the library's website and can be used by customers from home with a Library card.[14] Additional resources are available in partnership with the State Library of Kansas and the Kansas Library Card, such as the Digital eLending (ebooks and audiobooks) service.


The library offers a wide range of programs free of charge and open to the public. Annual events include events in celebration of African-American History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month and the Academy Award Shorts (see below).

The library's summer reading programs for youth reach more than 10,000 children annually. In winter, the library offers a reading program for adults. Each fall since 2008, the Library has hosted "The Big Read Wichita", a series of programs built around one book title.

The WPL's "Academy Awards Shorts" program is, reportedly, the oldest annual, complete, free public screening, outside of Hollywood, of the full array of short documentary, live action and animated "short" films (under 40 minutes) nominated for an Academy Award ("Oscar"). The films are normally presented, free, at the library and in local theaters and other venues around Wichita, shortly before the Academy Awards ceremonies.[15][16][17][18][19][20]

Other Wichita area libraries

See listing at Directory of Wichita Area Libraries

Notable Wichita-area libraries include:


  1. ^ a b "City of Wichita, Kansas 2014-2015 Adopted Budget" (PDF). wichita.gov. Retrieved .
  2. ^ "Library locations". Wichita Public Library. Retrieved .
  3. ^ Comes Roy, Jennifer (2000-10-25). "Wichita Public Library Names a New Director -- After 16 Years of Service, Cynthia Berner Harris Becomes the Library's Boss in a Unanimous Decision". Wichita Eagle. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "The Wichita Public Library". Wichita Public Library Foundation. 2005-12-15. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "Wichita Public Library Identifies Preferred Location for New Central Library". City of Wichita. Archived from the original on February 6, 2013. Retrieved .
  6. ^ "City decides on site for new library". Wichita Eagle. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "Wichita Public Library Master Plan". Wichita Public Library. Retrieved .
  8. ^ Wichita City Council votes 5-2 to move ahead with library plans; The Wichita Eagle; January 13, 2015.
  9. ^ Orchard Park library in west Wichita to close Dec. 19; The Wichita Eagle; November 30, 2014.
  10. ^ Lefler, Dion (April 27, 2018). "A sneak peek inside Wichita's new Advanced Learning Library: Bolder, brighter, better". The Wichita Eagle. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ Finger, Stan (February 24, 2017). "City officials like what they see as downtown library starts taking shape". The Wichita Eagle. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "Contact Us". Wichita Public Library. Retrieved 2014.
  13. ^ "Wichita Public Library - 2011 Annual Report" (PDF). Wichita Public Library. p. 31. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Online Databases". Wichita Public Library. Retrieved 2015.
  15. ^ "Wichita Public Library - Programs - 28th Annual Academy Awards Shorts, website of the Wichita Public Library, City of Wichita, Wichita, Kansas, 03/03/2014, downloaded 09/22/2014
  16. ^ "26th Annual Academy Awards Shorts," press release, Wichita Public Library, as posted on [OldtownWichita.com], Wichita, Kansas, Jan.24, 2012, downloaded Sept.22, 2014
  17. ^ Pocowatchit, Rod "Wichita Public Library to present Oscar-nominated short films," Wichita Eagle, Wichita, Kansas 02/17/2012, Updated: 02/17/2012, downloaded 09/22/2014
  18. ^ Pocowatchit, Rod "Wichita Public Library Presents: Oscar Nominated Shorts 2014" press release, The Orpheum Theatre, Wichita, Kansas 03/01/2014, downloaded 09/22/2014
  19. ^ Horn, John, Associated Press, "Obscure Oscar Nominated Films Face Battle," as published in the Sunday Gazette, Mar 12, 1998, Schenectady, New York, photocopied by Google News Archive Search, downloaded 09/22/2014
  20. ^ Jackson, Susan M., "Academy Award director to speak in Wichita," The Kansan, Salina, Kansas, March 26, 2010, downloaded Sept. 22, 2014

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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