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Foundation Accomplishments

Advanced Learning Library: Master Plan

A timeline for the new Advanced Learning Library

LibraryAware 2014 Library of the Year Award

On June 3rd at the Wichita City Council Chambers, the Library Journal and LibraryAware recognized the Wichita Public Library as the 2014 Library of the Year.

Campaign for Books

The Foundation's Campaign for Books is a permanent endowment in support of the Library. Annually income from the endowment is used to purchase of books and materials. Contributions are currently being accepted. Thank you to the following individuals, foundations and businesses for the creation of the endowment. 

National Endowment for the Humanities

The Foundation completed a $2,000,000 NEH challenge grant in 2003. Thank you to the following individuals, foundations and businesses who helped achieve this goal by becoming members of the Founders Circle.

Foundation grants at work in the Library

 John L. and James S. Knight Foundation

 The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation was established in 1950 as a private foundation. It is dedicated to furthering their ideals of service to community, to the highest standards of journalistic excellence and to the defense of a free press. Wireless access, laptop computers, a mobile training lab and updated technology classes were the result of a Knight Foundation grant at work. In addition, Library staff provide a service called Book-a-Librarian to help individual customers of the Library learn to use their own laptop computers and e-book readers.

Wichita Community Foundation

A grant from the Wichita Community Foundation puchased CD/DVD cleaning and repair equipment. The turnover time to return materials to circulation decreased from just over six months to two weeks. As a result, hold times for popular music and videos was significantly reduced. Expenditures on replacing damaged discs were also reduced.

Olive Ann Beech Scholarship

World War II Production at Beech Aircraft Corporation, courtesy www.wichitaphotos.org The Olive Ann Beech Scholarship was established in 1994 through a gift from Mary Lynn Oliver in memory of her mother, Olive Ann Beech, co-founder of Beech Aircraft. The scholarship is awarded annually to employees of the Wichita Public Library in pursuit of a Masters Degree in Library Science. Through 2012, 29 scholarships have been awarded and many of the scholarship recipients continue to work for the Library. (Photo courtesy Wichita Photo Archive.)

The Big Read - Wichita

The Big Read - WichitaFrom 2008-15, the Wichita Public Library Foundation received the National Endowment for the Arts' The Big Read grant. The Foundation is proud of the work the Wichita Public Library does to make this community-wide event so powerful and popular. Titles presented include Willa Cather's My Antonia, The Tales of Edgar Allen Poe, Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsy, Charles Portis' True Grit, Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, and Luis Alberto Urrea's Into the Beautiful North. Looking forward, 2016's The Big Read Wichita will celebrate Ray Bradbury and Fahrenheit 451
The Big Read - Wichita has a significant impact in our community. Last year's Into the Beautiful North featured a visit by author Luis Alberto Urrea, funded in part by the grant with additional funding from community partners, including the Friends of the Wichita Public Library, Wichita State University and Derby Public Library. About 12,000 adults and children attended The Big Read - Wichita activities at the Library or through a partner organization. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Kansas Health Foundation

A grant from the Kansas Health Foundation provided funding for programming for active seniors offered by a coalition of area organizations. The Wichita Public Library's programming is held at 1:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month. Topics range from historical re-enactments to presentations from local authors. Concerts from local musicians are always popular.

The World's Largest Published Book: Bhutan

In 2004, the DeVore Foundation gave a copy of Bhutan, the largest published book at the time, to the Wichita Public Library. The book was created by MIT's Michael Hawley, Acme Bookbinding and Friendly Planet. It is one of 500 copies published. The book weighs 133 pounds, measures 5 feet by 7 feet as recorded by Guinness World Records, LTD. Visit the 3rd floor of the Central Library for a personal vewing. Pages are turned daily. (Smaller copies are available for checkout!)

Did You Know?
The circulation desk at the old central library. Not a computer in sight! Check out why a new central library building is a must! Learn more ›
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