Wichita Public Library

Courtesy Wichita Public Library/GLMV Architects

A state-of-the-art new central library is coming to downtown Wichita.

City Council gave final approval Tuesday for the $37 million dollar project to be built near the corner of 2nd Street and McLean.


UPDATE Feb. 2 at 1:18 p.m.: Wichita City Council signed off on the final design and construction budget for the “advanced learning library” by a vote of 5 to 2.

The Wichita City Council is scheduled to make a final decision Tuesday on whether a proposed advanced learning library will be built.

The current central library on South Main Street is 48 years old, and officials say it is not meeting the needs of its users.


It will be a few more months before the Wichita City Council decides whether the new $30 million central library project will move forward and be built.

The new central library, now called the “Advanced Learning Library,” was supposed to go out for bid this month according to a deal reached last January. But the project’s not ready for a vote. There’s still work to be done on the building design plan and final construction documents.


A fundraising goal for a new central library near downtown Wichita has increased to $8 million. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, the Wichita Public Library Foundation says they’re more than halfway there.

Courtesy photo

Wichita is moving forward with plans for a new Central Library and is expected to put the project to bid by end of the year.

City Council approved the next phase Tuesday morning by a vote of five to two.

The city also entered into a new partnership with the Wichita Public Library Foundation, a non-profit, to pay for the upcoming work.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has more on the council's action and the features visitors may see at the new library.


Amy Hopper, flickr Creative Commons

Wichita residents will learn more details about the proposed new Central Library next week. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has the story.

Leaders from the Wichita Public Library Foundation are expected to present their final report on the design phase to City Council on Tuesday.

Plans call for the new Central library to be built on land near Second and McLean, just southwest of Exploration Place.

The project has been in the works since 2006 and is expected to cost about 30-million.


The Wichita Public Library is closing one of its eight branches, as well as moving its collections to other larger branches. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has the story.

The Orchard Park library branch on West Ninth Street closed for good on Friday because it was no longer meeting the needs of its customers.

Director of Libraries Cynthia Berner says the branch is a very small space inside the Orchard Park Recreation Center and its usage has declined.

Berner says the branch has been a part of the community for 34 years.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

The changing role of libraries is evident across the country. With e-books and other emerging technologies, libraries continue to adapt to meet the needs of their patrons.

A master plan to build a new central library in downtown Wichita has been in the works for the last seven years. Funding for the $29 million facility is now up in the air with the Wichita City Council directing the library to seek out more private funds. 

Randy Regier

A wonderful new collaboration has received the support from the prestigious John S and James L Knight Foundation. Activate Wichita, a website that serves as a virtual town hall, has partnered with the Wichita Public Library to commission temporary art installations in vacant downtown windows.

Science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger Cory Doctorow will speak at the Wichita Central Public Library Wednesday evening.

He will discuss current copyright laws, their role in an expanding Internet-based society and what he says helpful copyright laws for artists would look like.

Doctorow has written for publications including Wired, the Guardian and Publishers Weekly and is co-editor of the blog “Boing Boing.”

More information about this event is available at kmuw.org.