Wichita Public Library

Thomas Malbaux

The Wichita Public Library is beginning a new program this week that offers online learning in a social, small group setting.

The sessions are called Learning Circles, and they’re free.

Ten Learning Circles are planned from now through November on topics such as fake news, the art of poetry, superheroes and how to make a website.

The idea is to get a group of 10-15 people together to take an online course and talk about it along the way to completion.

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A film and discussion about race will take place Monday evening at Wichita’s Rockwell Branch Library. Participants will explore where the idea of race comes from.

Part one of the acclaimed PBS documentary series “Race: The Power of an Illusion” will give participants a chance to learn about the ways we consider race.

iphonedigital / flickr Creative Commons

According to a Pew study, 77 percent of Americans own smartphones and more than half own a tablet. However, not everyone knows how to adequately use the devices. The Wichita Public Library is offering a class for people to learn more – particularly for iPhone and iPad users. 

The class will cover a range of things that Apple devices can do.

For nine years, Ben Ropp has been a technology trainer librarian at Wichita Public Library. Ropp says the class will basically give users a tour of their device.

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The Wichita Community Foundation has announced a $160,000 grant to help impact literacy in Wichita. The foundation will partner with the Wichita Eagle, the Wichita Public Library and Watermark Books & Cafe.

Impact Literacy is an initiative by the Wichita Community Foundation whose goal is to help increase academic readiness, success in the workforce and economic growth in the community.

Stephanie Huff / Wichita Public Library

Libraries in Kansas and across the country are trying to help children improve early literacy skills by offering a reading challenge: to read 1000 books before kindergarten.

The Wichita Public Library is hosting a series of programs this year looking at issues of race and ethnicity, particularly in relation to law enforcement. 

The first presentation in the "Candid Conversations" series will be from Dr. Gretchen Eick, a history professor at Friends University. Eick is the author of Dissent in Wichita, a book focusing on race relations and the modern civil rights movement, particularly Wichita's Dockum Sit-In, one of the first anti-segregation demonstrations of its kind in the country.

Courtesy Wichita Public Library

The Wichita Public Library is engaging young readers through the Kansas Reads to Preschoolers program using a selected children's book. The month-long event promotes reading to children statewide from birth through age five.

Parents, librarians, and others who care for children are encouraged to share this year's book, "Bear Sees Colors," by Karma Wilson. The book will also be incorporated into various weekly storytimes at five library locations.

Courtesy Wichita Public Library/GLMV Architects

The Wichita Public Library Foundation has received a $100,000 gift from John Hyde, grandson of a Wichitan who invented mentholatum ointment.

The funds will go towards the campaign to build Wichita’s new Advanced Learning Library.

John Hyde serves on the foundation's board of directors and is Professor Emeritus of History at Williams College in Massachusetts. Hyde says he believes in supporting a project that invests in the knowledge of the community and the preservation of its history.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Ground broke today on Wichita’s new Advanced Learning Library.

The 2-story, 105,200-square-foot building at 2nd Street and McLean Boulevard, just west of downtown and the Arkansas River, will feature conference rooms, a dedicated research pavilion, a digital pavilion and a learning center just for kids.

Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell told the crowd at Wednesday's event that the community is doing more than just breaking ground on a new library.

The Wichita Public Library Foundation announced a major gift toward its new Advanced Learning Library.

Cox Business has donated $500,000 toward the new facility being built at 2nd and McLean. A cash gift of $250,000 will go toward the library’s Digital Pavilion, and the company will give another $250,000 in high-speed internet services. Foundation chairman Don Barry said during the mayor's briefing Thursday that the Advanced Learning Library capital campaign is now almost 80 percent complete.​

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