Update: Changes coming to Wichita libraries


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita City Council gave the green light to a master plan for the library branches at today’s council meeting.

The project’s steering committee believes the changes will benefit all six of the branches.

According to reports, the plan calls for relocating Linwood Branch and expanding Westlink.

In addition, each branch will have focus areas.

“What’s happening with the focus areas is that identification of changes that will really create outcomes at each of those neighborhood service areas,” explained Cynthia Berner, City of Wichita’s director of libraries.

These focus areas include:

  • Lionel Alford Regional Library: early literacy and school readiness, K-12 student achievement and workforce development
  • Maya Angelou Northeast Branch: literacy and school readiness, digital inclusion, and African American culture with a secondary focus area of workforce development
  • Evergreen Branch: literacy, Hispanic education, and digital inclusion with secondary focus areas of small business support and workforce development
  • Linwood Branch: computing hub and popular materials center
  • Ford Rockwell Branch: service for children and families, digital inclusion, lifelong learning, and leisure services
  • Westlink Branch: service for children and families, digital inclusion, lifelong learning, and leisure services

The steering committee looked at various data to come up with the focus areas, such as branch usage and demographics.

Officials said the focus areas will help each branch better serve all of Wichita’s diverse communities.

The master plan passed unanimously and work will get started this year and finish by 2023.

“Many cases, the work starts with reviews of our collections or changes to our programs and other services,” Berner said. “In other cases, it has to do with some facility enhancements or improvements.”

The plan is projected to cost $3.7 million.

Berner explained the building improvements will be submitted for possible inclusion in the city’s Capital Improvement Program budget. The rest of the funding will come from grants, as well as adjusting library resources.

More details about the library master plan can be viewed here.

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