Advanced learning

Wichita Central Library closed in early May for transition to Advanced Learning Library

The Wichita Central Library in downtown will close permanently on May 6 after more than 50 years of service. Library staff are preparing for the switch to the new Advanced Learning Library which is slated to open in mid-June.

The new modern Second Street and McLean library is nearing completion. The teams are now putting the construction technologies in place and installing hundreds of shelves.

A moving company has been selected. Offers have been awarded for new furniture.

Don Barry, chairman of the board of directors of the Wichita Public Library Foundation, said a fundraising campaign had exceeded its target, so the extra money will be used to improve the facility and technology.

“The library space, not just for teens, children and all that, has been expanded and will include resources and equipment to encourage the development of 21st century learning skills,” Barry said.


Book shelves are in place in the children’s pavilion.

The campaign funded an addition of 10,000 square feet to the final building design.

The countryside. which began in 2014, raised $ 8.8 million in donations, pledges and in-kind services to cover the total cost of the Advanced Learning Library of $ 37 million.

Cynthia Berner, director of libraries for the city of Wichita, says the new building ensures residents have equitable access to information.

“The extended public IT services will allow us to improve digital access and literacy for all members of our community. The building will also provide new opportunities to encourage lifelong learning, support small businesses and job seekers, and promote literacy, ”Berner said in a press release.

Planning for a new central library began about 10 years ago and progressed into 2016 when the Wichita City Council gave final approval for the Advanced learning library project.

Customers of the Central Library will notice some service disruptions during the move:

  • Customers who designate the Central Library as their preferred pick-up location for held materials will be asked to remove such items from the ancillary library of their choice.
  • Interlibrary loan services will be suspended for all libraries as of Friday April 27. Borrowing of materials from other libraries will resume when the Advanced Learning Library opens.
  • The central library book deposit service will be suspended from May 6. Materials can be returned to branch libraries or materials after hours of the Advanced Learning Library starting May 7.

Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

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