Wichita Public Library’s work, partnerships stand out

libraryThe uncertain support on the Wichita City Council for a proposed new Central Library faded into the background last week as the Wichita Public Library and Cynthia Berner-Harris, director of libraries, were presented with Library Journal’s LibraryAware Community Award. A tribute to the library’s work to promote literacy and lifelong learning and its many partnerships boosting civic engagement and cultural enjoyment, the honor is especially remarkable given the limited per capita funding the Wichita Public Library receives compared with other libraries even in Kansas. Saying some of the library’s programs “have now created national best practices for public libraries across the country,” Library Journal publisher Ian Singer noted the Central Library proposal in telling the council and library leaders: “Hopefully this award demonstrates the value that the library brings.”