In 2021, a new branch library will open in Wichita, Kansas, Dr. Ronald Walters’ hometown. From November 20-December 7, the library is seeking feedback to determine the top three choices. One of the choices is the Ronald Walters Branch Library.
The branch library will offer a variety of services including a large children’s section, a dedicated Teen Space, a large meeting room for Library programming and community use, a 24-hour outside materials return, and 16 public computers in addition to public wireless internet.
In accordance with Wichita City Council Policy 13, the City Council has appointed the Library Board of Directors as this building’s naming advisory committee. At the November 17 Library Board meeting, the Board narrowed the list to five possibilities:
- Ad Astra Branch Library
“To the stars” is the Kansas state motto, and libraries help lift members of the community through resources and services.
- Carl Brewer Branch Library
Carl Brewer served as the 100th Mayor of the City of Wichita from 2007-2015. He was the first elected African American mayor and led the City Council towards approving the Advanced Learning Library. Among his many attributes, many residents viewed him as a champion of public services for all members of the community.
- Cynthia Berner Branch Library
Cynthia Berner was the Director of Libraries for the Wichita Public Library from 2000-2020, and worked for the Library system previously since 1984. Her career was dedicated to building a strong, leading-edge library system to serve current community.
- Meadowlark Branch Library
Meadowlark is the name of the former drive-in theater that once stood near the site of the new library. It’s the name of a nearby park and neighborhood, and it’s the official Kansas state bird.
- Ronald Walters Branch Library
Dr. Ronald W. Walters was an American author, speaker and scholar of African American politics. In 1958, Walters organized the Dockum Drug Store Sit-In, one of the first lunch counter sit-ins of the civil rights movement. He was the director of the African American Leadership Institute and Scholar Practitioner Program, Distinguished Leadership Scholar at the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, and professor in government and politics at the University of Maryland. He was born in Wichita.
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