In 2021, a new branch library will open in southeast Wichita's Council District III!
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.
Located at 4195 E. Harry, at the southwest corner of Harry & Terrace, on a site known to residents as the Wichita Mall or the Harry Street Mall, the new location is highly visible from Harry Street. The location is accessible by the 22 and 202 public transit routes.
The space is 6,904 square feet and allows the expansion of public computing, a larger meeting room, and zoned spaces to better accommodate customer use needs. This move will also bring library services back to District III.
Branch library projects, including this new branch library, will reflect aesthetics and operational models learned from the opening of the Advanced Learning Library, such as flexible spaces, meeting rooms, self-service technology, more public computing options, and access to more materials. The Linwood Park Branch will move to this building in early 2021.
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. During an initial public engagement period from October 21-November 6, 70 unique submissions were submitted.
At the November 17 Library Board meeting, the Board narrowed the list to five possibilities:
From November 20-December 7, the naming committee sought feedback to determine the top three choices. The responses with the most votes were, in order:
At the December 15 Library Board meeting, the Board voted on a recommendation to present at the City Council's January 5, 2021 meeting. At that meeting, the City Council voted 5-1 to officially name the facility the Dr. Ronald W. Walters Branch Library.