The 10 Best Libraries in Kansas!

Kansas libraries are simply some of the best in the country. With tons of options open to the public, Kansans are never far from one. These libraries not only offer a large assortment of books, but are cultural and community touchstones, with events for all ages. Here are 10 of the best libraries in the state! 

1. Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, Topeka, KS

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library in Topeka, Kansas, has made itself an integral part of the Topeka community. In addition to a wide array of books, a visitor to this library can expect tons of upcoming events, classes, an art gallery, and more. Kids will love the on-site kid’s library.

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2. The Kenneth Spencer Research Library, Lawrence, KS

The Kenneth Spencer Research Library is part of the University of Kansas but is open to everyone. The library boasts a large collection of rare and unique “books, manuscripts, photographs, and materials in many subject areas.” The North Gallery is a glass-enclosed section of the library used to house permanent exhibits, each of which are worth checking out.

3. Manhattan Public Library, Manhattan, KS

The Manhattan Public Library is a wonderful place to meet up with a group or by yourself to study or read. There is a dedicated children’s area and many rooms set aside for group study. If they don’t have a book you’re looking for, you can request for the library to buy it for you.

4. Olathe Public Library Indiana Creek, Olathe, KS

The Olathe Public Library is an extension of the original 1889 Ladies Reading Circle founded by three Olathe women. The library has lots of different services, including notary services, meeting rooms, historical photography collections, and more. Check out their kids and teens sections, too.

5. Salina Public Library, Salina, KS

Salina Public Library in Salina, Kansas is focused on building community: this summer, for example, they are aiming to have 25,000 books read collectively. Owe fines? You can pay them down by donating boxes of muffin mix. They have a bunch of classes available for all ages, too.

6. Forsyth Library, Hays, KS

Like many university libraries, Forsyth Library is open to students and the public. The library is part of Fort Hays State University, with a mission of “delivering accessible quality education and developing engaged global citizens and leaders.” The library is open year-round but check their website for seasonal hour changes.

7. Emporia Public Library, Emporia, KS

The Emporia Public Library is a book lover’s party zone. Besides novels, book clubs, graphic novels, DVDs, and more, they host board game nights, app building demonstrations and other community events. They have children, young adult, and adult sections.

8. Leonard H. Axe Library, Pittsburg, KS

The Leonard H. Axe Library is part of Pittsburg State University in Kansas—not to be mistaken with Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The library has access to the interlibrary loan system, in addition to unique special collections and university archive events. The library also has a writing center, coffee shop, and IT support inside. 

9. Dorothy Bramlage Public Library, Junction City, KS

The Dorothy Bramlage Public Library serves the Junction City, Fort Riley, and Geary County area, supplying “books, movies, and internet access…lifelong learning classes, research and technology help, community information, and more.  Check their website for summer reading lists for all ages groups, an event calendar, and information for how to get a library card. 

10. Great Bend Public Library, Great Bend, KS

The Great Bend Public Library provides great reading opportunities and book options for children, teens, and adults. They host a program for each age group, consisting of different events each weekday. Additionally, services offered include ancestry and genealogy research, technology assistance, and proctoring.  

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