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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Jul 20

Cities in Kansas

Posted to From the Reference Desk... by Brian Herder

Weeks ago we discussed the nature of counties in Kansas. For this blog post we will discuss cities.

Cities are different than counties in that they are not specifically intended to carry out local operations of the state government, although they still do this to some extent. For example, city police may arrest suspects of a state crime, which can then be prosecuted by the state via the local court district.

Kansas statutes Ch. 12, Article 1 outlines basic city powers and responsibilities in Kansas. Incorporated cities are legally recognized as having certain powers of a corporation, such as a business, summarized in KSA 12-101. They are also permitted powers of zoning, taxation for city purposes and certain powers of law enforcement.

Article Twelve of the Kansas Constitution addresses corporations, which includes cities. Since a 1960 amendment to the Kansas constitution, Kansas cities function under home rule principles, which empowers cities "to determine their local affairs and government, including the levying of taxes, fees , charges, and other exactions." If one peruses Kansas legislation from the late 19th and early 20th century, one can see many state laws passed specific to one city. With the enactment of home rule, the state legislature can spend more time dealing with issues of a statewide nature, and leave many of the most local issues to the cities' power of home rule.

The state of Kansas recognizes three classes of cities depending on population size. While all cities have to follow some of the same laws and rules, other laws and rules are specific to the city's class. First class cities have populations of more than 15,000, Second class cities between 2,000 and 15,000, and Third class cities of less than 2,000. Growing second class cities are legally allowed to remain second class cities until they reach 25,000, while growing third class cities are allowed to remain third class cities until they reach 5,000.

City voters may choose between being governed by the City-Manager plan, or the Modified Mayor-Council Form of Government

It is important to note that one city, Kansas City, has consolidated its city government with the Wyandotte county government. This is the only consolidated city-county government in Kansas.
Jul 22

Building the One Room Schoolhouse

Posted to KGI Online Library by Bill Sowers

Many Kansans attended school in a building out in the country often referred to as a "one room school."  Before school district consolidation these buildings dotted the landscape across the state.

The Kansas State Department of Public Instruction published quite a few documents to assist rural school districts at just about every level.  One of the more interesting publications is a booklet with architectural plans for one and two room schoolhouses.

From the 1918 edition of this booklet, containing five optional floor plans:

"When the State Department of Education began the work of standardizing rural schools, it found the greatest obstacle to this work to be buildings planned without regard to proper lighting, ventilation and heating. Plans for modern buildings were not always accessible, so the old "box" type of buildings was erected year after year. Believing that communities and school boards were under obligations and w~re willing to provide build!ngs that would be models of beauty, dignity, utility and stability if proper plans were available, the State Department has had plans and specifications drawn for buildings of which the following floor plans are shown.  Complete blue prints and specifications of buildings will · be loaned to school-district boards, through county superintendents,
and may be had on request."

So take a step back in time and look over the layout of a rural school:

For those of you interested in the history of rural education in Kansas we offer these other links:

“Why, when I was your age…” Educating Kansans 1899 – 1948 (KGI Blog article from December 2015)

Rural Kansas Schools Bibliography (provided by the Kansas Historical Society)

Rural School Days: Kansas in 1920 program for school children (provided by the Kansas Historical Society)

Kansas One Room Schools (blog)

One Room Schoolhouse Center (scroll down for Kansas links)

Rural Education Items at Kansas Memory (provided by the Kansas Historical Society)


we feature here a different agency or division of a large agency and its publications within the Kansas Government Information (KGI) Online Library:

The mission of the Office of the Attorney General is to protect and defend the lives, property, laws and government organizations of the citizens of Kansas. In accordance with this mission, the Attorney General provides representation for the state in judicial and administrative actions and proceedings, civil and criminal. The Attorney General also defends the interests of the state in matters both criminal and civil pertaining to the constitutionality of state law. 

Jul 22

Total Boox for Academics

Posted to Librarian News by Lianne Flax

Yesterday we hosted a webinar for academic librarians on Total Boox ebooks. The presenter was Mirela Roncevic, Director of Content at Total Boox.  Watch the archive here.

The Total Boox ebooks system has access to the full catalog of materials from trusted publishers such as Elsevier, O'Reilly Media, Oxford Press, and Packt; making it useful to the academic patrons.
  • your patrons will need a Kansas Library eCard and a mobile device (iOS, Android, Kindle Fire).  No computer use is available at this time. 
  • Checkouts do not expire and patrons can checkout as many materials as they would like, so students do not need to worry about limits during their semester.
A student flier has been added to the Total Boox promo page, where you will also find Mirela's contact information for the librarian newsletter and short videos on how to create your own shelves of materials on Total Boox (as mentioned in the webinar).