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From the Reference Desk...

This blog provides links to current resources to help you find what is new and noteworthy in the state of Kansas. State Library staff will highlight a topic of specific interest and supply links to important news and services in the state of Kansas.

Jul 22

Federal reservoirs in Kansas

Posted on July 22, 2019 at 2:16 PM by Brian Herder

Kansas is a relatively flat and dry state. Natural lakes in Kansas are therefore rare and small. Lake Inman in McPherson County is the largest natural lake in Kansas, with a surface area of about 160 acres, or one-fourth of a square mile.

Beginning in the 1940s, the US federal government began taking an interest in building reservoirs to mitigate the floods and droughts that are frequent in the Midwest and West.

Construction on the first US Army Corps of Engineers reservoir in Kansas began in 1940 with Kanopolis Lake, with the most recent one, Hillsdale Lake, completed in 1982. A total of 24 federally-funded reservoirs currently exist in Kansas. Geographically, they are divided between the Missouri River Basin in northern Kansas, and the Arkansas River Basin in southern Kansas.

Federal reservoirs in eastern Kansas were built and are run by the US Army Corps of Engineers, and they are intended largely for flood control. They are divided between two US Army Corps of Engineers districts, the Kansas City District in northern Kansas, and the Tulsa District in southern Kansas.  

Federal reservoirs in western Kansas were built and are run by the US Bureau of Reclamation, and are intended largely for water conservation.   

Many of the federally-built Kansas reservoirs host Kansas State Parks, which are operated by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism

Apr 08

Financial Literacy Information for Kansans

Posted on April 8, 2019 at 11:30 AM by Sarah Tenfelde-Dubois

It is that time of year again when we take a look at financial information. Financial Literacy is recognized nationally in the month of April, each year.

Continue Reading...

Mar 19

Scholarships up to $3,000 for Kansas high school essay competition

Posted on March 19, 2019 at 11:04 AM by Brian Herder

The Kansas Securities Commissioner, Kansas Bank Commissioner, and the Kansas Insurance Department are partnering in the Fifth Annual Kansas Financial Scholars Essay Scholarship Contest, which will award a total of $8,000 in scholarships to the authors of the top five essays received. First place will receive $3,000, second place will receive $2,000, and third, fourth, and fifth place will each receive $1,000. 

To be eligible, the essayists must be Kansas high school seniors (public, private, or home-schooled), must be planning to attend a Kansas technical school, trade school, college, or university next year, and must have enrolled in and completed at least one of these approved financial literacy courses during high school:

The course must be completed by April 12. If the course awards a certificate of completion, candidates should email it with their essay submission. 

If you are not enrolled in an approved program, but would like to be enrolled for free today and be eligible for the current Essay Scholarship Contest, please call 785-296-3307. 


The essay consists of two parts:

1. Discuss a real-life event by yourself, a friend, or a family member that impacted your view of intelligent money management (two pages or less).

2. Interview one to two people in the field/career in which you aspire for yourself. Then provide an 800-1500 word analysis of what you learned from your previous life experience, the interview, and the financial literacy course you completed as it relates to your financial planning in your own life. 

Citing sources, include at least two of the following into your analysis:

  • A simple Excel chart comparing the cost of various types of higher education
  • Positive and negative aspects of getting a loan for higher education as opposed to paying your way through college
  • The earning potential of your chosen field or career, and the average debt load and pay-off time one would face upon completion

The essay shall:

  • Be an op-ed in MLA or APA style
  • Word document
  • In English
  • Typed in 12-point font and double-spaced
  • Part 1 should not exceed 500 words
  • Part 2 should be between 800-1,500 words
  • Be properly cited from credible sources
  • Be accompanied by a completed Entry Form (which will not be part of the word count)
  • Be saved in the fomat <School_FirstNameLastName>.i.e. RiverSideHigh_JohnBrown.
The document should be listed in this format in the email subject line. If possible, entry forms and essays should be merged into a single Word document attachment and emailed to

Essays will be accepted until 11:59 pm CST, Monday, April 1, 2019

The winning essays will be announced on or before Tuesday, April 23, 2019 via KSC *@Kansas.Securities), OSBC (@ksosbc) and KID (@KansasInsuranceDepartment) Facebook pages. 

For full, official rules, please see the following link: