Back in 1982 the State Library of Kansas published a history of public libraries in our state. Researched and written by Allen Gardiner, the book is a treasure trove of historical information on Kansas public libraries.
The first part of the book is a general history with information on the early history of public libraries in Kansas, the growth of public libraries, library funding, and a list of communities receiving Carnegie Grants for library construction as well as those receiving funding from the federal L.S.C.A program. There are also sections on "Libraries No Longer in Existence," "Elections in Which Libraries Weren't Established," and "Other Unusual Library Situations."
The second part of the book consists of information on individual public libraries throughout the state including establishment in the community, short historical information, regional library system membership, size of the library and its physical location in the community. The section takes up the bulk of the book and is arranged alphabetically by city.
This is a great book to thumb through or read cover to cover. Check out the interesting facts and stories. Find your home town and get a bit of history on the development of its public library. Gardiner put together a well arranged view of where public libraries came from and where they were headed in the 1980s. You can find this book at the State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library:
KANSAS PUBLIC LIBRARIES FROM ABILENE TO ZENDA
A CONCISE HISTORY