The rendering and floor plans for the new Central Library – or whatever Wichita ends up calling it – raise expectations for an innovative, forward-looking facility focused as much on people coming together as on books. The expansive first-floor children’s area, including a courtyard and storytelling rooms, seems especially needed. And the layout favors customer service, complete with drive-up window. Surely completing the design phase for the $30 million advanced learning center, proposed for Second and McLean, will help persuade taxpayers and skeptical City Council members that a new public library is an essential 21st-century public investment. – Rhonda Holman
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