A ceremonial "Books & More Brigade" will begin the June 16 grand opening festivities for the new Advanced Learning Library, City officials announced today.
In 1967, Wichita junior and senior high school students were recruited to form a brigade that passed books hand to hand from the former Carnegie library children's department to the children's room in the new Central Library. The event proved so popular that staff intend to recreate the experience as part of the opening of the Advanced Learning Library.
"As our employees have shared information about the Advanced Learning Library with the community over the course of the past two years, almost every presentation has included a question or comment about the 1967 Book Brigade," said Cynthia Berner, Director of Libraries. "Creating this special memory for a new generation of Wichitans has been something we have looked forward to for a very long time."
To cover the distance from the Central Library, 223 South Main, to the Advanced Learning Library, 711 West 2nd Street, will require the assistance of at least 500 volunteers. Wichitans of all ages are invited to participate as individuals or as groups. Brigade lines will form starting at 8:00 a.m. with the first materials leaving the Central Library at 8:30 a.m. The transfer of items between the buildings is expected to take approximately 30 minutes. The brigade will take place rain or shine, according to Berner.
As the last item passes along the brigade, participants will be encouraged to go to the Advanced Learning Library where a brief ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on the west plaza. Following the cermony, the library will open for business. Throughout the day, special activities will be held in several parts of the building as a way to encourage residents to explore the features and amenities of the new library.
Participants are encouraged to show their community spirit by wearing Wichita apparel or attire which highlights the group that they represent.
Those intending to participate in the brigade are also encouraged to register their interest through a sign-up form on the Library's website: