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Wichita Public Library sets stories free with new Short Story Dispensers

Contact: Cynthia Berner, Wichita Public Library |

Libraries bring literature to unexpected spaces

The Wichita Public Library is bringing area residents one-, three- and five-minute doses of literary joy in collaboration with community partners. Mayor Jeff Longwell and representatives from the Library made the announcement today at the Advanced Learning Library.

The Wichita Public Library is one of four libraries in the United States selected to participate in the Public Library Association’s (PLA) Fostering Creative Community Connections project. The initiative promotes reading and literary joy, community engagement, library programs and services, and creative expression from diverse writers through Short Story Dispensers and a national short story contest. The project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and managed by the PLA, a division of the American Library Association, with support from community publisher Short Edition.

Through the grant, short story dispensers will be placed in locations across the community. At the touch of a button, readers will receive a randomly printed story from a catalog of thousands across a range of genres. Dispensers will soon be available in the waiting rooms of the KU Wichita Pediatric Clinic and the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center Clinic. A third dispenser will be moved to different locations around the community, starting with Reverie Roasters at 2202 E Douglas.

“Creating interest in literacy and literature is an important role of the Wichita Public Library,” explained Cynthia Berner, Director of Libraries. “Short Story Dispensers are another way that we can expand the library’s community outreach and engagement by connecting our programs and services into unexpected places around the city. We look forward to working with our Short Story Dispenser partners to encourage reading and to share the power of literature with our community.

In September, the library also will be part of a national contest intended to generate new original short stories from local writers, Berner reported.

The Short Story Dispensers were first launched in France in 2015 by Short Edition, which designed the dispensers to bring literature to unexpected places like airports, train stations, shopping centers and hospitals.

About the Wichita Public Library
Wichita Public Library provides collections and services that inform, entertain and enrich the quality of life in Wichita. For more information, visit

About the Public Library Association
The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 10,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit

About Short Edition
The French startup Short Edition was created in 2011. Since then it has published 17 00 authors, generated more than 20 million readings and has more than 200,000 subscribers on its collaborative platform (available on all types of devices). Short Edition’s aim is to adapt literature to the modern world by combining short stories, community and technology.

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