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Library Community Storytimes Celebrate African American Leaders, Scientists, Activists

Contact: Sean Jones, Wichita Public Library |

The Wichita Public Library's Maya Angelou Northeast Branch, 3051 E. 21st St., will host a three-month series of community storytimes celebrating achievements of African American leaders, scientists and activists. All storytimes are from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. and are for children ages three and older and families. Here is the schedule of storytimes:

  • "The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes" - Tuesday, Jan. 14
    Kansas educator, trainer and consultant Rob Simon will share the story of Dr. Patricia Bath, a pioneer in laser eye surgery. After the story, children will create an emoji optical illusion.
  • "Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down" - Tuesday, Feb. 11
    Storytime Village CEO Prisca Barnes will share the story of the "Greensboro Four," a group of college students who participated in the Woolworth lunch counter sit-in. After the story, children will create peace doves to display in the library.
  • "The Youngest Marcher" - Tuesday, March 10
    Former Kansas State Representative Melody McCray-Miller will share the story of 10-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks who was arrested and jailed in 1963 Birmingham, Alabama for protesting segregation. After the story, children will create helping hands.

Earlier this year, the Wichita Public Library published a master plan for the branch library system that identified a goal of focusing on African American culture at the Maya Angelou Northeast Branch Library. This branch aims to expand collections by African-American authors and artists and create programming opportunities for residents to celebrate their culture. This community storytime series seek to create a learning opportunity for all residents and show the diversity of children's books.

"I try to find books about African Americans who have made significant but little-known contributions to society," said Carol Kotsch, Youth Services Librarian at the Maya Angelou Northeast Branch Library. "I want to draw attention to individuals who have persevered in a culture that rejected what they had to offer."

"No matter what culture we come from, these titles tell a good story that we can listen to and take something from," Kotsch said.

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

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