Save the Date – 2017 Kansas Book Festival

We’re baaaack! Be sure to mark your calendars for the 2017 Kansas Book Festival on Saturday, September 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. We’ll be back in action at the Kansas State Capitol offering programming for young children through adults.

If you’ve never been to the festival, this will be a great year to start. While we’re not announcing authors just yet…I can tell you that there are some GREAT ones coming! We’ll have food vendors on site to allow you to enjoy the festival without ever having to leave. The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center will be joining us again in the Children’s Tent along with face painting and balloon animals. Curious George and Clifford will be on hand to interact with children and for story time on our main stage. We’ll have book sales, book signings and musical acts to entertain, as well.

We’ll be announcing our author lineup, schedule and more as we get closer. Be sure to check back throughout the summer so you’ll have all of the latest information as soon as it is available. If you haven’t already “liked” us on Facebook, please do!


2016 Kansas Book Festival Poster

With just a little more than two months until the 6th annual Kansas Book Festival, we’re ready to present you with this year’s poster!

Designed by Reagan Burton of Evoke, one of our KBF committee members, our goal was to make something whimsical and fun. We will have lots of fun children’s authors and activities this year so this compliments that age group well. Don’t worry though, we still have lots of great adult authors we’ll be featuring, as well. We’ll be announcing our author lineup in the next two weeks so be sure to check back!

And the 2016 Library of the Year award goes to…

Kansas’ very own Topeka Shawnee County Public Library!


Not only has Kansas been recognized for having the 2013 Librarian of the Year in our State Librarian Jo Budler but now Kansas has gained national attention again by having our very own TSCPL chosen as the 2016 Library of the Year. There were more than 9,000 libraries eligible to win this award and it is no surprise to us that our friends over at the TSCPL were chosen.

Libraries work hard every day to serve their patrons but they don’t just supply them with the latest reading material. Libraries are remaining relevant across the world by assisting their patrons in many different ways: providing Internet access so that they can find and apply for jobs, providing enriching and educational activities for even the youngest readers in an effort to get them excited about reading and learning and So. Much. More! The library really strives to help people better their lives and there are a million success stories to prove that they’re doing just that.

Thank you to ALL of our Kansas libraries and their staff for going above and beyond to make a difference in each of their respective communities and a HUGE congratulations to the TSCPL for this honor.

2016 Library Grants Announced

The Kansas Book Festival began in 2011 with the start of our one-day festival in September. Shortly following the festival, we opened up our first grant cycle and received a great response from libraries across the state that needed financial help. Our first grants were awarded in 2012 and since then, we’ve been able to give more than $58,000 to 42 school and 34 public libraries across the state. We want libraries to know that we are committed to helping them reach their goals and in turn fulfilling our mission of promoting literacy and a life-long love of learning to the people of Kansas.

Many of the libraries who applied for grants have materials budgets in the hundreds of dollars, not the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. We’ve received applications that detail how a particular library doesn’t have a single computer for patrons to use, libraries that have average copyright dates that go back to the 1960’s and libraries that are trying desperately to engage their reluctant readers and are even struggling to keep their doors open. That’s why it’s so important for foundations like the Kansas Book Festival and our corporate sponsors to help support these libraries in their efforts.

The libraries receiving grants for 2016 are as follows:

Blue Rapids Public Library
Liberal Memorial LIbrary
Moundridge Public Library
Peabody Township Library
Seaman High School Library
Weir Public Library


Dixon Township Library
Eisenhower High School Library
Goodland Jr/Sr High School LIbrary
Lincoln Elementary Library (El Dorado)
Lincoln Elementary Library
Medicine Lodge Grade School Library
Morton County Library
Olpe High School Library
Paul B. Cooper Elementary (Wichita)
Washington Public Library
Wichita County Library

2015 Presenting Authors Announced!

The Kansas Book Festival today announced September 12th from 9AM-4PM as the date for the fifth annual event. The festival will be held at the Kansas Capitol Building in Topeka, and will feature current authors and books and will be focused on reinforcing the importance of reading.

“Our mission is to promote literacy and encourage a life-long love of reading,” said First Lady Mary Brownback. “The festival is a key way that we are able to live out our mission. Being in our fifth year, we’re seeing an increased interest from authors, publishers and attendees. We have a great lineup assembled of locally and nationally known authors and illustrators that everyone will enjoy.”

Headlining this year’s event will be mystery novelist Sara Paretsky (Brush Back, due out July 28). Paretsky was raised in Kansas and is a University of Kansas alumna. She is credited with transforming the role and image of women in crime novels. She currently resides in Chicago.


More than 30 authors are set to speak, including James Beard Foundation winner, restaurant owners and cookbook authors Colby and Megan Garrelts (Made in America), Nancy Geise (Auschwitz #34207-The Joe Rubinstein Story) Kansas Notable Book winner Barbara Stuber (Girl in Reverse) and children’s author Angela Cervantes (Gaby, Lost and Found). Along with author presentations, there will also be additional authors featured as vendors, book sales and signings, entertainment, live music, appearances by storybook characters and activities for children of all ages. This event is free and open to the public. Last year’s event drew an estimated 2,000 people.

For a complete list of authors, click here.

Featured Library: Eudora Public Library

(This is the second post in a series featuring some of the great libraries across our State.)

The Eudora Kansas Library is a gem in that small, Northeast Kansas town. And today, we feature their library!

Eudora Public Library
14 East 9th Street Eudora, KS 66025


Libraries these days do such a great job of identifying needs in their communities and working to meet those needs. Eudora Public Library is no exception. This summer, they’re starting a new book sharing program for those in their community with health or transportation challenges. The applicants fill out a profile where they provide information like type of print or audio desired, genres, favorite authors and/or subjects, and anything they do not want in their books (sex, violence, language, etc).  Some of the benefits to those in the program will be personalized visits, no overdue fines, and longer lending periods. What an awesome idea!

They also have a Food 4 Fines program twice a year. It was implemented last summer with great success. Last Fall, they ran the program during the holiday season as that is always a time when food pantries need additional assistance. They also coupled that specific F4F with a collection for military families where not only could patrons donate food and toiletries for those families but they were also able to write letters for those serving overseas.  That particular box for the military went to an area highly classified where those in the military do not get a lot of home comforts. Through the F4F program, they’re able to provide their local food pantry with multiple truckloads of food while families donating receive $1 waived from their library account (up to $10) for each food item they bring.


No need to tiptoe in this library! The staff here have strived to create a homey environment where patrons won’t be hearing, “Shhhh!” around every corner. They have a small space, but they have worked hard to make it a great environment for all ages.


Be sure to check them out on social media and leave them some love:

A little library with a big heart and big dreams. Sounds like exactly the kind of library we would want to be a part of!



Weekend Reading Ideas from Newbery Medal Winner Clare Vanderpool

This is our second post in a series of videos that some of our past authors have put together for us to share with you.

Today, Clare Vanderpool will share with you some of her favorite books. We know you’ll enjoy hearing about some of the books that have had a big influence on her and her writing. And, maybe, you’ll pick up a new suggestion to add to your Memorial Day Weekend reading list!

Clare Vanderpool

Turn up your volume and click here to check out the video. Enjoy!

Celebrating 5 Years

In celebration of reaching our 5th year (YAY!) we’ve solicited the help from some of our friends in the literary world, both in Kansas and beyond, to film short clips for us about their favorite books, new books that they’re looking forward to reading or a book that was particularly inspirational to them.

First up, is our State Librarian Jo Budler! Click here to check out her video.

jo budler



Featured Library: Independence Public Library

Leading up to our 5th Annual Kansas Book Festival, we plan to feature some awesome libraries from across the state on our blog. Since this is National Library Week, there’s no better time to get this feature started!

To start things off, we’re headed down to Independence. They have some really fun things going on in their library for all ages. We’re particularly fond of their 2015 library advocacy campaign slogan, “Behind every great community is a great library.” We’d have to agree!



We’ll highlight a few of their fun programs below:

Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Festival
This program involves their entire community. There were more than 600 people at least year’s festival and the library was packed to the gills. In the month leading up to the festival, children can earn library bucks for the books they read and they can then redeem those bucks for gifts the night of the festival. The kids read more than 3,000 books to earn library bucks!



Their summer reading kick off is always a hit, as well. Last year was a Mad Science Fair theme where kids created things, conducted experiments, learned about scientific principals, enjoyed food and signed up for the summer reading program. City leaders and teachers joined in on the fun and helped at the different stations.

summer reading

They’ve also just started their Big Read Grant and this year, if focuses on Edgar Allan Poe. It’s for adults, children and teens and even in English and Spanish! Some of the fun events will include an open mic night at the community college, a poetry workshop and performance by Indie Hip-Hop artist MC Lars, book and film discussions, trivia contests, art projects and even a Poe pub crawl.



There’s a lot going on in Independence. They’ve created fun spaces inside their library for different age groups, they host groups called “Sheep on a Stick” that do knitting, crocheting and other needlework for such as Purple Hats for Babies, Afghans for Soldiers and Chemo Caps for cancer patients.

And don’t forget about Trixie, the Library Cat. She was abandoned in front of the library in October 2009. Trixie even has her own Facebook page.

And finally, the fuel to all of these great programs is the staff. Congratulations to all of you working at the Independence Public Library. You are the inspiration we all need when looking for innovative ways to connect with those in our respective communities.


Find IPL on Social Media!

Friends of the Independence Public Library

Independence Public Library Children’s Department

Independence Public Library YA Space

Independence Public Library Kansas Room

Senior Programming@Your Library – Closed Group


**Is your library awesome?! Send us an e-mail at and let us know why!

2015 Library Grant Winners Announced!

Everyone loves to be given money. But, we’ve got to say, giving it away feels pretty good, too!

2015 Winners
The Kansas Book Festival Foundation is excited to announce the winners of the 2015 Kansas Book Festival Library Grants:

Technology Grants
Wamego Public Library – $929
Wallace County Public Schools – $2,000
McCune Osage Township Library – $600
Washburn Rural High School Library – $645
Clearwater Public Library – $1,968

Book Grants
Oaklawn Elementary School Library – $500
Formoso Public Library – $500
Earl M. Lawson Elementary Library – $800
Vermillion Public Library – $300
Elmendaro Township Library – $500
Harper Public Library – $178
Augusta High School Library – $800
Horton Public Library – $500
Pioneer Memorial Public Library – $440
Dodge City Public Library – $500

Representatives from Horton Public Library, Harper Public Library, Clearwater Public Library, Washburn Rural High School Library and Earl M. Lawson Elementary Library were on hand to receive their checks at a press conference announcing the winners on March 26 at the State Library.

The Kansas Book Festival first started granting money in 2012 and since then, more than $50,000 has been given away to 34 schools and 28 public libraries across the state.

Check out a couple of pictures below from our event and stay tuned this Fall for the announcement about our 2016 grants!

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