Wichita working toward opening new library branch named after leader of nation’s first sit-in
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Update Monday, Jan. 18, 2021: The old “Linwood library” in Wichita closed last week as the city prepares to open a new library branch on East Harry. The new branch is named after Ronald Walters, president of the Wichita NAACP Youth Council in 1958 when he organized the Dockum Drug Store Sit-In, one of the first lunch counter sit-ins of the civil rights movement. The event helped bring an end to racial segregation.
The Wichita Public Library is working to get its new branch, honoring Walters, up and running by Feb. 1.
Monday, Jan. 4, 2021:
The Wichita City Council is expected to approve naming a new library branch after local civil rights activist, Ronald Walters. The Linwood Park Branch Library is moving to a new and larger space at 4195 E. Harry. The new branch is set to open in early 2021.
Walters was president of the Wichita NAACP Youth Council in 1958 when he organized the Dockum Drug Store Sit-In, one of the first lunch counter sit-ins of the civil rights movement. The event helped bring an end to racial segregation.
The Library Board of Directors received 70 unique names for the new library. Walters was among the top three names voted on by the community. The Carl Brewer Branch Library and Meadowlark Branch Library topped the list.
A key factor in choosing Walters was his literary and academic contributions, according to the library board. His achievements included director of the African American Leadership Institute and Scholar Practitioner Program, a Distinguished Leadership Scholar at the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, and a professor in government and politics at the University of Maryland.
Walters was born in Wichita. He died in 2010 at the age of 72.
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