Wichita on the Cheap

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FREE “Library of Things” at Wichita Public Library

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The Wichita Public Library has many, many books on thousands of topics, but did you know they also have a Library of Things for checkout? You can check experience passes, computers, kids’ learning toys, anatomy models and telescopes, hotspots, and even radon detectors can be checked out!

The Wichita Public Library’s “Library of Things” is a non-traditional library collection offering a variety of equipment you can borrow for at-home use. An adult (18+) Wichita Public Library card in good standing is required to borrow these materials. You may have 2 Library of Things items checked out at one time.

Experience Passes

You can borrow a family pack of passes from the library to explore selected local museum or attractions at NO COST! Special exhibits and add-on experiences may have additional fees. Experience Passes do not cover the cost of concessions or gift shop purchases. You can borrow an Experience Pass for 7 days. There are 2 renewals* for this item.

  • Botanica, 701 N. Amidon
    Located in the Museums on the River area, Botanica has more than 30 gardens and exhibits with gardenscaping, sculptures and fountains to explore.
  • Exploration Place, 300 N. McLean Blvd.
    Exploration Place is Kansas’ premier science center, inspiring a deep interest in science and technology through creative and fun experiences.
  • Great Plains Transportation Museum, 700 E. Douglas
    The Great Plains Transportation Museum displays an assortment of railroad equipment, including a steam and a diesel Santa Fe locomotive.
  • Mid-America All-Indian Museum, 650 N. Seneca
    The Mid-America All-Indian Museum is dedicated to educating people about and preserving the culture of the American Indian for future generations.
  • Museum of World Treasures, 835 E. 1st St.
    With three floors of exhibits and surprises around every corner, you’ll unlock the stories of the past at the Museum of World Treasures!
  • Old Cowtown Museum, 1865 W. Museum Blvd.
    Old Cowtown Museum is home to over 25,000 historical artifacts and 54 buildings which span 23 acres along the Arkansas River. Wichita’s storied past is vividly brought to life through daily activities, special events and education programs.
  • Sedgwick County Zoo, 5555 W. Zoo Blvd.
    From colossal elephants to majestic lions to playful otters and everything in between, the Sedgwick County Zoo is home to more than 3,000 animals across nearly 400 different species.
  • Tanganyika, 1000 S. Hawkins Lane, Goddard, KS 67052
    This family built a zoo from the ground up – come experience a “wildly different experience” at one of the only places in the country where you can hand-feed lemurs.
  • Wichita Art Museum, 1400 W. Museum Blvd.
    Wichita Art Museum is a dynamic cultural hub that connects people, ideas and American art through remarkable experiences.
  • Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum, 204 S. Main St.
    The Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum houses a variety of exhibits showcasing life in Wichita and Sedgwick County over the centuries, from the Wichita Indian tribe to the cowboys who drove their cattle here, to the dawn of aviation and the City’s role as the Air Capital of the World.

Models of Human Anatomy

Need a model of the ear? Yep, the library has that! FREE to checkout!

Several anatomical models are available for checkout, whether you are studying for college or a new career, or even if you have kids that flourish with hands-on learning! 

Anatomical Models include:

 — Classic Eye Model: Three times real-life size, this model of the eye can be dissected into 6 parts! 

— Ear Model: This one-piece model allows the studious observer a cutaway view of the ear’s structure and function.

— Eight-part Human Brain Model: This full-size human brain model is fully rotatable on its harness and stand and dissectible into 8 anatomically correct parts.  A full-color, fold-out laminated guide can be used for study or student assessment.

— Heart Model: Breaking into two parts, this model of the heart shows the inner chambers, valves and more.

— Kidney Model: Twice the life-size of a kidney, this model sections the kidney and adrenal gland long-ways.

Anatomical Models can be checked out for 14 days, one or two models at a time, with up to 2 renewals as long as there are no other requests for the model from other library patrons.  See what’s available at the library’s website.

Minors and Adults can check out a laptop or Chromebook for up to 3 hours to be used anywhere inside the Advanced Learning Library, including the second floor or terrace.  As long as you stay in the library, this free computer is available to you! 

You can borrow a Chromebook for 28 days. There are 2 renewals* for this item.

A Finch Robot 2.0 on a table

Need a robot?  Of course you do!  Meet Finch Robot 2.0, a programmable robot that any one from kindergarteners to adults can use for hands-on learning about coding.  What you program (within reasonable limits, of course), Finch Robot will do!

According to the library’s website, “these robots work with many different programming languages and come with extensive features.”  

Finch Robot can be checked out for 14 days, and renewed up to 2 times.  If someone is on the waiting list, Finch Robot is not renewable.

Do you need internet at home?  Thanks to a gift to the Wichita Public Library Foundation in memory of Forrest C. & Frances H. Lattner, you can take a hotspot home for two weeks FOR FREE.  Adequate for checking email, applying for jobs, paying bills online, or conducting research, you can do all sorts of activities online from home for free.  Check out this short video from the library to learn more:

Hotspots are available to checkout for 14 days, renewable up to two times unless someone else has a request in the system.  If requested by another patron, hotspots are not renewable.

Internet Bundles are available to check out for free to qualified library cardholders.

Do you need more than just a hotspot?  What about a Chromebook or laptop AND a mobile hotspot?  The library has grouped these two items together for checkout under the name “Internet Bundle.”  Funded by the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program (ECF), internet bundles can be checked out by adult library cardholders who qualify. (You must attest to not having access to equipment or services sufficient to access the internet.)  For more information about Internet Bundles, checkout this page from the library’s website.  It’s important to note that these devices automatically delete your files after they are powered off or a session ends...so it is strongly recommended that the user store all files on a flash drive or other such removeable storage device.

Internet Bundles can be checked out for up to 28 days at a time.  If not returned on time, the library will assess fees.  Bundles can be renewed up to two times if no other cardholder has reserved it, and bundles can be put on hold.

Early Learning Backpacks each focus on a different theme and include books, toys, and activities.

These themed backpacks are chocked full of books, toys, and an activity guide for use with little ones.  These kits cover a multitude of topics and different age ranges, so check out our complete post on Early Learning Backpacks for all the details!

Similar in purpose to the Early Learning Backpacks, STEAM to GO! kits are appropriate for grades 4 and above.  Check out our complete post on FREE STEAM KITS from the Library.

 

Do you need to check for radon?  Sponsored by Pure State Services, LLC, it is available to test your home or business for radon for free.  Check out the library’s page for all you need to know, including how to set up an accurate radon test.  Or, watch this video from the sponsor: 

Last but not least, it is available to check out telescopes!  Telescopes provide a lens to the universe, and you can use one for free in your own backyard courtesy of the Georgia Eakins family! The Orion Starblast Astronomical Telescope is outfitted with a large optical tube, allowing you to view the stars in great detail.  Each telescope is mounted on a wooden base.  Highly reviewed by multiple publications, this telescope is a treasure to check out.  For more information, watch this short video:

Telescopes can be borrowed for up to 14 days and renewed up to two times.  Unless, of course, another stargazer is waiting.  If so, the telescope is not renewable.

The Library of Things at Wichita Public Library provides an extensive range of resources for library cardholders, and it’s all FOR FREE!  Checkout the library’s website for current availability of any of these items.  

Visit the Wichita Public Library Website “Libray of Things” for the Full list and More information.

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