It appears that over the years, authors have been prolific in writing about Kansas or using Kansas as a setting for their books. Nearly 300 titles were submitted as potential candidates for the Sesquicentennial-celebrating list compiled by the State Library of Kansas.
As a lead up to Kansas’ 150th Birthday, the State Library solicited recommended books throughout most of 2010. The grassroots project encouraged book title suggestions from anyone—individuals, authors, booksellers, and publishers. Criteria for nominations was simple: a significant aspect of the book must relate to Kansas, its culture, its heritage or be historical in nature; and the book must have a recognizable Kansas author. The book may be fiction or non-fiction, any genre, and suitable for readers of all ages.
“This was an interesting project for us, and unlike anything we’ve done in the past,” said Joanne Budler, State Librarian. “Nearly 300 book titles were submitted—some more than once. We spent a great deal of time checking to assure titles and authors were correct, as well as making certain the book met the criteria for our list.”
“We also confirmed all titles were in print and available through Kansas libraries, so readers may have their local library request a book through interlibrary loan if necessary,” Budler explained. “Kansas libraries have been sharing resources for years; this is one more opportunity to employ this service. In addition, the Kansas Courier service moves books quickly and economically between libraries.”
“To read more Kansas history on a specific topic, check with your school, college or public library,” added Budler. “Literally hundreds of books about Kansas and Kansans have been published, with scores more titles published each year.”