4 Interesting Things About Manhattan Public Library

6 mins read
manhattan public library
Courtesy: Pixabay, pexels.com. Note: Not an actual image of Manhattan Public Library.

Visiting the Manhattan Public Library in downtown Manhattan, Kansas, should be there in a bibliophile’s travelling itinerary. This library has an impressive collection of books, magazines, audiobooks, and e-resources to watch out for.

You will be mesmerized by the interiors and surroundings of the library! Read to know more about this library, in the heart of America.


The history of the Manhattan Public Library dates back to 1856 when the first Manhattan library organization was established. Membership was offered to “all persons of good moral character” for a fee of $1.00, and there is no turning back since then.

The Carnegie Library was opened in 1904 with a humble collection of 1000 items, thanks to the efforts of the Manhattan Library Association. A children’s room was added in 1931. By 1937, the population of Manhattan tripled and so did the footfall of the library.

Throughout its history, Manhattan Public Library has expanded to keep up with the increasing number of enthusiasts. But, this has not always come easy for the library. The great floods of 1951 had devasted the library, ruining the building and destroying the collection of books, periodicals, and other resources.

Nevertheless, a new library was inducted in 1969. By then, the collection grew to 55,000 items. The library was again expanded in 1996.

In 2013, the children’s room saw an expansion with one-third of the funds coming from private donations. By 2014, a storytime room and a garden were the latest additions.

The Manhattan Public Library is a landmark of the town. As per its website, 1000 people of all ages visit the library every day. It has benefitted the community a lot since its year of existence.


The address is 629 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan KS 66502. It is in downtown Manhattan. You can visit their website.

Click here to see the exact location of the Manhattan Public Library.


Phone: (785) 776-4741
Fax: (785) 776-1545
Email: refstaff@mhklibrary.org


Manhattan Public Library is open at these times:

  • Monday to Thursday: 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 1:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

What sets it apart from other Libraries out there?

The Manhattan Public Library is surrounded by serenity and tranquillity. It is spacious with state-of-the-art architecture. Apart from books and resources, it hosts several events and a plethora of services for the betterment of the community. Annual book fair, storytime for children, events for career development, training…you name it! You can get all of this under one roof.

Besides, Manhattan Public Library is quite reputed for its children section, as mentioned before. A significant portion of the library is dedicated to it. Children and their parents alike love visiting this section! The children’s room enjoys immense popularity. You may not find this in any other library other than Manhattan Public Library.


Manhattan Public Library hosts several events for various age groups, specifically targeting school students. Some of them are as follows:

  • Read MHK: Read MHK is a 9-month community-wide reading series of programs organized by the library conducted from September 2021 to April 2022. It aims at increasing the readers’ base in the community through various events such as book discussions, reading competitions, writing contests, and more.
  • Annual Book Sale: Thousands of books from diverse genres are sold in this Annual Book Sale which happens every year in the Auditorium.
  • Used books: You can buy used books from the library situated at Rosie’s Corner, located on the first floor of the library, all year round! The spring used book sale is also organized yearly, and the revenues generated from the sale of used books go into the development of the library.
  • Training and workshops: MHK offers its users basic training in computers, iOS devices, emails, ebooks, and library resources. You can even ask for one-on-one training assistance through the Assistive Training Program. Speaking of workshops, they are quite multi-faceted. Past workshops have been conducted on Minecraft, archiving family photos, and more.

It is not necessary to be a member of Manhattan Public Library for joining an event.

Library Catalog

manhattan public library
Photo by matthew Feeney on Unsplash

Manhattan Public Library contains a plethora of books ranging from fiction and non-fiction to magazines and periodicals. The featured collections are often kept at the rack and are showcased in the digital catalog.

Apart from books, it has a collection of wide-ranging periodicals such as Eating Well, Bon Appetit, Country Living, and lots more.

Besides these, it has vibrant videos collections, DVDs, video games, e-books, audiobooks, and other e-resources.

You can even sign in for other library services, given you have a membership in the library. Here is the list of some of the other services available in this library:-

Other services

  • Meeting rooms: The library has provisions for corporate meetings and conferences. Meeting rooms are used frequently by the general public. One can book them online or by contacting the librarian.
  • Photocopy and internet services: If your printer or fax machine is not working, you can always use the photocopy services someplace. The library has special internet services such as LinkedIn Learning, ancestry.com, Wall Street Journal, and other services with full access. The cost of these fully accessed services and the various digital libraries out there would have otherwise been borne by individuals themselves. As always, the internet provides a chance to learn new things and connect with the world.
  • Interlibrary loans(ILL): The library collaborates with other libraries nationwide to provide items that are not available in Manhattan Public Library to its patrons. Items owned by the library, items that are very new or very popular, items that have not been published/released yet, excessively expensive/rare items, or textbooks will not be considered for ILL.


Centrally located, Manhattan Public Library enables visitors to browse through numerous materials at their disposal. You would not get bored if you come here. You can even bring your friends and attend any of their events as well.

Many have positive reviews for this library. It is rated 4.5 out of 5 (Facebook). Many of the patrons are all praised for the children’s section. Read some of them below.

Came to the library during finals week to study for my exams, they were very accommodating and had plenty of tables set up and even specific quiet zones for focusing.Sean Clennan, Local Guide on Google Map

We love our library! Great for all ages (even college students! Would recommend going when you need to get off-campus for a bit). It’s spacious, quiet, and the staff are friendly and really seem to love their jobs. Our kiddos love the play area!Bekah Hastings, Local Guide on Google Map


Just like other libraries, you need to pay a certain monthly amount as a member. By the virtue of being a member, you will get a library card that would enable you to seamlessly borrow books and get other services of the library exclusive to its members.

You can always refer to the website for application of membership and get all the latest updates about the events of Manhattan Public Library.

How to reach Manhattan Public Library?

By road

manhattan public library
Courtesy: Yusuke Furuya, pexels.com

Manhattan Public Library is well connected by road. The town of Manhattan is situated 121 miles west of Kansas City, Missouri, and 55.8 miles from Topeka. You can easily search it on Google Maps to find directions from your current location.

By air

manhattan public library
Courtesy: Tomas Anunziata, pexels.com

The town of Manhattan is well connected by air as well. Manhattan Regional Airport, situated five miles southwest of downtown Manhattan, serves regional air services from towns across the nation. The common airlines that operate are American Airlines, American Eagle, and many others. You can easily fly to Manhattan and take a cab to reach the library.

Online resources

You can browse the 5000+ titles available in their books, audiobooks, and movies library, access educational and research tools, and more, and view book recommendations, including email, lists NovelistPlus, and personalized reading lists. You can also use the weekly news quiz test you understand the stories shown by CNN iReports.

Contact the library staff or visit the website to know more about the terms and conditions for accessing these resources.


Manhattan is an off-beat place in Kansas. The Manhattan Public Library has served the community for years and surely will continue to do so in the coming years as well. Even if you are not from Manhattan, you will surely be welcomed to the Manhattan Public Library.

If you ever visit this town, don’t miss this place. It has a lot of value in terms of books and resources as well as aesthetics. Every library is different. Manhattan Public Library may look like any other library from the outside. But, if you explore more, you would be mesmerized.

After all, Kansas is all about new experiences and creating great memories. There are other unmissable things you can check out, like deer hunting and the attractions of Flint Hills, Kansas.

If you have visited Manhattan Library before, feel free to share your experience of the library in the comment section below.

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