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Press Releases

Photographer to exhibit work at library

Jan. 20, 2017 – Photographer Fritz Mendell will exhibit his work in Salina Public Library’s Gallery 708. “Finding Focus” will be on display through March 10. A reception for Mendell will be from 4-5:30 p.m. Feb. 3, in conjunction with First Friday Night Live.

The exhibit includes some of Mendell’s favorite images and combinations of pictures he calls photo art.

Mendell got his start in photography when working as a reporter for the Salina Journal. He moved to the position of photographer and was the photo editor from 1964 until he retired in 1998. During his time at the paper, he received numerous awards for his work including two Associated Press Kansas-Missouri Photographer of the Year plaques. He also helped the paper transition into the color era of photography.

Mendell took up digital photography in retirement. He currently sends daily photos to an email list of 250 people and runs the Facebook page “Lovers of Photography.”

For more information on art exhibited at the library, please contact Lori Berezovsky at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 825-4624, ext. 249, or visit the library at 301 W. Elm.

Library Circulation and Youth Services to see changes

November 14, 2016 – Big changes are coming at Salina Public Library. Some important reorganization will begin Jan. 3, 2017, in an effort to continue the library's critical focus on early literacy and service to families.

A noticeable change for library patrons will be the transition to one circulation desk on the main floor. Currently, materials are checked out and returned on both floors of the library. After the transition, all materials should be returned for check-in to the main circulation desk, just inside the doors of the library. All new and renewing library cards, fines paid, account inquiries and materials-on-hold functions will be focused in that same department. This will provide more consistency of policy and service. For the convenience of patrons, the library will add a fourth self-check-out unit in the Youth Services library downstairs.

This change will allow Youth Services staff the time and space to devote their expertise to serving children and families, children’s book and media collections, and expanded programming for children and families, including more outreach and community engagement work. 

Dianna Waite, Head of Circulation, will retire at the end of this year. Waite has worked at the library for 30 years, starting part-time at the circulation desk, before moving to full-time and then full-time in the reference department, before taking over as Head of Circulation. During her career, she worked on the transition to an automated circulation system, the transition to RFID self-check stations and the conversion of the entire library collection. Waite initiated the Cultural Pass program and taught at a Library Circulation Institute in Madison, Wis. She also worked on Project Salina, leading library participation each year. There will be a retirement reception for Waite on Dec. 16 at 2 p.m.

Kristi Hansen, Head of Youth Services, will move into the position of Head of Circulation. She has 29 years of experience working with all circulation policies and functions, 16 of those years as the head of the Youth Services Department. 

The new Head of Youth Services, Lisa Newman, has more than 15 years of experience providing education and resources to families, children, child care professionals and residents of Saline and Ottawa counties. Newman previously worked as a Family and Child Development Extension Agent with Kansas State University. Prior to that she coordinated the library’s CLASS program and worked in the early childhood field. Newman earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Family Studies and Human Services from Kansas State University. She is active in the community, including involvement with Circles of the Heartland and Altrusa International of Salina.

For more information, please contact Joe McKenzie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 825-4624, ext. 226, or visit the library at 301 W. Elm.