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Blue Skyways: A Service of the
Kansas State Library

Blue Skyways is a shared information service for the Kansas library community. It is intended to help Kansas libraries serve as vital information utilities for their communities by:

  1. Hosting resources of particular value to Kansas librarians and their clients
  2. Affording easy access to library catalogs, Internet training tools and other global information resources
  3. Supporting community networking ventures throughout Kansas
  4. Promoting partnerships and enhancing library networking developments across Kansas

For more information on how your organization can be hosted by Blue Skyways, please see our Steps to Publishing on Blue Skyways section.

The servers and the registered domains that make up the Blue Skyways web service house and provide access to many websites which are not official publications of the State of Kansas or agencies of its government.

The contents of the Kansas State Library web site, and the library directory resource at http://skyways2.lib.ks.us/kld together constitute the "official web site" of the Kansas State Library.

Other resources housed on Blue Skyways are locally controlled sites. Beyond the requirements of compliance with our Guidelines for Publishing and our Memo of Agreement, the content, design, functionality and accessibility of sites belonging to outside parties are the responsibility of the account holder.

What's available on Blue Skyways?

Blue Skyways offers thousands of pages of material about Kansas communities, education, government and libraries:

  • Communities - Blue Skyways hosts home pages for over 250 Kansas communities - and the list keeps growing.
  • Education - Information about K-12 schools, two-year and four-year colleges, and Regents universities is available on Skyways.
  • Government - The Information Desk website of the Kansas State Library is an excellent place to start using the legislative and government collections of the Kansas State Library. Try the Legislative Hotline, 800-432-3924, to ask questions about legislative bills, bill status and related information.
  • Libraries - Skyways is home to a library directory in database form, and links to a catalog of holdings in over 700 libraries statewide. Online databases provide full-text articles on business, medical and research topics, as well as material for elementary and middle-school students. These resources allow libraries to print needed articles on the spot. Skyways also serves as a point of entry to the databases for users of the Kansas Library Card which allows library patrons to use the databases from home.

Skyways responded to more than 10 million requests for information "page views" from Internet visitors worldwide in 2001. We project 11.4 million uses in 2002.

Blue Skyways has received several awards and reviews

Who are some of the State Libraryís Partnerís in developing Skyways?

The State Library has provided Skyways accounts to numerous libraries, schools, and communities, as well as state agencies including Legislative Administrative Services, and the Legislative Research Department.

Since 1996, Kansas on the Net has been a Skyways partner, creating home pages for over 200 Kansas communities, all 105 counties, and many other organizations. A one-year grant from the Boeing Company to support KOTNís work was so successful that it was extended twice for a total of 2Ĺ years!

How are Skyways partners using their accounts?

Our partners have full access to their Blue Skyways accounts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That means Skyways partners can update their pages whenever necessary to provide their customers with the latest, most accurate information.

Kansas on the Net not only maintains pages for dozens of communities, as well as every county, but also assists communities who have taken over maintenance, and facilitates corrections and updates. "Where in Kansas is...?" indexes hundreds of Kansas place names, current and vanished, with links to community or county pages. Kansas history, an online anthology of Kansas poetry, and a museum directory are also KOTN contributions.

The KS GenWeb Project is the online genealogy resource for all of Kansas, with sites for every county, a growing number of searchable documents, queries from and for researchers, and links to the affiliated US GenWeb Project.

Kansas Libraries of all types, whether they maintain websites on Blue Skyways, can establish and maintain a listing of staff and policy information in the Kansas Library Directory.

How much does it cost to load information on Skyways?

We provide Blue Skyways accounts at no charge to state agencies, city and county governments, libraries, public schools, and other not-for-profits in Kansas. While thereís no cost for a Blue Skyways account, providing information on the web does cost money. Web developers need:

  • A late-model computer, Web browser, Web page development software (though this can be as simple as a free text editor), and file transfer software to load pages on the Skyways server.
  • internet access
  • Trained staff or volunteers to develop and maintain web pages. Training in basic web development is getting easy to find and obtain.

How can I host my web site on Blue Skyways?

Check out our publishing guidelines for details.


Blue Skyways is sponsored by the Kansas State Library, which contracts with the University of Kansas Medical Center to deliver this service. Policies, guidelines, and development priorities are set by our Steering Committee, which consists of the following members:

Eric Hansen
Executive Director, Kansas Library Network Board
Phone: (785) 296-3875

Jeff Hixon
Director, Library Information Technology
Phone: (785) 296-3296

Jameson Watkins
Director, Internet Development
University of Kansas Medical Center
Phone: (913) 588-7387

Joshua Motsinger
Web Developer
University of Kansas Medical Center
Phone: (913) 588-4801

Copyright Notice

Unless otherwise noted, copyright of materials on Blue Skyways belongs to the author of those materials. You may reproduce and distribute copies of these works only for nonprofit educational or library purposes, provided that those copies are distributed at or below cost, and that the author, source, URL, and copyright notice are included on each copy.
   This permission is in addition to rights of reproduction granted under Sections 107, 108, and other provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act. For more information, contact Eric Hansen (erich@kslib.info), Executive Director, KLNB Board.

Your Comments Are Welcome!

We want Blue Skyways to be useful and user-friendly. Please send your comments to us via our online comment form or contact:

Jeff Hixon, Director (jeffh@kslib.info)
Information Technology Division
Kansas State Library
300 SW Tenth Ave Rm 343N
Topeka KS 66612 1593
785-296-3154 or  800-432-3919
(fax) 785-296-6650

Last updated 06/30/05
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