Since NASCAR and the Legends arose from the cornfields like Disneyland on the prairie, western Wyandotte County has become a tourist destination for beer-swilling spectators and credit-card-wielding housewives. But don't be deceived by the rampant commerce and race-car exhaust. Residents of Legends land do read books that aren't on Oprah's list and watch movies that have nothing to do with Dale Earnhardt. In fact, they have one of the best public libraries around. The brick building that houses the West Wyandotte County Library looks like a fairy-tale fortress, but the interior pays homage to 1960s chic, with a cozy children's section and cross-stitch on the walls. This location not only boasts one of the best fine-arts collections in the region but also keeps up with the changing population with a growing Spanish section. And unlike the public libraries on the Missouri side of the state line, KCK branches allow borrowers to check out back issues of its vast array of magazines, from biz journal Fast Company to offbeat titles such as The Believer, and watch one of the thousands of popular and documentary DVDs at no cost. Now that's economic development anyone can love.
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