Independence is a small town of about 9,400 in southeastern Kansas, very near the Oklahoma border. The town recently received significant fame for its Independence Public Library (pictured above courtesy of the Library's Facebook page), which was named the "Best Small" library in the country by Library Journal. Part of the reason for the prize was the library's hard journey in just a few years from facing a bleak budget picture to a bustling center for the community. Indpendence Community College is a big part of the town as well. Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up near here and wrote her famous "Life on the Prairie" novel based on her experiences. One of the homes she lived in is pictured above, photo courtesy of Wikipedia and TimothyMN. Her childhood home is designated a historic site and is a popular museum.