Since our branches closed on March 15, Johnson County Library has been researching ways to begin circulating our physical materials while still protecting the health of our patrons, volunteers and staff. The first step in our phased reopening plan is the resumption of drive-thru holds pickup at our Blue Valley, Lenexa City Center, and Monticello branches.
Beginning Monday, May 18, you may return your materials to the Blue Valley, Lenexa City Center and Monticello book drops only, and can also begin placing new holds on our online catalog for pickup at these locations. Starting Tuesday, May 26, you can pick up your holds at the drive-thru windows 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday.
Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about Library operations as we restart the circulation of our materials. We will continue to post updates on our website and social media channels regarding the operating status of Library facilities and resumption of Library services.
For questions about your account, contact us online, via text at 913-667-7523 or by calling 913-826-4600 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
In order to access our whole collection, you’ll need to visit a library branch when we reopen and present your ID, address verification, and a completed application. This cannot be done at our drive-thru windows, as the demand for drive-thru holds pickup is high and interactions must be kept brief, otherwise traffic can quickly build up around our buildings.
If you’d like to sign up for an eCard for access to our eLibrary, visit ecard.jocolibrary.org to get started. To register, you need:
- to be a Johnson County resident
- to be 16 years old or have a parent or guardian available
- an email address
An eCard gives you access to thousands of items and resources in our eLibrary. To check out physical materials, you’ll need to get a traditional card at a branch once our buildings reopen. Traditional card applications must be done in person as they require your ID, address verification, and a completed application. This cannot be done at our drive-thru windows at this time; the demand for drive-thru holds pickup is high and interactions must be kept brief, otherwise traffic can quickly build up around our buildings.
Our three existing drive-thru locations are already set up for a holds-pickup service model, making them the most immediate way for us to resume physical circulation with the least amount of contact between staff and patrons. When taking into account unknowns like weather, staff security, and overall efficiency of service, we decided to focus on drive-thru holds pickup for Stage 1, and are investigating walk-in holds pick-up in additional branches for Stage 2.
There are still many unknowns as we work toward the reopening of our 14 branches, including evolving public health recommendations and the availability of cleaning supplies and protective equipment. We anticipate the next stage will include walk-in holds pickup at additional branches across Johnson County to better serve our community.
There is no reliable way to comprehensively sanitize books and other materials, so we advise patrons to thoroughly wash their hands after handling Library materials.
Current research suggests that at room temperature, COVID-19 particles can live in diminishing capacity on surfaces like paper and cardboard for up to 24 hours, and plastic for up to 72 hours. Because many of our materials have plastic coverings or cases, all returned items will be isolated for a minimum of 72 hours before being checked in and returned to circulation.
No. Cleaning library materials at home may damage them, especially popular treatments like bleach or heat. Though all returned materials will be isolated for a minimum of 72 hours before being returned to circulation and Library staff are following a number of safety and cleaning protocols while in our buildings, we recommend thoroughly washing your hands after handling materials.
The Library will follow safety, hygiene, cleaning and physical distancing protocols recommended by Johnson County Department of Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control.
We are providing thermometers and pulse oximeters for staff use, and our staff are encouraged to wear masks and practice frequent handwashing in addition to sanitizing between each patron interaction at the drive-thru. Workstations will be cleaned before and after each shift and once per hour in between, and transaction drawers at drive-thru windows will be wiped down after each use.
Returns & Fines
While our other 11 branches are closed, accepting returns at these three locations gives patrons access to all returned materials in addition to the existing collections at Blue Valley, Lenexa, and Monticello. We are also accepting returns of materials from Olathe Public Library.
No, due dates will be extended as long as necessary on materials checked out prior to our March 15 building closures, including items on Inter-Library Loan. You will be notified of any changes to due dates on materials checked out before March 15 once book drops are reopened at all 14 Johnson County Library branches.
No. Standard checkout periods will apply to materials checked out through our drive-thru service. An item can be renewed up to ten times if no one else is waiting for it.
- Books, CDs, nonfiction DVDs: 3 weeks
- DVD feature films: 2 weeks (30 DVDs maximum)
- Video games: 2 weeks (2 video games maximum)
- eBooks & eAudiobooks: 3 weeks (10 maximum)
- A few special items have different check-out periods
Please let the staff member at the drive-thru know you have an oversized item, like one of our blue 6x6 kits. They will instruct you where to drop it off outside the building. Do not leave your oversized materials in front of the book drops unless specifically instructed by Library staff, and please do not return materials at the drive-thru window.
No, all materials must be returned at the book drops at the Blue Valley, Monticello, and Lenexa locations. Staff will not accept materials of any kind at the drive-thru window, including donations.
All returned materials are isolated for a minimum of 72 hours before they are checked back into our system. Please contact us if your materials are still showing on your account after 4 days or more.
Holds can be placed on any of the Library’s materials. The items you see in our catalog are what is currently available to reserve at our three drive-thru branches and the Olathe Public Library. As we reopen additional branches for holds pick up, more of our collection will become available.
You can place a hold through the Library catalog or by contacting us directly. We'll let you know when the item is ready for pick up and put it on the hold shelf for ten days at your designated Library. Remember to bring the same Library card you used to place the hold, even for spouses and children. You can hold up to 30 items on your Library account at a time.
On jocolibrary.org, click on the “Explore” menu to find new releases, staff recommendations, popular items and more. For a deeper dive, NoveList is a free database that provides reading recommendations for all ages and genres—you can get book discussion guides, thematic book lists and reading and book oriented articles.
Once your requested item is available for pickup, we will notify you via the email address associated with your Library card. Holds will be available at the Blue Valley, Monticello, and Lenexa drive-thrus for pickup 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday.
Please have your library card number available to provide to staff at the window. The staff member will look up your account and retrieve your items from the Hold shelf. Your checked-out materials will be placed in a transaction drawer for you to safely retrieve. The drawer will be wiped down between each interaction.
Beginning Monday, May 18, you can contact us online, via text at 913-667-7523 or by calling 913-826-4600 to transfer your holds to another location. Our librarians will be answering telephones between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Once the item is ready for pickup at the new location, it will be available for ten days before it is placed back into circulation.
If you would like to pick up your hold now, switch your hold pickup location preference to either Blue Valley Library Drive-Thru, Lenexa City Center Drive-Thru, or Monticello Library Drive-Thru. You can do this by logging into your account, clicking the arrow next to your username in the top right corner, and selecting “My Settings.” Under “Account Preferences,” change your Holds and Pickup Location to an available branch. This will automatically put you next in line for any available copy.
If you do not change your hold pickup location preference, your hold will be paused until your branch of choice reopens.
Yes. Unless you request transfer or cancel your hold, your available holds will remain at your originally designated branch until further notice.
Beginning Monday, May 18, you can log into your Library account and access “My Settings.” From there click on “Holds and Pickup Locations” under Account Preferences. You can then change your first preference to either Blue Valley Library, Monticello Library, or Lenexa Library Drive-Thru. All future holds will automatically be assigned to your saved location.
Holds from the Lenexa Holds Lobby will automatically be moved to the Lenexa drive-thru.
Our eLibrarian recommends the below services as a starting point for your "quarantine" toolkit:
- Entertainment: Kanopy, Acorn TV, eMagazines
- News local/regional/national: Shawnee Mission Post, Kansas City Star, The New York Times
- Education/skill-building: Brainfuse HelpNow, LearningExpress Library, Rosetta Stone
- Business updates: Mergent Intellect, S&P Global NetAdvantage, Wall Street Journal
- Health & Wellness classes: Learn It Live, Universal Class
HomeConnect is temporarily suspended until a later stage of reopening. We will let our patrons know when we re-institute this service.
The Interlibrary Loan (ILL) staff are working to process the backlog of requests that came in while the Library and our partner library systems were closed. Beginning May 26, ILL items will be sent to one of the three Drive-Thru branches: Blue Valley Library Drive-Thru, Lenexa City Center Drive-Thru, or Monticello Library Drive-Thru. We have made every attempt to place these items in the closest branch to your original pick up location. Once the item is ready for pick up, you will be notified via email of the new pick up location. If you would like to change this location, please call 913-823-4600 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The three Friends Bookstores will reopen during a later stage, when volunteers have returned to our buildings, but online sales through AbeBooks, Amazon and eBay have resumed.
We are not accepting donations at this time. Donation collection will resume in a later stage of reopening, when our volunteers have returned to our buildings. If you have a donation you would like to make to the Library, please let us know so we can contact you when the time is right.
Currently, all room reservations are canceled through August 31. Services like public computers and printers and study or meeting rooms will be reintroduced gradually in future stages. We'll let our patrons know when we re-start these services.
While we are moving many events and programming online, all in-person events are cancelled through August 31. If events must be cancelled entirely, we will make every effort to reschedule in-person events at a later date. Please note that not all events are able to be rescheduled, as many depend on the availability of outside presenters. Please continue to check our social media sites and subscribe to our eNewsletter, The Open Book, for the latest event updates.
We will work in conjunction with Johnson County government and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to determine the timing and process for full resumption of Library services.
We will regularly update our website and social media accounts, as well as notify local media outlets.
We'll also communicate directly with our Library users through announcements sent to the email address on file with the Library. Please ensure that we have your correct address on file by logging into your account, and selecting My Settings from the dropdown menu next to your username on the top right of the screen.
Please visit jocogov.org/coronavirus for daily updates about the virus's impact on Johnson County, as well as guidance and recommendations from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other trusted resources. You can also sign up for email updates via the page.
In addition, you can call the Johnson County Community COVID-19 Hotline at 913-715-CV19 (2819). Nurses and County staff are available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday - Friday to answer your questions about the virus.
Please note you should isolate yourself and contact your physician, not the hotline, if you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, including high fever, sore throat and a dry cough.