Building Our Future

Location Spotlight: Antioch Library

The Antioch Library has had a 60+ year history at its current location in Merriam. The new location (just down the street at the new Merriam Community Center campus) is anticipated to open in 2023. Plans currently include amenities like a drive-thru window for holds pickup and materials return. Session dates for virtual public info sessions about building design will be announced later this spring, once the architectural firm has been selected.

Antioch is the Johnson County Library system’s oldest building and was at one time the headquarters, beginning in November 1956. After Central opened in 1995, Antioch transitioned to a branch Library in March 1996.

The spacious building has a cheerful children’s section, a big bank of computers and printers that are in constant use, a comfortable quiet room, and art gallery space. It also houses Johnson County adult education classes serving nearly 200 students. The Library serves patrons not only from Merriam but also from Mission and even southern Wyandotte County.

Reminder: Tomorrow is Central's Last Day as We Know It!

In 2021 we’ll be making areas of Central Resource Library even better, with an expanded and improved Kids area, additional meeting rooms, exterior enhancements like the addition of a drive-thru and renovations to our staff spaces among the upgrades. 

While we hope you are as excited as we are for these improvements, that means we’ll be temporarily modifying or suspending some services during construction. Key dates and details are as follows: 

  • From Monday, February 8 to Sunday, February 14 Central is expected to close to the public. During this week staff and construction crews will begin prepping for what we’re calling “Little Central.” 

  • On Monday, February 15 Little Central will open in a portion of our front lobby. It will offer limited services, including holds pick-up, materials return and public PCs through the duration of construction. 

  • Construction is anticipated to complete in late 2021

In addition to its public service staff, Central is home to many departments that support all 14 branches and is considered the hub of the Johnson County Library system. Once the work at Central is complete, you will feel the positive impact on Library service with noticeable efficiency, more services and better use of resources.  

We know you probably have many questions about what to expect over the next year. We’ve put together a Central Resource Library Construction FAQ that addresses the status of popular services like the Black & Veatch MakerSpace and Genealogy resources, more details about Little Central and where to find alternate services.  

Watch an animated fly-through of the exciting changes you will see once the library reopens in late 2021, and stay tuned to jocolibrary.org and @jocolibrary on social media for construction updates. 

You are receiving this email because you have listed Central Resource Library as your preferred branch, or our records indicated you’ve checked out material(s) from the Central Resource Library in the last 18 months. 

Our materials handling spaces, through which new materials, holds and other Library items flow, are being reorganized for operational efficiency 

TBT: The Way We Were

In 1985 preliminary planning began for a larger centralized Library building. In 1992, a location was selected. The former Best Products retail building at 9875 W. 87th St. was chosen. August 29, 1995, the Central Resource Library opened its doors to the public. Check out some of the photos from that time period in this special Throwback Thursday slide show.

Fast forward to today. We again are working to upgrade this building to make the Central Resource Library even better! 

We know you probably have many questions about what to expect over the next year as upgrades occur. So, we’ve put together a Construction FAQ that addresses the status of popular services like the Black & Veatch MakerSpace and Genealogy resources, more details about Little Central and where to find alternate services.

Stay tuned to our blog and @jocolibrary on social media for construction updates!

If you haven't viewed the Fly Through of Central Resource Library animated video, what are you waiting for?

And finally, remember that jocohistory.org is the place to time travel through local history. Search the Johnson County Library's historic photo collection for a fun adventure. You'll find over 100 images from the early years of Johnson County Library, mostly the mid-1950s. Be sure to follow our hashtag on Twitter! Have a Happy Throwback Thursday!

 

Reminder: Tomorrow is Central's Last Day as We Know It!

In 2021 we’ll be making areas of Central Resource Library even better, with an expanded and improved Kids area, additional meeting rooms, exterior enhancements like the addition of a drive-thru and renovations to our staff spaces among the upgrades. 

While we hope you are as excited as we are for these improvements, that means we’ll be temporarily modifying or suspending some services during construction. Key dates and details are as follows: 

  • From Monday, February 8 to Sunday, February 14 Central is expected to close to the public. During this week staff and construction crews will begin prepping for what we’re calling “Little Central.” 

  • On Monday, February 15 Little Central will open in a portion of our front lobby. It will offer limited services, including holds pick-up, materials return and public PCs through the duration of construction. 

  • Construction is anticipated to complete in late 2021

In addition to its public service staff, Central is home to many departments that support all 14 branches and is considered the hub of the Johnson County Library system. Once the work at Central is complete, you will feel the positive impact on Library service with noticeable efficiency, more services and better use of resources.  

We know you probably have many questions about what to expect over the next year. We’ve put together a Central Resource Library Construction FAQ that addresses the status of popular services like the Black & Veatch MakerSpace and Genealogy resources, more details about Little Central and where to find alternate services.  

Watch an animated fly-through of the exciting changes you will see once the library reopens in late 2021, and stay tuned to jocolibrary.org and @jocolibrary on social media for construction updates. 

You are receiving this email because you have listed Central Resource Library as your preferred branch, or our records indicated you’ve checked out material(s) from the Central Resource Library in the last 18 months. 

Our materials handling spaces, through which new materials, holds and other Library items flow, are being reorganized for operational efficiency 

Antioch Library Replacement Update

Antioch Library has had an over-60-year history in its current location at the corner of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Antioch Road, beginning in 1956 as a 7,200 square foot leased space with parking for 30 cars. Now, plans are in the works to re-locate Antioch Library to the new Merriam Community Center campus in the next few years.

In 1961, following legislation that permitted the Johnson County Library Board of Directors to own property, the Antioch building and site were purchased. Until Central opened in 1995, Antioch was called Headquarters. The Antioch building has been expanded twice, in 1970 and 1983. 

In 1995 the Central Resource Library was opened and the Antioch Library was converted to a branch, reopening in 1996. In the over twenty years since then, Antioch has provided space for the Friends of the Library, JCCC’s Adult Education program, and functioned as the home office for Youth Services staff.

In 2017, the City of Merriam approached the Library to consider relocating Antioch Library to the new Merriam Community Center campus, at the 6000 block of Slater. After a study with the city, the Library Board approved this path. The new Antioch Replacement building is anticipated to be approximately 16,000 square ft. and include a drive-thru for holds pickup and material return. Similar to the Lenexa City Center Library, the Antioch Replacement Library will share parking space with the City of Merriam’s Community Center.

Earlier in 2020, the Library Board and City of Merriam approved agreements for conveying property and outlining shared parking and maintenance responsibilities. In September, members of the Board of County Commissioners seated as the Public Building Commission approved the sale of bonds to partially fund the Antioch Library Replacement project – the remainder of project costs will be funded from Library Reserves to be transferred into the project account.

In March 2021, the Library Board and Johnson County Board of County Commissioners approved the selection of Kansas City-based Dake Wells Architecture to design the facility. Citizen input/comments will begin in May 2021. Design for the Antioch Replacement Library is projected to begin in  late 2021; completion of the new library is anticipated in 2023. 

We know you probably have questions about what to expect during this building process, so we’ve put together an FAQ that addresses more details about the project. Stay tuned to our Antioch Library Replacement page and follow @jocolibrary on social media for construction updates and photos. You can also drop us a line if you have any questions.

Cedar Roe Library Turns 50!

 

Join the celebration!

 

Happy 50th Birthday!

Read about the history of this well-aged Library!

Plan out your next visit to Cedar Roe Library!

Be sure to listen to a few memories of this branch in our podcast!

Lenexa City Center Library is Now Open!

Welcome to Lenexa City Center Library! Our newest branch is now open. We could go on and on about all of its great features, but go see for yourself!

Art Work at Lenexa City Center Library

Interconnections by Stephen T. Johnson

Stephen T. Johnson is a Caldecott Honor children’s book author/illustrator who lives and works in Lawrence, KS. He has exhibited his artwork both regionally and nationally. He has created works of art for Love Field Airport in Dallas, TX and subway stations in Brooklyn, NY and Los Angeles, CA.

Interconnections is a set of three mosaics, each 23-1/2 feet tall x 5-1/2 feet wide. This work is installed and on public display at the new Lenexa City Center Library.

Words from the Artist

"We rearrange the notes of a scale to generate musical compositions, we mix the colors of a rainbow to create visual works of art, and we reorder the letters of an alphabet to form words and texts.

As with a triplet of stained glass windows or three lines of a Haiku, Interconnections is a triptych that celebrates the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet through a profusion of typographic fonts, both uppercase and lowercase, intermixed with images from my books — Alphabet City, Alphabet School, and A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet.

Reading from left to right, the first panel celebrates the letters A to I, the second panel J to Q, and the third panel R to Z. The goal of Interconnections is to inspire visitors to the library to view our world in a fresh and playful way, and in so doing, discover for themselves juxtapositions of scale, color harmonies, rhythms in surface textures, and joy in what may seem unremarkable or ordinary, by transcending the mundane and unearthing its hidden beauty."

Technical notes

Artist Stephen T. Johnson worked with the German company Franz Mayer of Munich to fabricate these works. This company works with artists from all over the world to interpret their designs from the original medium into architectural glass and mosaics. Johnson created digital designs for these artworks and emailed them to the fabricators. The company used Johnson’s designs as guides for how to arrange the many individual glass pieces used to compose the mosaic.

In this mosaic there are 4 different kinds of tesserae:

•          Flat marbles/glass gems – small round glass pieces that have an entirely smooth surface

•          Glass cake – large flat pieces of mosaic glass that can be cut or broken into regular or irregular shapes, used to make both kinds of smaller pieces listed below

•          Italian Smalti – small, regularly-sized, machine cut and broken mosaic glass pieces that has an identical surface quality on all facets

•          Mexican glass – small, irregularly-sized hand-cut and broken mosaic glass pieces that can have different surface qualities and colors on different facets

This work of art is part of the Johnson County, KS Public Art Collection. Learn more at jocogov/dept/facilities/public-art-commission.

Lenexa City Center Library Opening June 2

The new Lenexa City Center Library will open its doors to the public on Sunday, June 2, when we'll introduce you to your new Library and its amenities. A ribbon cutting will open the doors promptly at 1 pm. There will be remarks from public officials, and a recitation of a work commissioned for the occasion from the emerita Poet Laureate of Kansas, Wyatt Townley.

Activities on June 2 will include tours of the new building and an opportunity to see award-winning children’s book illustrator Stephen T. Johnson’s new work of public art at the site.

The new 40,000 square foot building occupies two floors at the Lenexa City Center campus. In addition to high-quality Library services, the new space features public meeting rooms, public computers and a robust children’s programming area.

Special features                  
•   Kids area with dedicated storytime room 
•  Exterior Drive-Thru  
•   Holds Lobby  
•  Balcony with seating and device power 

Collection size                     
•    71,000 on Opening Day

Technology features          
•   Wi-Fi access 
•  20 public computer workstations
•  Comfy seating and tables equipped with device power stations 
•  Wireless AV in Study Rooms  
•  Collaboration Tables

 

Throwback Thursday: Lackman Library

To begin the history of the Lackman Library, one must delve back into the very early history of the Johnson County Library. Shortly after its 1953 founding, the Library opened the Lenexa Branch on November 2, 1954 in the Lenexa Grade School at 13400 W. 94th Street. It offered about 3,000 books for checkout and was open for only two hours a week--2:00 to 4:00 on Saturdays. Like all the others it was staffed by volunteers and offered donated materials. The most recent US Census in 1950 had indicated a Lenexa population of 803. That population soon began to burgeon. When the Library’s budget allowed, the branch’s hours were increased and it was moved into a rented storefront in downtown Lenexa.

In 1967, a bond issue was approved by voters to build the Oak Park Library, among other improvements. This branch at 9500 Bluejacket was intended to serve the library needs of the “southwest” portion Johnson County’s developing suburban region, including Lenexa. In preparation for the new branch, the Lenexa Library was closed in 1967. The city of Lenexa was promised that someday there would again be a library within its city limits. The Oak Park Library opened in 1970, after being housed in temporary space near 95th and Antioch. The population continued to grow and soon the need for a new library west of I-35 was apparent and was included in the 1979 facilities plan.

Ground was broken for the Lackman Library on March 5, 1986. The building was dedicated on November 14, 1986 and opened to the public on November 17. It opened with a collection of 22,000 items and was the first Johnson County Library location without a card catalog, as the Library made a leap into the computer age. During its first full year open—1987—the Lackman Library circulated 99,220 items.

An expansion of Lackman was never far from the minds of staff during the planning and opening of the Shawnee Library in 1992, the Leawood Pioneer Library in 1994, the Central Resource Library in 1995, and the renovated Antioch Library in 1996. By August 10, 1996 when the Lackman Library closed for expansion, it barely fit its building. The new facility, three times as large as its previous incarnation with almost 18,000 square feet, re-opened on August 12, 1997.