Building Our Future

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 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 1961, following legislation that permitted the Johnson County Library Board of Directors to own property, the Antioch building and site were purchased. The Antioch building has been expanded twice, in 1970 and 1983, and was last renovated in 1995 when the Central Resource Library was opened. Since then, Antioch has been providing space for the Friends of the Library, JCCC’s Adult Education program, and has functioned as the home office for systemwide Programming, Outreach, and Information Services staff.

New site, new building

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 library is anticipated to be approximately 15,000 square ft. single story building and include a drive-thru for holds pickup and material return. Like Lenexa City Center Library, the Antioch Replacement Library will utilize the nearby parking structure and pay for a portion of the upkeep costs.

In 2020, the Library Board and City of Merriam approved agreements for conveying property and outlining shared parking and maintenance responsibilities. In September 2020, 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.

Public engagement and design

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. In spring and summer of 2021, the Library conducted public engagement sessions both virtually and at the new site. Design for the Antioch Replacement Library is underway and will continue through much of 2022. Construction of the new library is anticipated to begin in 2023, with opening anticipated in 2024.

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. 

Lenexa City Center Library Opens Sunday, June 2!

The new Lenexa City Center Library will open its doors to the public on Sunday, June 2, 2019, 1:00 – 5:00 pm, the Johnson County Library Board of Directors announced at their February 14 board meeting. 

The June 2 event will be focused on the building and its amenities, according to Library Board chair Nancy Hupp. “This is a really striking and beautiful facility,” she says, “and we are eager to invite our patrons in so people can start using their new Library right away.”

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 will include tours conducted by Library staff of the new building and an opportunity to meet Stephen T. Johnson, award-winning children’s book illustrator who is installing a new work of public art at the site. 

The afternoon event takes place during what will be regular Sunday service hours, confirming that Lenexa City Center joins 4 other branches which are open on Sundays.

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. Construction cost is $21.1 million.

Wow! Lenexa City Center Library time-lapse

We placed a camera in a window of the Lenexa City Hall Communications office. It overlooks the site of the Lenexa City Center Library construction. For over 8 months we have captured the progress of our newest Library from an empty lot to what you see today. Take 5 minutes and watch this building take shape before your eyes. We're sure you'll say: "Wow!"

Lenexa City Center
Lenexa City Center

Look Around Lenexa

Get a glimpse into the future of your new Library at Lenexa City Center. Click the images to interact with a 360 degree panorama!