In 2021 we’ll be making areas of Central Resource Library even better! In addition to its public service staff, Central is home to many departments that support all 14 branches. Once the work at Central is complete, you will feel the positive impact across the Library system.
We know you probably have many questions about what to expect over the next year, 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!
The population of Johnson County is steadily rising, and Johnson County Library is growing to meet the needs of our community. As home to many departments that support all 14 of our branches, such as Materials Handling, IT, Events Programming and Communications, Central Resource Library is considered the heart of the system. Many staff spaces have not been updated since Central first opened in 1995 and no longer meet the needs of a modern library system of our size; we need to ensure this central hub is running as efficiently as possible to support patrons across all our branches.
The project focuses on creating efficiency in the staff spaces, with some improvements to the public spaces. You will feel the positive impact on Library service with noticeable efficiency, more services, and better use of resources. This will save taxpayer dollars in the long run.
Among the highlights:
- More study/conference rooms. This project will add or relocate five public study/conference rooms, as well as rooms on the staff side – adding availability for patrons.
- An expanded, relocated Kids area with more natural light, window seating and a storytime room.
- A new drive-thru for patron returns and holds pick-up.
- Materials Handling efficiencies. Our materials handling spaces, through which new materials, holds and other Library items flow, are being reorganized for operational efficiency. We anticipate this will result in materials being available for patrons more quickly throughout the entire Library system.
This is a continuation of the Central Building Upgrade (concept beginning in 2012, project occurred in 2014-15). We initially had planned to make upgrades to both the public and staff spaces, but we had limited funds. We prioritized completing the public spaces and making those spaces flexible for future changes, planning to complete the staff side once we had accrued the needed resources.
Johnson County Library has experienced several major changes since CBU Part 1 was completed in 2015, including the addition of a new branch in western Shawnee (Monticello), a much larger branch in Lenexa (Lenexa City Center) and additional staff to support a growing system.
And as part of our Comprehensive Library Master Plan, we anticipate relocating the Antioch branch to a smaller building on the Merriam Community Center campus in 2023. Several support staff currently working at Antioch will relocate to Central Resource Library.
We’ll be temporarily modifying some services at Central beginning in early February 2021. Construction is anticipated to complete in late 2021. After construction, the ratio of public to staff space will stay very close to what it is today.
- The last day to return materials to our exterior book drops will be Sunday, January 31. The materials return will move inside the branch during construction while the drive-thru window is installed.
- The branch will fully close to the public from Monday, February 8 to Sunday, February 14. During this week staff and construction crews will transition Central to what we’re calling “Little Central.”
- Little Central will open in a portion of our front lobby on Monday, February 15, offering limited services.
Services available at Central during construction include:
- Holds pick-up and self-check.
- Materials return inside the building (for exterior book drops, we recommend patrons use a nearby location such as Oak Park, Leawood, or Corinth).
- Nine public PCs
- Public printing / copying / scanning
- Access to public restrooms
- Community information, including tax forms
- The Black & Veatch Makerspace. The Makerspace staff are working temporarily at another location and offering online programming. We anticipate bringing them back to Central in summer 2021, depending on construction and/or public health conditions at that time.
- The Genealogy desk will continue to offer virtual hours for patron access. Many online databases will continue to be available remotely.
Modified services during construction:
Services temporarily suspended during construction:
- Collection browsing
- Microfilm and reference collection
- Blood pressure machine (currently suspended as a COVID precaution, but will be permanently relocated to Oak Park)
- Meeting rooms (currently suspended as a COVID precaution)
Construction will begin in early February 2021 and is anticipated to complete in late 2021.
While you may still assign held items from across the system to be picked up at Central, you will not be able to browse Central’s collection while the library is under construction. Popular and unique titles are being reassigned to other branches during the renovation.
Yes. The Friends Bookstore at Central has permanently closed as part of a consolidation plan unrelated to the Central Building Upgrade project. The Friends bookstores at Antioch and Blue Valley Libraries remain open and can be shopped via appointment.
Construction updates will be posted to the Central Building Upgrade page, as well as on our social media pages. Follow @jocolibrary on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube!
If Little Central does not meet your library needs, please check our Locations page to find hours and locations for our other 13 branches. The branches with the closest proximity to Central are Oak Park Library in Overland Park (1.9 miles), Antioch Library in Merriam (4 miles) and Corinth Library in Prairie Village (4.3 miles).
All Johnson County Library branches are currently open with modified hours, and offer basic services such as:
- Browsable collections
- Holds pickup
- Materials return
- Computer and Internet Access, including copying and printing
The last day to return materials to Central’s exterior book drop is Sunday, January 31. Beginning Monday, February 1, all returns to Central must be made inside the lobby. The interior book drop will remain open during construction, and the reworked exterior book drop will reopen in late fall 2021.
The nearest exterior book drops to Central are at the Oak Park, Corinth, and Leawood branches.
Some staff will remain at Central to provide services. Others will be temporarily relocated to other branches throughout the Johnson County Library system.