COVID-19

Face Masks Now Required in Library

A reminder to patrons, Johnson County Library will start enforcing Governor Laura Kelly’s executive order requiring masks or face coverings in public.  Beginning Tuesday, July 21masks will now be required in all Johnson County Library buildings. Patrons wearing any kind of face covering, including a face shield, is acceptable. Disposable masks will be available if you do not have one.

Library policy requires that patrons comply with all regulations and laws, including the executive orders issued by the governor. Our Suspension, Denial, or Restriction of Library Use policy states, “The County Librarian or his/her designee is authorized to suspend, deny, or restrict an individual's library privileges for (1) violation of federal or state law, local codes, or library regulations.”

This means if you do not wear a mask in the Library, you will be asked to leave for the day. You are welcome back the following day if you wear a mask, or you can choose to use our drive-thrus or online services instead.

The governor’s order lists several exemptions to the mask order, including:

  • Persons age five years or under
  • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering
  • Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, or communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing

If you cannot wear a mask, we ask that you maintain six feet of distance between staff and other patrons. Thanks to everyone who is wearing a mask that is able to; it is our intent to help keep everyone safe.

 

Our Mask Requirement

Face masks or cloth face coverings are now required to be worn inside all Johnson County Library branches, in accordance with Kansas Governor Laura Kelly's statewide order and the Board of County Commissioners’ Thursday, July 2 vote to uphold the order. The mask requirement applies to all patrons, volunteers and Library staff unless otherwise exempted.

Johnson County Library has ordered a stock of single-use masks that will be available to our patrons as supplies allow. We anticipate these will be available in branches later this week. We also ask that all visitors to our buildings continue to follow recommended preventative measures, such as physical distancing of at least six feet, frequent hand-washing or sanitizing, and staying home if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

Governor Kelly’s order can be read online as a PDF. Some frequently asked questions are below, and can also be found in our Reopening FAQ.

  • What counts as a mask or face covering?
    According to the executive order, “a ‘mask or other face covering’ means a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is simply wrapped around the lower face. A mask or other face covering can be made of a variety of synthetic and natural fibers, including cotton, silk, or linen… A mask or other face covering may be factory-made, sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, bandanas, t-shirts, sweatshirts or towels.”
  • Will the Library be providing masks to patrons, staff and volunteers?
    We will have disposable masks available in our branches for patron use. Cloth masks have been provided to all staff and volunteers.
  • How are we letting visitors know about the mask requirement in our buildings?
    In addition to email and notifications on our website and social media channels, we will have signs at our entry points and throughout our buildings stating that masks are required per the governor’s executive order. 
  • Who is exempt from wearing a mask?
    The governor’s order lists several exemptions to the mask order, including:
    • Persons age five years or under
    • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering
    • Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, or communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing

If you cannot wear a mask, we ask that you maintain six feet of distance between staff and other patrons.

When possible, we encourage all patrons to utilize one of our three drive-thru locations at the Blue Valley, Lenexa City Center or Monticello branches for contactless holds pickup.

Thank you for your patience as we work through what this new directive means for Johnson County Library!

Worried about late fees?

If you turned in your books due on Tuesday, June 30, you may notice they are still on your account! All returned materials are isolated for a minimum of 72 hours before they are checked back into our system. Because of this 72 hour quarantine, items may remain on your account for several days after they are returned. We are back-dating all returns so you will NOT accrue late fees on items returned by their due date. 

Please contact us if your materials are still showing on your account after more than one week, and check our Reopening FAQ for updates on Library services, including returns and fines.

All Johnson County Library locations opening June 15

Johnson County Library will reopen all 14 of its branches to the public on Monday, June 15 with limited services. Hours of operation will be announced next Friday, June 12 as we determine staffing resources. We anticipate opening with reduced hours to allow the Library to sanitize public areas and safely process materials.

Beginning Monday, June 8, you may begin returning materials to your preferred branch. Returns are accepted 24/7 in our exterior book drops, and will continue to be quarantined for 72 hours through June 15 as we work to rebuild staff capacity.

Items checked out prior to our March 15 closure are due June 30, and fines will begin to accrue on these items starting July 1. You may renew items that do not have hold requests.

Initial services are limited to quick browsing, checkouts and computer usage with an emphasis on reduced interactions with staff. Staff will be available for directional questions and help with self-check machines only. Please bring your library card or card number with you for checkout. Services offered at all 14 branches are:

  • Item returns
  • Hold pick up
  • Browsing the collection
  • Check out materials via self-check
  • Public computers (one-hour time limit)
  • Self-service printing and faxing (faxing available at select locations)
  • Interlibrary Loan
  • New library card applications

At this time we will not be offering:

  • Meeting, conference and study room access
  • Seating
  • In-person programs and events
  • The Black & Veatch MakerSpace at the Central Resource Library
  • Summer Reading book distribution
  • Shared items such as magazines, newspapers, and children's toys

We will update you as additional services resume. Please see our updated FAQ for detailed information on specific Library services and safety protocols, including the following:

We strongly encourage both patrons and staff wear masks for the safety of everyone in our buildings.

While there will be no occupancy restrictions for our branches, in accordance with the Board of County Commissioners' reopening guidance, we ask that visitors practice physical distancing of at least six feet between staff and fellow patrons while inside Library buildings. Staff will also be behind plexiglass barriers.

We still encourage patrons, especially those in high-risk categories, to take advantage of our three drive-thru locations at Blue Valley, Lenexa City Center and Monticello branches when possible for contactless holds pick up. We are currently exploring options for contactless holds pick up at all 14 branch locations.

All events will continue to be held virtually this summer, including Summer Reading programming and the Johnson County Library Foundation's annual fundraising event Library Lets Loose on September 12. 

Patrons with holds on their account will receive a separate email with additional information on resuming holds and updating pick up locations if desired.

Thank you for your continued support of Johnson County Library!

Drive-Thru Library services return!

Johnson County Library is excited to announce the resumption of drive-thru service at our Blue Valley, Lenexa City Center, and Monticello branches!

Got additional questions? See our FAQ »​

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 at jocolibrary.org 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.

Please note:

  • Patrons with existing holds on their account, whether the hold is ready at a branch, in transit or not ready yet, will receive an email from the Library on Friday, May 15 with instructions on how to transfer or cancel those items if desired.
  • Due dates will be extended as long as necessary and fines will not accrue on materials checked out prior to March 15. If you do not want to return them at one of the three locations above, you may keep those items until further notice.

We recognize and appreciate the community's demand for our physical materials. While distancing mandates are still in effect, opening our existing drive-thrus was the most immediate solution that minimizes contact between patrons and staff. As indicated in our recent patron survey, it is also the pick-up option most respondents are comfortable utilizing at this time.

Keeping the access needs of our community front-of-mind, our Reopening Team is working quickly and thoroughly to develop logistics and safety measures for future reintroduction of services. While there are still many unknowns as we work toward the reopening of our buildings, we anticipate the next stage will include walk-in holds pickup at additional branches across Johnson County. Until then, many essential Library services remain available online, including our eLibrary, access to Librarians through our Answers platform, and most recently, virtual programming and events.

Thank you for your patience as we work toward solutions that first and foremost protect our staff, volunteers and patrons, especially the vulnerable populations we serve. Please review our updated FAQ, which provides additional details on topics like holds and returns (including materials from Olathe) as well as the safety of our materials and the extra precautions our staff is taking to ensure your health.

We will continue to roll out updates on services in the coming weeks -- stay in touch with us via jocolibrary.org and @jocolibrary on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We can't wait to see you again on May 26! 

MakerSpace Mask Delivery

You may have caught Johnson County Library in the news recently—our Black & Veatch MakerSpace facilitators have been hard at work during our branch closure, running 3D printers from our MakerSpace and JCCC’s Maker Lab 24/7 to make desperately needed PPE for Johnson County healthcare workers. Last week they handed off their first 80 face shields to Johnson County EMS. Assembled from 3D-printed headbands and plastic dividers, the shields will be sanitized and distributed to Johnson County Developmental Supports for immediate use. In addition to the face shields, Library staff from across all departments have sewn nearly 1,000 fabric masks, with another donation to EMS happening later this week.

Food Pantries

If you need food assistance during the COVID-19 crisis, Johnson County Library keeps an updated list of area food pantries.  We encourage you to call the organization to double-check its hours, as many are operating on different schedules.  Local schools have also been passing out school lunches for kids ages 1-18. Many provide breakfasts or a few days of both breakfast and lunch, and homeschoolers are eligible, as well.  Check the web pages below for information specific to your area:

As always, our staff are standing by (virtually) for any questions you might have and to offer one-on-one assistance.

Get informed about COVID-19: Coronavirus

The global spread of COVID-19 is a rapidly-evolving situation. Johnson County Library wants to keep our patrons informed about the virus, as well as preventative measures the Library is taking in response. Check this page for the latest updates from trusted resources, as well as any potential changes to Library programs and services. See our FAQs for Branch Reopening »

 

Resources

Kansas Department of Health and Environment confirmed its first presumptive-positive case of COVID-19 in Johnson County on March 7.   At the Library, the safety and welfare of our patrons, volunteers and staff is a high priority. The Library’s administration is monitoring the situation and following precautionary recommendations from JCDHE, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Watch the County’s press conference.

Below is a list of websites and library resources assembled by Library staff to help patrons stay informed on the latest news and developments about the virus:

County: The Johnson County Health and Environment has a resource page that includes a FAQ, notices on travel, information about preventing the spread of the virus, and even a “JoCo on the Go” podcast episode by local health experts.

State: The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has a page dedicated to COVID-19, including Frequently Asked Questions, a fact sheet, and guidance for schools, day care facilities, and public health professionals.

Federal: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides daily situational reports, a FAQ, and tracks new cases in the United States.

The United States National Library of Medicine, one of the world’s largest medical libraries and part of the National Institutes of Health, tracks clinical studies of the virus and is a rich resource on current scientific writings:

Global: Be sure to visit the World Health Organization, where you can access a daily situation report that tracks the outbreak.

The Johnson County Library also has access to medical databases, accessible with a library card and PIN, including MedLinePlus and Consumer Health Complete, which gives user access to medical journals and magazine articles, in addition to other useful and timely information.