All 14 Johnson County Library branches are now open to the public with limited services and temporarily modified hours of operation. Please note that hours vary by branch due to staffing capacity, so be sure to check your branch's location page before heading to the Library. As we work to rebuild staffing levels, modified hours allow our branch staff time to safely process materials and sanitize staff and patron spaces.
Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about Library operations as we reopen our buildings and restart the circulation of our materials. We will continue to post updates on our website and social media channels regarding the resumption of Library services.
For questions about your account, contact us online, call us at 913-826-4600, or text us at 913-667-7523.
Our phones are open:
Monday & Wednesday 9 am – 5 pm
Tuesday & Thursday Noon – 8 pm
Saturday 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm
In order to access our whole collection, you’ll need to visit a library branch 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 any of our 14 branches. 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.
We are currently piloting a Curbside Holds Pickup service at our Leawood Pioneer branch, and anticipate expanding the pilot to additional Johnson County Library branches later this fall. The Curbside Holds Pickup service is available during normal Library hours of operation.
Yes. 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’ July 2 vote to uphold the order. The mask requirement applies to all patrons, volunteers and Library staff unless otherwise exempted. 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
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.”
Yes, we have a stock of single-use masks that are available to our patrons as supplies allow. We have provided washable cloth masks to all our staff and volunteers.
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.
There is no reliable way to comprehensively sanitize books and other materials, so we advise patrons to thoroughly wash their hands after visiting the Library and handling our materials. We will have hand sanitizer and restrooms available in our branches.
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 are currently 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 are currently 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.
In addition to following the Kansas governor's order requiring masks for staff, volunteers and patrons, 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. The following practices have been adopted all at branches:
- Wipes and hand sanitizer available for patron and staff use.
- Signage posted to encourage proper physical distancing and hygiene practices.
- Plexiglass shields between staff and patrons at service points.
- Spacing increased at computers to allow for physical distancing, and computer reservations limited to one hour per day to limit the number of visitors in our buildings at any given time.
- Patrons are asked not to return unwanted material to shelves after handling.
- Hand dryers in restrooms have been replaced with paper towel dispensers.
- Buildings are thoroughly sanitized daily, and high-touch areas disinfected regularly throughout the day and after each use if possible, such as transaction drawers at our drive-thru locations.
Yes, we are currently quarantining returned items for a minimum of 72 hours. Often by the time materials have been processed and reach our patrons again, materials have been isolated for a minimum of 96 hours - well beyond the current safety recommendations for Library materials! You may see piles of items in our meeting rooms and study rooms, or in cordoned off sections of our branches. These returned items are separated by date so staff know when they may safely begin checking them in.
Because of the volume of materials being processed at these three locations, please note that you may experience greater than normal wait times for returned items to be removed from your account and holds on popular items to be ready.
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
- Holds pick up
- Browsing the collection
- Check out materials via self-check
- Public computers (one hour time limit)
- Self-service printing
- Interlibrary Loan
- New Library card applications
- Meeting, conference and study room access
- In-person programs and events
- Genealogy services
- The Black & Veatch MakerSpace
- Summer Reading book distribution
- Shared items such as magazines, newspapers, and children’s toys
- Lending laptops at Monticello or Lenexa City Center
While we want to provide access to our collection, we are encouraging quick browsing only to limit the number of visitors in our buildings at any given time. Removing access to furniture helps ensure visitors do not linger in our branches and physical distancing recommendations are being followed. Many types of seating materials are also difficult to properly sanitize between each guest.
Our eLibrarian recommends the below services as a starting point for your eLibrary 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 will resume normal operations beginning July 1.
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. Because many systems are still closed or have resumed limited service, requests may take longer than usual to process.
We know the demand for public computers is high. To encourage physical distancing and limit the amount of visitors in our buildings at any given time, patrons can use a computer once per day for up to one hour (60 minutes plus a ten minute warning) using either their Library card or a guest pass. Passes will be printed on demand at the service desk. Staff will be unable to provide computer help besides the most basic of questions.
Currently, all room reservations are canceled through January 1, 2021. Study, meeting and conference rooms can be reserved up to three months in advance, so you may begin reserving these spaces in October for use beginning January 1 and forward. Please note reservations are subject to cancellation should public health conditions change.
While we are moving many events and programming online, all in-person events are cancelled through the end of 2020. 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.
As soon as our branches closed on March 15, we knew we needed to plan for Summer Reading but weren’t sure what our services would look like in June. Well before our reopening stages were finalized, we implemented a plan to distribute summer reading books to kids through partner organizations and non-profits across Johnson County. In 2021, we hope to be able to distribute books both in Library branches and through community partners!
We are still offering lots of fun virtual programming for the whole family. Check our Summer Reading page for a schedule of events and more information, or opt in to our Summer Reading newsletter for bi-monthly updates leading up to our all-day End-of-Summer event on August 8.
Some volunteers returned to our branches when we reopened to the public on June 15. Others will return as they are able.
Due to the timing of our branch closures and uncertainty surrounding our reopening, we were not able to open applications for our Summer Teen Volunteers program. We hope this program will return in 2021.
The three Friends Bookstores at Antioch, Blue Valley and Central Resource Library reopened Thursday, July 9 for appointment-only shopping. Hours for all locations are: Mondays from 9 am - 4:30 pm and Thursdays from noon - 7:30 pm. Appointments must be made a minimum of 24 hours in advance. You can also take advantage of the Friends' online sales through AbeBooks, Amazon and eBay.
The Friends do not currently accept book donations at the branches. If you have donations, please email Shanta Dickerson, the Friends of Johnson County Library Operations Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a drop off appointment at our headquarters.
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.
Returns & Fines
Yes. You may return materials to all 14 branch locations. We are also accepting returns of materials from Olathe Public Library.
Because of the volume of materials being processed at our locations, please note that you may experience greater than normal wait times for returned items to be removed from your account and holds on popular items to be ready.
Currently, all returned materials are isolated for a minimum of 84 hours before they are checked back into our system. Due to the high volume of returns, materials may remain on your account for one week or more after they are returned. Please contact us if your materials are still showing on your account after more than two weeks.
No. Standard checkout periods will apply to materials checked out in our branches or through our drive-thru service. An item can be renewed up to ten times if no one else is waiting for it.
Please note that due to the 72 hour quarantine before materials are checked back in to the system, items returned on their due date may temporarily show as overdue on your account.
- 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
No, all materials must be returned in a book drop at one of our 14 branches across Johnson County. Staff will not accept materials of any kind at the drive-thru window, including donations.
Due dates were automatically extended and fines did not accrue on materials due between March 15 and June 30, which is the new due date for those items. Fines began to accrue on those items July 1. If you see fines on your account from materials due between March 15 and June 30, please contact us to remove them from your account.
If you owed fines prior to our March 15 closure, or have overdue materials which were checked out through one of our drive-thru locations, you will still owe those fines.
Staff are unable to process fines at the drive-thrus. Though fines can be paid in any of our 14 branch locations, we encourage patrons to pay fines online at smartpay.jocolibrary.org to minimize contact with our branch staff.
Holds & Check outs
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.
Holds can be placed on any of the Library’s materials. The items you see in our catalog are items that are available at all 14 locations as well as Olathe Public Library.
All circulating materials, including 6x6 kits, are available for checkout.
Not at this time. Due to the volume of items we are currently handling and the limited availability of staff, we will not be pulling materials for same-day pick up. When you place a hold online, any item that is available will be added to the “pull list” for the following day. If your item needs to be transferred from another branch, it may take several days for the item to be processed and ready for pick-up. You will not be able to pick up any holds until you receive an email stating your item is ready at your preferred branch.
If you placed a hold on a popular item, you can check your spot in line by logging into your Library account. If the item you requested is currently available on the shelf at any of our 14 branches or Olathe Public Library, it may take up to two weeks for that item to arrive and be processed for pick up at your requested location due to the volume of hold requests. The item will show as "in transit" on your Library account during this time.
You will receive an email from us when your hold is ready for pick up. Due to the 72 hour quarantine of returned items and the volume of materials being processed, your JoCoLibrary app or your online account may show the item is ready for pick up before it is actually available at the drive-thru. Please wait for receipt of the email to confirm your hold is ready.
To ensure that we have your correct email address on file, log into your account, and select My Settings from the dropdown menu next to your username on the top right of the screen.
Once your requested item is available for pickup at your preferred branch, we will notify you via the email address associated with your Library card. Please note we are operating at modified hours as we rebuild staffing capacity. Please check our locations page for your branch's hours of operation. We are also exploring options for contactless Curbside Holds Pickup at many of our locations.
If you choose one of our three drive-thru locations for holds pickup, the drive-thru window hours will be the same as the branch hours. Please note that the Library will serve patrons who are already in line when the window closes, but anyone arriving after the designated closing time will be asked to return the next day for service. Please have your last name and 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, and the drawer will be wiped down between each interaction.
If your item is in-transit or ready for pick up, you can contact us online, by calling us at 913-826-4600, or via text at 913-667-7523 to transfer your holds to another location. Our librarians will be answering telephones between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Johnson County Library is temporarily closed on Fridays.
If your item is either not ready or you are still on the waitlist, you may switch your preferred location yourself by logging in to your Library account and selecting your pick up location from the drop down menu next to the item.
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.
Yes. Please look for an email when your in-transit hold is ready for pickup at your preferred branch.
To change your default pick up location preference, log in to your Library account, click the arrow next to your username in the top right corner, and select “My Settings.” Under “Account Preferences,” change your first preference to any of our 14 branches or Olathe Public Library. All future holds will automatically be assigned to your saved location.
Yes. The Lenexa City Center holds lobby is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, around our open hours.
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.
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.