1960s to 2000
Did you know the first Gardner Library opened in 1960 at 134 E. Main in a rented space that formerly housed a grocery store? Before that, Gardner had a small self-service collection in a local building and was also served by bookmobile. In the early 1970s it was increasingly obvious that a larger Gardner Library was needed. In 1982, new Libraries were built in the Blue Valley area, Spring Hill, De Soto and on Main Street in Gardner.
By 1990, Gardner's population had grown significantly. An even larger Library was needed. But then the area began growing even faster than anticipated. In 1999 the city proposed that Johnson County Library trade its space on Main Street for a nearby site at Shawnee and Elm Streets. It was a win-win solution for everybody. The Library was kept downtown in a good location, and the Library and city hall could share parking.
Ground was broken for the new Library on Sept. 26, 2000. The new Library opened on Nov. 13, 2001. The new building was almost four times the size of the old building.
The current Gardner Library will turn 20 years old on Nov. 13, 2021! Happy Birthday!