Library Histories: Edgerton
Since its inception in 1952, the Johnson County Library has grown to 13 (soon to be 14) locations! In this blog post we feature the history of the Edgerton Library.
The Johnson County Library had long wanted to provide more convenient library service to the city of Edgerton after the bookmobile ceased operation in the early 1980s. At that time permanent Johnson County Library locations in Gardner, DeSoto, and Spring Hill came on line. Edgerton residents needed to drive four miles to Gardner for full library services. For many years two carts of books for self-checkout stood in the Edgerton City Hall.
In 1991 rental space for a library was sought, but was ultimately unsuccessful. Funding was not available in 1997 when an Edgerton Library was again proposed. But the Johnson County Library and the people and city of Edgerton continued to work toward a library in that community. A solution was finally found. A former bank building conveniently located across the street from the post office and in the downtown area was acquired by the city in 1999. The Johnson County Library agreed to provide library service there and the city and people of Edgerton set about providing a setting for the provision of modern library services.
Community Development Block Grants and several hundred thousand dollars in funds raised by the Edgerton Library Task Force paid for much. Local citizens and businesses pitched in with skilled volunteers and materials. Furnishings and library materials were supplied by the Johnson County Library, which rents the facility from the city of Edgerton for a nominal charge.
On July 29, 2000, the Edgerton Library opened its doors to the public. Among the services offered were a wide range of library materials at the facility and requested items brought daily for other Johnson County Library locations, public-use PCs, a meeting room, and youth and adult programming including storytimes. Unique to the Edgerton Library were fishing rods and gear that could be checked out from under the “Cops ‘n Bobbers” program. Sadly, this program is one that got away and is no longer offered.
In 2001, its first full year in operation, 22,711 items were checked out at Edgerton and the branch received 19,150 visitors. The library is open 36 hours a week including two evenings and Saturdays. It is always busy after school.