Fate of Cedar Roe, Corinth hang on library future needs assessment

The Cedar Roe Library branch is temporarily closed this week due to electrical damage from flooding. The town hall meeting will focus on its long-range future.
The Cedar Roe Library branch was temporarily closed earlier this year as a result of flooding. Its future hangs on the assessment of library needs in the coming years.

The fate of the Cedar Roe and Corinth libraries won’t be known until later this year, but the Johnson County Library started its look into the future today in an all-day work session at the Leawood branch.

Johnson County Library Director Sean Casserley
Johnson County Library Director Sean Casserley

Library Director Sean Casserley said the library is “months away” from a specific decision about Cedar Roe. The work today, Casserley said, starts by taking a step back to assess where the library needs to be in 25 years. That means looking at population trends, traffic patterns, technology, community needs and other patterns that could affect the physical library system of the future. Any changes “need to be sustainable,” Casserley said.

An earlier facilities capital plan dating to 2009 had suggested that Corinth be rebuilt on its current site and that Cedar Roe and Antioch be combined into a new third spot. Those recommendations have not been acted upon and will be subject to change based on the outcomes of the current re-assessment.

A town hall meeting last month brought out a crowd to lobby for keeping Cedar Roe part of the library system. Casserley said the library could construct several scenarios from its assessment of future needs that would affect the current physical structure of the system. We are “not at that part” of the review, he said.

In the meantime, Cedar Roe, which has some physical plant challenges, will be well maintained, Casserley said. “As things fail, they will be taken care of,” he said, adding that he would view it as “neglect” to let Cedar Roe deteriorate while its future is being decided.

Casserley predicted it could be November or later before the library reaches the point it is ready to make more specific recommendations.