Library system working toward final maps that will affect Cedar Roe, Corinth

The Johnson County Library is inching closer to a recommendation on a long-term facilities plan that will determine the future of the Cedar Roe and Corinth libraries or their successors.

A planning map showing potential service areas for the large destination libraries. Up to 10 smaller libraries would complement the system.
A population density map showing potential service areas for the large destination libraries. Up to 10 smaller libraries would complement the system.

The planning group  is still following the idea that the new library system of the future will have two different types of buildings: larger destination libraries and more plentiful transactional libraries that are smaller and provide different services. Last week the library board was shown several iterations of maps that represented possible locations for each type of library.

The latest approach has three destination libraries, each with a service radius of approximately six miles. That would be complemented by up to 10 smaller transactional libraries that will be mapped out again this month.

Because the destination libraries, which could be up to 170,000 square feet, serve such a large radius, the initial mapping pushes them away from the northeast corner of the county. A destination library located roughly at 75th and Metcalf would have most of northeast Johnson County in its service ring.

The smaller, transactional libraries, of approximately 12,000 square feet could have multiple locations in the northeast corner of the county because they are designed to cover a 1.5 mile radius. Cedar Roe is the right size for a transactional library, but may not be perfectly centered nor have exactly the right physical configuration in its current building. No decision has been made about its future.

The transactional libraries could have drive-through lanes to pick up materials, would still have programming and meeting space and browsable materials. Destination libraries could have a maker space, an auditorium, programming, and communal space.

Locating near main roads, transit, and community centers was a criteria. Locating transactional libraries near retail also ranked high on the committee’s list. Locating near parks, trails and bike paths ranked lower.

In his presentation to the board, Library Director Sean Casserley said the planning groups worked on assumptions that the population is expanding south and southwest, that the center point of the county is at I-35 and I-435, that the car will continue to be the primary mode of transportation and that land use is a better predictor of library use than residential populations.

An earlier facilities use report had recommended that Cedar Roe be combine with the Antioch library in a new location and that Corinth be rebuilt in its present spot.