Renovated Johnson County Central Resource Library opens Tuesday, including revamped kids area, maker space

Central Resource kids area

Johnson County Library is reopening its Central Resource branch in Overland Park on Tuesday, Feb. 22, after completing $11.1 million worth of improvements. One of the most prominent changes is a new kids area, above. Library officials said early childhood literacy stood out as a priority during public input sessions when planning the renovation. Photo credits Juliana Garcia.

The wait is (almost) over for Central Resource Library patrons.

After nearly a year’s worth of construction, Johnson County Library is reopening the renovated branch at 9875 W. 87th Street on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

Head librarian Sean Casserly said the staff at the branch in Overland Park has missed the public and is excited to have them come back.

Casserly said the library’s goal remains the same: Maintain a neutral, community-focused space where patrons can read, relax, learn and access resources like laptops.

Central Resource is also going to begin hosting meet-the-author events again this year, he said.

“The library brings the world to the community,” Casserly said. “I think COVID’s taught us that, and that’s an avenue we want and that people really like.”

The main changes to the renovated library include:

  • an improved kids area,
  • revamped staff space
  • and a drive-thru that can accommodate both returns and holds pick-ups.

The Post, along with other media, received a sneak peek of the renovated space on Friday. Here are some images of the new and improved Central Resource Library:

Central Resource windows in kids area
There are large open windows in the kids area that face Strang Park, in an effort to connect the park and the library.
Central Resource story time room
Another change is the addition of a “story time” room. It can be closed off with large, glass doors and features furniture kids can build.
Central Resource patio
While there’s plenty of reading space in the kids area, there’s also going to be an outdoor patio. Patrons can ask librarians for access to the patio, which will feature furniture when it’s warmer.
Carmack Room Central Resource
The Carmack Community Room, where organizations hold events or forums, also changed. The large sliding glass doors can open up entirely to allow for flow in and out of the room.
Central Resource media rooms
There are also new media rooms where patrons can hook up their laptops or phones to large, wireless monitors.
Central Resource 3D printers
The Black and Veatch maker space features various pieces of equipment for patrons to use, including laser cutters, sewing machines and 3D printers as pictured above.
Central Resource break room
Staff space is also entirely new. The break room, pictured above, received its first upgrade since 1994, Casserly said.
Central Resource treehouse room
There are several meetings spaces in the library. Above is an administrative meeting space, a room called the “tree house.”
Central Resource campground room
The “campground” space is another staff meeting area, designed to be inviting and collaborative, Casserly said.
Central Resource drive-thru
Outside, the drive-thru also saw some changes. While returns remain the same, the large window pictured above is where patrons can pick up their holds.