Your Community: Johnson County Library’s Central Resource branch reopens after renovations

The recent renovation pf the Central Branch was the culmination of more than ten years of planning by Library leadership.

After a year of construction, Johnson County Library’s Central Resource Branch (9875 W. 87th St, Overland Park, KS) fully reopened to the public on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. The location’s front lobby operated as “Little Central” while the majority of the building was closed, offering limited services such as holds pickup, materials return and public computers.

Central Resource Library renovations include new amenities and refreshed spaces, including:

  • A convenient new drive-thru window for holds pickup. To use the window, select “Central Resource Drive-thru” as your pickup location when placing the hold. The pickup location for upcoming holds not yet available can be changed in your Library account. To change your pickup location for holds already on the shelf, contact the Library.
  • An expanded and relocated Kids area. Among the many features are new kid-friendly furniture and shelving, a dedicated Storytime room, an interactive early literacy play space and large windows with seating that overlook Strang Park.
  • Reservable conference, meeting and study spaces. Central Resource Library now features 20 reservable spaces of various sizes and layouts, all updated with fresh paint, new furniture and wireless AV technology. Two new media rooms were also added adjacent to the Teen collection.
  • Refreshed staff area. Behind the scenes, staff spaces were reconfigured and consolidated to create a more efficient flow of materials throughout the entire 14-branch Library system.

Central Resource Library’s popular genealogy resources and the Black & Veatch MakerSpace are also reopened to full in-person services, though with temporarily reduced hours. The MakerSpace facility received new paint and flooring and new or upgraded equipment, including laser and vinyl cutters, 3D printers, sewing machines, larger computer monitors and a large-format CNC router. Equipment reservations and tutorials can be accessed at jocolibrary.org/makerspace.

Central Resource Library opened in 1995 in a former Best Products retail location. Initially a reference library, the branch boasted the largest collection in the system and offered six public computers. It also replaced Antioch Library (8700 Shawnee Mission Pkwy, Merriam, KS) as headquarters for Library administration and many systemwide services staff. The recent renovation was the culmination of more than ten years of planning by Library leadership. The first phase of the project completed in early 2015, reconfiguring public spaces and the collection for the needs of a 21st century library system. The second phase, to include work on staff spaces not updated since 1995, was planned for 2021 when the Library had accrued the needed funding. Despite an unanticipated global pandemic and supply chain issues, the project remained on schedule and under budget, with a total project cost of $11.1 million.

County Librarian Sean Casserley is thrilled to welcome the community back to a fully functional Library building, inviting residents to come see the exciting changes. “Our community’s commitment to reading and life-long learning is inspiring. As an institution, the Library has no agenda but to provide you the information that will support and enrich your life. It is a space for you and your family to explore, discover, and excite your imagination. I think you’ll be surprised at what you find!”

Details about Central Resource Library’s amenities, including hours of operation and how to reserve meeting spaces are available at jocolibrary.org/central.

Johnson County Library – Nurturing the Community’s Collective Wisdom