Friends of Johnson County Library to close both used bookstores in county libraries

Library advocate nonprofit Friends of Johnson County Library will close both of its used bookstores at county libraries at the end of the month. Above, the bookstore at the Johnson County Library's Antioch branch. Photo by Lucie Krisman.

Nonprofit organization Friends of Johnson County Library is closing two used bookstores in Johnson County libraries.

Where exactly: The bookstores operated at two Johnson County Library branches — the Antioch Library in Merriam and the Blue Valley Library in Overland Park.

  • The Antioch Library’s bookstore opened in 1996, while the Blue Valley Library’s store opened in 2003.
  • The nonprofit opened a third bookstore at the Central Resource Library in 2016, but that store closed in 2020.

Why are they closing? Friends of Johnson County Library reported that both bookstores have struggled to recover from the economic impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Key quote: “Unfortunately, sales at these locations have continued to lag behind pre-pandemic levels,” said Friends of Johnson County Library President Chris Meier. “We’re making this difficult decision so that the organization can focus resources toward our mission of supporting the Library.”

Last days of business: Customers can still shop at both bookstores until the end of the month.

  • The stores will close on July 30, but the nonprofit will continue to host pop-up sales at its headquarters at 8279 Melrose Drive in Overland Park.
  • Pop-up sales will take place every Saturday starting Aug. 6.
  • Customers can also continue to buy books online.