Johnson County Library users, your wait is over.
After more than a year of operating at reduced hours and services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly all JoCo Library branches are returning to regular hours over the next month.
The county’s public library system originally closed down completely due in March 2020, and branches began reopening with reduced hours and services in June.
Regular hours return: The Edgerton and De Soto branches return to regular hours of operation on Monday, April 19.
All branches, except Cedar Roe — which is undergoing renovations through at least June 20 — will resume regular Friday hours on Friday, April 23. (All branches have been closed on Fridays throughout the pandemic.)
Then, on Monday, May 3:
- All remaining branches will resume regular hours, aside from Cedar Roe.
- Meeting, conference and study rooms will reopen. Booking begins on Wednesday, April 28.
- Newspapers and magazines become available.
- Laptop lending at the Lenexa Library returns.
- Soft seating, chairs and tables become available.
Books will still be quarantined: Even back to regular hours, several COVID-19 safety measures will still be implemented, including quarantining returned items for a minimum of 24 hours — which may cause lengthier wait times, according to a Johnson County Library frequently asked questions list.
Jennifer Mahnken, associate director for branch services, said she’s excited to be able to offer seating to library patrons again — and welcome them to use library spaces.
“We are delighted to re-instate most of our services back to pre-pandemic levels,” Mahnken said. “We have missed serving our community to the fullest extent during this last year.”
Masks required: Patrons will be required to wear masks while inside any library branch, unless they are exempt under the governor’s order such as children under the age of 5 or persons with medical conditions. If a patron does not have a mask, library staff will provide them with a single-use mask.
Below are some of the additional safety precautions Johnson County Library plans to implement at all branches:
- Wipes and hand sanitizer will be available for both patrons and library staff, and buildings will be sanitized daily.
- Physical distancing and proper hygiene will be encouraged.
- buildings will be sanitized daily.
- Patrons are still encouraged to thoroughly wash their hands when they get home from the library.
- High-touch surfaces will be disinfected frequently throughout the day, and if possible, after each individual use.
Not totally back to full service: In-person programming and events, genealogy help and equipment usage at the Black & Veatch MakerSpace will return at a later date.
Additionally, children’s toys will remain unavailable at this time.