Merriam Plaza Library opens March 20

Exterior and outdoor seating of new Merriam Plaza Library

By Elissa Andre

The opening of the Merriam Plaza Library on March 20 begins an exciting new chapter for Johnson County Library’s 70+ year history in Merriam.

In the early 1950s, Library volunteers loaned books out of private businesses and residences until funding could be collected to open a branch. An early volunteer library was in a Merriam resident’s home, and in 1956 the Library’s first dedicated location opened at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Antioch Road in Merriam. That building—Antioch Library—served the community until it closed in January to transfer 20 staff and its collection of more than 67,000 items to the new branch.

Merriam Plaza Library, located a quarter-mile north of Antioch Library at 6120 Slater St., is built in partnership with the city of Merriam on the Merriam Community Center campus. The two facilities share the parking structure and an outdoor plaza.

At 15,000 square feet, it’s approximately the same size as Antioch Library’s branch space. Large windows and roof monitors offer abundant natural light, and reservable rooms and comfortable furnishings provide space to work or relax. A drive-thru for returns and holds pickups makes it more convenient to get what you need.

The Library features another special connection to Merriam history: the Webb Family Meeting Room. The 1949 case Webb v. School District 90 laid the foundation for 1954’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision. The Webb’s courage and commitment to educational access resonated with Library officials, who are thrilled to share the local family’s story with future generations through the room’s name and mural. Johnson County Library extends our sincere gratitude to the Webb siblings for sharing their time and energy on this project.

The community is invited to join us Saturday , March 2, for the Slater Street Storybook Relay, when the final few books from Antioch Library will pass to the Merriam Plaza Library via a human chain.

Details for this event and the March 20 ribbon cutting are available at or by calling 913-826-4600.

Elissa Andre is marketing and communications manager at Johnson County Library.