10 Things to know about Johnson County Library

10 Things to know about Johnson County Library

Johnson County Library started in the early 1950s in the homes of local families, schools and businesses, including a plumber and a barbershop! Our first official branch, Antioch Library, opened in 1956 off Shawnee Mission Parkway. While a lot has changed about libraries in the last seven decades, our mission to provide access to ideas, information, experiences and materials that support and enrich people’s lives has remained.

If you haven’t visited us for a while we are now so much more than the library you remember. Stop into one of our 14 branches conveniently located across Johnson County, and rediscover all that your free library card unlocks for you.

1. County partnerships

Johnson County Library regularly partners with other county departments and agencies. The Department of Health and Environment offers several community health resources at
our Central Resource Library, and we provide in-house library services to those living in the Department of Corrections’ Adult Residential Center.

2. Award-winning volunteer program

In late 2022, the library’s volunteer program became Service Enterprise Certified by the Points of Light Foundation and ALIVE (Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement). Only 11% of nonprofits nationally achieve this certification. One-time, short-term and regular volunteer opportunities are available for adults and teens, either in a branch or from your home.

3. Extensive collection and Interlibrary Loans

Our collection has more than one million items, including books, audiobooks, CDs and DVDs. And your card also gives you access to Olathe Public Library’s collection too. But what you can check out isn’t just limited to that—with Interlibrary Loan, you can check out anything you want from a network of libraries worldwide, from rare books to baking utensils and even body parts (plastic, of course).

4. Black & Veatch MakerSpace

Get crafty with the Black & Veatch MakerSpace at Central Resource Library. 3D print replacement parts for your refrigerator, engrave a custom tumbler, make t-shirts for your family reunion and even learn topics like circuitry and sound recording from the comfort of your home with reservable
Maker kits. All at no additional cost!

5. Magazine and access top newspapers

Save on subscription fees and top newspapers online without a paywall, from local favorites Shawnee Mission Post and The Kansas City Star to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. You can also find a new favorite magazine from thousands of options on the
Libby app. If you prefer to turn a real page, we offer print copies of popular titles in our branches.

6. Learn a new language

Podrías aprender un nuevo idioma (You could learn a new language), con centinaia di opzioni di lingua (with hundreds of language options), comme l’espagnol, italienne, ou le français (such as Spanish, Italian or French), on Rosetta Stone or Mango Languages, both available at no additional cost in our eLibrary to suit different learning styles.楽しむ (Have fun)!

7. Meeting room reservations

In addition to hundreds of Library-sponsored programs each year, we host a wide variety of community groups in our meeting rooms. Find the right room size and technology needs for your next gathering on the Reserve a Room section of jocolibrary.org. With a wide variety of comfortable seating options in our branches, we’re also proud to be a third space for when you need a break from your home, office or school.

8. Flexible to your schedule

We're always looking for new ways to make the library fit seamlessly into your life, whether it's with one-click holds, OnDemand resume workshops or hybrid programming options. Attend an author lecture while you cook dinner. Improve your job skills on the weekend. Make a quick stop at a drive-thru or curbside location to pick up holds for the whole family. Whatever your schedule, we are here for you.

9. Useful tools and information

The library is also your one-stop shop for many of life’s important tasks. Access Consumer Reports without a subscription to guide your next big purchase; get stepby- step repair, maintenance and service information for more than 18,000 vehicles with Chilton Library, download free customizable legal documents from Law Depot and even get live job coaching and free resume reviews with Brainfuse JobNow.

10. Assortment of streaming options

Stream a selection of well-known and more indie films and documentaries on Kanopy, get high-quality educational content via Kanopy Kids, take a virtual trip to the theatre for classic plays performed on National Theatre Live or find the soundtrack to your summer with Naxos Music Library.