Joco Opinion

Changes ahead for libraries in Johnson County

Updated: 2013-04-30T20:33:52Z

Johnson County’s vibrant system of libraries is very popular with its patrons. Still, changes are afoot, which is encouraging to hear as long as they are well-vetted.

As they have for decades, libraries are adapting with the times.

The continued march of technological advances has forced libraries to add more computers. Yet even while the “death of books” has been lamented in the media in recent years, libraries still do a good business in checking out hard copies of the latest thrillers and best-sellers.

Now, Johnson County library officials are discussing ways to reach more people.

One good idea could be addition of new space in Lenexa’s City Center, which city officials recently promoted to the library board. One key is to secure public funding that would help the library locate its offerings inside a proposed community center.

Another intriguing idea would be to open a library branch in empty retail space, which exists along some well-traveled streets in Johnson County. That would avoid large-scale construction costs for a new library, and could make sense if renovation expenses aren’t excessive.

Finally, the board also continues to look at merging the aging Cedar Roe and Antioch branches.

As we note often, Johnson Countians love their libraries. In large part that’s because strong leadership and cutting-edge ideas have built a system that provides top-notch educational materials and spaces for people to enjoy.

The libraries of the future must keep up with the past high standards set in the county.

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