New Johnson County library to open Sunday in Shawnee

SHAWNEE, Kan. — Johnson County will open its 14th public library Sunday. 

The newest library is in the Monticello neighborhood of Shawnee. Specifically, it is located at 22435 West 66th Street. The library officially opens Sunday at 1 p.m.

The $18 million, two-story building features WiFi, more than 100,000 items to check out, computers, a rooftop terrace and a variety of unique furniture. 

The open floor plan allows the library to adapt to any future needs. It also offers several meeting spaces available to reserve free of charge, including one room capable of holding 100 people. 

Library leaders gathered public feedback on what to include in the new library. Overwhelmingly, the number one thing people said they wanted was a premier collection of books.

"Libraries are busy. Our Blue Valley library checked out 80,000 items last month. People come and use the library. Whether they can afford to go to a bookstore or not, they appreciate the resources available at the library and that it is free, doesn't cost them anything," explained Jennifer Mahnken, the associate director for branch services.

This area of Shawnee has seen a huge population increase over the past 20 years, according to the library. Mahnken said people living in the area have been waiting years for a library. 

"I will be looking forward to seeing the smiles on everyone's faces, that it is finally here. They have waited so long, our patrons have waited so long, for this facility that they will be ecstatic to see the final result," she said. 

The county is also currently building its 15th library at Lenexa City Center.

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