Q: What is the History of the Blue Valley Library?
The history of the Blue Valley Library dates all the way back to the early 1950s and continues to adapt with the changing times. From very humble beginnings, here is the history of the Blue Valley Library.
In 1953, the Stanley area received their first library; it was located in Boehm’s Grocery as a self service library and consisted of roughly 200 books. Three years later, a bookmobile service replaced the store front, providing the opportunity for more titles. By the mid-1970s, it was clear that the burgeoning area would need an official library building. A plan was put in place in 1979 with a Johnson County Library planning report proposing a library building for the Stanley area. Within three years, the very first official Blue Valley Branch was opened on July 1, 1982. Boasting over 13,000 titles, circulation was at an all-time high in the first year of operation with 23,360 circulated items. Seven years later, considerations were being made for a new Blue Valley Branch to accommodate a thriving community that had seemed to outgrow the original building.
By 1997, a new site was found near 151st and England Street. The new building officially opened its doors on July 18, 2000. The library is still there to this day and proudly serves Johnson County residents and visiting patrons.
The 2015 Library Master Plan included recommendations to consider either renovating the current location of the Blue Valley Library or relocate the building to a new site in order to accommodate a growing community. In 2017, a study was put in place to examine the possibility of a Literary Park to be constructed alongside the Blue Valley Library. In September of 2017, Johnson County Library reached out to the community through a Public Input Session to determine which of the two options (renovating and expanding or relocating) seemed the most ideal. In October, it was determined through public opinion that building a new library on the 151st site was the preferred option. In January 2018, the Johnson County Library Board and the City of Overland Park came to a consensus on creating a new Blue Valley Library at the existing 151st site. Construction on the new Blue Valley Library Branch is scheduled for 2026 according to the July 2019 Library Board Report.
Items Circulated: 817,896
Square Footage: 24,071
Article researched and originally written by Jerry C. Roy, 2010
Edited and updated by Heather McCartin, 2019