Q: What is the history of Oak Park Library?

In the ten years since the Johnson County Library was founded in 1953, its population served had doubled to about 165,000.  The Library needed to keep up with growth and follow the development of new neighborhoods. By 1965 planning for new and larger facilities was under way.

Initially known as the Southwest library, Oak Park Library named after the subdivision to its South opened November 3, 1970. A bond election to finance the plan at a cost of $1,501,000 was approved by the voters on February 11, 1967. Almost immediately more detailed planning for the Southwest Branch started.  The cramped library in downtown Lenexa was closed, and a temporary Cherokee Branch opened in the new shopping center at 95th and Antioch.  The J.C. Nichols Company offered to donate a site at 95th and Bluejacket for a permanent structure.

Oak Park library was expanded and reopened in 1982. In 1985 the JCL and Project Finish at the Johnson County Community College opened the Breyfogle Reading Center at Oak Park.  Its purpose was to help adults improve their reading skill. It was funded by a bequest from the estate of George and Dorothy Breyfogle. The Oak Park Library is also the home of Johnson county Adult Education, English as a Second Language and GED courses.

2018 statistics:

Visits:197,615

Items Circulated: 291,202

Square Footage: 17,569

Article researched and originally written by Jerry C. Roy, 2010

Edited and updated by Melody Kazmi, 2019

Last Updated: Sep 25, 2019     Views: 2
Answered By: Johnson County Reference