Q: What is the history of Lenexa City Center Library?
To begin the history of the library services in Lenexa, one must delve back into the very early history of the Johnson County Library. Shortly after its 1953 founding, the JCL opened the Lenexa Branch on November 2, 1954 in the Lenexa Grade School at 13400 W. 94th Street It offered about 3,000 books for checkout and was open for only two hours a week--2:00 to 4:00 on Saturdays. Like all the others it was staffed by volunteers and offered donated materials. The most recent US Census in 1950 had indicated a Lenexa population of 803. That population soon began to burgeon. When the Library’s budget allowed, the branch’s hours were increased and it was moved into a rented storefront in downtown Lenexa.
In preparation for the new Oak Park branch, the Lenexa Library was closed in 1967. The city of Lenexa was promised that someday there would again be a library within its city limits. The population continued to grow and soon the need for a new library west of I-35 was apparent and was included in the 1979 JCL facilities plan.
The Lackman Library opened to the public on November 17. It opened with a collection of 22,000 items and was the first JCL location without a card catalog, as the JCL made a leap into the computer age.
The renovated Lackman Library, three times as large as its previous incarnation with almost 18,000 square feet, re-opened on August 12, 1997. Twenty years later, the library had again outgrown its current layout and on June 2, 2019, the Lenexa City Center Library held its grand opening. The new library more than doubles the amount of space and staffing to serve the Lenexa area. Lenexa City Center Library boasts the implementation of cutting edge library practices like an extended hours holds lobby and priority partnership with the City of Lenexa.
By the numbers……….2018 Statistics
Items circulated: 405,418
Square footage: 40,000
Lackman portion of the article researched and originally written by Jerry C. Roy, 2010
Edited and updated by Amanda Wahlmeier, 2019