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After 23 years, tech-friendly library breaks ground in Shawnee

May 10, 2017
  • Projects
As seen on KCTV 5 News. By Daniel Barnett, Digital Producer and Joe Chiodo, Anchor/Reporter. (May 19, 2017)

SHAWNEE, KS (KCTV) - A long-awaited project to build a new library in Shawnee has officially begun. But the new library won’t be a cookie-cutter library. It will instead strive to be a fit for modern technology.

Construction for the new branch of the Johnson County Library began on Wednesday and has been a long time coming.

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The last time Johnson County got a new library was in 1994, 23 years ago. And a lot has changed since then.

Visitors to the new library won’t find a dated Dewey Decimal System.

In 2018, library visitors will see a 33,548-square foot building with glass walls and modern finishes.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday to commemorate the progress being made.

“It’s been in the work since the seventies,” Johnson County Library Board Vice Chair John Nelson said.

What makes the west Shawnee library standout is the advanced technology and state of the art internet resources.

County Librarian Sean Casserly says, despite what many think, libraries are still very valuable.

“We talk about the digital age and information age, I would qualify it as the noise age and what you have to do is find the information in all the noise,” Casserly said. “A library helps to do it. It helps you sift through what’s real and what’s not and it helps you make sense of the world we’re living in today.”

In addition to technology, the library will have more meeting space for community organizations and a bigger children’s space.

The library design came from extensive public input and an analysis of needs in the community. Residents, community leaders, schools and businesses all had the chance to voice exactly what they wanted in the new building.

The Monticello Library will be located at 22435 W 66th Street.

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