Where Are We Going?
Use of the Olathe libraries has continued to grow, with more than 500,000 visits being made to the two libraries each year. We have expanded programming for all ages, and increased the variety of materials available for checkout through the addition of music CDs, video games, e-books, e-audios, and more. As a result, more than 1.5 million items are checked out each year. Olatheans love their libraries!
In 2012, the mayor put together a task force to help determine the library's future. The result of this was the library's current master plan, which was presented to city council and was well received. This master plan included the recommendation that we renovate or replace the Olathe Downtown Library and expand the Olathe Indian Creek Library, allowing us to add much needed community space to both locations and enhance services. In the hopes that it would make it easier to proceed with these plans, the library was made a department of the city in 2015.
Unfortunately, just as we were beginning to move forward, disaster struck, in the form of a ruptured water line under the Olathe Indian Creek Library on March 3, 2016. Engineers determined that repairs to the building could cost as much as $1.2 million, and take as long as six months. Rather than begin those repairs and ultimately incur the cost and inconvenience of adding to the building, the City Council believed the most responsible action was to move the library to a new location.
In May of 2016, the City Council gave their approval for the purchase of the vacant Hy-Vee building at 135th and Brougham for the future relocation of Olathe Indian Creek. The 68,000 square foot building will be renovated and renewed, and the resulting library will be bigger and better than ever. A temporary location in a storefront at 13511 S. Mur-Len Rd., Suite 129, opened in September of 2016. This will be used until the new space for Indian Creek is completed. According to Olathe Library Advisory Board Chairman Tom Glinstra, an unfortunate situation is leading to a much better solution for library customers. "Sometimes, something very good can come from something bad."
As always, we continue to move forward and achieve our goals through the generous support of the Olathe community. The Olathe Public Library is your hometown library, and with your continued support, we will always be here to serve you.