10 Things You Didn’t Know You Can Do at the Johnson County Library

Everyone knows the Johnson County Library for their large selection of books and their amazing children’s sections, but there are so many great perks to having a library card. Here’s a list of 10 things you didn’t know you can do at the Johnson County Library.

No More Late Fees!

No longer will you be charged 30 cents a day for overdue books. The Johnson County Library has joined other local library systems in going fine free! Just remember that if you don’t return your item 30 days past the due date you will be assessed a lost/damaged book fee until you return the item.

Book Discussion Groups

You can find book groups that meet regularly on their events page. These are open to everyone but some do require registration. They offer book groups for adults, tweens, and kids. They meet in person as well as online.  Coming soon there is a book club in a bag program where your group can check out a stack of copies of books so that you don’t have to deal with long holds or having to purchase the book before your group meets!


With help from the trained staff at the Central Resource Library, you can try your hand at 3D printing, art and design programs, and audio and video editing programs. They also have vinyl and laser cutting, sewing equipment, and more. Read all about the Black & Veatch MakerSpace here , including how to make a reservation.

Access to Consumer Reports 

Your library card gets you access to all kinds of freebies like eMagazines and eNewspapers and my personal favorite, Consumer Reports. Online access is usually $10/month and most folks don’t need year-round access to Consumer Reports because they consult it only when making large purchases. We used Consumer Reports when researching our upcoming car purchase and I wish I’d known I could access the information free through the library! We never make a vehicle or appliance purchase without consulting their reviews. Learn more about the free programs accessible through your library card here.

Genealogy Tools

There are a ton of genealogy resources available through the library and staff on hand to work with you one on one to help you get started. There is also a brand new Memory Lab Service at the Central Resource Library that allows you to digitize old family photos, slides, and videos for free! More volunteers are being trained to help with this program as there has been such a huge response from the community.

Tabletop Gaming Events

Want to learn a new game? Kids, teens, and adults are invited to tabletop gaming events each month at several library branches. It’s a chance to try out a new game, make some new friends, and enjoy refreshments.

Drive-Thru Hold Pickups

Four branches of the Johnson County Library (Blue Valley, Central Resource, Lenexa City Center and Monticello) offer the option to pick up your holds at their drive-thru window. This is one of my favorite ways to save time when out and about running errands. Curbside pickup is another convenient option available at the Cedar Roe, Gardner, Leawood Pioneer, Oak Park and Spring Hill libraries.

Programs for Aspiring Writers

If you’re an aspiring writer or there is a young person in your life that is, the Johnson County Library has lots of resources available to help you hone your craft. You can learn from local authors, connect with people with similar interests, and even enter writing contests. The Scribbler Society for 10-14 year olds meets monthly.

Talking Books and Tumble Books

My kindergartner is absolutely obsessed with the new Talking Books at the library. Do you remember listening to books on tape and how it would make a “ding” when it was time to turn the page? This is a similar concept, except the part that reads the story to your child is built into the book! It can even ask them questions at the end to help them with their reading comprehension. Each library branch has a section of these in their children’s section but they are popular so I recommend putting some on hold and having them delivered to your regular branch. Just do a search for “talking books” on the library catalog to pull them all up.

Tumble Books are electronic books your child can explore on a computer, tablet, or phone. There are fiction and non-fiction books, graphic novels, read-alouds, puzzles, games, and more.

Books To Go Bags

Have you seen the blue bags hanging on the wall in the children’s section? Those are Books to Go Bags and they are available for you to check out! Each bag contains books with a specific theme like dinosaurs, manners, and ABCs. You can see all the bags available here and even place a hold.

I'm Julia and I live in Olathe with my husband of 16 years, my 10 and 6 year old daughters, and our rescue pug Mabel. I’m a social worker turned SAHM and love Dr. Pepper, thunderstorms, and talking to other adults. I hate coffee, diet culture, and washing dishes. I'll talk your ear off about the best local parks and which restaurants have wronged me by changing their long-standing menu items. I try to walk the line between knowing a lot of stuff and not being a know-it-all. Some days I'm better than others.


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