Family in a Johnson County Library

Today’s libraries are more than just books. From teaching literacy skills to promoting entrepreneurship and small business development to preserving and facilitating our community stories, an easier question might be what don’t libraries do? Check out some examples of what libraries are doing for their communities.


Parent and child at a Johnson County Library

Libraries Promote Literacy

Early childhood literacy is an important factor in getting kids ready for learning. Literacy development begins at birth and is closely linked to a baby’s earliest experiences with books and stories. Babies learn language through social literacy experiences – parents interact with them using books. Kansas libraries promote reading through the availability of books and story time programming. Early childhood literacy skills are important for brain and vocabulary development.

Libraries Build Community

Libraries are community hubs. They connect people to information and connect people to people. They are safe havens for kids and provide after-school homework help, games, and book clubs. They offer computer classes, allowing older adults to stay engaged in a digital world. Bookmobiles and community outreach programs help those living in remote areas and those who are homebound to remain connected to communities near or far.

Bonner Springs Librarians
Olathe's Indian Creek Branch Library

Libraries Attract Business Investments

Kansas leaders trying to attract businesses and people to our state know that the local library is a key factor. People prefer to live near a public library if they have a choice, and often perceive library access as part of an enhanced quality of life. As Kansas continues to attract business, libraries show our commitment to building great communities.

This is a photo of the new Olathe Indian Creek Library. This 2022 AIA/ALA Library Building Award-winning space was formerly a big-box grocery store. The open space is adaptable to the ever-changing needs of the library, at no additional expense to the city or taxpayers.


"It strikes me every thriving town has a sign leading to the library, as if Kansans know the library is the most important place in the community."

Romalyn Tilghman

From the book "To the Stars Through Difficulties".