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New library wing will add much needed space

By Paula Walter

The Johnson County Public Library has become the hub of the community over the years.  The first library in the county was built in 1946.  Since then, the county has gone through multiple buildings and multiple library directors.  The current facility was built in 1987, with an addition completed in 2007 that is referred to as the north wing.  “It has been a such a blessing to have all the extra space,” said Linda Icenhour, library director.
“We’re not just a library anymore,“ Icenhour continued.  Times have changed, and patrons not only search for books, but they use the facility to seek employment and to complete job applications online.  The staff has discovered that since they added wi-fi to facilitate those using the computers in the library, they do not have enough seating available.  Not only has their collection of reading material increased in size, but the community also makes use of the space in the library for meetings and business gatherings.
“The community utilizes the space quite a bit,” Icenhour continued. “We have always had in the back of our minds adding on another wing,”
Her first thoughts to expand the facility included building another room on the front of the library, but she found that wouldn’t work because of the existing roofline.  Preliminary plans have been received that would change the library from an U-shaped building to W-shaped.  According to Icenhour, the room will basically be turned sideways to accommodate the roofline.
“This will be a place where people can come in, sit comfortably and work on laptops and other devices,” she added.
For the rest of the story pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.