Johnson County, Monticello Branch Library

Johnson County, Monticello Branch Library

Due to population growth, the idea of a new library in west Shawnee had been a top priority for Johnson County Library for many years. While funding was not available for design or construction, The Clark Enersen Partners were hired in 2006 to develop a facility program statement and to identify a location for the new library. In 2015, voters of Johnson County approved funding for a variety of park and library projects. We were then hired to revise service delivery needs, update the facility program and provide design services for what is now called the new Monticello Branch Library. 

The design of the Monticello Branch Library was influenced by more than 500 suggestions that were received in public meetings and through the Johnson County Library website. The majority of comments centered around demands to provide public meeting space, a “robust” children’s area and greater availability of computers, internet and other technology. The two-story, 33,548-square-foot building will feature floor-to-ceiling glass along three of its four sides, a thoroughly modern look designed to let in lots of natural light and attract attention from those driving by on Shawnee Mission Parkway. The interior will take advantage of advances in technology and incorporate flexible walls and design strategies so it can adapt to future uses and public needs in the coming decades without needing to expand.

The first floor will include shelves and seating for new books and materials, a large area for children’s materials and programming, two private study rooms, an area for DVDs, magazines and other media and two large meeting rooms that could be combined to seat up to 100 people. The second floor will provide adult fiction and nonfiction areas, teen materials, a technology center with computers, a possible “maker” area for inventors, crafters and other do-it-yourselfers, two smaller public meeting rooms and three additional study rooms, as well as a roof patio and areas for audio books and CDs.