Johnson County Library in Overland Park, Kansas

Johnson County Library in Overland Park, Kansas is July’s spotlighted Federal depository library. The Federal depository collection at this large public library is designed to support the area business community, local government, student researchers, and general public researchers of all ages. The Johnson County Library was designated a Federal depository library in 1979.

GPO is pleased to highlight the numerous services offered by this library that promote access to and provide assistance with U.S. Government information. The library’s many activities include research assistance with the Federal depository collection, educational programming within and outside the library, more outreach and education through the library Web pages and handouts, library system staff training to help ensure that all staff provide the best assistance possible, and cultivation of relationships with other libraries nearby and with Federal agencies in the Kansas City area to share information and expertise.

The library’s collection of Web pages with Law and Government information features numerous topics, such as Tax Forms and Help. In the 2009 tax season alone, the library system helped over 5,000 people gain more information and resources about Federal taxes. A blog on the Web site with Tax Tips provides ongoing assistance. The library Web site blog also features Research Tips, providing timely information that supplements the traditional subject and resource-based pathfinders on the site.

The library sponsors an annual event that brings together representatives from various government agencies, such as Bureau of Labor Statistics, to help business owners start or expand a business for little or no cost. The event, GovFest, is a winner of the National Association of Counties (NACO) Achievement Award.

The Government Documents Librarian, Martha Childers, is instrumental in many of these activities. She is also a founding member and one of the active participants in GovDocs Kids Group, a multi-state group of information professionals who engage with and provide resources about U.S. Government to K-12 students, teachers, and librarians. Just one of the group’s activities is a Constitution Day Poster Contest.

Located near the twin cities of Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri, Johnson County spans both urban and rural areas, meaning the library must be prepared for various U.S. Government information needs. According to the library’s Web site, “Johnson County Library includes a Central Resource Library and 12 neighborhood libraries in Johnson County, Kansas. Each year, Johnson County Library has more visitors than the Kansas City Royals, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art combined. In 2006, over 2.5 million people visited library locations, and over 2.3 million people visited the Library's Web site from their homes, offices and other locations outside the Library.”