Bringing Olathe’s libraries into the future

Big changes are in store for the Olathe Public Library.

Olathe City Council members on Tuesday expressed enthusiasm for ideas coming from consultants hired to work on a new expansion plan for the city’s two branch libraries.

Consultants from the San Francisco based firm Group 4 Architecture, Research + Planning, Inc. prepared for Tuesday’s council work session by holding public forums and meetings with library staff and community members to get a feel for what Olathe residents wanted in their libraries. …Some of the ideas consultants offered to the council on Tuesday were their own, others were suggested by the public.

One of the main ideas consultants came up with was giving each library its own unique identity, while still maintaining core services at both.

For example, amenities for the more suburban Indian Creek branch could be a children’s storytime meadow, a learning lab and a large community room, said David Schnee, a principal with Group 4.

For the downtown location, amenities could include a maker space featuring state-of-the-art technology such as a 3-D printer, and an in-depth local history section, Schnee told the council at the work session.

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