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Shawnee library to close for renovations

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee Public Library will be closed for renovations in January. However, some services will be available in a mini branch.

The Shawnee Public Library will be closed for the month of January due to renovations, but there’ll be a mini branch offering limited service to the community and it opens Monday, Jan. 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

According to Branch Manager Peggy Cook, the main library will be closed to the public because the building will undergo updates and changes.

“There will be multiple improvements I’m delighted to say...most importantly is the replacement of the flooring throughout the building,” Cook said. “We’re going to be providing personalized customer service with new furnishings for our service desks.”

Cook said the layout of the library and its collection will remain the same, but the service areas will change with new flooring, desks, paint and more.

“We’re adding additional self checks while keeping our public space available for customers,” Cooks said. “In the lobby we’ll be having water bottle filler water fountains. The hand rails will be repaired...and just some other minor things that will make a difference.”

The branch manager said the library will be nice, modern and new as the city and the library are looking to the future of the facility.

While the library will be closed, Cook said the mini branch will be open in Conference Room B, which customers can enter through the patio entrance adjacent to Main Street.

“We’re really committed to serving our customers and we’ll continue serving them during this time,” Cook said. “We will have some browsing collections. People will be able to make holds and pick up holds.”

Cooks said all Pioneer Library branches will be closed Thursday, Jan. 2 to take inventory of their collections, and Shawnee’s branch will remain closed in January.

Cook explained there will be a photocopier in the mini branch and there will be a few computer stations for people to use for quick searches and daily short-term sessions.

People can pick up books that maybe from other branches and Cook said the mini branch is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closed Sundays.

According to, James Bryce, Shawnee’s Director of Operations, the entire library project is being funded by the city’s temporary half-cent sales tax and it’s a little more than $100,000 of the facility’s portion.

Bryce said in addition to new fountains and flooring, the renovations will also include new staff restrooms, new desks and a new phone system.

Both the city and the library, Bryce said, are making these changes so the building is more modern and can continue to provide its important services to the community.

Cook said the library hopes to be open by the last week of January, but is scheduled to open Feb. 1.

Though only the mini branch will be available at the library, Cook said services such as the weekly Wednesday morning Story Times at 10:30 a.m. will be at the Shawnee Mall throughout January.

Story Time will be hosted Jan. 8, 15, 22 and 29 in the mall’s center court.

For more information on renovations and where other programs will take place, visit the library website at

“We’ll have multiple types of services just a little bit smaller physical location for the duration of the project,” Cook said.