Patrons State Bank

1960s - With the development of the Kansas Regional Library System, resource sharing among libraries in Kansas greatly expanded the options available to library patrons in Olathe, resulting in higher quality services and easier access to information.

1964 - The Carnegie building served the needs of the library for more than fifty years, but by the 1960s a larger building was needed.

Carnegie Building Circa 1960s

On August 4th, voters were asked to support a two mill levy for library expansion, but it was defeated.

1965 - A similar measure, requesting a two mill levy to be imposed for five years to create a building fund was passed by ballot in 1965. By the time the fund accumulated to $120,000, however, federal matching funds were no longer available. A search was launched once again for a suitable building for the future.

1971 - The board purchased the Patrons Bank building at 125 S. Cherry. The old Carnegie building was sold to the Urban Renewal Agency, and the building was razed shortly thereafter. With the combination of the sale of the old library, a generous anonymous gift, and accrued interest, the board was able to provide Olathe with a building and furnishings "free and clear." Opening day was August 28, 1971.

Located in the business district, across the street from the Post Office and only a block from the Johnson County Courthouse and Olathe City Hall, this library was a convenient and popular center of community life in Olathe. Staff and services were expanded to handle the reading and information needs of the people of Olathe. Mrs. Florence Kelly and Mrs. Justine Johnson were dedicated staff members during this busy time, as was Mrs. Emma Adams, the Children's Librarian.

Mrs. Adams guided the children's services to be compatible with trends in child development education. She encouraged parents to read to their children from infancy and carefully selected new books each year. Increased patronage by children highlighted the need for more space. In some years, story hour had to be scheduled before regular library hours. The furniture had to be moved from the adult reading area to make room for all the children.

1970s Children's Storytime

Rapid change as a basic condition of life had become a realization in Olathe. The Patrons Bank building was expected to meet the needs of the library for at least ten years; however, exponential growth in Olathe in the 1970s soon altered the plan. Within only a few years, the board again began to plan for library expansion.