Kansas City Public Library Temporarily Closes in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Sunday, March 15, 2020

May 13, 2020

As the Library begins slowly and safely reintroducing limited services during the COVID-19 crisis, we are working to find ways to get you the materials you want to read, watch, or listen to. Our new Pop In / Pick Up holds service, which begins Tuesday, May 19, 2020, offers a quick, easy, and contact-free way for you to pick up your requested materials – physical books, DVDs, and CDs – as they become available.
Pickup sites, building access, and operating hours initially will be limited in adhering to Kansas City’s 10/10/10 rule . The five initial Library sites providing Pop In / Pick Up service have been selected according to their capacity to allow staff and visitors to practice proper social distancing. They also combine to serve the most neighborhoods within our district. We plan to expand the service to more locations the first week of June.
How does Pop In / Pick Up work? When you receive notice that your holds are ready, go to the designated pickup site and call the number posted on the signs. Once Library staff have checked out your materials, you can pop inside, pick up your holds, and pop out!


May 6, 2020

 With Kansas City’s stay-at-home order due to expire May 15, the Library is working out the details of a careful, phased-in reopening of its physical locations. All have been closed since late March to mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak.

A timeline for the staggered reopening is still being determined. Selected locations – not all – will open first, and services will initially be limited.

“This is a small but important step,” says Debbie Siragusa, the Library’s interim director. “While we are anxious to return to serving our community in a wider capacity, be assured that we will be cautious and deliberate. The health and safety of patrons and staff remain our top priority.”

The Library, she says, will continue to be informed by city, county, and state health guidelines. That will include adherence to Kansas City’s 10/10/10 rule on customer capacity when its physical locations begin to reopen. It also entails such steps as deep cleaning buildings, developing new systems for safely processing returned materials, requiring all staff to wear masks, and creating environments in which visitors can practice proper social distancing.

Updates will continue to be posted on this page. In the meantime, please continue to enjoy the Library's digital services and lineup of online activities. If you have other questions or need assistance, reach out via email, live chat, or phone.

Current Status of Library Services   |   Using Your Library Remotely   |   Health Tips   |    Coronavirus Information  

MARCH 15, 2020

After careful consideration and monitoring of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Kansas City Public Library has TEMPORARILY CLOSED all 10 locations as of 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, until further notice. This includes all classes, activities, and outreach services.

The decision is a difficult one. We care deeply about serving our community and recognize that the Library and its many services are an invaluable resource. But we feel that this is the responsible thing to do at this time, safeguarding the health of patrons, employees, and the community by working to contain the virus’ spread through recommended social distancing.

All Library locations closed at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 15.  Holds will be maintained until the Library reopens. Patrons are asked not to return books and other Library materials via our outside drop boxes even if the items are due for return. There is no penalty as the Library does not charge fines for overdue materials.

The Library’s extensive menu of digital resources is still available for the community to access and enjoy, from e-books, digital magazines, downloadable audiobooks and streaming movies, music, and television shows to online research and learning tools. Those who don’t yet have a Library card can get immediate access by signing up for an eCardLearn more about ongoing changes to digital services during the outbreak.

A decision to reopen will be guided by the recommendation of public health officials. Monitor this page and/or follow the Library on social media for any updates.
In the meantime, we are encouraging patrons to stay informed on the outbreak through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Jackson County Health Department, and Kansas City Health Department.

The Library has a growing collection of additional community information and sources at kclibrary.org/covid19resources.

Changes to Library services and resources will be updated below as the situation progresses.

Current status of Library services

The Library will continue to follow the actions and recommendations of health officials through this COVID-19 outbreak, and we’ll continue to communicate further changes in our services.
Last updated: May 13, 2020

  • All 10 Library locations are TEMPORARILY CLOSED. The Library is working out the details of a careful, phased-in reopening of its physical locationsA timeline for the staggered reopening is still being determined.
  • Patrons will begin to recieve notices about their holds and will be able to retrieve them using our new Pop In / Pick Up service beginning May 19. Hours and locations will initially be limited. Get details here >
  • All patrons' loan periods for checked-out materials have been extended
    • Items originally due in February, March, and April are now extended indefinitely.
    • The Library does not charge late fees.
  • Materials must be returned using only outside Library drop boxes.
  •  Active and expiring Kansas City Public Library card accounts have been automatically renewed.
  • Library staff is continuing to monitor live chat and email inquiries and will respond as quickly as they can.
  • Wireless internet remains on at all of our locations – free and accessible from parking lots and other adjacent areas. Signs posted on site will have network information. Please remember to practice social distancing while on the properties.
  • Patrons can call 816-701-3400 with questions and requests for assistance.
  • All in person group activities and events are suspended until further notice. That includes children’s story times, book club gatherings, and our evening speaking and other signature events.
  • Outreach Services has suspended all Books to Go, Lobby Stop, and Home Bound Books deliveries until further notice.
  • Library event spaces and meeting rooms are not available for booking by the public until further notice.   
  • Post office boxes at the North-East and Bluford branches remain accessible from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday.

Using your Library remotely

Patrons still can access the Library’s extensive menu of digital resources through its Digital Branch, from ebooks and digital audiobooks to online learning and career-development sites; access to newspapers and magazines; and TV, movie, and music streaming services.

During the outbreak, many of the Library's digital services have increased the amount of items you can borrow per month and expanded access, giving you more opportunities and materials to read, listen, watch, and learn.  Get details and updates here

Explore our Digital Branch

Updates to Digital Services During the Outbreak

Don’t have a Kansas City Public Library card? Get immediate access to our online services by signing up for an eCard.
(Note: if you already have a KCPL card, you do not need an eCard)

Ways to keep yourself and your community healthy:

  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

  • Throw used tissues in the trash right away.

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-90 percent alcohol.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control

Coronavirus resources and information

The Library has a growing collection of additional community information and sources at kclibrary.org/covid19resources.

More Resources