Central Library

About this branch

The Central Library serves as the major resource library for the system. It houses the major library departments, including: Customer Service, Central Reference, Special Collections, Youth Services, Document Delivery, Collection Maintenance, Library Outreach, and all of the Administrative departments.

Central Library

At this location

  • Computers: 48 for adults, 8 for teens, 6 for preteens, 4 for kids.
    H&R Block Business & Career Center: 8 desktops.
  • Wireless: All locations have free Wi-Fi wireless Internet access.
  • ONENORTH Technology Center
  • Video Conferencing Room
  • Study Rooms:
    3 rooms — accommodate 1 – 2 people
    1 room — accommodates 4 – 6 people
    (2 hour limit; available on a first-come, first-served basis)
  • Meeting Rooms: 4 rooms
  • Special Event Spaces: 6 spaces
  • Accessible Entrance: Located on 10th Street, east of the main entrance

Location & hours

14 West 10th Street
Kansas City, MO 64105
Map & directions
Parking
Plan your trip by bus

Phone: 816.701.3400
Fax: 816.701.3401

Manager of Central Library Operations: Teresa Bolton
teresabolton@kclibrary.org
Office: 816.701.3747

Monday-Wednesday 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Thursday-Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

 

Tours of the Central Library are available on Wednesdays from 1-3 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Parking

The Central Library parking garage is located directly west of the Central Library building on the northwest corner of 10th & Baltimore. The Community Bookshelf is a striking feature of the south wall of the Central Library's parking garage. It is open 7 days a week.

The cost to park is as follows:

Monday–Friday
  • Free for the first hour with validation from Library staff
  • $1 every 20 minutes (or portion thereof) after the first validated hour with a maximum charge per day of $8.
  • $4 after library hours
Weekends
  • Free with validation from Library staff during library hours
  • $4 after library hours

Missouri Valley Room and Special Collections Archive

The Missouri Valley Room, located on the fifth floor of the Central Library, provides historians and genealogists with a unique setting in which to conduct research. The archive space houses the library's special historical collections including the Missouri Valley Collection (local history), Ramos Collection (African American history) and Western expansion materials. You can also check out their Digital Gallery.

Hours

Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Only when Missouri Valley Sunday Programs are scheduled.

Missouri Valley Room in the Central Library
Missouri Valley Room

Website: kclibrary.org/kchistory
Digital Gallery: kchistory.org
Phone: 816.701.3427
E-mail: lhistory@kclibrary.org

H&R Block Business & Career Center

The H&R Block Business & Career Center, located on the 3rd floor of the Central Library, is a dedicated service center that helps customers to become successful entrepreneurs, find jobs, develop careers, organize personal finances, and establish and sustain non-profits.

There is a Video Conferencing Room for job interviews. Please contact the H&R Block Business & Career Center staff to schedule an appointment.

Hours

The H&R Block Business & Career Center is open during normal Library hours.

H&R Block Business & Career Center in the Central Library
H&R Block Business & Career Center

Website: kclibrary.org/business-career
Phone: 816.701.3717
E-mail: bcc@kclibrary.org

Central Audio / Visual Desk

The Central Audio / Visual Desk, located in the basement next to the Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault, provides access to a large collection of video and audio materials available for check-out. DVDs are available to checkout for one week with no renewals.

Hours

Monday-Wednesday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault
Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault

Phone: 816.701.3455

ONENORTH Technology Center

ONENORTH, the Kansas City Public Library’s learning and technology hub, provides an exciting new space for discovery, creativity, and personal enrichment. We seek to actively engage with individuals to:

  • Meet your technology learning needs
  • Enhance access to digital & collaboration tools
  • Enrich access to digital information
  • Support the Library's online services

Learn more »

Nine Muses Library Coffee Shop

The Nine Muses Library Coffee Shop, located on the east side of Kirk Hall, offers hot & cold coffee and tea – including a custom Novel Blend coffee from The Roasterie – and a selection of cookies & baked goods from Scratch Bakery. Nine Muses provides a warm and comfortable place for friends to meet or for customers to peruse their selections.

Hours – Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Other Departments & Services

For a complete listing of departments and services at the Library, please view the Library Directory.

Book Groups

Common Grounds
A focus on contemporary American authors of fiction and nonfiction who explore modern issues
Last Saturday of every other month at 11 a.m.

Downtowners
A lively mix of fiction, nonfiction, classics, and genres
Every Third Wednesday at Noon

Women Who Dare
Fiction and nonfiction by and about ordinary women experiencing extraordinary challenges
Every Second Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Spaces for Rent

These spaces in the Central Library may be rented for meetings, weddings, and other events: Kirk Hall, Helzberg Auditorium, Rooftop Terrace, Durwood Film Vault, Conference Rooms, Small Conference Rooms, and the West Mezzanine. For more information on features, rates, and contact information, check out the Central Library Space Rental page.

 

Architecture

More photos of the Central Library

First National Bank
After remodeling the former First National Bank, the Central Library moved into this building in 2004.

Historic Lobby
The restored 1906 historic bank lobby is one of the most magnificent spaces in the Central Library as it is the first interior view that customers experience as they enter the Library. This impressive space houses the popular materials collection on the first floor among the restored columns.

Grand Reading Room
Modeled after library reading rooms of the early 20th century, this room includes traditional library seating with custom-designed tables wired for modern computer usage. The Grand Reading Room is located on the third floor and is surrounded by the H&R Block Business & Career Center, Reference Collection, and Periodicals Collection. Architectural features include a distinctive, 34-foot ceiling with skylight.

Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault
The old bank Vault, part of the 1925 bank addition, proves one of the most distinctive and unique features in the building with walls of steel and reinforced concrete and a 35-ton steel door. A variety of programming specific to the Vault Theater are presented in partnership with local film societies and organizations.

Youth Services
This themed space on the second floor welcomes children and encourages them to browse the collection, read aloud in small groups or to themselves, and look at picture books. This space, and the books housed within in it, provides more than just opportunities for "story times," it provides a unique setting in which children can take their own journey into the exciting and life-enriching world of books. A teen library is also available in this space.

Community Bookshelf – Central Library Parking Garage
The Community Bookshelf is a striking feature of Kansas City's downtown. It runs along the south wall of the Central Library's parking garage on 10th Street between Wyandotte Street and Baltimore Avenue. The book spines, which measure approximately 25 feet by 9 feet, are made of signboard mylar. The shelf showcases 22 titles reflecting a wide variety of reading interests as suggested by Kansas City readers and then selected by The Kansas City Public Library Board of Trustees. It was completed by the fall of 2004.

Kansas City Public Library Beta