Westport Branch

All Kansas City Public Library locations will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 26, and will remain closed all day Thursday, November 27, for Thanksgiving.

About this branch

Located in the heart of Westport and only blocks from the Plaza, the historic Westport Branch was the first branch of the Kansas City Public Library, opening its doors to the public in 1898. Today it stands as a prominent landmark in the Midtown community and provides a cozy environment and friendly atmosphere for its many patrons.

The Westport Branch features free Wi-Fi, an easy-access parking lot adjacent to the library, and a spacious meeting room for events and gatherings. It also offers a unique collection of children’s books, music CDs, Spanish language fiction and nonfiction, many fun displays, and an assortment of foreign and classic films on DVD.

Westport Branch

At this branch

  • Computers: 12 for adults, 3 "express" (15-minute limit)
  • Wireless: All branches have free Wi-Fi wireless Internet access.
  • Meeting Rooms: 1 room

Location & hours

118 Westport Road
Kansas City, MO 64111
Map & directions
Plan your trip by bus

Phone: 816.701.3488
Fax: 816.701.3498

Branch Manager: Megan Garrett
Office: 816.701.3588

Teen & Children's Website: westportteensandchildren.blogspot.com

Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday Closed
More photos of the Westport Branch
Photos of the Westport Branch book displays

Regular activities & classes

Quilting Group
Second Monday of each month at 3:30 p.m.
Join others who enjoy quilting and learn the basics of this craft. Call 701-3488 for more details and registration.

Westport Branch
Westport Branch

Sewing Basics
Third Monday of each month at 3:30 p.m.
Learn basic techniques such as sewing on buttons, and how to use a sewing machine. Call 701-3488 to register.

Story Time For Twos
Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m.
Offers seasonal stories, songs, videos, and other learning activities for children 2 yrs old or younger.

Preschool Story Time
Tuesdays at 10 a.m.
Offers seasonal stories, songs, videos and other learning activities for a preschool audience.

Westport Children's Section
Westport Children's Section

Needlework Unlimited
First and third Thursday of each month at 2 p.m.
A gathering of needlework enthusiasts! This group meets the first and third Thursday of every month and works on all kinds of needlework projects (knitting, rug hooking, crochet, applique, needlepoint, embroidery, etc.) No instruction is provided. Just bring a project and have fun!

Second Friday Movie
Second Friday of each month at 1 p.m.
Join us for a free movie and refreshments.

Computer Classes
Saturday mornings at 10 a.m.
Offering a variety of basic classes. Please call 816-701-3488 for current information on classes and to register.

Book Groups

Between the Lines
First Friday of every month at 12 p.m.

Branch history

The Story Behind the Westport Library

Westport Branch
Arthur M. Allen

Welcome to the Historic Westport Library, first branch of the Kansas City Public Library.

Originally named the Allen Library, this beautiful stone and slate building first opened its doors to the Westport community on February 22, 1898, with Margurite Smith as its first librarian.

Now known as the Westport Library, the building still bears Arthur M. Allen’s name above the outside front doors because he played such a large role in the creation of the library. It was Allen who helped discover a surplus of $7,500 in taxes collected for the construction of a horse railroad line between Westport and Kansas City. Allen petitioned the neighborhood and determinedly fought the city in court in order to receive the excess money to build the library.

Westport Branch
Westport Library interior, 1915

After finally winning the court battle, the land was purchased for $1,800, and the library built for $5,012. The Westport School Board, of which Allen was a member, allocated a $2,000 budget to stock the library with books. Shortly after, Westport was annexed by Kansas City. The Allen Library became part of the Kansas City Public Library and its first branch.

Over the years, the Westport Library has undergone many changes. In 1912, gas lamps were replaced with electric lights. During 1957-58, the home to the east of the library was demolished and a parking lot added. And most recently, in 1998, the library underwent an extensive renovation. When the work was completed in the spring of 1999, the Westport Library proudly reopened its doors and began another century of service to the community.

Historical images courtesy Missouri Valley Special Collections.