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

Last modified: 
Wednesday, April 1, 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.
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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: March 26, 2020

  • Materials on hold will be kept until the Library reopens.
  • All patrons' loan periods for checked-out materials have been extended
    • Items originally due in February, March, and April are now extended until at least May 1, 2020.
    • The Library does not charge late fees.
  • Patrons are asked to hold onto their current checkouts and not return them to outside Library drop boxes during this period, even if they are due. 
  •  Active and expiring Kansas City Public Library card accounts have been automatically renewed through July 1, 2020.
  • 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 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