Library Will Temporarily Close Branches to Upgrade Checkout Technology

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Courtney Lewis
Library Will Temporarily Close Branches to Upgrade Checkout Technology

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Public Library will begin temporarily closing its branches November 1, 2016 to upgrade its checkout system. The staggered closures, which begin with our Ruiz Branch, will allow staffers to install new Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) tags on books and other materials available to patrons.

RFID tags allow the library to:
  • Enhance the customer experience: Checkouts will be faster and more streamlined. Patrons can check out multiple items with a single swipe.
  • Make better use of staff time: RFID tags will reduce the amount of time it takes for staff to scan materials, allowing librarians to spend more time serving customers.
  • Implement a more effective inventory control system: RFID tags enhance our data collection efforts and with that help us to be better informed in selecting new materials.

All told, some 800,000 items must be tagged. During this time, patrons may see a delay with their library holds, but all e-books and other digital materials will still be available. Patrons will not have to change anything about their accounts once the changes are in place. 

“We really do hate closing library branches for any amount of time, but leaving branches open would prolong a process that now will take a few weeks to a few months or cost us more by hiring temporary staff to complete the tagging,” says Joel Jones, Deputy Director of Library Services. “It is important to remember that we are only closing one location at time and even if a patron’s home branch is closed for a few days, other KCPL branches will be open and ready to serve.

Tagging will be completed in early March. The locations will close at different times. These dates are subject to change.
Branch Location Closing Dates
Irene H. Ruiz Branch, 2017 West Pennway November 1 - 3
Westport Branch, 118 Westport Rd. January 17 – 19
Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St. January 23 – 29
Waldo Branch, 201 East 75th St. January 31 – February 4
Southeast Branch, 6242 Swope Parkway February 7 – 10
Lucile H. Bluford Branch, 3050 Prospect February 14 – 16
North-East Branch, 6000 Wilson Rd. February 21 – 24
Trails West, 11401 East 23rd St., Independence February 28 – March 4
Sugar Creek, 102 South Sterling, Sugar Creek March 7 - 8

The Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., will remain open during the tagging period from November 8 – January 6, however, sections of the building will be closed to the public for brief intervals. The children’s section will be closed December 12 – 16, and the AV section will be closed January 2 – 6.

RFID tags are being used in many libraries across the country, including Johnson County Library and Mid-Continent Public Library. For more information on RFID technology and the installation process, go to