On Sunday, August 30, at 4:00 p.m., Mid-Continent Public Library’s Liberty Branch (1000 Kent St., Liberty, Mo.) will close its doors to the public for good as the branch moves to its new location at 1665 S. Withers Rd., Liberty, Mo. The Library broke ground on the brand-new 18,500-square-foot building in October 2019 after acquiring the six-acre property from the Withers family earlier in the year. In honor of the family’s generosity, which made the project possible, the new building will be called the Withers Branch.
The Withers Branch is set to open sometime in September 2020 and is more than 1,000 square feet larger than the current Liberty Branch, which opened in 1982 and was expanded upon in 1992. The new branch will offer a wide array of amenities, including:
- A drive-up window
- Community room for public programs
- Enclosed collaboration and study rooms
- Children and teen areas
- Outdoor reading and seating area
- Native landscaping
“We are so excited to begin this new chapter of serving the Liberty community in the brand-new Withers Branch!” said Kara Drury, Withers Branch Manager. “This new building has all the modern amenities that our customers expect and deserve from a 21st century library, and I have no doubt they will find great value in this beautiful and functional new space.”
While the current Liberty Branch is closed for the move, the Library is directing customers to its Woodneath Library Center (8900 NE Flintlock Road, Kansas City, Mo.), unless customers request a different branch to pick up materials they have put on hold. Liberty Branch customers are also welcome and encouraged to use the services of any other MCPL branch. All public programs, including storytimes, are currently being held virtually through Zoom or the MCPL360 Facebook page.
This construction project is part of MCPL’s ongoing Capital Improvement Plan, which it launched following the passage of Proposition L in 2016. As part of the Capital Plan, all MCPL branches will be improved in some way, and two new branches will be built by the end of 2022. While the upgrades at each branch have varied based on individual community needs and the building’s current condition, the Library’s goal is to create more intentional spaces and upgrade essential technology. The Library is working with Sapp Design Architects, Helix Architecture + Design, and JE Dunn to complete all of the work in the Capital Plan.
In addition to all the physical upgrades, the increased funding approved by voters in 2016 has allowed MCPL to expand branch hours, enhance special services, augment early literacy efforts, and buy more materials. More information about the Withers Branch and all of the Library’s construction projects can be found online at mymcpl.org/Community.