County library system an asset for De Soto
Despite grumbling at real and perceived slights and oversights, De Soto does benefit from being in Johnson County. One of those benefits is located in the heart of downtown in the form of the local branch of the Johnson County Library District.
Its outside appearance is not that impressive and quarters are tight enough to seem crowded on a busy day. And most days are. It's a rare day the library doesn't have a steady stream of visitors to view its magazines and newspapers, check out books or use the computers popular with the seniors checking the health of their investment portfolios to school kids using their Internet access to complete schoolwork.
Monday closings are an irritant, periodicals are limited on site and there are surely other shortcomings. But the De Soto branch is best viewed as a portal to the Johnson County system with its collection of more than 1.2 million books and materials. It gives a De Soto resident access to one of the nation's elite community library systems -- a statement backed up by a long list of awards, including one this spring for its outreach program to those with special needs.
Beyond access to material, the library makes near-weekly programs available to patrons, especially those geared for children, such as the recent Mother Goose storytelling program.
Johnson County government surveys consistently show libraries to be one of the top priorities of county residents. The presence of a branch in De Soto is an asset to the community's quality of life beyond what the city could enjoy with local resources.