About the Library
• Library Hours
• Library Staff
• Library Collection
• Classification Systems and the Online Catalog
• Other Library Services
• Request and electronic copy of the library newsletter
• Directions to Library
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
To request a library card, please visit us during the open hours. There is a short application to fill out. A current driver's license is required.
Rachel Killebrew, librarian
816-833-1000, ext. 2399
In April 1865, Isaac Sheen, editor of the "True Latter Day Saints Herald," was appointed as the first church librarian. Frederick M. Smith was appointed librarian in 1896. In 1907 a library commission was appointed to administer the library and select a librarian. In 1918, President Frederick M. Smith recommended that the General Church Library become part of Graceland College.
It is believed that only the rare books and historical materials were kept by the historian and moved with that office to Independence in 1920.
By 1922, four library or book collections were consolidated into one building, the Institute of Arts and Sciences building: historian's collection, the remaining part of the General Church Library transferred from Lamoni, the Independence Stake library, and the Institute of Arts and Sciences library.
In 1925, President Frederick M. Smith called for the coordination of all book purchasing to avoid unnecessary duplication and expense. The library began functioning as a public and research library. By 1928 the library had a full-time librarian. In 1929 it was dedicated "The Emma Hale Memorial Library." The depression of the 1930s greatly curtailed the functioning of the library.
In 1952 the bulk of the library was moved to the fifth floor of the Auditorium where it was a private, closed-stack research library. In 1976 the library became open to the public and circulated books.
In October 1979, the library became part of Temple School (the educational arm of the church). In 1992 the library moved to the Temple. An online catalog began in 1994 as part of the Kansas City Library Consortium. Combined holdings in the Kansas City Library Consortium are over 3.4 million items.
The library collection includes approximately 20,000 books, 150 periodicals, 400 videos, 2,000 audiocassettes, a pamphlet collection, a departmental collection, a quarterly collection, a foreign language collection of scriptures, an unpublished collection, a vault collection, and a Herald House preservation collection.
The main emphasis is religion as it relates to the Community of Christ mission with an added focus on the history of Christianity, theology, social science, and peace studies.
The archival collection is housed within the library with over 1,000 linear feet of the church's institutional material. There are letters, diaries, pictures, and journals available for research and study.
The library has resources cataloged with the Library of Congress. The Community of Christ Library is a member of the Kansas City Library Consortium, which offers an automated shared database of holdings with the Kansas City Missouri Public Library and 29 other libraries in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Holdings are available through the online catalog.
The library provides Internet connection and use of Microsoft Word. There are other databases available for use of patrons. The ATLA Religion Database includes over 600,000 bibliographic citations of articles in journals, essays in books, book reviews, and theses.
All library users must have a barcoded library card in order to borrow books and reserve materials. Library materials circulate up to three weeks and may be renewed. All items must be checked out at the Circulation Desk. Borrowers are responsible for any library materials checked out in their name. Fines for all regular circulation items are 10¢ per day per item after the due date.
Journals and reference books do not circulate and must be used only in the library.
Library users may request items from the online catalog to be delivered to the library within 2-7 days.
All materials checked out from other libraries are subject to circulation periods, restrictions, and fines according to the policies of the lending library.
The main library phone number at the circulation desk is (816) 833-1000, extension 2400.
Coming from Lawrence or Topeka, Kansas, or Kansas City North Take 1-70 EAST to the Noland Road exit; turn NORTH on Noland (left); take Noland to Walnut (3 miles); turn West on Walnut (Left); Walnut to River (6 1/2 blocks) Coming from St. Louis, Oak Grove, Grain Valley, Blue Springs, Lee's Summit, Missouri Take I-70 WEST to the Noland Road exit; turn NORTH on Noland (right); take Noland to Walnut (3 miles); turn West on Walnut (Left); Walnut to River (6 1/2 blocks) Coming from Metcalf, Overland Park, Bonner Springs, Topeka, Lawrence, Kansas Take I-435-NORTH to Truman Road exit; turn EAST on Truman (right); take Truman Road to River (4 1/2 miles); stop light at Truman and River (convenience store on right); turn SOUTH on River (right) and go 3 blocks; corner of River and Walnut. From Gladstone, Antioch, St. Joseph, or KCI Airport, Missouri Take I-435-SOUTH to Truman Road exit; turn EAST on Truman (left); take Truman Road to River (4 1/2 miles); stop light at Truman and River (convenience store on right); turn SOUTH on River (right) and go 3 blocks; corner of River and Walnut.