September 2, 2014

Few taking advantage of library cooling centers

Corbin H. Crable
chcrable@gardnernews.com

Employees at two area branches of the Johnson County Library report that few people have taken advantage of the opportunity to come in and cool off.

The Johnson County Health Department, in the middle of last month, announced that all 13 library branch locations throughout the county would be open as cooling centers. At a cooling center, anyone in need of relief from the summer’s heat could come in, sit, hydrate themselves and take a break.

There are no set time limits for using a library as a cooling center, nor is there a requirement to check out books or use the library’s other services.

Barbara Mitchell, health education division director and public information officer for the health department, said she sees benefit in offering the public a place to go away from the intense heat that has plagued the metro area as of late.

“This gives people a place to go to cool off, and that’s important,” Mitchell said.

She said the health department has offered libraries as cooling centers for more than five years, and that they will remain cooling centers as needed. She added that the health department tries to make Johnson County residents aware of ways to protect themselves from the effects of soaring temperatures during the summer.

“We’ll send out press releases so the information can stay in front of people,” Mitchell said, “and the local media has been wonderful in making

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