COVID-19 Information and Resources

Library Information

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library strongly encourages visitors to wear masks inside the library. Customers are personally responsible for complying with Shawnee County Health Department mask guidelines. We will continue to provide masks.

We recommend you stay home if you are feeling ill, quarantining or waiting for COVID test results. Contact Ask-a-Librarian for assistance using the library resources.

In the library

  • Social Distancing of at least 6-feet apart is recommended for individuals, but groups may work together in the library and use the Team Rooms.
  • Customers will be able to consume drinks and snacks while using the library.
  • The Menninger Room, Hughes Room, Anton Room and Perkins Room may be reserved for up to 10 people.
  • The library is open regularly scheduled hours:
    M-F 9am – 9pm | Sat 9am – 6pm | Sun Noon – 9pm


  • Face masks are required when on a Bookmobile. This is a recommendation of the Shawnee County Health Department due to the close quarters and air filtration needs. Outside of the vehicles, masks are not required.
  • See the Bookmobile schedule to find a stop near you.

Updated Basic COVID Information

Important Ways to Slow the Spread

  • Get vaccinated.
  • Wear a mask. Improve how your mask protects you.
  • Stay 6 feet away from others.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean and disinfect.
  • Monitor your health daily.

Read more about this list on Things to Know about the COVID-19 Pandemic from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Local COVID-19 Testing

Use to quickly identify free testing locations, including locations in Topeka/Shawnee County and additional locations in surrounding areas. One location is in the west parking lot of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. Testing conducted at these locations is a Saliva-PcR test and is available FREE of charge to any individual regardless of symptoms or age. Appointments may be made online at or by calling 1.877.837.8461.

The following Sites are operational Monday – Saturday during the hours listed below and closed on holidays:

Additional local testing locations and options are updated on the website of the Shawnee County Health Department. Shawnee County residents should first call their Primary Care Provider to see if testing is available through that clinic location. Always call ahead before entering a primary care clinic.

KDHE lists additional community testing sites for Topeka on their statewide free testing map.

Local COVID-19 Vaccine

The Shawnee County Health Department Vaccine Information page is the most current source of information for Shawnee County and includes links to partners and other information about COVID vaccine in our county.  8/16/2021 Media Release: Additional Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine Authorized

Questions about COVID-19 vaccines in Shawnee County can be directed to  

Local COVID-19 Information

Shawnee County COVID-19 Community Indicator Rating

09/16/2021 – Community Indicator Rating – SUBSTANTIAL

For a more detailed explanation of the score, view the Community Indicator Report

Updated Information from the Shawnee County Health Department

Shawnee County




Response and Recovery Resources

Mental Health Crisis Lines


  • Shawnee County Mental Health Crisis Line Valeo (ages 18+) Open 24/7 1-785-234-3300
  • Valeo Covid Crisis CounselingValeo COVID Crisis Counseling services 1-785-233-1730 ext 4152 through or 1-800-273-8255

Family Service & Guidance Center

  • Shawnee County Mental Health Crisis Line FSGC (17 & under) Open 24/7 1-785-232-5005
  • FSGC Stronger Topether Anyone who is struggling due to COVID-19 can visit and a staff member will get back to them to help connect them to local resources and information.

Community Resource and Referral Line – 211

  • United Way 211 – Dial 211 from any phone to speak with a referral specialist 24 hours a day about COVID-19 or any other service needs you may have. Available in English and Spanish. 211

Resources for Food and Assistance

Tax Forms and Assistance

Tax Forms and Assistance links to local resources and state/federal forms.

Child Tax Credit information is available at  and in Spanish. Low-income families with children are eligible for this crucial tax relief – including those who have not made enough money to be required to file taxes. Use the Non Filer Signup tool. 

Eviction Prevention

Housing and Credit Counseling Inc – Call to ask whether your situation with rent/utilities fits with COVID relief programs. 800-383-0217 and  785-234-0217

Kansas Legal Services Individuals seeking legal assistance must first apply. You can apply for legal assistance by filling out the Online Application or by phone 1-800-723-6953.

The Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance program (KERA) will provide rental and utility assistance to households experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID pandemic.

COVID-19 Basic Needs Assistance Program The Operation COVID-19 Basic Needs Assistance Program is a foreclosure/eviction mitigation program created by the City of Topeka and administered by the Community Resources Council. An additional $400,000 in CARES Act funds has been made available to qualified applicants to help cover mortgages. The program is by appointment only and applicants must be city residents, have a documented loss of income due to Covid-19, have an outstanding mortgage, and meet income guidelines. Appointments can be scheduled over the phone from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling (785) 233-1365. If the line is busy, leave your name and phone number and CRC staff will call back to schedule an appointment.

Internet Resources and WiFi Access

WiFi Access in the library’s parking lot, community centers and other locations.

Learn more about the new Emergency Broadband Benefit at

Local News Resources

Local news sources provide recent updated information on this emerging situation in our community.

Lissa Staley helps people use the library. She is a Book Evangelist, Trivia Emcee, Classics Made Modern book discussion leader, NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison, and frequent library customer. She loves her kids, being a librarian, living in Topeka, and helping people form connections and community. (She's the Community Connections Librarian!) She reads a new book every few days, but is enjoying the audiobook of "Empress of Forever" by Max Gladstone, the ebook "When We Were Magic" by Sarah Gailey and is eagerly awaiting John Scalzi's "The Last Emperox" in April!