Services We Offer

Ancestry & Genealogy
Ancestry Library Edition

On all of the public computers you will see an icon on the screen for   You may use it for free on our computer. It is made possible by a grant from the local Daughters of the Revolution (DAR) in honor of Ottawa Library’s former Director, Barbara Dew. It is not possible to create an online account on the Library Edition of, but you are able to use it’s full resources and download your discoveries and research to your email, print it out or save it on a flash drive.

Our collection houses books and research materials that have been compiled by the Franklin County Historical Society. Cemetery Records, Census Books, First Families of Franklin County, and more can be found in our Barbara Dew Genealogy section. We have a Kansas section and an American Indian section as well.

Circulation Department

Ask for the Circulation Department if you have a question about the availability of an item you would like to check out. Staff can assist you in placing holds on materials, searching for items, and managing your account.

See our Documents and Policies page for specific circulation policies.

Circulation Links

Inter-Library Loans

We offer Interlibrary Loans for any books or movies that cannot be found in our catalog. There are some restrictions. Feel free to ask us about it or check out our policies.

Job Search & Career Training

Looking for a new job or just looking to finish some training for your current career. Look no further. Our job Center, located on the ground floor, is available for your use. These machines can be booked for three hours and additional time can be added if needed. Additionally, we have curated a list of resources we have found helpful when looking for a new job. It can be found at Career Resources under Resources.


We house the Plat Book of Franklin County 1903, the Franklin County Rural Atlas and Directory of 1958 (complete with photos of homes), and the Franklin County Historical Homes records.


Three digital microfilm machines are available for patron usage in our Reference Department. These machines can search our microfilm collection and print our parts of the publication. A $20,000 grant from the Goppert Foundation enabled the purchase of this new technology, replacing the library’s aging and dated machines. Patrons are encouraged to use them and take advantage of the improved technology. If assistance is needed, library staff is available to help.

Our collection includes the weekly Ottawa Herald newspapers dating Mar. 1889 – Mar. 1915, the Daily Herald Nov. 1896 – Sept. 2014, Ottawa Times from July 1937-Aug. 2000, the Territorial Census 1855- 1859, and the Franklin County Census 1860-1925. These files can be viewed with our new digital microfilm machines, and documents can also be printed.

Meeting Room

We have a meeting room on our main floor Reference Department that can be reserved for your group or individual use. The room has a six-foot table which seats eight, and a coffee pot available for your use.

You can find a calendar and booking form HERE

Reference Department

Our Reference Department is located on the main floor.  Newspapers, magazines, local history, Kansas history, maps, and genealogy materials can be found in this department. Patrons may use the large study tables, plug-ins for electronic devices, or the meeting room. Some tax forms are available in February, and staff can provide assistance in downloading forms from the internet if needed.


Outgoing faxes cost $2 for the first page and $1 for each page after. Incoming faxes cost $1 per page. Please contact us if you would like to be able to receive an incoming fax to the library fax machine. Our fax number is (785) 242-8789.

Kindle / Nook eReaders for check out

We have a Kindle Paper White and two Nook Simple Touch eReaders that are loaded with eBook titles and available for check outto local patrons who have a library card in good standing.

Other Services We Offer
  • Print Copies
    • Color and Grayscale (Black & Whtie)
    • Single sided or double sided
    • $0.20 per page (or per side if double sided)
  • Free WiFi hotspot access
  • Wireless printing from mobile devices (downstairs only, regular printing fees apply)
  • Public use computers (Windows 7 & 10)
  • Digital Scanning
  • Test Proctoring