This Week at the Library

Library OnDemand – Available anytime you like. 

Healthy Living Class – Tuesday, May 30, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. 

Community health workers from the Johnson County Department of Health & Environment will be onsite at Central Resource Library in Conference Room 20, to provide information about healthy living with a focus on quitting smoking.

Catholic Charities Kids Summer Food Program: 

  • Central Resource – Monday - Friday, weekly, May 30 – August 4, 11 a.m. – noon
  • Antioch – Monday, Wednesday and Friday, weekly, June 5 – August 4, 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
  • The Library will be closed June 19 and July 4 and the food program will not be available on those days. Children up to 18 years of age receive a free nutritious meal at the Library. Catholic Charities operates the Kids Summer Food Program in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Kansas Department of Education.

Meet the Author: All Together with Jacqueline Woodson– Thursday, June 1, 6 – 7:45 p.m.

Acclaimed author Jacqueline Woodson will join us at the Central Resource Library to launch the All Together Now 2023 Summer Reading program! She will share her insights on the meaning of inclusion, representation, and unity. Join fellow readers to discover why we read, why she writes, and the importance of stories to connect us all. In person attendees will receive a free Jaqueline Woodson book to add to their home library (while supplies last)! Q&A and book signing to follow. Registration is required as space is limited, but don’t hesitate to join the waitlist. The program will also be recorded for registrants to view online.

READ to a Dog or Cat with Pets for Life – Monday, June 5, 3:30 – 5 p.m.

Join us at the Leawood Pioneer Library. The Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) program improves children’s reading and communication skills by employing a powerful method: reading to a registered therapy dog or cat! These animals volunteer with their owner/handlers as a team. Please note: space is limited for this program; kids will get a ticket at arrival and wait their turn to read to one of several animals.

And much more happening this week … 

Old Yearbooks Tell So Many Stories

Shawnee Mission Yearbooks

It’s another grand Throwback Thursday where we encourage you to time travel through Johnson County's history. JoCoHistory is a collaborative presentation of history from the Johnson County Museum, Johnson County Library and many JoCoHistory partners. Explore historical photographs and documents about the people, places and organizations of Johnson County, Kansas, from the 19th century to the present.   

About this collection: Shawnee Mission Rural High School published its first yearbook, The Indian, in 1923. As Johnson County's population increased, the district opened more high schools, each with its own yearbook. This collection contains many of those annuals.

Titles and schools, by order of first publication:

  • Indian - Shawnee Mission Rural High School, later Shawnee Mission High School, later Shawnee Mission North
  • Hauberk - Shawnee Mission East
  • Saga - Shawnee Mission West
  • Heritage - Shawnee Mission South
  • Lair - Shawnee Mission Northwest
  • Horizon(s) - Alternative Education Program, later Horizons
3d printed bike seat

Posedla Joyseat 3D-printed custom saddle 

May is Bike Month

It’s still Bike Month, but it feels like bike year at Johnson County Library with all the upcoming bike related programs! See below for more information and to register.

Check out our bike-themed booklist with some great titles, check out Bikes, Books, and Beyond! 

 From valve caps to mud flaps, get some ideas for fun and functional 3d printed bike accessories »

This Week at the Library

This week at the Library, you can join us at:

Library OnDemand – Available anytime you like. 

Healthy Heart Nutrition Seminars – Tuesdays, May 23, June 27, July 25 & August 29, noon – 1 p.m.

Community health workers from Johnson County Department of Health & Environment will be onsite at Central Resource Library in Conference Room 20 to provide healthy heart nutrition guidance.

Tabletop Games – Tuesday, May 15, 6 – 7:45 p.m.

Join us for a fun-filled event at the Monticello Library with family and friends and become a part of the Johnson County tabletop gaming community. Discover new games from our collection or bring your personal favorite to share – you might get creative with a round of Dixit, collaborate to escape the Forbidden Island or strategize your way to victory as King of Tokyo! Come and go as you please. Refreshments are provided.

Young Adult Literary Council – Wednesdays, May 24, June 28, July 26 & August 23, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Teens are invited to join the Young Adult Literary Council at the Monticello Library to share favorite books, pick up advanced reader copies of teen books to read and review, and participate in other fun activities such as author visits, game days, event planning and more. Meet new people and receive volunteer credit hours for your time with us.

Open Mic – Fridays, May 26, June 23, July 28 & August 25, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Johnson County Library is teaming up with Bear Necessities Coffee Bar (9609 W 87th St, Overland Park, KS 66212) to bring you an Open Mic from 6:30 – 7:30pm on the 4th Friday of every month. Bring poems, short stories, essays, and excerpts to share on the stage. Or come just to listen. We’ll feature readings from our contest winners and the rest of the time is for you.

Sign up at the event, 3-minute limit.

Walk and Read at Strang Park – Saturday, May 27 – June 4, All day, anytime

Johnson County Library and Overland Park Parks and Recreation Department invite you to visit the Walk and Read at Strang Park. Two stories, Group Hug by Jean Reidy and The Day You Begin by Jaqueline Woodson, will be posted. Walk and Read creates a reading opportunity for all, in various parks throughout Johnson County. Those who participate will read two stories posted around a path, one going each direction. When you finish one story, you can turn around to the other side of the sign and begin the next story, which will lead you back around the path. The Walk and Read program encourages physical activity, literacy and family time. The paths are stroller and wheelchair friendly, allowing for all to join in the fun! Dates are subject to adjustment due to inclement weather conditions.

And much more happening this week … 

elementia Celebrates 20 Issues!

elementia is a literary arts magazine edited and designed by teens in the Kansas City Metro area and published by Johnson County Library. The publication aims to represent and uplift young adults by presenting their original poetry, fiction, nonfiction, graphic stories, photography and illustrations. elementia takes on a new theme each year; this year’s submissions were inspired by cycles. 

The 20th anniversary edition is available now in branches and online.

Library Board Member Turns Life Challenges into Path to Success

Charles McAllister grew up in New Orleans in the 1950s, experiencing segregation firsthand and watching the civil rights struggle unfold. He endured a cocaine addiction and time in a California prison as a young man. 

But through intelligence, determination and hard work, plus a strong faith and family support, he overcame those major challenges to build a successful career and family life and to become a mentor for Johnson County youth.  

Now semi-retired, McAllister was recently appointed to a Johnson County Library Board term through April 2027. With his compelling personal story, he intends to be an advocate for building a strong, vibrant community. 

“We need a Library Board that’s progressive, that’s active and one that has a voice in the community that says we’re all in this together,” McAllister said in an interview. “Making sure every aspect of our community has the proper resources, especially if they can’t afford it themselves.” 

McAllister appreciates the Library’s excellent collection, public computers, online access and enriching programs. He hopes the Library can also be a tool for democratic engagement and for getting more young people and diverse individuals involved in community and government progress. 

Johnson County District 5 Commissioner Michael Ashcraft appointed McAllister to the Library Board. Ashcraft sees McAllister as a “servant leader” with a unique background and deep commitment to giving back. 

“He fits the model,” Ashcraft said. “He’s a thoughtful, positive, creative individual.” 

As a child in New Orleans, McAllister read books to understand the roots of segregation and the fight for equal rights. “I wanted to know about Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King, Jr.,” he recalled. “They motivated me a lot in school. I needed to know about the history of the civil rights movement.” 

He moved to California, graduating from Fresno Pacific University in 1975. He had good jobs in insurance, banking and finance. But in the late 1980s he developed a cocaine addiction that landed him in prison for several stints, spanning nine years. 

“I don’t mind telling my story,” he says, “because I think it’s important especially that people see that wasn’t the end of life, although it was a tough time.” 

The second time he went to prison he turned to his faith. He worked in the prison ministry, put his computer skills to good use, and shared his story of resilience with many high school students. He was paroled in February 1998 and became a model citizen.  

Fortunately, his wife stood by him. She moved to Johnson County for work and he joined her. Despite his criminal past, he got hired by Johnson County Wastewater. He eventually worked 17 years with the engineering division, helping to coordinate major infrastructure projects, before he retired in 2017. 

McAllister and his wife have five grown children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He felt it was very important to be involved in his kids’ schooling, and he’s been a dedicated Olathe School District volunteer for many years, mentoring students who need a friend and positive role model. 

“I always tell them about my story because sometimes these kids come from tough backgrounds,” he said. 

He still works part-time for an engineering firm, but wanted to be involved in Johnson County volunteer boards, where so much vital work gets done. The Library Board was an ideal opportunity. 

McAllister is determined to raise awareness about how people can be more engaged in public life. “We need more people of color, more young people, more women, more involvement,” he said. “I think there are things the Library Board can do and be a part of that is not about name recognition but it’s about making the community better.” 

Biographies Tell Story of Early Johnson Countians

It’s another grand Throwback Thursday where we encourage you to time travel through Johnson County's history. JoCoHistory is a collaborative presentation of the history from the Johnson County Museum, Johnson County Library and many JoCoHistory partners. Explore historical photographs and documents about the people, places and organizations of Johnson County, Kansas, from the 19th century to the present.

Collection spotlight: Historical Biographies

About this collection: The following biographies appear in the narrative portion of the Atlas Map of Johnson County, Kansas, published in 1874 or in William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas, first published in 1883.