This Week at the Library

Library OnDemand – Available anytime you like.

READ to A Dog with Pets For Life – Monday, Sept. 11, 3:30 – 5 p.m.

Join us at the Leawood Pioneer Library reading to a dog. 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.

Live Your Healthiest Life Fall Classes – Tuesdays, Sept. 12 to Nov. 14, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Fall into some healthy habits! Take 10 hours and feel better in 2023. Each class will focus on a different topic and all classes will be held at the Central Resource Library

Sept. 12: Stress – Making connections and reducing stressors.
Sept. 19: Sleep – Get some tips on getting and staying asleep.
Sept. 26: Nutrition – Just the basics.
Oct. 3: Nutrition – Cooking healthy on a budget.
Oct. 10: Exercise – How much and what kind do I need?
Oct. 17: Exercise – Your way, your pace.
Oct. 24: Quitting tobacco and changing behaviors.
Oct. 31: How do I stop? Step by step.
Nov. 7: Ready? Let’s do this!
Nov. 14: The new tobacco-free you.

Civics 101: Libraries and the Freedom to Read – Tuesday, Sept. 12, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. 

In a time of intense political polarization, public and school libraries across the country have seen an increase in the number of challenges to library materials. American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom documented 1,269 challenges to library books and resources in 2022, the highest number of attempted book bans since the association began compiling data about censorship in libraries more than 20 years ago. 

Join us for a panel discussion featuring veteran librarians as we discuss the freedom to read and explore the issue of book challenges and censorship. We will explore the significance of unrestricted access to information and the role of librarians as guardians of intellectual freedom. Our panelists will shed light on the various types of challenges and bans that libraries encounter, define and explain what censorship is, and the implications and impact of censorship on readers and communities. We will also examine how libraries and librarians work to protect your right to access information.

Read Under The Stars – Thursday, Sept. 14, 4 – 6 p.m.

Elementary aged kids and their families, please join us at the Central Resource Library for a low-sensory personal reading experience. We invite you to bring your own book (or borrow one of ours!), curl up and read in our quiet starlit Library space.

Walk and Read at Listowel Park – Saturday, Sept. 16 – Sept. 24, All Day

Family and friends of all ages are invited to join Johnson County Library for a walk in Listowel Park ! 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 stories you’ll read are Pepe and the Parade: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage by Tracey Chavez and Chez Bob by Bob Shea. 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. Look for updated information at the event link above.

And much more happening this week … 

Secretary Cardona and FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel Visit Central Resource Library

You may have seen in the news that we had a very special guest at Central Resource Library this past week!

Secretary Miguel Cardona and FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel stopped at the Library as part of the Secretary's "Back to School Bus Tour 2023: Raise the Bar" campaign in partnership with local non-profit KC Digital Drive. This week-long, multi-state road trip showcased the many ways schools, families, and communities are doubling down on accelerating student learning and raising the bar in education. The Tour featured stops in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Secretary Cardona participated in a roundtable with local educators, discussed the digital divide and emphasized the importance of WiFi connections for all families in Johnson County.

“It is an honor to welcome Secretary Cardona, Chairwoman Rosenworcel, and our partners at KC Digital Drive to our building,” said Tricia Suellentrop, County Librarian. “Providing access to ideas, information, experiences and materials to all in our community is central to Johnson County Library’s mission, so we are thrilled to provide space to discuss this important initiative.”

Our favorite part was the impromptu Storytime the Secretary held at the end of his visit! The former elementary school teacher and administrator read 100 Dogs: Playful Pups to Count to a group of children who eagerly shared their opinions on different breeds and stories of their own pets before escorting Dr. Cardona back to the bus.

1911 Kansas School for the Deaf football team

1911 Kansas School for the Deaf football team

KSD Archived in Images

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: Kansas School for the Deaf

About this collection: Over 4,000 images documenting the history and culture of the Kansas School for the Deaf. The photographs depict student life, faculty and staff gatherings, school buildings, athletic teams and auxiliary deaf activities in the region.

No Wait Wednesday

Want a good book to read at the library but don't want to be 347th in line? Hello and welcome to #NoWaitWednesday, where we shine the spotlight on a title on our New Release shelves that's ready and waiting for you to check it out!

Cozy mysteries are a genre that every librarian needs to know about, as they are ideal to recommend to patrons at any age level, from teen readers who are just starting to explore the adult section to older readers who wish to avoid harsh language or explicit violence in their reading. Cozy mysteries also have a deep bench, as the genre is rich with dozens of critically-acclaimed and popular authors to choose from, ranging from classics like Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh to modern authors like Mia Manansala and Richard Osman. Finally, cozy mysteries are popular with patrons because they're, well, cozy, leaving readers with a satisfying feeling from reading a book that's filled with wit, humor, and warmth - even if there's always a pesky murder to solve.

(Oh, and some involve recipes, too!)

Speaking of recipes, patrons are going to enjoy this week's #NoWaitWednesday selection: Murder is a Piece of Cake by Valerie Burns. The main character in this series is Maddy Montgomery, a former social media influencer who moves from a big city to small town Michigan after she inherits her aunt's bakery - as well as Baby, her 250-pound mastiff full of attitude. While Maddy settles in to the community and slowly grows her business in fits and starts - helped out by her late aunt's friends, the appropriately-named Baker Street Irregulars - she soon realizes her small shop has competition in the form of a new bakery, owned by someone with connections to Maddy. But the body of the rival bakery owner is quickly found with a knife in his back - and it's one of Maddy's. She must juggle several plot points, including investigating the murder to clear her own name, interviewing locals to find out what everyone knows, keeping her bakery open during the media frenzy, and sparking a possible romance with a local veterinarian.

Burns' novel is full of humor, wit, and a dash of romance along with all the sleuthing. She effectively paints the atmosphere of New Bison, the charming, Michigan town that Maddy now calls home, and fills it with a likeable cast of quirky, nosy characters that readers will love to spend time with. The mystery is an easy one to follow along with, and Baby the mastiff absolutely steals the show.

Small-town charm? Check. Eccentric, engaging characters? Check. A cozy mystery filled with recipes that patrons will love? Check! Place your holds and check out Valerie Burns' other novels if you enjoy this one. And, if you need more cozy mystery recommendations, be sure to ask your local librarian, who will be more than happy to fill your holds lists with great reads, especially as fall is approaching.

Thanks for reading, and we'll see you next week!

This Week at the Library

Library OnDemand – Available anytime you like.

Spooky Story Youth Contest – Sept. 5 – Oct. 5, online, All Day 

Submissions accepted September 5-October 5 Dark nights. Abandoned cabins. Eerie noises. What restless spirits will you bring to life in your spooky story? All youth writers in grades 3-12 are welcome to submit a spooky story. Winning writers will receive a prize and their stories will be featured on the Library’s website for all to enjoy. Winners will also have the opportunity to read their stories aloud at our “Night of Fright” on October 30th. Guidelines: Open to writers in grades 3-12 this fall and one submission per writer, please.

Two Chapters Book Club – Tuesday, Sept. 5, Oct. 3, Nov.7, Dec. 5, 4 - 5 p.m.

Join us at Central Resource Library to hear a librarian read aloud the first two chapters of a favorite book and then decide to check out a copy if you like it. If the chapters are short, we might sample more. Snacks and activities related to the book will be provided. Ages 7-11.

Teen Book Club – Sept. – Dec., Sept. – Dec, Different dates and times at three locations.

We are proud to present the Library’s first ever Teen Book Club at three locations! Let’s get together to share our love of reading and chat about each month’s books. No registration necessary. Come join us at Antioch, Blue Valley and Lenexa—or mix and match! Bring your own book or check out the month’s book ahead of time from the Library—each title is offered in the catalog as a physical copy and eBook.

Walk and Read at Sar-Ko-Par Park – Saturday, Sept. 9 – Sept. 17, All Day

Family and friends of all ages are invited to join Johnson County Library for a walk in at Sar-Ko-Par Park! 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 stories are Books Aren’t For Eating by Carlie Sorosiak and Once Upon a Goat by Dan Richards.

 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 … 

Black & Veatch Support ‘Amplifies’ Library Services

It would be an understatement to say that the Library’s MakerSpace had humble origins.

Its original home was not much bigger than a closet, said Shelley O’Brien, executive director of the Johnson County Library Foundation. But now the area at the Central Resource Library serves almost as a branch within a branch — offering state-of-the-art capabilities like 3D printing and providing space where creators of all types mingle.

The upgraded surroundings have “really amplified the program and amplified what we can do,” O’Brien said, putting the Library on the cutting edge of the experiential learning that will define the library of the future. “This is not a trend,” she said. “This is not going away.”

And none of that would be possible without the more than $30,000 a year that Overland Park-based Black & Veatch provides as the sponsor of the MakerSpace, she said. The global design and engineering firm’s commitment to the Library extends to serving this year as the presenting sponsor of the library foundation’s annual fundraiser. 

As an international corporation, Black & Veatch has no shortage of potential causes to back, O’Brien said. “It means a lot to us for them to say they want to invest their philanthropic dollars into a local nonprofit like the Foundation, and a local organization like the Library.”

Outside support is critical to providing a range of services to patrons, and O’Brien said Black & Veatch’s financial commitments play a significant role in allowing the Library “to have innovation and creativity, and to provide the community with these great tools.”

There is perhaps no better spokesman for Black & Veatch and its commitment to the Library than Pete Barth, an Illinois native who moved here from Davenport, Iowa, in 2014 with his wife.

He is the company’s engineering partnerships leader and serves on the board of the Library foundation. Barth is also the son of a teacher who preached the value of reading and is an active patron of Olathe’s Indian Creek Library as the father of three kids ages 8 and under.

The parent in him loves that libraries now have playgrounds and cool indoor activities that excite kids to just be at the library as a first step to gaining a love of reading. He knows that is the case with his children.

In his professional role, Barth welcomes the opportunity for the company to support a free public resource that provides equitable access to all members of the community. Black & Veatch is also happy to help students cultivate an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

Library Lets Loose provides essential funding for the extras the Library offers, O’Brien said, including the varied programming that keeps people coming back to the branches. Barth said Black & Veatch’s role as the presenting sponsor is a way to help “amplify the event and the importance of the library system in general.”

“I think it’s fair to say that the library is an integral part of every community,” he said. “We are just glad to be a part of it and help to support the growth of both the MakerSpace and the library infrastructure in Johnson County in general.

“We are proud of our community, we want to be a part of the community, want to be visible in the community, and want to give back to all those communities that support our professionals and our business.”

Barth was not exactly a bookworm as a teen, but it seems his mom’s prodding planted a seed for adulthood because reading is now a welcome stress relief. “It’s a good way for me to escape and displace,” he said. 

Lenexa's Video Library

New JoCoHistory Blog Article

Lenexa’s Video Library: The Life and Times of Johnson County’s Largest Video Store 

It all began in the early-to-mid 1980s. Holly DeNeff was in dental school, but had come to feel that dentistry wasn’t the right fit for her after all. She wanted to start her own business and started looking around for the right industry. At the time, there were two boom industries for budding entrepreneurs: tanning salons and video stores. Holly mulled both of them over, working briefly at both to learn the businesses from the ground up. She worked her way up to a store manager position at National Video (a national chain with several locations in the area) and thought that maybe she’d found her industry.

Read the full article at the JoCoHistory Blog home »