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Throwback Thursday Holiday Hike Through History!

You'll want to crank up the volume for this holiday hike through history! Trees, snow, lights, joy, family, wonder! What did Santa Bring? A new wood burning stove? A transistor radio? A dollhouse bigger than you? Discover the stories behind these images and details at jocohistory.org It's your place for Johnson County, Kansas History!

You'll want to crank up the volume for this holiday hike through history! Trees, snow, lights, joy, family, wonder! What did Santa Bring? A new wood burning stove? A transistor radio? A dollhouse bigger than you? Discover the stories behind these images and details at jocohistory.org It's your place for Johnson County, Kansas History!

  • JCL volunteers
    JCL volunteers JCL volunteers
  • JCL volunteers
    JCL volunteers JCL volunteers
  • Volunteer Appreciation 2018
    Volunteer Appreciation 2018 Volunteer Appreciation 2018
  • BV Volunteers
    BV Volunteers BV Volunteers
  • Volunteer Appreciation 2018
    Volunteer Appreciation 2018 Volunteer Appreciation 2018
  • Volunteer Appreciation 2018
    Volunteer Appreciation 2018 Volunteer Appreciation 2018

'Tis the Season to Thank our Volunteers!

We are the fortunate beneficiary of a lot of volunteer support. Every year, more than 1,200 people give us about 50,000 hours' worth of their time and talent to help in virtually every area of the Library!

Recently, we had the opportunity to recognize our wonderful volunteers through activities and events held at each of our locations. 

And how do these amazing volunteers help?

  • Processing book donations
  • Shelving books
  • Supporting sales of used books
  • Assisting with Library programs
  • Helping in Library offices

THANK YOU! We couldn't do it all without you.

If you're interested in volunteering with us, please visit our JCL Volunteer page for more information.

 

We are the fortunate beneficiary of a lot of volunteer support. Every year, more than 1,200 people give us about 50,000 hours' worth of their time and talent to help in virtually every area of the Library!

Recently, we had the opportunity to recognize our wonderful volunteers through activities and events held at each of our locations. 

And how do these amazing volunteers help?

  • Processing book donations
  • Shelving books
  • Supporting sales of used books
  • Assisting with Library programs
  • Helping in Library offices

THANK YOU! We couldn't do it all without you.

If you're interested in volunteering with us, please visit our ... Continue »

Stover Mansion

The Sweet History of the Stover Mansion

Our jocohistory friends know there's no better way to get in the holiday spirit than to talk chocolate! And in Kansas City when one talks chocolate, Russell Stover Candies is the first thing to come to mind! But do you know the story of the Stover Mansion

Our jocohistory friends know there's no better way to get in the holiday spirit than to talk chocolate! And in Kansas City when one talks chocolate, Russell Stover Candies is the first thing to come to mind! But do you know the story of the Stover Mansion

  • Jessica Kincaid
    Jessica Kincaid Jessica Kincaid
  • Jessica Kincaid
    Jessica Kincaid Jessica Kincaid

On Exhibit at Oak Park: Jessica KincaidJessica Kincaid

Saturday, Sep 1, 2018 to Saturday, Dec 22, 2018 at Oak Park Library

Jessica Kincaid creates pictorial beaded textiles based on nature scenes and surrealist imagery. As her medium of choice, beading brings an abstract quality to concreate images. She describes the process of creating beaded textiles as “labor-intensive, so it’s a challenge to produce them in large quantities.” Her current work was created using “tutorials on the computers to write code for websites and design objects for the 3D printer. The process of translating colors and shapes into a language the computer can interpret inspired this series of abstract drawings, prints, and beaded works.”

*

Introduce yourself and describe your work and the media/genre you work in.

I have collected beads since I was eight years old. My beaded textiles have drawn inspiration from dreams, nature, and even working in a school cafeteria. I create these works through careful selection and repetitive stitching of the beads.

 

 

Talk about the work that will be on view. What would you like people to know about it?

The patterns in the collages and beaded works came from translating code words into colorful compositions. When I began writing code for websites I learned how to arrange the shapes by matching key words in the code with colored areas on the screen. I experimented with the style tags to change the colors, shapes, and positions of blocks of content in HTML documents.

Imagine a newspaper with three articles on the front page. Next, choose a color for the background, or the paper itself, and a color for the rectangular areas covered by each article. I would change the code and test it in the browser window to see the rectangles move in relation to one another, sometimes including mnemonic clues in the code that referenced the colors. I began drawing with the shapes, and to my delight, the compositions took on the styles of mid-20th century American abstract painting.

I began learning about web technologies in 2014 at the MakerSpace when it was a small booth at the Central branch of the Johnson County Library. I used tutorials on the computers to write code for websites and design objects for the 3D printer. The process of translating colors and shapes into a language the computer can interpret inspired this series of abstract drawings, prints, and beaded works.

 

What’s the most challenging thing about your creative process?

The process of creating beaded textiles is labor-intensive, so it’s a challenge to produce them in large quantities. But writing code in order to develop imagery presents mental demands that differ from other forms of artistic inspiration.

 

Who are the other artists you look to for inspiration? And what about their works do you like?

I admire the work of Leah Buechley, Becky Stern and Jesse Seay, who use soft circuits in their art. I admire their ingenuity in combining craft with interactive technologies. That’s something I aspire to as an artist learning computer programming!

When I started to draw geometric compositions with code, I identified them as a form of abstract art. That came from my fondness for American Abstractionist and Color Field painters of the Mid-20th Century, such as Ellsworth Kelly, Josef Albers and Mark Rothko. I appreciate their 2-Dimensional work because they are experimental and playful with color and form.

 

*

Most of the books I’ve read lately are technical books and resources for how to make things. I have a copy of Fashioning Technology, a project book for soft circuits by Syuzi Pakhchyan. I just finished reading two essay collections by Ellen Ullman, Close to the Machine, and Life in Code. She was a software developer in Silicon Valley in the 1970s; as a woman working in a male-dominated profession, she could observe it with some distance. She writes about her personal experiences observing the evolution of tech culture.

 

 

 

Jessica Kincaid creates pictorial beaded textiles based on nature scenes and surrealist imagery. As her medium of choice, beading brings an abstract quality to concreate images. She describes the process of creating beaded textiles as “labor-intensive, so it’s a challenge to produce them in large quantities.” Her current work was created using “tutorials on the computers to write code for websites and design objects for the 3D printer. The process of translating colors and shapes into a language the computer can interpret inspired this series of abstract drawings, prints, and beaded works.”

*

Introduce yourself and describe your work and the media/genre you work in.

I have collected beads since I... Continue »

Antioch READ poster

Antioch's READ Poster Winner

Each of our locations draws a name from the pool of kids who participated in Summer Reading to win a READ poster photoshoot. Here's Antioch's winner!

Antioch hosts lots of great events, like Table Top Games, and also has some great reading spots, like their "castle" and the three reading nooks near the 6 by 6 play area. Check out all their events here »

Each of our locations draws a name from the pool of kids who participated in Summer Reading to win a READ poster photoshoot. Here's Antioch's winner!

Antioch hosts lots of great events, like Table Top Games, and also has some great reading spots, like their "castle" and the three reading nooks near the 6 by 6 play area. Check out all their events here »

Breaking Free

Breaking Free

This spring, Johnson County Library charts a new path, exploring issues facing our community and honoring the bravery it takes to venture forward with no road map. Our theme comes from the editors of our teen literary magazine, elementia. One of them chose “breaking free” as an homage to the difficulties of breaking out of your shell and standing up for what you believe in, and the resulting poem is featured below. Our teens are asking their peers, “How do you break free?”

Making these kinds of changes doesn’t stop at the end of one’s teenage years. We are each on a lifelong journey to look critically at self and community and ask what it is that holds us back – what it is we want and need. Figuring out how to empower others and make necessary changes in the world around us is a task that never ends. Inspired by the growing urgency those in our community feel to speak out, be heard and take action the Library invites you to join us in finding your own way this spring.

Our teen and youth programs focus on individuality and expression, cultivating a sense of self in our young people. Our adult programs explore one significant issue impacting our community and the world around us – food insecurity.

The launch of our teen magazine’s 16th volume will bring Jacqueline Woodson, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, to the Library for our reception. We’ll gather young writers and artists from the KC metro area and beyond who have taken to thinking about how they stand up and speak out. Partnerships with the Food Policy Council of Johnson County and Johnson County K-State Research and Extension, as well as a series of events with author Leann Brown work to educate our public about food security and sustainability. A city-wide event with Ta-Nehisi Coates, National Book Award winner, will allow us to break free of our city and county lines to come together and build understanding about systems that were built to keep us apart. Our art exhibitions examine how art and information interact, providing food for the body and the mind in special performances by m.o.i. aka Minister of Information and Sarah Star Wilkinson.

Join us and explore the ways we stand up, speak out, break free and create our own road maps every day. See our Breaking Free programming »

 

 

Stained Glass by Oli Ray

I feel like a shattered stained glass window.

The few truths I had lie shattered into the dirt and while half of me leaks sorrow for them,
another part desperately wants to smash my bare feet into them, swirling them into the dirt with
my metallic honesty as I accept the fallacy my life has been.

I was put together at one point, I know that much. I also know that my insides were scotch taped
with ragged edges to keep the outside beautiful. I know happiness twirled and danced until
being kicked into submission, pushed into a box and kept under lock and key. Confusion took
over then, trying to keep up with the tears in our facade.

Thank god they only used scotch tape on my glass like insides.

I wonder if churches do the same: I wonder if they scotch tape the parts of themselves they
would rather the outside not see. Most would see this as ethically relevant but I think some go
as far as to resort to scissors, cutting off excess parts despite all the bleeding.

I wonder how much blood sits beneath the pew seats.

I wonder at exactly which time I was slaughtered there, carried into the back and stored in the
wardrobe where we keep baptism robes, because only our ghosts are as white as those sheets.

I always loved the quiet of an empty sanctuary: the times where it’s dark and silent and it feels
like your mind can touch the ceiling as your thoughts drift and dry through the air lazily, it’s so
comforting.

I think that’s as close to God as I have ever gotten.

I love those that surround me there, but the silence in smiles reminds me of the dripping sound
beneath my pew that only a few of us ever seem to hear, those I fellowship with have thoughts
much louder than I’d ever let mine dare to be.

Maybe that’s why I always wanted to break that god forsaken stain glass window. Maybe that’s
how I realized how alone I felt while surrounded by family, because I didn’t want to be the only
shattered art piece in the room!

And when I ever finally decide to put myself on display, maybe I will break that window, so when
they decide to reach for the scissors, at least my blood will land on something beautiful.

Because that green carpet turns scarlet translucent, the bathroom stall walls muffle cries better
than an empty desert and hugs are always followed by thoughts of what if they knew.
What if they knew I wasn’t blind and deaf to the tragedies occurring in that building the way they
are? What if they knew I had hard time coming through those doors not because I don’t feel at
home there but because their homely hospitality isn’t for me.

It’s for a girl I can’t be.

Because I’m a shattered stained glass window, and they like their pieces put together in delicate
patterns by dollar store scotch tape and hands holding scissors, but I much prefer mine in the
dirt if that’s the only way to find myself.

I think maybe one day I’ll put myself together, though I’m not sure what I’ll build. I only have
these torn bits of scotch tape repression and a box my depression keeps a tight hold on.

I still think the glass is beautiful though; cracks and shatters create a mosaic that at least isn’t
trying to hide.

Maybe one day it will form a self portrait.

One day, I won’t feel the need to break stained glass windows.

Maybe one day, they’ll see the blood on the floor.

 

This spring, Johnson County Library charts a new path, exploring issues facing our community and honoring the bravery it takes to venture forward with no road map. Our theme comes from the editors of our teen literary magazine, elementia. One of them chose “breaking free” as an homage to the difficulties of breaking out of your shell and standing up for what you believe in, and the resulting poem is featured below. Our teens are asking their peers, “How do you break free?”

Making these kinds of changes doesn’t stop at the end of one’s teenage years. We are each on a lifelong journey to look critically at self and community and ask what it is that holds us back – what it is we want and need. Figuring out how to empower... Continue »

JCL Foundation

Curiosity Sparks Imagination

Your support of the Johnson County Library Foundation has a profound impact on our community. The Foundation funds library resources, books, and educational programs that encourage curiosity, spark imagination and bring dreams to life.

The Foundation supports lifelong learning programs including:

Your gift has the power to change lives. Your contribution to the Foundation will directly fund Library programs, services, and the growth of the collection of more than 1 million items.  For more information, contact Stephanie Stollsteimer at stollsteimers@jocolibrary.org.

Thank you for your continued support!

 

Your support of the Johnson County Library Foundation has a profound impact on our community. The Foundation funds library resources, books, and educational programs that encourage curiosity, spark imagination and bring dreams to life.

The Foundation supports lifelong learning programs including:

  • Stowers Institute
    Stowers Institute Stowers Institute
  • Stowers Institute
    Stowers Institute Stowers Institute

Stowers Institute: Scientific Microimaging

Monday, Oct 1, 2018 to Friday, Dec 21, 2018 at Lackman Building

Stowers researchers pursue basic biomedical research using model organisms to uncover fundamental knowledge about living systems and enable the application of those insights to improve human health. Often, science and art intersect in stunning visual displays.  While scientific images convey valuable data to researchers, their simple beauty may transcend the information they contain and transform them into objects of art.  This exhibition represents the transformation of data into art.

Stowers researchers pursue basic biomedical research using model organisms to uncover fundamental knowledge about living systems and enable the application of those insights to improve human health. Often, science and art intersect in stunning visual displays.  While scientific images convey valuable data to researchers, their simple beauty may transcend the information they contain and transform them into objects of art.  This exhibition represents the transformation of data into art.

Cedar Roe READ winner

READ Poster Winner

Each of our locations draws a name from the pool of kids who participated in Summer Reading, and this is our winner for Cedar Roe! Look how proud he looks!

Each of our locations draws a name from the pool of kids who participated in Summer Reading, and this is our winner for Cedar Roe! Look how proud he looks!

The 1954 “All-Electric House” decked out for Christmas, at Johnson County Museum.

Throwback Thursday Mid-Century Christmas

Each year, Johnson County Museum staff transform the All-Electric House’s interior and exterior into a Mid-century Christmas wonderland, placing holiday touches throughout the home that make it appear as though a 1950s family lives there. Christmas cookie cutters in the kitchen. A child’s red velvet dress in the nursery. A Santa hat hanging on the bedpost. And of course, the iconic aluminum Christmas tree, front and center in the living room. Read more and see more at jocohistory >>

Each year, Johnson County Museum staff transform the All-Electric House’s interior and exterior into a Mid-century Christmas wonderland, placing holiday touches throughout the home that make it appear as though a 1950s family lives there. Christmas cookie cutters in the kitchen. A child’s red velvet dress in the nursery. A Santa hat hanging on the bedpost. And of course, the iconic aluminum Christmas tree, front and center in the living room. Read more and see more at jocohistory >>

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