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Look Into Lenexa's Past

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: Lenexa Historical Society

About this collection: This collection is comprised of over 3,500 images relating to the history, development and people of Lenexa, Kansas. Particular strengths include area construction projects, photos of the Legler Barn Museum, the Lenexa Centennial celebration of 1969 and early landowners. The photographs were collected and maintained by the Lenexa Historical Society, who are headquartered at the Legler Barn Museum in Sar Ko Par Park.

Primary Election 2022

Several Johnson County Library branches are polling places in the 2022 Elections due to their central locations within the county. Whether you are a seasoned voter or voting for the first time, we have all the latest information for you! Read on for the wheres, whens and hows of voting!

Who can register?
You must be a resident of the state in which you are registering, and you must be a U. S. Citizen.  If you are 17, but will turn 18 before the election date, you can register!

When and where do I register to vote?
Register by July 12 to vote in the August 2 primary election.
Register online through the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office

How do I receive an advanced ballot in the mail?
You can apply for advanced ballots from your County Election Office, or through KSVotes. Each election requires a new application. In other words, if you requested a mail in ballot for the primary, you will need to make a new request for the general election. Voters with permanent disabilities are eligible to apply for Permanent Advanced Voting, and return to their County Election Office. Ballots begin mailing July 13, 2022. Completed ballots must be returned by 5:00 PM on July 26, 2022 for the primary election.

I don’t want to mail my ballot, how else can I return it?
There are several ways to return your completed advanced ballot:

  • If you mail your ballot, it must be postmarked no later than Aug 2, 2022 and received by the election office by Aug 5, 2022.
  • You may return your completed ballot at any of the advanced polling locations (see section on advanced voting below) between July 16 - Aug 1
  • You may return your completed ballot at your designated polling location on Election Day, during polling hours.
  • Johnson County Election Office has installed several ballot drop off boxes around the county. Ballots may be returned in a box beginning July 16.

  • Blue Valley Library - 9000 W 151st St, Overland Park
  • Central Resource Library - 9875 W 87th St, Overland Park
  • De Soto Library - 33145 W 83rd St, De Soto
  • Gardner Library - 137 E Shawnee St, Gardner
  • Shawnee Library - 13811 Johnson Dr, Shawnee
  • Spring Hill Library - 109 S Webster St, Spring Hill
  • Northeast Offices - 6000 Lamar Ave, Mission

The 24-hour, drive-thru ballot boxes at the Election Office (2101 E Kansas City Rd, Olathe) will also continue to be available for voters.

Where can I find advanced voting in person?
Early in person voting can be done at several locations between July 16 and Aug 1, 2022. In Johnson County, check the list of advance voting locations for places, dates and times. Wyandotte County residents may check here

Where and when do I vote on Election Day?
Each registered voter has a designated polling place. Polling places can change, so even if you have voted in the past, it’s a good idea to check your polling place for each election. Please visit the Election Office website to find your polling location. Polls are open between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM.

What do I bring with me for any in person voting?
Kansas state law requires you to bring a photo ID when voting in person. Acceptable forms include:

    • A driver’s license or identification card issued by Kansas, another state.
    • ID card issued by a Native American tribe
    • A concealed carry of handgun or weapon license issued by Kansas or by another state.
    • A United States passport.
    • An employee badge or ID issued by a city, county, state, or federal government office.
    • A U.S. military ID.
    • A student identification card issued by an accredited postsecondary institution of education in Kansas.
    • A public assistance identification card issued by a city, county, state or federal government office.

Wyandotte County residents with questions or needing assistance with registration or voting may call the Wyandotte County Election Office at (913) 573-8500 or visit https://www.wycovotes.org/.

Where do I find more information about candidates?
You can view a sample ballot from the Johnson County Election Office, Ballotpedia, and Vote 411

For information about candidates or issues, the eNewspapers section of our eLibrary is a great resource. Kansas City Star, Blue Valley Post, and Shawnee Mission Post include coverage of local candidates and issues on upcoming ballots. You will need your Johnson County Library card or ecard + PIN to access those titles.

Ballotpedia provides biographical, current and past work of elected officials, campaign themes and more.

Factcheck.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit site covering many topics of current interest related to campaign topics.

Politifact, a non-profit news organization, offers fact checking on current topics, candidate statements and claims, media personalities and campaigns. Users may also submit claims to have them fact checked.

Where can I find more information about the proposed Kansas Constitutional Amendment regarding abortion on the August 2nd ballot?

 

This Week at the Library

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

Library OnDemand Available anytime you like.

Your doorway into live and archived programs. Arts & Culture, Career & Finance, Community Matters, Writers and more!

Resume Tips to Get You Noticed Monday, July 11, 10 – 11 a.m.

If you are struggling with creating a resume for your first job, re-entering the workplace, or making a career change this session is for you!

Silencing Your Inner Critic Tuesday, July 12, 11 a.m. – noon

This workshop focuses on using positive self-talk and affirmations to help create a positive self-image. We also dig into how self-care is not selfish.

Friends of the Library Donation Drop-off Saturday, July 16, 9 – 11 a.m.

Do you have gently used books to donate to the Friends? We hold Drive-up Donation Events every Saturday (except during inclement weather). Volunteers will be available to accept your donations on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at Friends Headquarters - 8279 Melrose Dr., Lenexa, KS 66214.

Young Adult Literary CouncilSunday, July 17, 2 – 3 p.m.

Teens are invited to join the Young Adult Literary Council 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. You can meet new people and receive volunteer credit hours for your time with us. This program will be hosted in-person in Blue Valley's large meeting room.

And much more happening this week »

Join the Young Adult Literary Council at Blue Valley

Teens are invited to join the Young Adult Literary Council 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. You can meet new people and receive volunteer credit hours for your time with us.

Join the Young Adult Literary Council at Blue Valley Library »

Johnson County Library Shines Spotlight on Juneteenth

Johnson County Library is using the new Juneteenth holiday to provide patrons with a vital history lesson.

The Library was pleased to collaborate with other community partners to raise awareness and enhance residents’ understanding of the holiday that marks the end of slavery in the United States.

“Understanding this holiday is important to our patrons, and we are doing what we can to create access to topics and materials around Juneteenth,” said Megan Mascorro-Jackson, Assistant Branch Manager at Lenexa City Center, who worked on the Library’s Juneteenth team.

The official county holiday was Monday June 20. It was preceded by Book Club discussions, Storytimes, Walk & Reads, lectures and other family-friendly events. 

Mascorro-Jackson said Library staffers are eager to highlight these important historical events for the community, with a rich collection of educational resources.

“It’s very important to a lot of people,” she said. “Boosting its signal has been super rewarding. The history is fascinating.”

Juneteenth, also known as “Emancipation Day,” or “Day of Freedom,” became an official national holiday in 2021. In October 2021, the Johnson County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved making it an observed county holiday, held for the first time on June 20, since June 19 fell on a Sunday.

Juneteenth (combining “June” and “nineteenth”) refers to the date when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865. President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, freeing the slaves of the Confederate states. But it took two more years for the Civil War to end and for Black people in Texas to learn the news. The first “Jubilee Day” was organized in Texas on June 19, 1866, launching the Juneteenth celebration tradition.

In Johnson County, a key commemoration event was June 11, when the Library teamed up with the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center for a festival with art, music, food, storytelling and personal histories. The Library presented a special Walk & Read at the center, featuring the books Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free, by Alice Faye Duncan, and Change Sings by poet Amanda Gorman.

Johnson County Museum also had free admission to its compelling exhibit, “REDLINED: Cities, Suburbs and Segregation,” which runs through Jan. 7, 2023.

Museum Director Mary McMurray said the June 11 event was a great opportunity to honor African American history in Johnson County and learn from it.

“I truly believe that when we study our past, we can learn so much to pave the way to a better future,” she said.

Jessica McCallop-McClellan, a June 11 guest speaker, said Juneteenth celebrates the freed slaves’ resilience and African American culture. Her great grandfather, Robert L. McCallop, started a bus company in Shawnee to take Black children to Wyandotte County because they were excluded from Johnson County schools. McCallop-McClellan urged her audience to teach children these stories of African American struggle and progress, and to support Black-owned businesses.   

The Library also held a special Juneteenth Storytime June 15, sharing stories and poems on African American heritage with acclaimed author Carole Boston Weatherford and her son, poet and illustrator Jeffery Boston Weatherford.

On June 19, the county held a day-long celebration on Johnson County Square. The Library’s Walk & Read was installed and remained in place until June 30.  The Library has also created booklists for patrons wanting to delve deeper into the topic. Much more information is available at jocogov.org/Juneteenth.

The Past is Prologue: Dividing Lines

The Past is Prologue is a bimonthly program that highlights topics often left out, glossed over, or misrepresented in our history books. For our July program, we will discuss the Dividing Lines Story of Segregation tour. We recommend you take the tour prior to the event, either by driving the route using the VoiceMap app or watching the virtual tour on our Dividing Lines website. This program is part of a metro-wide conversation about the history and legacies of redlining. For more, visit the Johnson County Museum exhibit "Redlined: Cities, Suburbs, and Segregation" on display now.

Thursday, July 7
7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Online: Library OnDemand
Register »

 

This Week at the Library

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

Library OnDemand Available anytime you like.

Your doorway into live and archived programs. Arts & Culture, Career & Finance, Community Matters, Writers and more!

Read to a Dog with Pets for Life Wednesday, July 6, 1 – 2:30 p.m.

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. These dogs volunteer with their owner/handlers as a team. The program will be at the Monticello Library this week. 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 dogs.

How to Make LinkedIn Work for You Wednesday, July 6, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Do you have a LinkedIn profile? Does yours need an update? Learn how to set up a profile and get tips and tricks on how to get the most out of LinkedIn. Stay connected to career opportunities and attract employers with a stellar profile.

Managing Conflict in the Workplace Thursday, July 7, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

It's inevitable that we will run into conflict in the workplace - how can you best handle it? 

The Past is Prologue: Dividing Lines Thursday, July 7, 7 – 8 p.m.

The Past is Prologue is a bimonthly program that highlights topics often left out, glossed over, or misrepresented in our history books. For our July program, we will discuss the Dividing Lines Story of Segregation tour. 

How to Snag a Sea Monster with Mesner Puppet Theater Friday, July 8, 7  – 7:45 p.m.

Join Mesner Puppet Theater at Cornerstone Park, 215 North Center Street, Gardner, KS for a summer reading inspired adventure! After a monstrous wave washes a creature ashore, the people of a small Cape Cod town hear a strange wailing. Is it a sea monster in their midst? No, it's a baby as big as a house! The village adopts the giant baby, whom they name Stormalong -- 'Stormy' for short. Growing over 24 feet, Stormy struggles to fit in, and chooses a life at sea aboard a clipper ship to find a place in the world. Meanwhile, a real sea monster torments the village... and only Stormy is big and brave enough to save them all. Stick around after the performance for a screening of the 1970s classic Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

And much more happening this week »