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This Week at the Library

One-on-One Help: Basic Genealogy – Tuesday, July 18, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

For one-on-one basic or DNA genealogy help visit the Johnson County Genealogical Society at www.jcgsks.org to schedule an appointment.

Healthy Living Classes – Tuesdays through Aug. 15, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Community health workers from the Johnson County Department of Health & Environment will be onsite in Conference Room 20 every Tuesday from 10:30-11:30 to provide information about healthy living. 

Panel Discussion: Bike Shop 101 – Tuesday, July 18, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Are you still riding the bike your parents bought you 20 years ago? Would [insert new gadget here] relieve the numbness in your [insert body part here]? Come listen to some bike shop experts as they explain the different styles of bikes, help identify necessary gear, and explain the benefits of a bike fit.

"Bike Shop 101" is part of the 2023 Women's Bike Summit Series. The Women's Bike Summit is a gender-inclusive venue for people of all ages and backgrounds to come together to celebrate bicycling, discuss issues that are relevant and important to people on bikes, and get practical biking experience.

Immediacy, Urgency or Tranquility: What Moves Us to Write with Dzvinia Orlowsky and Carolyne Wright – Wednesday, July 19, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Often you’ll read or hear poetry described as urgent when, in fact, the poem’s strength lies in its immediacy—the quality of unmediated awareness, of something happening right away, without that added sense of pressure. In this one-hour conversation between poets Dzvinia Orlowsky and Carolyne Wright, they’ll discuss the craft considerations that make one poem “immediate” and another “urgent.” This program will be hosted using the meeting software Zoom. A Johnson County Library staff member will contact registrants via the email you registered with to provide more information about the program and instructions on how to access the Zoom meetings. You do not need to download any software or create an account.

What Moves You to Write? A Generative Workshop – Saturday, July 22, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

In this two-hour generative workshop, poet and translator Dzvinia Orlowsky will review key points about considerations of genre and the nuances between immediacy, urgency, and tranquility, before providing prompts and holding space to write. There will be time to share work, discuss craft, and write even more. Have paper and pencil (or your keyboard) ready! This program will be hosted using the meeting software Zoom. A Johnson County Library staff member will contact registrants via email the day before the meeting with instructions on how to access the Zoom meeting. You do not need to download any software or create an account.

And much more happening this week …

Archiving Architecture

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: Johnson County Museum Historic Preservation Survey

About this collection: Begun in 1991, the Historic Preservation Survey is a collection of photos documenting the architectural style and condition of more than 10,000 pre-1950 homes across Johnson County. The original photos are owned by the Johnson County Museum.

Movies Set on the High Seas

Can't get enough pirates, sailing, and the high seas? Check out this list of movies that will satisfy your longings, savvy?

This Week at the Library

READ to a Dog or Cat with Pets for Life – Monday, July 10, 3:30 – 5 p.m.

Join us at the Leawood Pioneer Library for the Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E. A. D.) program. This 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.

Play Lab – Tuesday, July 11, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Connect with other families for a casual playdate at the Lenexa City Center Library, featuring open-ended play materials! Designed for up to age 6 with a caregiver. Siblings welcome.

Let’s Stick Together – A Celebration of Music & Family with Mr. Stinky Feet – Various dates, times & location 

Join us for an award-winning kid rocker and author, Jim “Mr. Stinky Feet” Cosgrove, as he celebrates 25 years of uniting communities through music. It’s a rockin’ dance party for the whole family. Check out Jim’s music and books at www.jimcosgrove.com

Meet the Authors: Sarah Henning, Julie Murphy and Natalie C. Parker– Thursday, July 13, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Join us at the Monticello Library for acclaimed authors, Sarah HenningJulie Murphy, and Natalie C. Parker when they will be in conversation about their newest titles: Monster CampCamp Sylvania and The Devouring Wolf. Join us as they discuss all things wacky, scary, and campy in their new Spooktacular releases. Copies of these new title will be available for purchase. Q&A and book signing to follow.

And much more happening this week … 

Upcoming Events for Writers

Join us for these upcoming events for writers. Read more and register at the links below.

Tuesday, July 18: 6:30-7:30 pm
The Illusive Chameleon: Prose Poetry or Flash Fiction with Dzvinia Orlowsky and Jeff Friedman
Via Zoom

Wednesday, July 19: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Immediacy, Urgency or Tranquility: What Moves Us to Write with Dzvinia Orlowsky and Carolyne Wright
Via Zoom

Saturday, July 22: 9-11 a.m.
What Moves You to Write? A Generative Workshop
Via Zoom

New Library Board Member Brings Financial Expertise

Anna van Ophem has decades of experience in the financial services industry that will be very useful in her new role as a Johnson County Library Board member.

van Ophem joined the Library Board in April of 2023, appointed by Johnson County Commissioner Charlotte O’Hara, for a term through 2025. She is concentrating on listening and learning about the organization and is already enjoying this volunteer leadership position.

“I believe our Library system provides an incredible amount of value to our community,” she said in an interview.

She has been impressed with the quality of the Library branches, the thoughtful and intentional management by Library staff and the efficient materials handling operation.

As her knowledge of the Library system grows, she expects to pay keen attention to the budget, ensuring that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.

“I’m very interested in how the budget is derived,” she said. “This is a separate taxing authority, and I want to make sure we are highly responsible with the tax dollars we are assessing people.”

van Ophem brings a wealth of financial-related experience to this role. She earned a finance degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from DePaul University in Chicago. She worked in Chicago in the institutional financial services sector, administering retirement plans for various companies and moving up the chain of management and leadership positions.

She moved to Boston, where she met and married Peter van Ophem. After a few years the couple moved back to Illinois, where they bought the house where Anna had grown up, in the small town of Marengo. She fondly remembers going to the library there regularly as a child.

In 2006, Anna took a job with JP Morgan in Kansas City and she and her husband and two young daughters moved to Overland Park. Kansas quickly became home. The girls, who are now grown, attended Blue Valley Schools. Peter was a stay-at-home dad when the kids were little and returned to school once they were older. He earned a teaching certification and currently teaches chemistry at Shawnee Mission North High School.

​​​​​​​In 2019, Anna took a job with American Century Investments, where she led the learning and development division, supporting the company through job skills and leadership training. She’s pleased that Johnson County Library also has a strong learning and development team. And, as a certified Gallup Strengths coach, she was excited to hear about the Library’s coaching to individual talents and strengths.

In 2022, she made a big career change, joining Life Time Fitness, an athletic resort/fitness club near 135th and Metcalf, which promotes a healthy way of life. The job is fun and fulfilling, and she also works out regularly, enjoying running, yoga and strength training.

When O’Hara asked her to join the Library Board, she welcomed the opportunity.

“I was honored by that,” van Ophem said. “I felt called to serve in this way.”

Her family has patronized the Blue Valley branch for years, but she is also awed by the Central Resource Library, where board meetings are held. She’s eager to tour other branches as well.

van Ophem recognizes Johnson County Library is a business and looks forward to sharing her knowledge of best business practices with the organization. She also sees the Library as a positive meeting ground to help build a thriving community, through beautiful facilities and excellent services. She feels blessed to assist in that vital mission.

Acclaimed Archives

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: Johnson County Archives

About this collection: Largely images from annual reports produced by Johnson County staff over the first half of the twentieth century, most notably the County Agricultural Agent and the Home Demonstration Agent. Numerous activities of those two offices are depicted, including programs with area farmers, homemakers and 4-H clubs.