Did you hear?

Staff Spotlight: Web Content Developer Brings Multimedia Talents to the Role

Dave Carson, web content developer and multimedia producer for Johnson County Library, brings a passion for storytelling, public speaking, movies, researching and writing to all his communication roles, which helps him thrive in the demanding job.

He cultivated those skills throughout his education and early career, first on the Olathe South High School forensics team in the late 1980s. (He fondly remembers seeing actor Paul Rudd shine in tournament improvisations as a Shawnee Mission West student).

Carson’s abilities in humorous and dramatic interpretation helped him earn a scholarship to Kansas State University, where he continued competing in forensics.

“By my senior year we took fourth in the nation,” Carson recalls. “I’m pretty proud of that.”

He got a master’s degree in rhetoric from K-State and taught at a Wichita college and then at Longview Community College. He also worked part-time for several years at Westport’s beloved Tivoli independent movie theater, where he befriended owner Jerry Harrington and saw countless great movies.

In the late 1990s, Carson got a second master’s degree in educational technology from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he helped create multi-media products to assist literacy teachers with their instruction.

From there, he went to work for Iowa Public Television for six years.

“We produced educational multimedia products. They were aired on Iowa Public Television and on National PBS,” Carson says. He also helped produce web content, plus educational products on CD-ROMS and DVDs that went to libraries and schools.

By then his own daughter, Hazel, was in elementary school and Carson wanted to return to Johnson County to be closer to family. He saw a Johnson County Library job posting that was a great fit for his skillset.

Carson has been with JCL since February 2007 and has had a big role in three website redesigns, including configuring Library web pages for smartphones. He and colleague Amy Field write a lot of the web content and he’s also involved in podcast creation and other initiatives.

He believes strongly in the Library’s mission, promoting literacy and lifelong learning and making a positive difference in the community.

“On a personal level,” he added, “I enjoy variety and the challenge of learning new things and adapting.” Keeping web content current and correct has been particularly urgent and important during the COVID pandemic.

“We are responsible for adding alerts to the website. We had to stay on top of that important messaging, for sure,” Carson explained.

Carson produces the Did You Hear?” monthly podcast, which he co-hosts with Charles Hower. The podcasts share compelling behind-the-scenes interviews and stories about Library staffers, patrons and services.

He’s also creating short YouTube video tutorials, introducing young learners to what the Library has to offer. The first videos will soon be released in both English and Spanish, and more will be released over time.

A third initiative involves producing science videos and other educational materials for children living in a Johnson County domestic violence shelter.

Carson lives near downtown Overland Park and enjoys gardening and spending time with his wife, Staci Carson.  His daughter Hazel is now 21 and in her senior year at Bard College in New York.

His father, Charles, lives in Gardner and is a loyal Gardner Library patron.

Carson says the work continues to be really engaging and fulfilling.

“The challenge is to reach more audiences as more and more content is available from so many sources,” he said. “I enjoy that. It’s a puzzle and I think we do a really good job of it.”

You Didn't Hear?

Just in case you did not have a chance to listen to the latest Did you hear? podcast episode, we present this encore. Our show on the collection was the seventh offering of our seven-part Discover Your Library series. In those behind-the-scenes episodes we covered a lot: discovering your Library, patrons, Librarians, arts, community matters, events and the collection. You can find all of these in this embedded player!

Listen for the first time or listen again. 

Discover Your Library: Events

We have arrived at part seven of our eight-part Discover your Library series. In this Did you hear? episode, we give you a behind the scenes look at our Events. Programs and Events Coordinator Joseph Keehn talks about what led him to Johnson County Library and how his job has changed over the years—including adapting to the challenge of programming during COVID. Several Librarians call in to share memories of their favorite Johnson County Library event. Author and panel presenter from our largest event, the annual Writers Conference, Nick Lopez, shares an original written work that won our 2020 Imagine Your Story Writing Contest. Dave’s a serpent and Charles is Mongoose. We get a new lead in the In Search of Paul Rudd segment. So, what are you waiting for?

Did you get a chance to hear this month's podcast episode?

Some call it Civic Engagement. We call it Community Matters! The Library has a plethora of programs, events, services and resources for you, yes you, to be a more informed citizen.  Ashley Fick drops by to share her journey to becoming our Civic Engagement Librarian. We get the inside scoop on the "how," "what" and "why" behind Legislative Coffees, Civics 101, Gather at the table, the News and Views group, Librarian Research Guides and Elections.  

Members of the Civic Engagement committee phone in to share why they participate on this important team and explain why community matters. 

Charles talks to Community Matters Book Club coordinator Melanie Fuemmeler. Our music guest is Jill Westra & Them KC Boys sharing the track "Speedin' Again" and an essay from author Virginia Brackett.

Come spend an entertaining hour with us. Who knows, this might just be the episode where we finally find Paul Rudd! (Spoiler alert ... it's not.)

New Podcast Episode

Discover Your Library: The Arts

We're back again for your monthly Library Insider. it's the Did you hear? podcast and we are on part 4 of our Discover Your Library special. This month? The Arts! 

Music, art exhibitions, writing ... we have so much to offer artists and you!

In this episode:

  • Musical guest The Wires
  • Local Writer Martha Gershun reads her short story: "The Hatch"
  • Local Arts Librarian Bryan Voell chats about exhibitions, our new Artists in Sight on demand offerings, and the local music blog 
  • We sample an interview with Artist Sol Anzorena
  • A talk with artist Dianna Bartel
  • and so much more!

Art is transformative and transcendent. Let us take you away for the next hour or so.

Our Patrons

We're excited to release our newest Did you hear? podcast episode. "Our Patrons" is the second in a series of seven episodes we're devoting to the theme: Discover Your Library!

Our Librarians chime in to share their favorite stories about our patrons. It's sometimes funny, often heart-warming and always interesting. Join Charles and Dave as we attempt to answer the question, "Just who are our patrons?"

 

 

Discover the new podcast episode!

Exciting news! We were able to record in-person for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. Not-so-exciting news...the audio isn't perfect—we're rusty. But, listenable? Yes! 

In this episode we have even more exciting news. We're introducing a 7-part storytelling series we're calling "Discover Your Library." From now until the end of the year we will be sharing stories from patrons and Librarians. We'll look behind-the-scenes of our events and our collection. We'll explore the connection between the Library and civics. We'll reveal how the Library plays an important role in supporting local arts.

We introduce you to our new series AND we play some fun getting-to-know-you games so you can learn a little bit more about your podcast hosts. Did you hear?

 

The Poetry Episode

It's another Did you hear? podcast episode with Shannon, Jack, Charles and Dave!

In this episode, we offer closure to poetry month and suggest poetry should not be confined to a single month. We crammed this episode full—like an over-stuffed el grande burrito—with flavorful content from all kinds of tasty angles. (OK, we're not poets, but we love poetry!)

  • Hear poets featured in elementia
  • A look back at our Poetry Walk and how it lives on digitally
  • Exciting upcoming poetry writing programs and a visit from an impressive author
  • Physical art as poetry
  • What happened to KCUR's New Letters on the Air?
  • Our haikus!
  • Your haikus!
  • And the latest installment of In Search of Paul Rudd

All this and more! It's the Poetry episode and it's not to be missed. When is this delightful episode available? Right now!