Friends and Foundation

Friends of the Johnson County Library Bookstore

Friends Bookstores Reopening

The Friends of Johnson County Library Bookstores are re-opening to help meet your gently-used books and A/V needs! The bookstores at Antioch, Blue Valley and Central Resource Libraries are now open for appointment-only shopping.

Store hours at all three locations are Mondays from 9am-4:30pm and Thursdays from Noon-7:30pm. Bookstore pricing has been standardized to make it easier to shop and to perform contact-less sales. Some items like display books, and sets, are specially priced.

The Friends are extending their member discount all Summer. Members get 20% off prices as marked, until Labor Day!

The Friends look forward to welcoming you back to the Bookstores. To shop at Antioch or Central Resource Library Bookstores, contact Becky Epperson. To shop at Blue Valley Library Bookstore, contact Karin Dembinski.

Some appointment-only shopping details:

  • 24 hours advance appointment
  • 30 minutes for browsing
  • 4 customers limit for low-contact book shopping
  • Face coverings are required in public places in Johnson County, Kansas. Wear yours to the Bookstore!
  • No membership necessary! 

The Stores have been deep-cleaned, along with the Libraries. The generous-hearted Bookstore volunteers are being trained on new physical distancing and daily store hygiene measures. Plexiglas partitions have been placed at cash register stations in each bookstore, and six foot “distancing” floor markings have been deployed. Face coverings are required in public places in Johnson County, Kansas. Wear yours to the Bookstore!

The Friends do not currently accept book donations at the branches. If you have donations, give a call to the Friends Operations Manager, Shanta Dickerson, to arrange drop off at our headquarters. 913 492 4791

The Friends of Johnson County Library Bookstores are re-opening to help meet your gently-used books and A/V needs! The bookstores at Antioch, Blue Valley and Central Resource Libraries are now open for appointment-only shopping

Store hours at all three locations are Mondays from 9am-4:30pm and Thursdays from Noon-7:30pm. Bookstore pricing has been standardized to make it easier to shop and to perform contact-less sales. Some items like display books, and sets, are specially priced. Continue »

Friends logo

Friends Re-Launch Online Sales

The Friends of Johnson County Library are pleased to announce that their online sales are back in business, as part of their phased re-opening strategy. The thriving division was temporarily shuttered in adherence with COVID-19 transmission control protocols.

The Friends inventory comprises donated books and materials as well as some weeded items from the Library. They use a multi-listing service that immediately posts their items on 5 top-performing internet sales platforms including eBay, Amazon and AbeBooks. 

The Friends’ online sales are a success for the nonprofit group that supports Johnson County Library. “We’ll normally gross about $125,000 from online alone, and send books to countries around the world,” says Friends Operations Manager Shanta Dickerson. “We’re eager to get back to work providing high-quality, low-cost reading material to our customers and members.”

Friends Bookstores and donation acceptance will be phased back into service later this year.

The Friends of Johnson County Library are pleased to announce that their online sales are back in business, as part of their phased re-opening strategy. The thriving division was temporarily shuttered in adherence with COVID-19 transmission control protocols.

The Friends inventory comprises donated books and materials as well as some weeded items from the Library. They use a multi-listing service that immediately posts their items on 5 top-performing internet sales platforms including eBay, Amazon and AbeBooks. 

The Friends’... Continue »

Bookmark winners

Bookmark Contest Winners

The Friends of Johnson County Library are pleased to name Tess Boyer,  Margaret Drumm,  Hunter Everett,  Cecilia Grahek,  Adalyn Long,  Vivian Mahaffie,  Hannah Markiewiez,  Ellis Nohe,  Toshani Pippalapalli,  Jillian Reuter,  Derin Serbetcioglu,  Audrey Vietti,  Olivia Wang and  Jessica Ward as Winners in the 2020 Bookmark Design Contest.

When the libraries are open again, the winning bookmarks will be printed and available for distribution to Library users at the 14 library locations.

The annual competition is generously supported by the Friends of Johnson County Library. This year, the contest accepted more than 400 original illustrations in seven age categories from Preschool to Adult. Accepted media are colored pencil; marker; crayon; gouache; tempera; oil; acrylic; finger-paint; chalk; watercolor; pen-and-ink; on paper only. Designs, drawings and images must be made by hand only, and the original art must be submitted.

“They’re so wonderful,” exclaims Friends president Jennifer Curtiss, “and I collect a new set every year. They’re a great way to get creative people of all ages interested in our excellent Library system.”

The Friends of Johnson County Library are pleased to name Tess Boyer,  Margaret Drumm,  Hunter Everett,  Cecilia Grahek,  Adalyn Long,  Vivian Mahaffie,  Hannah Markiewiez,  Ellis Nohe,  Toshani Pippalapalli,  Jillian Reuter,  Derin Serbetcioglu,  Audrey Vietti,  Olivia Wang and  Jessica Ward as Winners in the 2020 Bookmark Design Contest.

When the libraries are open again, the winning bookmarks will be printed and available for distribution to Library users at the 14 library locations.

The annual competition is generously supported by the Friends of Johnson County Library. This year, the contest accepted more than 400 original illustrations in seven age categories from Preschool to Adult. Accepted media are colored pencil... Continue »

Denise Mills (center) along with then- County Librarian Mona Carmack (left),  with First Lady Laura Bush in 2005.

Why I Give: Denise Mills

As I reflect back, the Library has been an ongoing integral part of all stages of my life.

As a young child, my first trip to a library was a bookshelf in our local bank that my own mother and one of her friends started for other mothers to swap books with one another. Those books fed my curiosity of a world that I couldn’t have imagined without stories of adventuresome heroes. As an Iowa farm girl, books and newspapers at our local library kept me up to date on world news when I was living in a relatively isolated area. Oh how we looked forward to these trips into town to explore what was new on these bookshelves!

As a young single mother, the Library gave me a respite – a quiet place from a hectic lifestyle that created hours of self guided entertainment for my children, that was educational, free of charge, and most importantly, quiet and safe. My kids loved exploring the shelves and escaping into great books and children’s magazines – I could not have afforded these books or magazines otherwise.

As an entrepreneur, the meeting rooms at the Library became an office and the librarians were great market researchers. Their vast knowledge of business, based on experience, and the questions from thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs with questions before me, provided me with in-library resources that answered questions that I hadn’t even thought to ask. The result was a multi-million-dollar business venture that made headline news in The Wall Street Journal.

As an aspiring business leader, I attracted the attention of the business community when The Kansas City Star published a front page photo of me with First Lady Laura Bush and then- County Librarian Mona Carmack, when I was asked as a patron to accept an award honoring Johnson County Library as one of our country’s Best Libraries. We had a delightful morning, including brunch, with the First Lady in the State Dining Room where international leaders and celebrities are typically wined and dined. Priceless!

As a business leader today, various community conversations the Library has hosted on climate change, race relations, literacy in our community and root causes of poverty have been insightful. Inviting community leaders to come together to discuss current events in an open forum to educate one another and to share different viewpoints has been eye opening and insightful.

As a curious continuous learner, the Black and Veatch MakerSpace green room and video production center has given me the opportunity to experiment with producing promotional videos and voice-overs. Renting a professional recording studio would have been cost-prohibitive and yet the Library offers it for free and when the early tapings were less than perfect, I didn’t feel like I wasted a lot of money on studio costs. Glass etching is next on my “to-do” list in the MakerSpace. I want to personalize wine glasses for a wedding gift for my niece. I can’t wait to try it.

And, as a grandparent, hearing the squeal of delight from my granddaughter when she learned that she could take Library books home with her still brings a smile to my face. The joy of the Library keeps on giving. So, as you can see, the Library has been an integral resource all throughout my life. And continues to be.

Why do I give? Because I’m so grateful for the many services and resources the Library has provided me and how invaluable it is to our community. The legacy of the Library is one I hope to pass on to other young children exploring places and connecting with characters that books create in their imagination; to other young parents who have great aspirations for their children and want them to have access to books they can’t afford; to other aspiring business owners who will benefit from Johnson County librarians’ experience and vast knowledge of business research; to DIY crafters who want to experiment in the MakerSpace and perhaps discover a newfound hobby; and for grandparents like myself who love to see the joy on our grandchildren’s faces when they learn they get to take the books home with them. That’s why I give! To give back for all that I’ve received.

 

- Denise Mills

As I reflect back, the Library has been an ongoing integral part of all stages of my life.

As a young child, my first trip to a library was a bookshelf in our local bank that my own mother and one of her friends started for other mothers to swap books with one another. Those books fed my curiosity of a world that I couldn’t have imagined without stories of adventuresome heroes. As an Iowa farm girl, books and newspapers at our local library kept me up to date on world news when I was living in a relatively isolated area. Oh how we looked forward to these trips into town to explore what was new on these bookshelves!

As a young single mother, the Library gave me a respite – a quiet place... Continue »

Johnson County Library Foundation annual appeal

A curious mind can change the world

Your support of the Johnson County Library Foundation profoundly impacts our community. The JCL Foundation funds Library resources, books, and educational programs that encourage curiosity, spark imagination and bring dreams to life — all year round.

Your contribution will help secure resources to support the Library’s lifelong learning programs including:

  • 6 by 6 Ready To Read
  • Summer Reading
  • Homework Help
  • elementia Teen Literary Program
  • Black & Veatch MakerSpace
  • Civic Engagement
  • Joan Berkley Writers Fund

You’ll also help grow the Library collection of more than 1 million circulating items. Consider renewing your commitment or make your first gift to the Johnson County Library Foundation today.

Contributions are accepted online. Did you know you can also support the JCL Foundation through your IRA? For more information about our year-end giving opportunities contact Stephanie Stollsteimer  at (913) 826-4720.

Curious minds are waiting for you!

Your support of the Johnson County Library Foundation profoundly impacts our community. The JCL Foundation funds Library resources, books, and educational programs that encourage curiosity, spark imagination and bring dreams to life — all year round. Continue »

Karen Ristau

Meet Friends Board Member Karen Ristau

The following is a conversation with Friends Board Member Karen Ristau

How long have you been a member of the Friends?
I have been a member of the Friends since December 2018.

What inspired you to serve on the Friends Board?
I’ll admit, I was not aware of the Friends organization until my cousin’s wife approached me about an open position on the Board. We talked about how the Friends support Johnson County Library and many of their programs through memberships, bookstores and book sales. As a long-time patron of the Library, I was instantly intrigued by the Friends organization and thought serving on the Board would be a great opportunity for me to give back to an organization near and dear to my heart.

You’re a Library volunteer, too, right? Tell us a little about that experience . . .
Yes, I volunteered for my first book sale in March and loved it! It was amazing to see all the customers perusing the huge selection of books, movies, CDs and albums and finding items that were new and exciting for them. I was happy to assist the patrons, answer questions, restock the selections, and help
make the book sale a success. I’m looking forward to many more volunteer opportunities in the future!

Your elevator speech: why should I join the Friends?
Johnson County Library offers programs and services to the young, the old, and everyone in between. These programs help develop, support and maintain the love of reading and learning.

The ongoing support of the Friends organization is essential to help keep many of programs in place. Examples of programs supported by the Friends are the 6 by 6, Ready to Read early literacy program, the Black & Veatch MakerSpace where youth can explore 3D printing, vinyl cutting, laser cutting and many other topics, and the Incarcerated Services program that provides Library services to justice-involved patrons.

Join the Friends to support the young, the old and everyone in between who enjoy and benefit from the programs and services of Johnson County Library.

What are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading It’s Always the Husband, a thriller by Michele Campbell, an author who is new to me. I am always on the lookout for new authors to read and this one does not disappoint.

The following is a conversation with Friends Board Member Karen Ristau

How long have you been a member of the Friends?
I have been a member of the Friends since December 2018.

What inspired you to serve on the Friends Board?
I’ll admit, I was not aware of the Friends organization until my cousin’s wife approached me about an open position on the Board. We talked about how the Friends support Johnson County Library and many of their programs through memberships, bookstores and book sales. As a long-time patron of the Library, I was instantly intrigued by the Friends organization and thought serving on the Board would be a great opportunity... Continue »

MakerSpace materials

Making Friends

You’ll be pleased to learn that the Friends Bookstore at Central Resource Library carries a wide array of materials for use in the Library's MakerSpace!

When the Central branch was renovated in 2015, the MakerSpace was moved and enlarged six-fold. Visitors to the Space have found more equipment and helpful advisors to help them learn software and hardware. Sessions such as MakerSpace Beginners Nights have been a super introduction to all the Space has to offer. 

The machines in the MakerSpace, such as the CNC Router and the Epilog Helix and Zing laser engravers, tend to perform best with specified types of materials. Maker technicians and Friends saw opportunity to provide service to Makers needing supplies and to help the Friends generate some revenue.

Welcome to the Maker Materials Market!

You’ll find 12 x 24 x 1/8" acrylic sheet in six colors and birch plywood sheet, same size. Friends Bookstores Manager Becky Epperson reports that sales are brisk. Coming soon: soldering supplies and Maker kits!

Of course the Bookstores also sell gently used books and AV materials. Net profits of Friends sales benefit Library programs such as 6 by 6, Ready to Read.

You’ll be pleased to learn that the Friends Bookstore at Central Resource Library carries a wide array of materials for use in the Library's MakerSpace!

When the Central branch was renovated in 2015, the MakerSpace was moved and enlarged six-fold. Visitors to the Space have found more equipment and helpful advisors to help them learn software and hardware. Sessions such as ... Continue »

Lackman volunteers

Lackman Library Volunteers

This #ThrowbackThursday we're honoring our Lackman Library Volunteers!

My name is Linda, and I'm happy to have had the opportunity to visit with some of the Lackman Library volunteers during an appreciation lunch for them. Some of them will move to other volunteer posts within the Johnson County Library, and others are moving on to new opportunities as services move from Lackman Library to Lenexa City Center Library. From a woman with 34 years of library service to one who had just started, they all contributed in their own special way to the foundation and success of the Lackman Library.

Jo Ouseley, the 34-year volunteer, started at the main branch of the Johnson County Library then transferred to Lackman shortly after it opened in 1997. She and the Lackman branch have commendably served the residents of Lenexa and Johnson County ever since. Jo was the recipient of the Shankel Award for Outstanding Volunteers in 2009. I listened as she and other volunteers reminisced about sorting and re-shelving books in the children’s department. They concluded it was not the best time to wear new slacks, and as Jo pointed out, the amount of time they spent on their knees provided ample opportunity to catch up on their prayers.

Another volunteer, Donna Pray, shares special memories of the Lackman Library with her grandson. She was busy with her volunteer duties one day when a certain little boy caught her attention. She quickly recognized her three-year-old grandson who came in with his babysitter to attend story-time, a popular event for toddlers. He was surprised to see her and asked why she was at the library and not at her house where he had always seen her. For years he enjoyed visiting the library, not only for story-time, but for a smile and hug from Grandma as well.

Volunteering is not just something you do if you have time, it makes your time more valuable. Take Kathy Peters and Judy Carney, for instance. The time they spent volunteering became priceless when they found their best friend in each other. Kathy, a 10-year volunteer, liked to shelve books and Judy, a 9-year volunteer, liked to work on DVDs and audiobooks. They were so fast and efficient with their individual tasks that they always found time afterwards to talk… and a friendship was born! Kathy loves to read, so it’s understandable that her favorite day of the week was the day she spent at the library. Being a well-rounded reader made her a good resource for those looking for recommendations, and patrons grew to count on her as a resource for their next great read.

Janet Hall, a volunteer since November 2013, found an undeniable satisfaction in the hours she put in at the Library, but it’s the staff and other volunteers for which she is truly grateful. Their care and concern after her son passed away a few years ago will never be forgotten. She treasures their kindness and holds dear the wind chimes that were given to her in his memory.

Other volunteers I met that day were Lou Ann Carpenter, Lorraine Gerard, Fran Jaderborg, and Nikki Hollembeak.  They all confirmed what I easily sensed: the bond and camaraderie they shared was invaluable. It was also clear that a mutual appreciation existed between the Library staff and the volunteers. Each group seemed extremely grateful for the other. Like the pages of a book, they were all bound together. The pages have turned, and the book has been closed - but what a story it was!

Photo from left:  Nikki Hollembeak, Kathy Peters, LouAnn Carpenter, Lorraine Gerard, Fran Jaderborg, Janet Hall, Donna Pray, Judy Carney, Jo Ouseley, Volunteer Coordinator Rita Glick

Lackman volunteers not pictured: JoAnn Hadel, Elaine Scherder, Glenda Carden, Bill Hartel, Pat Veno, Deanne Belshe, Sandy Allshouse and Jan Hendrix.

 

 

This #ThrowbackThursday we're honoring our Lackman Library Volunteers!

My name is Linda, and I'm happy to have had the opportunity to visit with some of the Lackman Library volunteers during an appreciation lunch for them. Some of them will move to other volunteer posts within the Johnson County Library, and others are moving on to new opportunities as services move from Lackman Library to Lenexa City Center Library. From a woman with 34 years of library service to one who had just started, they all contributed in their own special way to the foundation and success of the Lackman Library.

Jo Ouseley, the 34-year volunteer, started at the main branch of the Johnson County Library then transferred to Lackman shortly after it... Continue »

Jodie Dietz

A Conversation with Jodie Dietz

How long have you been a member of the Friends?
I have been a member of the Friends for a few years. I was looking for a good gift for a friend who really loves the books so I bought her a family membership and decided that I would also purchase a membership as a gift for myself.

You're a Library volunteer, too, right? Tell us a little about that experience . . .
I believe the public libraries are so important to our community. When my kids were little, we loved the story times and summer programs. When my kids got a little too old for the storytimes, they began volunteering with the youth program. I decided they should not have all of the fun so I began volunteering at the library too! 

Your elevator speech: why should I join the Friends?
You should join the Friends because it supports our community. Everyone is welcome at the library! There are not a lot of other entities in our community that serve the population from the youngest to those with more life experiences.

What are you reading/listening to – or watching – right now?
I love to read mysteries and memoirs. My current read is Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy.

- Friends of the Library Board Member, Jodie Dietz

How long have you been a member of the Friends?
I have been a member of the Friends for a few years. I was looking for a good gift for a friend who really loves the books so I bought her a family membership and decided that I would also purchase a membership as a gift for myself.

You're a Library volunteer, too, right? Tell us a little about that experience . . .
I believe the public libraries are so important to our community. When my kids were little, we loved the story times and summer programs. When my kids got a little too old for the storytimes, they began volunteering with the youth program. I... Continue »

Caroline McKnight

Why I Give: Caroline McKnight

Growing up in Port Arthur, TX, I remember my mom had a friend who was a school librarian. She was my first exposure to that career path. Over time, my interest in pursuing that same path blossomed and she became my mentor. Being a librarian always resonated with me through school. I always had a strong curiosity and reflecting now, I am a lifetime learner.

After graduating college, my first job was… a school librarian! I decided to embark on my library career in the city at the origin of the Kansas City Southern Railway line in Kansas City, as Port Arthur was the terminus. My first job was with the Shawnee Mission School District. Being a school librarian brought me much joy, as I loved fostering literacy, learning and education with the students.

Flash forward, after taking time off to raise my family, I was appointed to the Johnson County Library Board and was back in the library world. I also subsequently worked with the Johnson County Library Foundation Board for many years, focusing on fundraising to support the Library’s collection and programming.

Now, in retirement, one of my greatest pleasures is reading to my granddaughters. I also volunteer in a school library and my career has come full circle.

Why do I give?
I believe the future of the library is to continue to foster communication. Access to information is vital and facts are the drivers. Some institution has to be in charge of the facts, and I believe that institution is the library.

I feel strongly that our library is important, not just to me, but to all who use it, and even those who don’t. Even if unused, a library stands for something important. I greatly want this institution to endure and prosper.

I continue to volunteer with the Library Foundation, specifically with the “1952 Society: Writing the Library’s Next Chapter”, the planned giving initiative kicking-off this year. Ensuring the future of our Library through planned gifts is vital to me. I would not feel comfortable asking others to make this commitment without first making it myself and have chosen to make a gift to the Library in my will.

To be good stewards of this place we love, we must consider the future. Yes, legacy gifts to the library have always been an option. But today we are making a promise to ourselves, and to our library, that we will work to build the 1952 Society. We will identify and encourage those who care as much as we do to leave a legacy. The name we chose, The 1952 Society, references the past. But, without a doubt, it will be those who look to the future that will insure our library brings value to other lives well beyond our own.

  • Caroline McKnight

Growing up in Port Arthur, TX, I remember my mom had a friend who was a school librarian. She was my first exposure to that career path. Over time, my interest in pursuing that same path blossomed and she became my mentor. Being a librarian always resonated with me through school. I always had a strong curiosity and reflecting now, I am a lifetime learner.

After graduating college, my first job was… a school librarian! I decided to embark on my library career in the city at the origin of the Kansas City Southern Railway line in Kansas City, as Port Arthur was the terminus. My first job was with the Shawnee Mission School District. Being a school librarian brought me much joy, as I loved fostering literacy, learning and education... Continue »

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