Meet the Presenters: Helen Hokanson & Laura Loveless

portraits of Laura Loveless and Helen Hokanson

Laura Loveless | Helen Hokanson

Have you ever wanted to host a book signing at your favorite or hometown library? Do you want to teach about an aspect of writing that you love, but you have no idea where to start? Or have you ever just really wanted to see your book on library shelves, but you’re not sure how to make that happen?

One of the things you’ll learn if you start asking these questions is that every library is different, and each has its own unique way of celebrating local authors. And here in the Kansas City metro area, it can be especially confusing, because there are several large library systems and many smaller systems, all of which operate differently.

So...where do you start?

By coming to this panel! We’ll welcome Johnson County Library’s Local Writers Librarian Helen Hokanson and Kansas City Public Library’s Laura Loveless to discuss opportunities for local authors in their respective systems, and to answer your questions about how you might get your foot in the door as an author.

Hokanson is a 25-year employee at Johnson County Library. She found her niche as a Reference Librarian focusing on services to local writers: she helped build programs as simple as open door writing time and more ambitious offerings, like our yearly Writers Conference. If you’ve enjoyed a monthly writing program, our writing blog or our writing contests, you have an idea of what she loves to do.

Hokanson says her favorite thing is connecting writers to services at the library and beyond. Her committee members would add that Helen is passionately curious and a writer in her own right (though she insists she isn’t). She thinks big, champions ideas, and makes space for others.

Loveless has been with Kansas City, Kansas Public Library for 26 years. She has fulfilled several roles while at KCKPL: Teen Librarian, Reader's Services Librarian, Adult Services Supervisor and currently, Branch Manager of the Main Library. Loveless runs book clubs, local author events, book signings, a book podcast and read-alouds for the Main Library. She contributes book reviews and curated lists for Read.Watch.Listen.

Loveless loves books, she loves to talk about books, she loves people who write books, she loves to connect people to great books! The last really great book she read was Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler.

This panel will be moderated by Adam Wathen, associate director for systemwide services. You can find more information and register here.

-- written by Lisa Allen, adult services specialist