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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!

Oceans of Possibilities Youth Poetry Contest June 6 – July 6, All Day

Calling all youth writers: submit your original short story in verse based on the theme “Oceans of Possibilities.” Winning writers will receive a prize and their work will appear on the Library’s website for all to enjoy. Open to writers entering 3rd through 12th grade this fall. One submission per writer, please. 

Oceans of Possibilities Youth Sticker Contest June 6- July 7, All Day

Submit your entries for our Youth Sticker Design Contest, open to youth 12 and under. This summer we are looking for sticker illustrations with an “Oceans of Possibilities” theme. Winners will be selected by Library staff in multiple age categories, and the top designs will receive a 500-sticker print run for distribution at local branches. Winners will receive 20 copies of their own stickers to share with friends. 

Citizen Civics Tuesday, June 7, 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Pass the U.S. naturalization interview and citizenship exam with help from the Library. Our free online classes provide two levels of coursework focused on the English language, American history, and civics knowledge. Assistance with the citizenship application (N400) is also available. Participants review citizenship study materials, practice listening and responding to citizenship interview questions, access online practice tests and receive guidance throughout the application process. Register for first class date only.

Personal Branding and Networking Tuesday, June 7, 11 a.m. – noon

How do you present yourself? Join an ICG Professional Certified Coach as she talks about personal development, networking strategies, and ways to best highlight the qualities that make you an excellent employee and coworker.

Juneteenth Walk and ReadJune 11, All Day

Johnson County Library will be posting a Walk and Read in honor of Juneteenth at the Johnson County Museum. The stories posted for this special event will be “Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free” by Alice Faye Duncan and “Change Sings” by Amanda Gorman.

And much more happening this week »

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We Love Patron Feedback!

We love to learn about our patrons! The questions in the survey below are designed to get you thinking about why you love Johnson County Library. Fill out as much as you like, and we may feature your profile in an upcoming newsletter, blog post or on our social media! By completing this survey, you agree to have your responses shared online »

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Auto Repair and Maintenance Tools

Find step-by-step instructions, maintenance schedules, wiring diagrams, troubleshooting guides and more in these automotive repair resources:

Chilton Library covers most common cars, trucks, vans and SUVs of the past 30 years. In addition to repair instructions and diagrams, it also includes a video library and short preparation quizzes for the Auto Service Excellence (ASE) Technician Certification Tests.

Auto Repair Source provides information direct from vehicle manufacturers on repair and maintenance for thousands of models. It also includes parts pricing and labor time estimates.

Grab your Library card and PIN and input your year, make and model to get started on repairing and maintaining your own vehicle.

Scheduled:

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!

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

It's inevitable that we will run into conflict in the workplace - how can you best handle it? This workshop is offered by the Women’s Employment Network – an organization that provides support for realizing your career, financial and personal goals.

Dive into Summer Reading Storytime  Saturday, June 4, 9:30 – 10 a.m.

Gather the family for a special storytime to start off Summer Reading. Hearing stories is a great way to spend time with your kids and help them foster a love of reading. Stories, songs, fingerplays and movement activities foster pre-reading skills. This storytime will be held using the meeting software Zoom.

Walk and Read at Sar-Ko-Par Park – May 28 – June 5, All day 

Johnson County Library and Lenexa Parks and Recreation invite you to visit the Walk and Read at Sar-Ko-Par Park. Two stories, “Hello Ocean” by Pam Muñoz Ryan and “Just Be Jelly” by Maddie Frost, will be posted.

And much more happening this week »

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The Kansas City Institute of Chinese Language and Culture

The Kansas City Institute of Chinese Language & Culture was founded in 1998 by local Chinese immigrants who sought to ensure their children felt a connection to their Chinese heritage through language and cultural practices. Read more from JoCoHistory about this local institution »

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Library Partnership Sustains Creative Writing Class at Therapeutic Center

For years, Johnson County Library has had a positive partnership with the county’s Department of Corrections, providing Library services at the Adult Residential Center and to those receiving substance abuse treatment at the Therapeutic Community Center.

This spring, the partnership got another big boost.

Johnson County Library provided the funds to offer an eight-week Creative Writing class for Therapeutic Center clients. It was offered as part of NCircle’s College of Trades, which provides essential skills for post-incarceration.

The Creative Writing teacher, students and Library representatives agree it was a great program, setting the stage for more classes later this year.

“We saw this as a wonderful opportunity,” said Incarcerated Services Librarian Melody Kinnamon, who leads the Library’s efforts on behalf of incarcerated patrons.

Research shows creative writing can be enormously helpful to people in recovery. Kinnamon also saw the class as a logical outgrowth of the Library’s extensive local writers programming, led by Reference Librarian Helen Hokanson. Through Hokanson’s contacts, Kinnamon reached out to Lawrence-based author Ronda Miller (pictured), who is experienced in both poetry and prose, to teach the class.

“I knew the moment we met that it was going to be a great fit,” Kinnamon said of her interview with Miller. “I could just tell she had a heart for the justice-involved clients and that she would meet them wherever they were in their writing journey.”

Miller says teaching the class, for 90 minutes every Monday for eight weeks this spring, was a wonderful experience. She was awed by the students’ eloquence.

“It’s amazing what they shared,” Miller observed. “I knew going in that I would learn as much from them, if not more, than they would learn for me. That was the case.”

Several students said it was incredibly beneficial.

Student Anita Hoskins had never seen herself as a writer but discovered an ability to write poems about nature and happiness.

“Some really good things have happened,” Hoskins said. “I felt I really could find some creativity in me that I didn’t know I had before.”

Hoskins said Miller’s encouragement and support helped her “pull out all kinds of stuff in my soul, in my memory.”

After the Therapeutic Center graduation in May, Hoskins has aspirations to publish a book and perhaps become a counselor.

Josh Patterson, another student, already knew he loved to write poetry and letters but said Miller helped him hone his skills.

“After taking part in the class, I discovered I have a real passion for prose and it’s been hugely helpful for me and therapeutic in my treatment and my recovery,” he said. Miller made wise suggestions to help him polish his writing, and he took her advice to heart.

Miller, author of five books and past president of the Kansas Authors Club, encouraged the students to submit their work to Kansas writing competitions. Patterson was excited about that opportunity.

The class was inspiring for Miller, who experienced great trauma as a child and is a Life Coach to people who have lost someone to homicide.

“I talked to them about why we tell our stories, the importance of Voice,” said Miller. The class shared laughter, tears and descriptions of dreams. Miller watched as the students blossomed with newfound confidence, producing vivid, evocative writing.

Kinnamon said she heard great feedback and is pleased the Library will fund additional classes this summer and fall. She hopes the graduates will find ongoing connections to the local writers’ community though the Library.

“Ronda has made them feel comfortable as writers, and it’s our hope they will join in the Library’s writing community,” Kinnamon said. “That would help bring everything full circle.”