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Milking Throwback Thursday

Got milk? Like to judge things? Hop in a time machine and join 1938's Shawnee Mission Rural High School Milk Judging Team!

We like to occasionally give a nod to the odd.

For even more local history visit or follow our hashtag on Twitter.


Now at Corinth: Kwanza Humphrey

Monday, January 7 to Sunday, April 21, 2019

Kwanza Humphrey has been painting for over 25 years. A lifelong resident of Kansas City, Humphrey calls his artistic process a “human centered design approach.” Through his portraits, Humphrey scratches below the surface to show the essence and emotion of humanity. As he states about his creative process: “Painting is an emotional experience for me, so much so that it’s hard to put into words the way I work. Sometimes I have a conversation with myself and shape a feeling. Other times I just let go and let my subconscious take over where color and brush are the medium I use to communicate.”


Introduce yourself and describe your work and the genre you work in.

I've been painting and making art for as long as I remember. I started drawing very early, around 2-3, and have been painting since about 1996. I'm always trying to learn something new and hone my craft. I paint figure's and portraits mostly in a painterly style to show how I paint rather than just what I paint. 


Talk about the work on view. What would you like people to know about it? 

You will find a collection of drawings and paintings. Drawing is my first love. Each painting starts as a study for me. I use pencil and paper to figure out tone and composition before I commit it to canvas.


What’s the most challenging thing about your creative process?

Time and energy are the most challenging. I have a day job that pay's the bills and its hard to find time after working all day to commit to the studio. Once I'm painting thought, 9 times out of 10 the art gives me energy.


What is about people and the human form that you find so captivating? 

We're all very different, but we have very familiar experiences in our life. Though look different we all experience human emotions and can recognize those feelings in each other. In that way I think we are more alike than different. 


What do you wish to convey when working on a portrait of someone?

I try to capture the essence of that person. I think in general we guard ourselves and where mask's. When I paint people I try to move past that and show some of the emotions we all feel. 


What are your book/music/movie recommendations for checkout from the library? Why?

I would recommend any of the books by Malcolm Gladwell. He offers insightful perspective on the human condition in various aspects that can help you understand the world we live in or at least look at it differently.


Also, could you provide a paragraph or so for an artist statement? 

I have been painting for over 25 years. I grew up here in Kansas City, graduating high school from Lincoln Academy. It was there I was encouraged to pursue art as a profession from Ms Claire Martin-West. I attended Missouri Western State University where I took several painting classes from Jack Hughes. His approach was very hands off unless you were really needing help. I appreciated his approach as it allowed me to develop my own voice. I graduated from there in ‘98 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Commercial Art with an emphasis in painting and illustration. My first exhibition was at the Albrecht Kemper membership show in ’96 where I won best of show for my painting “Blue Funk.” My painting “Ms Flora” won an award in the 35th Annual River market Regional Exhibition, curated by Mr Curlee Ravon Holton, Executive Director, David C. Driskell Center.


Are you ready for some football?


You might just cheer at the top of your lungs when you learn how your Library Card raises your game to a Championship level!

We get it, this is new territory. The Chiefs aren't normally playing this time of year. Perhaps you're confused. You don't know what to do or how to handle it. The Library is here to say, "SNAP OUT OF IT!" This is serious stuff!!! You can win!!!

Your playbook? Food, Friends, Fun!


Two words: Souper Bowl

Cook up some success Kansas City-style with Mike Mills recipes, secrets, tall tales and outright lies: Peace, Love and Barbecue.

Extra point: The New England Soup Factory Cookbook by Majorie Druker. More than 100 of the best soup recipes Boston has to offer accompanied by fun stories and beautiful full-color photography.


As the late great Dionne Warwick sang: "In good times and bad times, I'll be on your side forever more. That's what friends are for."

Field goal: Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan. Four people meet at a Massachusetts college and become strong friends. Through ups and downs, they all reunite years after graduation, surviving changing relationships, family, and circumstances. Filled with warmth, wit and humor.

Two-point conversion: My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems. When Gerald the Elephant (Tom Brady) is sad, Piggie (Pattrick Mahommes) is determined cheer him up ... 


Touchdown: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. Simply the greatest book ever written.



Spring Storytimes

Our new storytime schedule is here!

Need a morning storytime, or one after work? Got an infant, a preschooler or a toddler? Whatever your situation, we've got a storytime for you »


Local Music Monday Spotlight

It is a pleasure to share an exclusive interview with celebrated Kansas City jazz trombonist, composer, arranger and educator Brian Scarborough. In addition to leading his own group, Scarborough is member of several noteworthy jazz ensembles, including The People's Liberation Big Band of Greater Kansas City, the Boulevard Big Band, and the Brandon Draper Group.


Color Your Year!

Have you heard? Living Coral is the 2019 Pantone Color of the Year!

The folks at Pantone say Living Coral is "vibrant, yet mellow" and it "embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment."

So how can your Library Card bring more color to your life? 

Art. Did you know there are a number of prints of paintings you can check out from the Central Resource Library? Find all of them that have used Living Coral. You'll be the envy of all your friends.

Films. IndieFlix brings over 7,000 high-quality shorts, features, documentaries, classic TV shows and Web series from 85 countries. Make it a game—watch every single one and count the number of times you see the color of the year!

Fashion. Learn Fashion Design 101 online through Universal Class. We're almost certain they will approve of using Living Coral for everything from your hat, to your hoodie, to your high waisted pants, to your hiking boots!

Graphic design. An all Living Coral website? We like the way you think! Our eLearning resources are at no cost to you! Let in-depth videos and online classes be your gateway to "Coralizing" the world (is that a word?)

Home improvement. Ready for a change? Make the leap. Go for it. Do it! We've got the right eMagazine for you like The Family Handyman. Living Coral drapes, Living Coral wall paint, Living Coral sofa, Living Coral EVERYTHING! 

Travel. Have you ever visited a coral reef? It's time! That's some real living coral! We've got shelves and shelves of travel books! We even have your favorite downloadable audiobooks for the journey to your destination.

Or simply use "Coral" as a search term as a way to browse our catalog. Who knows what you'll find. Explore! After all, "Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity." 

Living Coral, the Library salutes you!


Fueling your Throwback Thursday

Do you remember petrol in glass gas pumps? How about "Full Service?" Do you recognize any of these old gas stations? Discover the story behind these images and details at It's your place for Johnson County, Kansas History! Follow our hashtag on Twitter.


Blue Valley's READ poster winner

Each of our locations draws a name from the pool of kids who participated in Summer Reading to win a READ poster photoshoot. Here is Blue Valley's winner!

Blue Valley Library hosts a huge variety of storytimes, as well as lots of other great events, like Table Top Games. Check out all their events here »


Music Monday Local Music Spotlight

Lily B Moonflower has been a performer and songwriter since the age of ten and her music has strong Kansas roots. She recorded and self-produced her upcoming debut album, Moonflower, at a coffee house in her hometown of De Soto while also working as a kitchen cabinet refinisher. Moonflower describes her creative journey as: "I do all my work through my own visions and I follow my own creative compass." We are excited to share an interview with the artist about her music and new album.