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Coming Up in the MakerSpace

Our Maker-in-Residence, Laura Spencer, hosts StoryCorps Listening, meet your new tiny friend: micro:bit, bring your tlc-needed clothing to our Clothing Repair workshop, or if you're new to Making, join our Beginner's Night! See what's happening in the Black & Veatch MakerSpace »


Meet Your New Maker-in-Residence: Laura Spencer

Laura Spencer is an arts reporter at KCUR 89.3, the NPR affiliate in Kansas City. She learned the art of editing reel-to-reel tape as an intern and graduate assistant with the nationally syndicated literary program, New Letters on the Air. Since 2001, she’s focused her efforts on writing and producing feature stories as KCUR’s Arts Reporter. She’s also covered a wide range of topics from science to sports to business.

In 2011, Laura was one of 21 journalists selected for USC Annenberg’s seventh National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater. She’s received awards from the Associated Press, Kansas City Art Institute (Excellence in Visual Art and Education,) Kansas City Association of Black Journalists, Missouri Broadcasters Association, Radio-Television News Directors Association (regional Edward R. Murrow Award) and Society for Professional Journalists.

Her recent national stories include following a traveling musician into the green room at Knuckleheads for NPR’s Morning Edition, and tracking down stolen Andy Warhols for APM’s Marketplace. During her Black & Veatch MakerSpace residency, Laura hopes to support the work of other audio enthusiasts.

Join Laura for some special programming this Spring in the MakerSpace »


Welcome Brandy Butcher!

Johnson County Library warmly welcomes Brandy Butcher as a new member of the Library’s Board of Directors. Members of our Board of Directors are appointed by the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners for a four-year term, and may be reappointed for an additional four-year term. Ms. Butcher has been appointed by Commissioner Jason Osterhaus.

From Ms Butcher’s letter of application to the Board:

I’ve had a lifelong love for my local libraries, and my children and I frequent the Johnson County library system often. I have volunteered in my children’s school library for the past 7 years. I believe a strong library system provides immense value to a community and I would love to be part of keeping our library system great and watching it continue to evolve meeting the needs of our community.

The Library Board meets the second Thursday of every month at 4 p.m. All meetings are open to the public. See the schedule here


Breaking Ground at Lenexa City Center Library

At 8:15am on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, County officials gathered to break bread – er, donuts – and ground at the site of the forthcoming Lenexa City Center Library. Construction of the branch is at preliminary stages: permits are being pulled, equipment and trailers are being moved into place. It might not look like much, or, well, anything now, but Lenexa’s 40,000 square feet on two stories will double the size of and replace our current Lackman Library. Opening is expected mid-to-late 2019.


Throwback Thursday

Happy National Opposite Day! We searched the JoCoHistory for something worthy of this "holiday" and came up with a Johnson County masquerade party! This was the Olathe Club of the Deaf posing in costume for the "opposite sex" masquerade party of February 24, 1951.

See more local history at or follow our hashtag on Twitter.



New Friends Board on Board

The newly-seated board of directors of the Friends of Johnson County Library lost no time in getting oriented and getting down to work. 

Members spent the morning of January 6 together catching up on Friends history and reviewing accomplishments from the past few years. The first full board meeting of the year, on the following Tuesday, January 9, heard lively discussions about committee assignments and strategic direction for the Friends in 2018 and beyond. 

The Board also toured the MakerSpace at Central Library. The Friends Bookstore at Central now sells a few supplies useful in the MakerSpace. Business is, so far, good!

The Board has plans to travel its monthly meetings around the system to get to know Libraries and programs better. They'll visit the Friends Sorting Center in February and the Antioch bookstore in April. The executive committee, under the able direction of President Julie Steiner, plans to work with the Library and Foundation to flesh out strategic planning during the course of this year.

If you're interested in joining the Friends, we'd love to have you! Become a Friend today »


Welcome Stephanie Stollsteimer!

We warmly welcome Stephanie Stollsteimer as our new Executive Director for the Johnson County Library Foundation. Stephanie joined the team on Monday, January 8, 2018.

Stollsteimer has a Master of Business Administration degree and her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She has worked for a range of not-for-profits and has a passion for libraries and public service. She previously aided United Soccer Coaches as Marketing and Membership coordinator. She has also worked with the Kansas City Ballet, the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City, and as Executive Director of the SkillBuilders Fund.

We’re grateful for the professionalism and experience that Ms. Stollsteimer brings to the Foundation mission of helping the Library build its collection and resources, offer programs for patrons of all ages, and better serve the needs of our community.