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Secretary Cardona and FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel Visit Central Resource Library

You may have seen in the news that we had a very special guest at Central Resource Library this past week!

Secretary Miguel Cardona and FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel stopped at the Library as part of the Secretary's "Back to School Bus Tour 2023: Raise the Bar" campaign in partnership with local non-profit KC Digital Drive. This week-long, multi-state road trip showcased the many ways schools, families, and communities are doubling down on accelerating student learning and raising the bar in education. The Tour featured stops in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Secretary Cardona participated in a roundtable with local educators, discussed the digital divide and emphasized the importance of WiFi connections for all families in Johnson County.

“It is an honor to welcome Secretary Cardona, Chairwoman Rosenworcel, and our partners at KC Digital Drive to our building,” said Tricia Suellentrop, County Librarian. “Providing access to ideas, information, experiences and materials to all in our community is central to Johnson County Library’s mission, so we are thrilled to provide space to discuss this important initiative.”

Our favorite part was the impromptu Storytime the Secretary held at the end of his visit! The former elementary school teacher and administrator read 100 Dogs: Playful Pups to Count to a group of children who eagerly shared their opinions on different breeds and stories of their own pets before escorting Dr. Cardona back to the bus.


Meet the 2023 Writers Conference Presenter: L.S. Moore

What do The Godfather Part III, Supernatural fanfiction, and cemeteries have in common? Our faculty presenter L.S. Moore! 

L.S. Moore didn’t grow up planning to become a writer. She studied theater (and was an extra in Coppola’s The Godfather Part III.) While traveling around the world and working different jobs, she developed a deep appreciation for cemeteries and their rich histories. She also developed a love of the TV show Supernatural and wrote fanfiction inspired by the show that caught the attention of hundreds of followers—and her story even won an award! She hasn’t stopped writing ever since.

Moore is a longtime member of the Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators as well as a member of the Heartland Writers for Kids and Teens group. Most recently she published the first novel in a YA trilogy, BridgeKeeper. Though her writing tends to include paranormal elements, the main sources of inspiration for her writing are the adventures of her two sons. 

L.S. Moore will be presenting four different sessions at our Writers Conference this year! On Friday, she will facilitate two workshops: “Writing Monsters” and “From Fanfiction to Fantastic Originals.” On Saturday, she will provide a presentation called “Cemeteries: They’re Not Just for Ghost Stories,” as well as a workshop on the fine art of navigating critique groups.

You can catch up with L.S. Moore on her website here.

You can register for the conference here. Registration isn’t required but is appreciated, and your RSVP includes both days of the conference, Nov. 3 and 4. Sessions are available on a first-come first-serve basis. We will also be hosting a Writers Conference Kickoff on Thursday, Nov. 2.

Inspired by this year’s conference book, By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review, we asked L.S. a few questions to get to know her better: 

  1. What's in your TBR pile? 

The Shuddering City by Sharon Shinn

A Lesson in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Myrtle, Means, and Opportunity by Elizabeth C. Bunce

  1. What are you reading right now? 

96 Miles by J. L. Esplin

Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

  1. Do you have a favorite book you love to recommend?

I can never recommend just one.

  1. Do you have a favorite bookstore? 

All the brave indies. Each one has it's own personality.

5. Answer the question you wish we had asked.

Page After Page by Heather Sellers, the book that gave me the courage to "come out" as a writer.

1911 Kansas School for the Deaf football team

1911 Kansas School for the Deaf football team

KSD Archived in Images

It’s another grand Throwback Thursday where we encourage you to time travel through Johnson County's history. JoCoHistory is a collaborative presentation of the history from the Johnson County Museum, Johnson County Library and many JoCoHistory partners. Explore historical photographs and documents about the people, places and organizations of Johnson County, Kansas, from the 19th century to the present.

Collection spotlight: Kansas School for the Deaf

About this collection: Over 4,000 images documenting the history and culture of the Kansas School for the Deaf. The photographs depict student life, faculty and staff gatherings, school buildings, athletic teams and auxiliary deaf activities in the region.


Meet the 2023 Writers Conference Presenter: Mary-Lane Kamberg

Mary-Lane Kamberg has been a published author for most of her life: she was published at the young age of seven! She used a toy printing press to create a neighborhood newspaper and sold it for just two cents each. She eventually earned her first dollar for her poetry just two years later at the age of nine. 

Since then, Mary-Lane has published over 30 books for young readers in middle school and high school. Additionally, she has published hundreds of articles and essays, poetry, and some short fiction. Her books include  The I Love to Write Book: Ideas and Tips for Young Writers, The I Don't Know How to Cook Bookand Homegrown in the OzarksShe has a BS in Journalism from the University of Kansas and is currently the co-leader of the Kansas City Writers Group. She lives in Olathe, KS.

We are so pleased that Mary-Lane will be teaching two lectures at this year’s Writers Conference. One lecture will be on humor writing, and the other lecture will address how to write a great opener (regardless of genre.) You can register for the conference here. Registration isn’t required but is appreciated, and your RSVP includes both days of the conference, Nov. 3 and 4. Sessions are available on a first-come first-serve basis. We will also be hosting a Writers Conference Kickoff on Thursday, Nov. 2.

Inspired by this year’s conference book, By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review, we asked Mary-Lane a few questions to get to know her better:

 1. What's in your TBR pile? 

Bridge of Clay by Marcus Zusak

2. What are you reading right now? 

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

3. Do you have a favorite book you love to recommend? 

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Blue Highways by William Least-Heat Moon



No Wait Wednesday

Want a good book to read at the library but don't want to be 347th in line? Hello and welcome to #NoWaitWednesday, where we shine the spotlight on a title on our New Release shelves that's ready and waiting for you to check it out!

Cozy mysteries are a genre that every librarian needs to know about, as they are ideal to recommend to patrons at any age level, from teen readers who are just starting to explore the adult section to older readers who wish to avoid harsh language or explicit violence in their reading. Cozy mysteries also have a deep bench, as the genre is rich with dozens of critically-acclaimed and popular authors to choose from, ranging from classics like Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh to modern authors like Mia Manansala and Richard Osman. Finally, cozy mysteries are popular with patrons because they're, well, cozy, leaving readers with a satisfying feeling from reading a book that's filled with wit, humor, and warmth - even if there's always a pesky murder to solve.

(Oh, and some involve recipes, too!)

Speaking of recipes, patrons are going to enjoy this week's #NoWaitWednesday selection: Murder is a Piece of Cake by Valerie Burns. The main character in this series is Maddy Montgomery, a former social media influencer who moves from a big city to small town Michigan after she inherits her aunt's bakery - as well as Baby, her 250-pound mastiff full of attitude. While Maddy settles in to the community and slowly grows her business in fits and starts - helped out by her late aunt's friends, the appropriately-named Baker Street Irregulars - she soon realizes her small shop has competition in the form of a new bakery, owned by someone with connections to Maddy. But the body of the rival bakery owner is quickly found with a knife in his back - and it's one of Maddy's. She must juggle several plot points, including investigating the murder to clear her own name, interviewing locals to find out what everyone knows, keeping her bakery open during the media frenzy, and sparking a possible romance with a local veterinarian.

Burns' novel is full of humor, wit, and a dash of romance along with all the sleuthing. She effectively paints the atmosphere of New Bison, the charming, Michigan town that Maddy now calls home, and fills it with a likeable cast of quirky, nosy characters that readers will love to spend time with. The mystery is an easy one to follow along with, and Baby the mastiff absolutely steals the show.

Small-town charm? Check. Eccentric, engaging characters? Check. A cozy mystery filled with recipes that patrons will love? Check! Place your holds and check out Valerie Burns' other novels if you enjoy this one. And, if you need more cozy mystery recommendations, be sure to ask your local librarian, who will be more than happy to fill your holds lists with great reads, especially as fall is approaching.

Thanks for reading, and we'll see you next week!


This Week at the Library

Library OnDemand – Available anytime you like.

Spooky Story Youth Contest – Sept. 5 – Oct. 5, online, All Day 

Submissions accepted September 5-October 5 Dark nights. Abandoned cabins. Eerie noises. What restless spirits will you bring to life in your spooky story? All youth writers in grades 3-12 are welcome to submit a spooky story. Winning writers will receive a prize and their stories will be featured on the Library’s website for all to enjoy. Winners will also have the opportunity to read their stories aloud at our “Night of Fright” on October 30th. Guidelines: Open to writers in grades 3-12 this fall and one submission per writer, please.

Two Chapters Book Club – Tuesday, Sept. 5, Oct. 3, Nov.7, Dec. 5, 4 - 5 p.m.

Join us at Central Resource Library to hear a librarian read aloud the first two chapters of a favorite book and then decide to check out a copy if you like it. If the chapters are short, we might sample more. Snacks and activities related to the book will be provided. Ages 7-11.

Teen Book Club – Sept. – Dec., Sept. – Dec, Different dates and times at three locations.

We are proud to present the Library’s first ever Teen Book Club at three locations! Let’s get together to share our love of reading and chat about each month’s books. No registration necessary. Come join us at Antioch, Blue Valley and Lenexa—or mix and match! Bring your own book or check out the month’s book ahead of time from the Library—each title is offered in the catalog as a physical copy and eBook.

Walk and Read at Sar-Ko-Par Park – Saturday, Sept. 9 – Sept. 17, All Day

Family and friends of all ages are invited to join Johnson County Library for a walk in at Sar-Ko-Par Park! Walk and Read creates a reading opportunity for all, in various parks throughout Johnson County. Those who participate will read two stories posted around a path, one going each direction. When you finish one story, you can turn around to the other side of the sign and begin the next story, which will lead you back around the path. The stories are Books Aren’t For Eating by Carlie Sorosiak and Once Upon a Goat by Dan Richards.

 The Walk and Read program encourages physical activity, literacy and family time. The paths are stroller and wheelchair friendly, allowing for all to join in the fun! Dates are subject to adjustment due to inclement weather conditions. 

And much more happening this week … 


Meet the 2023 Writers Conference Presenter: Meet Joaquín Zihuatanejo

We are thrilled to announce that Dallas Poet Laureate and World Poetry Slam champion Joaquín Zihuatanejo will be joining us for the 2023 Writers Conference! Joaquín will be our keynote speaker at the Conference Kickoff event on November 2nd, he will lead poetry and revision workshops during both days of the Conference November 3rd and 4th, and he will also host the Johnson County Library Writers Conference Poetry Slam Championship to close out a weekend of writing fun.

Joaquín was born and raised in East Dallas and his work is reflective of the Chicano culture he grew up with, particularly life in the barrio. He’s been called, “one of the most dynamic and passionate performance poets in the country, melding equal parts comedy, poetry, and dramatic monologue into a crowd-pleasing display of verbal fireworks… always thrilling, Joaquín’s hilariously manic presentation is full of compassion and nuance, never sacrificing substance for style.” 

Not only is he a National Poetry Slam Finalist, he also holds several other impressive titles: a Grand Slam Spoken Word Champion, HBO Def Poet, world-renowned teacher, performer, poet, and husband to his beloved wife, Aída.

We asked Joaquín a few questions to get to know him better:

1. What's in your TBR pile? 

The Misfit's Manifesto by Lidia Yuknavitch 

2. What are you reading right now? 

The Seven Good Years by Edgar Keret 

3. Do you have a favorite book you love to recommend? 

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon 

4. Do you have a favorite bookstore? 

Deep Vellum Books followed closely by the original Half Price Books both in Dallas, Texas.

5. Answer the question you wish we had asked.

First book that I read that looked and sounded like me and my familia: Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

We look forward to seeing you Nov. 2-4 to write, network, and talk books with us! You can register to attend the Nov. 2 Kickoff with Joaquín here with  and you can register for both days of the Writers Conference here. For the Conference, your RSVP is for both days and sessions will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. We look forward to seeing you there!