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Caregiver Workshop: Intro to Baby Sign Language

Whether it's finding activities to keep them busy or understanding what's going on inside their heads, being a caregiver of young children can be challenging. Each month's caregiver workshop explores a different topic to support and enrich relationships between kids age birth to 6 and their caregivers. In March, discover American Sign Language to use with your baby. Presented by Shira Fogel, founder of Tiny Talkers.

Caregiver Workshop: Intro to Baby Sign Language
March. 1, 7-8 p.m.
Register » 

Mrs. Monte Redman and Judy Redman in Prairie Village Volunteer Library.

Mrs. Monte Redman and Judy Redman in Prairie Village Volunteer Library.

Happy Birthday, Corinth Library!

Johnson County Library’s Corinth branch, at 8100 Mission Road, is popular with patrons from Prairie Village and beyond. It opened Feb. 24, 1963, so 2023 will mark its 60th anniversary milestone.

In the 1950s, before the Johnson County Library had funding, volunteer run libraries were spread through the county. In 1953, a branch was opened in the Prairie Village Shopping Center. It was located in the basement of one of the shops.  When funding was available in 1956, the library moved upstairs to a rented space on the Concourse.

In 1961, voters approved a bond issue that allowed for the site purchase and build of a library in Prairie Village. Corinth opened its doors on February 24, 1963. The branch site and that of the adjacent Corinth Shopping Center were already famous in Kansas City history.  The clothier Herbert Woolf built Woolford Farm on 200 acres and raised thoroughbred racing horses. He hosted lavish parties whose guests included Theodore Roosevelt and many other notables.  In 1938 his horse Lawrin won the Kentucky Derby. Lawrin is buried on the top of the hill just west of the library.

In 1967 Corinth expanded on both the north and south sides to reach its current size of 20,475 square feet. In 1988 it had an interior renovation, with the addition of an elevator and east side windows.  

Read the full article on the JoCoHistory blog.


Federal Indian Boarding School

Students at federal Indian boarding schools were stripped of their Indigenous identities and given new ones in the Euro-American fashion – including birthdays, religion, clothing, haircuts, languages, and even names.

New JoCoHistory Blog: Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories

It's another beautiful Throwback Thursday and we encourage you to time travel through the history of Johnson County.

There is a new JoCoHistory Blog story: Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories

"What we call Kansas today has long been contested space. Kansas has been a crossroads of people, lifestyles, and ideas for hundreds of years. The struggle between Native culture, traditions, and society and their Europeanized counterparts played out across the American West, including in Kansas and Johnson County. A new exhibit at the Johnson County Museum highlights this tension by exploring the history of federal, off-reservation Indian boarding schools. Titled Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories, it is a nationally traveling exhibition, on display at the Johnson County Museum for just seven weeks before moving in 20 crates to its next destination."

Please visit the JoCoHistory blog for the full article.


Consumer Questions?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a U.S. government agency dedicated to making sure you are treated fairly by banks, lenders and other financial institutions, can answer questions about:

  • Credit reports
  • Debt collection
  • Mortgages
  • Credit Cards
  • and more ...

They're on your side through life’s financial moments.


eResources for Students

Let's face it, if you're reading this, you're probably not a kiddo! But, you know the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” So, if you have children or you know any school age children, help us spread the word about our bounty of learning materials conveniently located online for easy access! Like what, you ask? How about:

Biography (Gale In Context): Comprehensive biographies on the world’s most influential people with related content from periodicals and multimedia to provide context.
Brainfuse HelpNow: Live online tutoring daily 2-11 p.m. Professional tutors can guide you through academic subjects from kindergarten through AP and college level classes. Writing Lab to get feedback within one business day. SkillSurfer for study resources and test prep (AP, PSAT, SAT, ACT, ASVAB, GED and citizenship tests.) Send Question to get a response within one business day.
CultureGrams: Explore the culture, history and people of each U.S. state and country of the world. Encyclopedia Britannica: School, Library, Academic, Escolar and Moderna versions of the encyclopedia offer articles for students of all ages.
Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia: Online encyclopedia for students.
Khan Academy: Khan Academy provides a free world-class education for anyone everywhere on topics like math, science, history, economics, humanities, programming and test prep.
LearningExpress Library: Tutorials and quizzes for elementary to adult for a variety of subjects.
Lightbox: Nonfiction eBooks that integrate multimedia into each page.
TOPICsearch: Articles from a variety of national and international newspapers and magazines.

Kanopy Kids: Curated streaming video collection of children’s programming.
National Geographic Kids: Great for kids interested in science, space, animals, history, geography and fun. Enjoy the full magazine with all the illustrations online.
Primary Search: Articles from popular elementary school magazines.

Middle Search Plus: Popular magazines for middle and junior high school students.
MAS Ultra – School Edition: Articles from popular magazines and journals for high school students.
Explora: Articles and multimedia covering a wide variety of subjects like biography, business, current events, health, history, literature, science and more. Easy to browse new topics or search for specific information.
NewsBank Hot Topics: Concise summaries of the month’s major news topics with links to relevant newspaper articles, blogs and more.
Primary Sources (Gale): Digital historical documents including books, manuscripts, letters, newspapers, photographs, maps and more ranging across topics of national and global relevance.

These resources will have kids running home from school to study!


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!

One-on-One Genealogy Help – Tuesday, Feb. 21, 9 a.m. – noon

For One-on-One or DNA and Genetic help, visit the Johnson County Genealogical Society at to schedule an appointment. A volunteer will contact you by email to set up an in-person or a Zoom session link for you prior to the scheduled date.

Young Adult Literary Council – Wednesday, Feb. 22, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Teens are invited to join the Young Adult Literary Council at the Monticello Library to share favorite books, pick up advanced reader copies of teen books to read and review, and participate in other fun activities such as author visits, game days, event planning and more. Meet new people and receive volunteer credit hours for your time with us.

Johnson County Genealogical Society Monthly Meeting – Saturday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m. – noon

Enjoy a genealogy program and visit with JCGS members about your research and family history. Free and open to the public. Meets in the Carmack Room at the Central Resource Library. February meeting topic is “Finding John Johnson” – Alice Hoyt Veen, Founder of Prairie Roots Research.

Kansas City Brick Lab Brick Exhibition – Saturday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Check out the imaginative creations of KC Brick Lab members at the Central Resource Library. This local Lego group fosters Lego innovation, and you may get inspired to build something of your own! There will be extra pieces available so you can play around with Lego and meet other builders. All ages are welcome, but we do ask if you bring children that they don’t touch the display items.

And much more happening this week


Library’s Volunteer Program Wins Prestigious Certification

Johnson County Library has received a prestigious national certification for best practices in volunteer management, following a rigorous process that helped make its excellent volunteer program even better.  

In late 2022, the Library’s volunteer program became Service Enterprise Certified by the Points of Light Foundation and ALIVE (Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement). Only 11 percent of nonprofits nationally achieve this certification, which focuses on 10 key areas of successful volunteer management. 

“At the end of the day, I think this provides a better experience for the volunteers, and I think it’s also about opening up our mindset to how we can utilize volunteers,” said Volunteer Services Coordinator Amber Bourek Slater. “I think about some of the new ways we are engaging volunteers.” 

County Librarian Patricia Suellentrop said the certification timing was ideal.  

“Our organization is redefining staff roles and updating goals for our next strategic plan,” Suellentrop said. “Service Enterprise is helping us see how skilled volunteers can support staff to serve our community in new ways.” 

In summer 2021, Johnson County Library was selected for the program through the Kansas Volunteer Commission. Bourek Slater participated in four months of training, joined by staffers Thomas Parks, Matt Hammes and Matt Morgan, who work with volunteers at various branches. The Library received coaching from Meg Pearson of the Kansas Volunteer Commission, to develop and implement an extensive volunteer program improvement plan. 

The results are already evident. The number of volunteers grew from 581 in 2021 to 790 in 2022 and the return on volunteer investment grew from $3.78 to $6.68 for every dollar invested in the volunteer program.  

“Our coach was ecstatic at how much the return on investment had increased,” Bourek Slater noted. 

The Library retained 107 volunteers from before COVID in March 2020. Many dedicated individuals have been with the organization for years. Teen outreach also grew to the point where 54% of volunteers are young people.  

Through the certification process, the Library improved its annual volunteer survey, created a detailed volunteer handbook, enhanced outreach in the branches with an informational brochure and developed new volunteer opportunities.  

Bourek Slater said the survey showed strong volunteer satisfaction. It also revealed the diversity of volunteer skills. For example, one person shared that he has voice-over experience, so he’ll narrate a new volunteer training video. 

Parks, the volunteer liaison at the Leawood branch, said the certification training was helpful.  

“Leawood is a very busy location and volunteers help complement what we are doing,” he said, adding that many volunteers are retirees who find great purpose in working at the Library. 

“When you are engaged with volunteers,” Parks said, “you get to see other perspectives and skills that volunteers bring to the Library. They bring enjoyment to the staff and other volunteers.” 

Bourek Slater said a few other Library systems nationwide have achieved this certification, including Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Boulder, Colorado. They have been a great resource in sharing the benefits of this work. 

The certification process helped identify the volunteer program’s strengths and areas needing improvement. Strengths include a database that allows the Library to recruit people and track volunteer hours. One area needing improvement was communication with the Library’s administrative leadership and Board, which is already happening.  

It all amounted to many small changes making a big difference for volunteers and the Library alike, Bourek Slater observed.  

“For the volunteers who are here,” she said, “if we’re engaging and we’re listening and we’re making this a meaningful experience for them that they want to be a part of, that’s great.” 


Look Into Lenexa's Past

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: Lenexa Historical Society

About this collection: This collection is comprised of over 3,500 images relating to the history, development and people of Lenexa, Kansas. Particular strengths include area construction projects, photos of the Legler Barn Museum, the Lenexa Centennial celebration of 1969 and early landowners. The photographs were collected and maintained by the Lenexa Historical Society, who are headquartered at the Legler Barn Museum in Sar Ko Par Park.