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Breaking Free

Breaking Free

This spring, Johnson County Library charts a new path, exploring issues facing our community and honoring the bravery it takes to venture forward with no road map. Our theme comes from the editors of our teen literary magazine, elementia. One of them chose “breaking free” as an homage to the difficulties of breaking out of your shell and standing up for what you believe in, and the resulting poem is featured below. Our teens are asking their peers, “How do you break free?”

Making these kinds of changes doesn’t stop at the end of one’s teenage years. We are each on a lifelong journey to look critically at self and community and ask what it is that holds us back – what it is we want and need. Figuring out how to empower others and make necessary changes in the world around us is a task that never ends. Inspired by the growing urgency those in our community feel to speak out, be heard and take action the Library invites you to join us in finding your own way this spring.

Our teen and youth programs focus on individuality and expression, cultivating a sense of self in our young people. Our adult programs explore one significant issue impacting our community and the world around us – food insecurity.

The launch of our teen magazine’s 16th volume will bring Jacqueline Woodson, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, to the Library for our reception. We’ll gather young writers and artists from the KC metro area and beyond who have taken to thinking about how they stand up and speak out. Partnerships with the Food Policy Council of Johnson County and Johnson County K-State Research and Extension, as well as a series of events with author Leann Brown work to educate our public about food security and sustainability. A city-wide event with Ta-Nehisi Coates, National Book Award winner, will allow us to break free of our city and county lines to come together and build understanding about systems that were built to keep us apart. Our art exhibitions examine how art and information interact, providing food for the body and the mind in special performances by m.o.i. aka Minister of Information and Sarah Star Wilkinson.

Join us and explore the ways we stand up, speak out, break free and create our own road maps every day. See our Breaking Free programming »

 

 

Stained Glass by Oli Ray

I feel like a shattered stained glass window.

The few truths I had lie shattered into the dirt and while half of me leaks sorrow for them,
another part desperately wants to smash my bare feet into them, swirling them into the dirt with
my metallic honesty as I accept the fallacy my life has been.

I was put together at one point, I know that much. I also know that my insides were scotch taped
with ragged edges to keep the outside beautiful. I know happiness twirled and danced until
being kicked into submission, pushed into a box and kept under lock and key. Confusion took
over then, trying to keep up with the tears in our facade.

Thank god they only used scotch tape on my glass like insides.

I wonder if churches do the same: I wonder if they scotch tape the parts of themselves they
would rather the outside not see. Most would see this as ethically relevant but I think some go
as far as to resort to scissors, cutting off excess parts despite all the bleeding.

I wonder how much blood sits beneath the pew seats.

I wonder at exactly which time I was slaughtered there, carried into the back and stored in the
wardrobe where we keep baptism robes, because only our ghosts are as white as those sheets.

I always loved the quiet of an empty sanctuary: the times where it’s dark and silent and it feels
like your mind can touch the ceiling as your thoughts drift and dry through the air lazily, it’s so
comforting.

I think that’s as close to God as I have ever gotten.

I love those that surround me there, but the silence in smiles reminds me of the dripping sound
beneath my pew that only a few of us ever seem to hear, those I fellowship with have thoughts
much louder than I’d ever let mine dare to be.

Maybe that’s why I always wanted to break that god forsaken stain glass window. Maybe that’s
how I realized how alone I felt while surrounded by family, because I didn’t want to be the only
shattered art piece in the room!

And when I ever finally decide to put myself on display, maybe I will break that window, so when
they decide to reach for the scissors, at least my blood will land on something beautiful.

Because that green carpet turns scarlet translucent, the bathroom stall walls muffle cries better
than an empty desert and hugs are always followed by thoughts of what if they knew.
What if they knew I wasn’t blind and deaf to the tragedies occurring in that building the way they
are? What if they knew I had hard time coming through those doors not because I don’t feel at
home there but because their homely hospitality isn’t for me.

It’s for a girl I can’t be.

Because I’m a shattered stained glass window, and they like their pieces put together in delicate
patterns by dollar store scotch tape and hands holding scissors, but I much prefer mine in the
dirt if that’s the only way to find myself.

I think maybe one day I’ll put myself together, though I’m not sure what I’ll build. I only have
these torn bits of scotch tape repression and a box my depression keeps a tight hold on.

I still think the glass is beautiful though; cracks and shatters create a mosaic that at least isn’t
trying to hide.

Maybe one day it will form a self portrait.

One day, I won’t feel the need to break stained glass windows.

Maybe one day, they’ll see the blood on the floor.

 

This spring, Johnson County Library charts a new path, exploring issues facing our community and honoring the bravery it takes to venture forward with no road map. Our theme comes from the editors of our teen literary magazine, elementia. One of them chose “breaking free” as an homage to the difficulties of breaking out of your shell and standing up for what you believe in, and the resulting poem is featured below. Our teens are asking their peers, “How do you break free?”

Making these kinds of changes doesn’t stop at the end of one’s teenage years. We are each on a lifelong journey to look critically at self and community and ask what it is that holds us back – what it is we want and need. Figuring out how to empower... Continue »

JCL Foundation

Curiosity Sparks Imagination

Your support of the Johnson County Library Foundation has a profound impact on our community. The Foundation funds library resources, books, and educational programs that encourage curiosity, spark imagination and bring dreams to life.

The Foundation supports lifelong learning programs including:

Your gift has the power to change lives. Your contribution to the Foundation will directly fund Library programs, services, and the growth of the collection of more than 1 million items.  For more information, contact Stephanie Stollsteimer at stollsteimers@jocolibrary.org.

Thank you for your continued support!

 

Your support of the Johnson County Library Foundation has a profound impact on our community. The Foundation funds library resources, books, and educational programs that encourage curiosity, spark imagination and bring dreams to life.

The Foundation supports lifelong learning programs including:

Wow! Lenexa City Center Library time-lapse

We placed a camera in a window of the Lenexa City Hall Communications office. It overlooks the site of the Lenexa City Center Library construction. For over 8 months we have captured the progress of our newest Library from an empty lot to what you see today. Take 5 minutes and watch this building take shape before your eyes. We're sure you'll say: "Wow!"

We placed a camera in a window of the Lenexa City Hall Communications office. It overlooks the site of the Lenexa City Center Library construction. For over 8 months we have captured the progress of our newest Library from an empty lot to what you see today. Take 5 minutes and watch this building take shape before your eyes. We're sure you'll say: "Wow!"

  • Stowers Institute
    Stowers Institute Stowers Institute
  • Stowers Institute
    Stowers Institute Stowers Institute

Stowers Institute: Scientific Microimaging

Monday, Oct 1, 2018 to Friday, Dec 21, 2018 at Lackman Building

Stowers researchers pursue basic biomedical research using model organisms to uncover fundamental knowledge about living systems and enable the application of those insights to improve human health. Often, science and art intersect in stunning visual displays.  While scientific images convey valuable data to researchers, their simple beauty may transcend the information they contain and transform them into objects of art.  This exhibition represents the transformation of data into art.

Stowers researchers pursue basic biomedical research using model organisms to uncover fundamental knowledge about living systems and enable the application of those insights to improve human health. Often, science and art intersect in stunning visual displays.  While scientific images convey valuable data to researchers, their simple beauty may transcend the information they contain and transform them into objects of art.  This exhibition represents the transformation of data into art.

Cedar Roe READ winner

READ Poster Winner

Each of our locations draws a name from the pool of kids who participated in Summer Reading, and this is our winner for Cedar Roe! Look how proud he looks!

Each of our locations draws a name from the pool of kids who participated in Summer Reading, and this is our winner for Cedar Roe! Look how proud he looks!

The 1954 “All-Electric House” decked out for Christmas, at Johnson County Museum.

Throwback Thursday Mid-Century Christmas

Each year, Johnson County Museum staff transform the All-Electric House’s interior and exterior into a Mid-century Christmas wonderland, placing holiday touches throughout the home that make it appear as though a 1950s family lives there. Christmas cookie cutters in the kitchen. A child’s red velvet dress in the nursery. A Santa hat hanging on the bedpost. And of course, the iconic aluminum Christmas tree, front and center in the living room. Read more and see more at jocohistory >>

Each year, Johnson County Museum staff transform the All-Electric House’s interior and exterior into a Mid-century Christmas wonderland, placing holiday touches throughout the home that make it appear as though a 1950s family lives there. Christmas cookie cutters in the kitchen. A child’s red velvet dress in the nursery. A Santa hat hanging on the bedpost. And of course, the iconic aluminum Christmas tree, front and center in the living room. Read more and see more at jocohistory >>

  • Fractured Fabrics
    Fractured Fabrics Fractured Fabrics
  • Fractured Fabrics
    Fractured Fabrics Fractured Fabrics
  • Fractured Fabrics
    Fractured Fabrics Fractured Fabrics
  • Fractured Fabrics
    Fractured Fabrics Fractured Fabrics
  • Fractured fabrics
    Fractured Fabrics Fractured fabrics

Now at Cedar Roe: Fractured FabricsFractured Fabrics

Saturday, Sep 1, 2018 to Saturday, Dec 22, 2018 at Cedar Roe Library

The Fractured Fabric Society (FFS) at Harper's Fabric and Quilt Co. in Downtown Overland Park is a group of non-traditional quilters who meet to share projects, resources and ideas in an encouraging environment. Show and Tell is a major part of the gathering, along with new techniques and topics of interest. In their 14th year, FFS members meet at Harper’s Fabric & Quilt Co. in Downtown Overland Park. Exhibiting artists are JoEl Vogt, Mary Funk, Gayle Baddeley, Mary Kay Fosnacht, Karen Hansen, Kathleen McDaniel, Jackie Stoaks and Cindy Brendzel.

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Introduce the group and tell us a little about the Fractured Fabrics Society.

Fractured Fabrics is a non-traditional art quilting group that meets at the Harpers Quilting and Fabrics store on Santa Fe in downtown Overland Park 4 times a year.

 

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

Each piece is an original work of art designed and constructed by the artist based on their unique vision and inspiration.

 

What’s the most challenging thing about the creative process for art quilting?

The most challenging thing about art quilting is translating a vision into fabric, thread and embellishments and producing a finished piece that engages the viewer.

 

Who are the other KC-area quilters the group looks to for inspiration?

While there are many quilter’s groups in the KC-area Fractured Fabrics is one the few organizations to encourage its members to express themselves with new and innovative techniques.

 

The Fractured Fabric Society (FFS) at Harper's Fabric and Quilt Co. in Downtown Overland Park is a group of non-traditional quilters who meet to share projects, resources and ideas in an encouraging environment. Show and Tell is a major part of the gathering, along with new techniques and topics of interest. In their 14th year, FFS members meet at Harper’s Fabric & Quilt Co. in Downtown Overland Park. Exhibiting artists are JoEl Vogt, Mary Funk, Gayle Baddeley, Mary Kay Fosnacht, Karen Hansen, Kathleen McDaniel, Jackie Stoaks and Cindy Brendzel.

*

Introduce the group and tell us a little about the Fractured Fabrics Society.

Fractured Fabrics is a non-traditional... Continue »

Put a Book in a Child's Hands

Today is #GivingTuesday -- which kicks off the charitable season when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. This year, your Giving Tuesday gift to the JCL Foundation will directly benefit the Library’s ever-popular Summer Reading Program, and put a book in the hands of a child!

From mid-May until the end of July, Johnson County Library helps combat summer slide by providing a free book to every child who signs up with the reading program. Having books at home is strongly linked with academic achievement. By growing children’s personal libraries and helping them find intrinsic value in reading, the library bridges that summer learning gap and invests in the future of our community.

The Library gave away 18,823 books to kids throughout Johnson County this past summer, in comparison to 15,000 in 2017. And that increase is with no additional locations. With the recent opening of our new Monticello Library, we project 22,000 books will be distributed in summer 2019.

Your gift on this Giving Tuesday will directly support this critical service for kids and their families throughout Johnson County. All donations make a difference, for example, $25 buys 5 books!

And today,  your donation can go even further if you use the donate button on our Foundation's Facebook page

On #GivingTuesday, Facebook is partnering with PayPal to match up to $7 million in donations to eligible US-based nonprofits. Donations made on the Foundation’s Facebook page will be matched, dollar-per-dollar starting at 7 a.m. on November 27 (only) and will continue until matching funds run out.   

Happy Holidays and thank you for your continued support of our mission for lifelong learning.

 

Today is #GivingTuesday -- which kicks off the charitable season when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. This year, your Giving Tuesday gift to the JCL Foundation will directly benefit the Library’s ever-popular Summer Reading Program, and put a book in the hands of a child!

From mid-May until the end of July, Johnson County Library helps combat summer slide by providing a free book to every child who signs up with the reading program. Having books at home is strongly linked with academic achievement. By growing children’s personal libraries and helping them find intrinsic value in reading, the library bridges that... Continue »

More books

Picture This

You are busy. We get that. We try our best to accommodate your sometimes hectic schedule to make your life super convenient. The Library is on your side!

But what to read? Good question! Not to brag, but this is kinda our thing! Let's find you something good. 

  • Staff Picks. Find out what we recommend. Here you'll find reviews by librarians of titles in every format we carry! You can browse by category and tags.
  • Find out the latest hub-bub with the most recent user-submitted ratings and reviews.
  • New season, so check out all of our new titles.
  • Only have time for the best of the best? We get you. We have all the books that win awards.
  • What about bestsellers? Sure. We've always got those too.
  • Need to be motivated by other readers? Join a book group!    

Your Library Card is a powerful thing!
 

You are busy. We get that. We try our best to accommodate your sometimes hectic schedule to make your life super convenient. The Library is on your side!

  • Leslie Norman Hubble
    Leslie Norman Hubble Leslie Norman Hubble
  • Leslie Norman Hubble
    Leslie Norman Hubble Leslie Norman Hubble
  • Leslie Norman Hubble
    Leslie Norman Hubble Leslie Norman Hubble

Now at Corinth: Leslie Norman HubbleLeslie Norman Hubble

Friday, Sep 21, 2018 to Friday, Dec 21, 2018 at Corinth Library

Leslie Norman Hubble’s work is inspired by content that disturbs her. She then constructs or manipulates those ideas into aesthetic images and objects.  She works to express a truth and raise questions about “mind and body, as well as concepts of time, culture, and technology.”

Hubble’s exhibition is part of the No Divide KC documentary series premiering at Johnson County Library September through December. 

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

My name is Leslie Norman Hubble, and I do art in a variety of media, including, acrylic painting, drawing, collage, assemblage, photography, photo manipulation, work with found objects, and combinations thereof. Virtually nothing is off limits to use as or be used in participation with a medium.

 

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

For some time now, I have been inspired by unnerving  content . I feel compelled to construct and/or manipulate more aesthetic images or objects based on disturbing content. This works to express a truth in me and elicit  less conventional ways of seeing  the body/ mind/ spirit as well as concepts of time, culture, and technology.

For example, my husband died of COPD, a long extremely unpleasant illness. We were married for over 25 years.  Of course,  what happened to him, and what was happening to us, in our home, was extremely difficult. I took care of him, along, so was very intimate with so many aspects of the disease. Since his death I find myself doing a lot of related  art..  Cor Pulmonade ,  Sister Cor Pulmonade,  and Nebulizer Babies I and II appear in this show.   I used his xrays, MRIs, and parts of his medical records and researched images of end-stage lung disease and related conditions that  he developed. I also used  detritus used for his care (for example, one of his hospital bracelets is used in the assemblage Sister Cor Pulmonade and an oxygen tubing connector in another piece). The finished pieces are a more “palatable” version of the physical and emotional events of this time

Sonogram Doll, Metronome, and The Ladder of Our Love are  based on my own body and brain. In these pieces I used sonograms, xrays, MRIs, etc, of my body, along with drawing, painting, digital manipulation, collage, and various mixtures of these mediums.

Time and Chance  and Seizure Disorder are among pieces in this show that use similar techniques regarding fixed ideas and/or disturbing aspects of time and technology.

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

Probably the biggest obstacle is chronic physical pain.  I have several  spinal disorders and am limited physically. I’m not able to work on a large scale.I work everyday in spite of any but the most severe pain; the pain of not doing art is more intolerable..

What I call the frozen depression, which often holds hands with anxiety and  agitation, is also challenging to deal with.  I’ve learned to do art anyway during these times – force myself, if necessary,  and am learning to not be concerned  about the outcome of whatever I scribble down or slap around.  Just pour some art on it – no matter what “it” is.  “Nothing is so precious that it can’t be collaged on or painted over or thrown away,” a favorite art professor used to say. That phrase sticks with me and the philosophy has given me a lot of freedom.

Who are the other artists you look to for inspiration? And what about their work do you like?

 Bosch is a major influence, as are Frida Kahlo, Erich Fischel, William Blake, Joseph Cornell, Lucien Freud, Van Gogh, de Kooning, Tuculescu, Klimt, Thomas Chimes. The list goes on.

 

Please list your book, music and/or book recommendations.

Cruddy by Lynda Barry

The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers

The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You by Frank Stanford

What About This, Collected Poems of Frank Stanford

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky 

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

The Complete Illuminated Books by William Blake

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Mythology by Edith Hamilton 

 

Music Recommendations:

Bethlehem Steel

The Amps

Steve Earle 

Was, Not Was

John Hiatt, particularly his earlier work

James McMurtry

Coltrane

Miles Davis

B.B. King

Van Morrison

The Band

The Classical dudes

 

Leslie Norman Hubble’s work is inspired by content that disturbs her. She then constructs or manipulates those ideas into aesthetic images and objects.  She works to express a truth and raise questions about “mind and body, as well as concepts of time, culture, and technology.”

Hubble’s exhibition is part of the No Divide KC documentary series premiering at Johnson County Library September through December. 

*

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

My name is Leslie Norman Hubble, and I do art in a variety of media, including, acrylic painting, drawing, collage, assemblage, photography, photo manipulation, work with found objects, and combinations thereof.... Continue »

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