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Mike Zakoura JCL Foundation supporter

Why I Give: Mike Zakoura

Growing up in the small town of Osawatomie, KS, Mike Zakoura was destined for a life filled with words, paper, books – and giving, above and beyond. His journey has included majoring in Journalism and Radio at the University of Kansas; being an editor at the Kansas City Star until 2000, and working in the Interlibrary Loan Department at Johnson County Library for 16 years, until he retired this summer.

I sat down with Mike shortly before he left JCL to learn more about his dedication to literacy and his loyal giving to the JCL Foundation through Johnson County’s Employee Payroll Deduction Program. I found out that for him, giving back to the community is a life-long priority. When asked why it was meaningful to give to the Library in addition to working here, he replied, “It is important for County employees to know about the Employee Payroll Deduction Program that benefits the Johnson County Library Foundation. We tend to focus on necessities versus charities. Sometimes charities take a back seat. Giving is a commitment.”

Children’s literacy holds a special place in Zakoura’s heart.  He has been married for 43 years, raised daughters, and has grandchildren. “I think it is important to give to kids’ literacy and help provide opportunity. I see a life wider than my own. People need to consider children.”  Another example of Zakoura’s giving: his volunteering for literacy. He gives time to his granddaughter’s school reading to the students. “It is important to help influence young people to read. For kids, you can’t dictate a road, but you can help influence their path.”

Reflecting on his decade and a half working in a library Mike says, “Libraries are on the short list of places people can be comfortable asking questions. Libraries are safe places. The Library is a place where you can be free and read a book, be it sci-fi, history, children’s literature—there is something for everyone.”  A big reason he enjoyed the Interlibrary Loan Department is the ability to connect materials to libraries in smaller communities, similar to where he grew up. Mike says he’ll miss the people the most- the relationships he’s built here.

What does Mike see as the future of libraries?  “More tech!” he declared. “The Library will continue to metamorphose to stay relevant in the community. Libraries will always have an important role and just take different forms as they evolve.”

“Why do I give to the JCL Foundation?  I believe people should choose an organization to give to because it’s the right thing to do. You don’t have to save the world, but you do have to save a small part of it. It doesn’t have to be much, but it does have to be something. Find your passion – be it children’s literacy or whatever is meaningful to you – and give to it.”

- Steph Neu, Johnson County Library Foundation

 

Growing up in the small town of Osawatomie, KS, Mike Zakoura was destined for a life filled with words, paper, books – and giving, above and beyond. His journey has included majoring in Journalism and Radio at the University of Kansas; being an editor at the Kansas City Star until 2000, and working in the Interlibrary Loan Department at Johnson County Library for 16 years, until he retired this summer.

I sat down with Mike shortly before he left JCL to learn more about his dedication to literacy and his loyal giving to the JCL Foundation through Johnson County’s Employee Payroll Deduction Program. I found out that for him, giving back to the community is a life-long priority. When asked why it was meaningful to give to the... Continue »

Look Around Lenexa

Get a glimpse into the future of your new Library at Lenexa City Center. Click the images to interact with a 360 degree panorama!

Get a glimpse into the future of your new Library at Lenexa City Center. Click the images to interact with a 360 degree panorama!

A Special Jocohistory Halloween Slideshow!

Halloween costumes are always so much fun! The creativity, the jokes, the craft of it all. Year after year, Johnson County folks have dressed up for Halloween. See over 60 years of costumes! Which is your favorite? Discover the story behind these images and details at jocohistory.org It's your place for Johnson County, Kansas History!

Halloween costumes are always so much fun! The creativity, the jokes, the craft of it all. Year after year, Johnson County folks have dressed up for Halloween. See over 60 years of costumes! Which is your favorite? Discover the story behind these images and details at jocohistory.org It's your place for Johnson County, Kansas History!

Danielle Hennerberg

Music Monday: Danielle HennerbergDanielle Hennerberg

Overland Park, Kansas, resident Danielle Hennerberg is a musician, composer and sound engineer whose love for jazz runs deep. Her music turns elements of jazz, rock and R&B into a musical expression that's entirely her own. In this interview, Hennerberg describes how jazz continues to inform her work, especially the works of Herbie Hancock and Clifford Brown, as well as how she's learned to overcome creative blocks by listening. Enjoy!

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Introduce yourself. Describe your music for new listeners.

My name is Danielle Hennerberg and I am an Overland Park-based jazz musician. I seek to blend modern rock and R&B motifs with the history and roots of Kansas City jazz. I love my city, and I love the history of jazz in Kansas City. I want to bring that history to modern audiences in a way that is easily accessible and enjoyable.

Continue »
Acoustical panels

MakerSpace Closed Tuesday, Oct. 30

 

rack  et 1

  1. a loud noise or clamor, esp. of a disturbing or confusing kind; din; uproar.
  2. social excitement, gaiety, or dissipation.

 

If you've been in the MakerSpace, you know that all that machinery - and human enthusiasm! - can create quite a racket (we prefer definition #2). On Oct 30, we'll be installing new acoustical panels similar to those pictured to dampen sound waves bouncing around the MakerSpace. The MakerSpace will be closed all day, Oct 30, for this installation.

 

rack  et 1

  1. a loud noise or clamor, esp. of a disturbing or confusing kind; din; uproar.
  2. social excitement, gaiety, or dissipation.

 

If you've been in the MakerSpace, you know that all that machinery - and human enthusiasm! - can create quite a racket (we prefer definition #2). On Oct 30, we'll be installing new acoustical panels similar to those pictured to dampen sound waves bouncing around the MakerSpace. The MakerSpace will be closed all day, Oct 30, for this installation.

Did you hear? Ep. 19: Scary Reads!

In this fantastic episode of Did You Hear? It's members of our Reader's Advisory committee Gregg and Tyler talking SCARY READS just in the nick of time for Halloween!

Why do we read what we read? Find out why Tyler prefers spooky comics and graphic novels. Hear what he recommends.

In this fantastic episode of Did You Hear? It's members of our Reader's Advisory committee Gregg and Tyler talking SCARY READS just in the nick of time for Halloween!

Why do we read what we read? Find out why Tyler prefers spooky comics and graphic novels. Hear what he recommends.

Various book covers featured in the clever candy list.

Clever Candy Lit

From our librarian Stefanie: Recently I was trying to describe the joy that I felt while reading the sinfully fun novel Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan to a coworker. It was the most deliciously romantic family gossip trilogy and, with two young children in the house and my daytime work duties, I gobbled them up in a mere 3 weeks! I like to call juicy love stories with a side of wit and elegance like this Clever Candy Lit. They are a rare breed of well-written novel that manages to capture your attention like a great adventure story, grab your heart like the sweetest romance, poke at your intellect with subtle nods to societal issues, and still manage to conclude ... Continue »

From our librarian Stefanie: Recently I was trying to describe the joy that I felt while reading the sinfully fun novel Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan to a coworker. It was the most deliciously romantic family gossip trilogy and, with two young children in the house and my daytime work duties, I gobbled them up in a mere 3 weeks! I like to call juicy love stories with a side of wit and elegance like this Clever Candy Lit. They are a rare breed of well-written novel that manages to capture your attention like a great adventure story, grab your heart like the sweetest romance, poke at your intellect with subtle nods to societal issues, and still manage to conclude happily and make your soul feel lighter in the end. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is, perhaps, the original clever candy laced with class warfare. My first dip into the chocolate fondue fountain was Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding. If you loved the film about Bridget and her misfit friends, you will adore the book, which is just different enough to make both treats to devour with gusto. 

Are you hungry yet? I'm starved (#sorrynotsorry). I've made a list with the titles mentioned here along with some other scrumptious options. Pick one up today for a pick me up!

Shawnee Indian Cemetery

JoCoHistory: the Shawnee Indian Cemetery

 

It might be hard to spot – plenty of local residents may not even realize it exists – but nestled in an unassuming Shawnee neighborhood is a significant piece of Johnson County history. The Shawnee Indian cemetery, located near 59th and Nieman, houses the remains of a few dozen members of the Shawnee Indian Tribe – some of Shawnee’s earliest founders. The cemetery is small, easily mistaken for a backyard or vacant lot, but its story tells us much about the county’s origins and the people who made it what it is today.

Head on over to JoCoHistory to read more »

 

 

It might be hard to spot – plenty of local residents may not even realize it exists – but nestled in an unassuming Shawnee neighborhood is a significant piece of Johnson County history. The Shawnee Indian cemetery, located near 59th and Nieman, houses the remains of a few dozen members of the Shawnee Indian Tribe – some of Shawnee’s earliest founders. The cemetery is small, easily mistaken for a backyard or vacant lot, but its story tells us much about the county’s origins and the people who made it what it is today.

Head on over to JoCoHistory to read more »

 

  • Alexandra Ames
    Alexandra Ames Alexandra Ames
  • Alexandra Ames
    Alexandra Ames Alexandra Ames
  • Alexandra Ames
    Alexandra Ames Alexandra Ames

Now Showing at Leawood: Alexandra AmesAlexandra Ames

Tuesday, Sep 4, 2018 to Friday, Dec 21, 2018 at Leawood Pioneer Library

Alexandra Ames describes herself as an artistic “jack of all trades.” Her art draws upon elements of art nouveau, science fiction/fantasy art, music and the natural world. Much of her work offers vibrant depictions of various animals in their natural states. While she is a gifted painter, sculptor, graphic designer, animator, and a creator of video game art and assets, her real passion is for writing and illustrating.

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

My name is Alexandra Ames. I have been creating, writing and drawing for my entire life. I am a writer, illustrator, sculptor, animator and graphic designer. I write fantasy children's stories and Science Fiction and Fantasy novels. The majority of my paintings and illustrations are acrylic on canvas or India ink and gouache on paper. I create sculptures out of Super Sculpey and other mediums. I am always trying to learn new or more efficient ways to create things.

 

 

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

The work that is on view is all acrylic on canvas. They are all stylized animal or nature paintings. This collection is a compilation of a lot of experimentation, frustration, deep thoughts, intuition and fun.

 

 

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

The most challenging thing about my creative process is knowing when I'm finished and not pushing things so far that I ruin it.

 

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

I find inspiration everywhere with other artists in all mediums and genres, but the artist that I have been inspired by my whole life are Alphonse Mucha and Frank Frazetta.

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Alexandra's book and music recommendations:

 

Books:

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

The Firebird by Mercedes Lackey

Music:

Two Steps from Hell

Nightwish

Alexandra Ames describes herself as an artistic “jack of all trades.” Her art draws upon elements of art nouveau, science fiction/fantasy art, music and the natural world. Much of her work offers vibrant depictions of various animals in their natural states. While she is a gifted painter, sculptor, graphic designer, animator, and a creator of video game art and assets, her real passion is for writing and illustrating.

*

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

My name is Alexandra Ames. I have been creating, writing and drawing for my entire life. I am a writer, illustrator, sculptor, animator and graphic designer. I write fantasy children's stories and Science... Continue »

Homework Her

Homework Hero!

Sophia, that's the look of success! Your face tells the story.

You are a homework hero! Your secret weapon: your Library Card. In a single bound, you leap directly into Biography in Context! Why? Because you know that when you want the stories of famous people, it's the place to go! 

  • Actors
  • Famous African Americans
  • Athletes and coaches
  • Notable women
  • Politicians and dignitaries
  • Scientists
  • Social reformers
  • Young adult writers 

For a recent homework assignment, you chose to report on Thurgood Marshall. You found videos, radio stories, audio clips, 133 newspaper articles, 160 magazine articles and more!

But you went the extra mile! You visited Homework Help Kids where you found Encyclopedia Britannica School, the Kids Reference eBook Collection, and more magazine and newspaper articles from TOPICsearch.

You're kind of an expert now, Sophia. You wrote a report your teacher called "remarkable!" So take a selfie to capture that look: the look of accomplishment!         

Sophia, that's the look of success! Your face tells the story.

You are a homework hero! Your secret weapon: your Library Card. In a single bound, you leap directly into Biography in Context! Why? Because you know that when you want the stories of famous people, it's the place to go! 

  • Actors
  • Famous African Americans
  • Athletes and coaches
  • Notable women
  • Politicians and dignitaries
  • Scientists
  • Social reformers
  • Young adult writers 

For a recent homework... Continue »

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