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Antioch Library Will Leave Lasting Memories

Before electronic searches were a thing, the large wooden card catalog was one of the defining features of the Antioch Library. It was as much a part of the Library as the books themselves, standing right in front of patrons after they turned right upon entering the building.

So you can imagine Darline Cyre’s disbelief when she walked in one day and saw staff emptying the card catalog. Cyre was even more shocked when a worker told her it would not take long to get everything computerized.

“And you know, it didn’t take that long. I don’t know, just a few weeks, and the card catalog was gone,” Cyre recalled.

An even bigger transition takes place this spring when the new Merriam Plaza Library opens as a replacement to Antioch, which closed for good on Jan. 28.

Having served the community since the mid-1950s, the Antioch Library holds a lot of memories for patrons like Cyre, 78. She has used the branch since she and her husband moved to their nearby Overland Park neighborhood in 1967.

That was a few years before the couple had children, but as they added a daughter and son, Cyre enjoyed taking them to storytime at Antioch. The kids also made valentines and other holiday cards at an arts-and-crafts station.

When they got older, the kids studied at Antioch as well.

Cyre also participated in a program that the Antioch Library had with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. The museum would send prints to Antioch, and picture ladies would lead art discussions in elementary school classrooms. (Men eventually joined as presenters.)

The staff at Antioch has always been pleasant and helpful, Cyre said. Back in the day, she could call the branch and have them look up a number in the phone book.

“The staff at Antioch has changed through the years, and they’re younger and everything, but they are still very, very friendly and polite,” Cyre said. They greet you when you enter, she said, and tell you to have a good day when you leave. “That just makes you feel good to have people who seem so welcoming and nice to you,” she said.

David Sims does not have as much history with Antioch — he’s only been going there the last eight years or so — but he appreciates the branch, both as a user and as a member of the Library Board.

The Sims household includes two daughters, and he said the youngest of the two, 9-year-old Catherine, is probably the family’s most avid reader. Antioch is the closest branch to their house.

“It’s just so nice that she can check out different kinds of books. We can only buy so many,” Sims said. “Some of them, she checks out over and over again. She gets such a variety of books.”

Catherine confirmed that the reading nooks at Antioch are one of the best things about the branch. “I like that it’s quiet,” she said.

Catherine is a big fan of series like Magic Tree House, The Bad Guys, and Goddess Girls. She was working through “Stallion by Starlight,” part of the Magic Tree House series, earlier this month.

Catherine likes adventures so she can imagine the character’s surroundings. For instance, she said, one part of the Goddess Girls’ “Medusa the Mean” reminded her of the snowy biome in the Minecraft video game.

Catherine is excited about the new Merriam Plaza branch. “I could probably ride my bike,” she said. “I know the way.”

Battery production

Battery production at the Olathe Delco Batteries plant. 1955 - 1959.

Olathe Oldies

It’s another grand Throwback Thursday when 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: Olathe Public Library

About this collection: A number of images from the Olathe Daily Mirror (published 1861 - 1959) and other local sources. The photographs date from the mid-twentieth century and depict scenes of daily life, including weddings, award ceremonies and include a number of studio portraits of individuals.


No Wait Wednesday: Cleat Cute by Meryl Wilsner

Hello and welcome to this week's edition of No Wait Wednesday, where we spotlight a book that's available from the New Release section at on one of our Library branches. We know how much you dislike waiting in line for the hot new book that everyone and their book club are talking about. (Trust us - we hate it, too!) However, at the Library there's ALWAYS plenty of options for those who want something good to read that's available right now. You can browse the New Release section of your local Library branch, ask a staff member to recommend a title, or check out this week's pick for No Wait Wednesday: Cleat Cute by Maryl Wilsner.

A feel-good sapphic romance about a soccer team featuring neurodivergent characters in a grumpy/sunshine pairing that's filled with wit, charm, and, most importantly, heat. The story begins with Grace Henderson, captain of the New Orleans Krewe soccer team, who's already a veteran in her late 20s, as she's been playing soccer professionally since she was a teen. Her age is starting to show as several years worth of injuries are catching up with her, and lurking in the back of her mind is the constant fear that every professional player in any sport has: that she'll be replaced and eventually run out of the league by someone younger and better.

Those fears don't diminish when rising young star Phoebe Matthews is signed to the team, as the red-haired rookie plays the same position as Grace and grew up with posters of the star on her wall. Grace gives the newcomer the cold shoulder even though Phoebe couldn't be more excited to play on a team with her idol. Over time, the enthusiasm and energy of the new player wears Grace down and they discover that they share a spark, both on (and particularly off) the field. What begins as a casual friends-with-benefits arrangement heats up and becomes more complex as both stars are soon invited to play on the U.S. National Team for the World Cup. When injuries finally catch up with Grace, the two must work together to save both the season and their relationship.

This sparkling sports romance not only features the grumpy/sunshine pairing, but also touches on how neurodivergent characters can overcome romantic obstacles in their lives - Grace is on the spectrum and can come off as socially awkward and in need of structures and routines in her life while Phoebe is more ADHD, with a lack of focus and high impulsivity fueling her actions. With these opposing foundations set, the banter between the two is priceless and full of both genuine emotion and charm. Wilsner creates a story rich with characters' inner monologues that can get a bit wordy at times, but readers will absolutely be pulled in by both the character work and, yes, the spiciness of the romance. Sports romance novels are definitely on a upward trend, so if you've never tried one, it's time to get off the bench and get in the game with Cleat Cute. We hope you enjoy! Thanks for reading, and we'll see you next time!


Toolkit Tuesday - Newspapers

With Toolkit Tuesday, we share Library tools you might not know about! This week's tool: Newspapers


We still offer good old-fashioned paper newspapers. You'll find them available in a cozy reading area at your favorite Library location.


We also offer eNewspapers you can enjoy from the comfort of home, at the coffee shop, when a game goes south or, really, anywhere. 

Do you have a particular newspaper in mind? Search and find newspapers by title.



This Week at the Library

Library OnDemand – Programs available anytime you like on our YouTube channel. 

Your doorway into live and archived programs. Arts & Culture, Career & Finance, Community Matters, Writers and more!

Tabletop Games – Tuesday, Jan. 30, 6 – 7:45 p.m.

Join us at the Monticello Library for a fun-filled event with family and friends and become a part of the Johnson County tabletop gaming community. Discover new games from our collection or bring your personal favorite to share – you might get creative with a round of Dixit, collaborate to escape the Forbidden Island or strategize your way to victory as King of Tokyo! Come and go as you please. Refreshments are provided.

Homework Help – Wednesday, Jan. 31, 3:30 – 5 p.m.

Join us at Central Resource Library for this incredible program. Homework Help specifically focuses on literacy support for grades 2-5. Students are encouraged to bring specific homework assignments from school, such as book reports, writing projects, vocabulary, spelling, science or social studies reading, math word problems, or any other work related to their specific literacy needs. English Language Learners (ELL) are welcome. Students will be served on a first-come, first-served basis, and busy times may require a wait. Additional online tutoring resources are available and include BrainFuse, Lightbox, and Khan Academy among others.

Friends of the Library Pop-Up Book Sale – Saturday, Feb. 3, 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Shop gently used books and items from the Friends of the Library
20% Friends members discount all day! Follow the Friends on Facebook for holiday exceptions to the sale and other announcements.

And much more happening this week … 


Exhibitions Now Showing

We are proud to announce our new round of exhibitions are now on display for your viewing pleasure! Many of our locations share the work of Kansas City metro area visual artists in Library space art galleries. See what artist's work is at your favorite location!


Library Staff Prepare to Say Goodbye to Antioch

Since starting as leased space nearly 70 years ago, the Antioch Library has been expanded twice, renovated extensively three decades ago, and served as system headquarters until the Central Resource Library opened in 1995.

In addition to serving generations of Library patrons, Antioch also housed classes for Johnson County Community College’s adult education program until it moved into a separate space along 87th Street.

On January 28, Antioch will close for good in preparation for the opening of the new Merriam Plaza Library this spring. Staff hold many fond memories of the location, starting with the maze of corridors and offices created through its history of renovations.

“It’s still really nostalgic to walk through the different parts of the building and imagine what they used to be,” said Branch Manager Amy Barclay. The vacant upstairs office space is eerie, she said, and office lore has it that a shy, friendly ghost frequents the premises (and may stick around when everyone else moves to Merriam Plaza).

When Barclay took over as branch manager two years ago, it was a homecoming for her. She started her library career in 2011 as a page at Antioch while working on her master’s degree in library science.

Antioch was also the launching pad for County Librarian Tricia Suellentrop, who officed at Antioch in her first professional job as a teen services librarian. She remembered having trouble finding her way out of the building through the byzantine back office after her first day of work.

Suellentrop also remembered the work environment as a “wonderful example of collaboration” because it served many different functions. It was a unique experience for her first job, she said, because it gave her a window into so many aspects of the system.

One of the fondest memories staff will take from their experience at Antioch is the connection the community has with a building that, as Suellentrop said, made so many “deep grooves in their lives.”

“Everybody just loves this branch,” said Assistant Branch Manager Sheida Bates, “and the people who grew up coming to the branch are now bringing their kids here.”

Patrons reminisce a lot about attending story times throughout the years, Bates said.

With the upcoming move to Merriam Plaza, Antioch staff has been encouraging patrons to record their memories on comment cards. Bates said they now have a few hundred cards that a staff member has digitally scanned.

One story that staff loved came from a man who met his future wife at Antioch, Bates said.

Through the years, Suellentrop has also encountered staff and patrons who remembered the great reading nooks at Antioch and an old clawfoot bathtub that at one time provided a reading spot as well.

Antioch patrons got an opportunity to put their stamp on Merriam Plaza when the builder provided sheets of drywall for them to sign, which were then installed in meeting room of the new Library (with the signatures on the back of the drywall).

Even with all the nostalgia for Antioch, Merriam Plaza will offer increased convenience with a drive-up window and a more pleasant space featuring a lot of natural light.

“It's always sad to say goodbye,” Barclay said, “but it’s exciting to have something new that will meet many more needs for the community.”


Let's MEME: A Collaboration with Johnson County Museum

Today isn’t your normal Throwback Thursday. 
Today, in collaboration with Johnson County Museum, we’re kicking off a meme contest that will run until February 22. To participate, simply explore Johnson County Museum’s archives and choose a photo that you want to meme. The theme of this contest is “Winter.” 
What’s a meme? It might be easiest to show rather than tell: 

Swift Meme

Simply put, the type of meme we’re looking for in this contest is that of a photo with words imposed on it that give an alternate meaning to the photo, amplify the tone of the photo or use the photo to make a point. Memes are most often funny, but you can choose to create any type of meme you like, provided it fits into the parameters explained below. 

A few FAQ about this contest:

Why are you having a meme contest? 
A few reasons. One is that it’s winter and it’s dreary and memes can be fun and make people laugh. Another is that there are so many cool, interesting photos in Johnson County Museum’s archive that people never see. We’re hoping that you’ll spend some time looking through the archives to find a photo that inspires you. 
Can I pick any photo?  
Yes, provided you find it in Johnson County Museum’s archive. Even though the theme of the contest is “Winter,” you can choose any photo you like, even if it doesn’t seem very wintery. 
How do I create a meme?  
You can use a meme generator like this site. 
Where do I send the meme?  
Email your meme, along with a link to the photo you’ve chosen and your full name and phone number to Entries without this information will be disqualified. 
What’s the deadline?  
Memes received by 5:00 p.m. on February 22, 2024 will be accepted for the contest. 
Photos will be uploaded to a Facebook album no later than noon on February 24th. Voting will close at 5:00 p.m. on February 29th. Winners will be announced on social media on March 1st. 
Are there any restrictions on the memes submitted?  
Memes with offensive language or content will not be accepted. All submissions are subject to the Johnson County Government Social Media Policy. Submissions that do not include a link to the photo in the archive and your name and phone number will not be accepted. 
Submitting a meme for the contest means you agree that your meme will be posted publicly and may be shared by others. You also agree to be in a photo if you win and agree that the photo and your name will be shared via social media platforms 
Can anyone participate?  
Yes, anyone (including Johnson County Government employees) can participate. You must be able to pick up your prize in person in order to win, and Johnson County Government employees are not eligible to win employee pick prizes. 
Did you say prizes? 
Yes, we did! There will be three (3) winners: a popular vote pick, a Johnson County Library employee pick and a Johnson County Museum employee pick. The popular vote pick will be determined by the number of “heart” reactions on Facebook. The employee picks will be determined by internal poll. 
Prizes will include a Johnson County Library mug, pen and other goodies and a Johnson County Museum pass. 
When will winners be announced?  
Winners will be announced via social media on March 1. 
Did you come up with this idea on your own? 
Nope. We were inspired by Montana State Library


No Wait Wednesday: The Roaring Days of Zora Lily by Noelle Salazar

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of No Wait Wednesday, where we turn the spotlight on a book that's on the "New Release" section at one of our Library branches that we think absolutely deserves your attention. The best thing of all? There's no waitlist (at the moment!), so place your holds now!

Today's book is The Roaring Days of Zora Lily by Noelle Salazar. If you're a fan of historical fiction, then you might know that Salazar made some noise in the World War Two sub-genre a few years ago with her well-regarded 2019 debut about a group of female pilots, The Flight Girls, that combined historical details, a sweet romance, and a quick and enjoyable plot into a pleasantly digestible mix that charmed readers. Salazar again dips her toe into the historical fiction waters, but this time setting her tale back in time a bit further to the 1920s with a breezy rags-to-riches tale set during the height of Prohibition that stretches from the back alleys of Seattle to the height of Hollywood glamour.

The story begins in the current day, where an archivist is going through exhibition items for a display of classic dresses and gowns worn during Hollywood's Golden Age. While looking at a dress worn by Greta Garbo, the archivist notices a label artfully hidden under the designer's label that reads simply "Zora Lily," which launches the rest of the novel told in flashback, as we get introduced to Zora and follow her life from (literal) rags to (almost) riches.  

In 1924, Zora Lily Hough lives on the wrong side of the tracks, born one of seven siblings in a hardscrabble Seattle neighborhood where her mother finds occasional work as a seamstress, teaching a young Zora to help out as she grows up. It's clear that Zora has lots of talent, but can only find steady work as a nanny for a wealthier family, tending to children during the day while investigating the surprisingly large amounts of local speakeasies during the evenings, dancing the night away. This is all the life that Zora could hope for, however fate intervenes when she manages to use her skills to land a gig sewing costumes for her friends' nightclub review act that eventually leads her to  the bright lights of Hollywood, designing and crafting dresses and gowns that are seen the world over. She doesn't make it to the top by herself, if course, as there's usually a friend she makes along her journey that helps her out just when she needs it the most, and there's a romance that lasts through the book, as Zora meets a dashing Englishman while clubbing, and when disaster strikes, she'll find out if it's just a passing fling or something more akin to true love. Her determination and willingness to make a success of things, whatever the circumstance, makes her a character the reader can cheer for.

The Roaring Days of Zora Lily is a breezy, feel-good historical fiction novel, perfect for those who might be attracted to the genre but don't want to get bogged down in details - Salazar is excellent at keeping the tone light and the pace quick, so even when Zora has her setbacks, she's back on her feet and moving forward, along with the story. And, if you come to the genre for period-accurate details, Salazar will not disappoint, and readers who are a fan of stories involving the Prohibition era and stores set in classic Hollywood should enjoy this one. Sharp-eyed fans of the Johnson County Library's Staff Picks Blog might notice that we've featured a historical novel involving a determined young woman who made a name for herself in the fashion world - just a few years ago we discussed By Her Own Design by Piper Huguley which covers a lot of similar ground, however Huguley's novel was based on a true story while Salazar's is strictly fiction. Readers who enjoy authors like Fiona Davis and Kate Quinn should enjoy these books. 

Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoy our No Wait Wednesday posts, and we'll see you next time!


Toolkit Tuesday - Mobile App

With Toolkit Tuesday, we share Library tools you might not know about! This week's tool: Our Mobile App.

Johnson County Library’s Mobile App makes it easy to use the catalog to find and discover titles, manage your account and get the location and title availability information you need. It's super-handy, but there are pros and the cons to using the Mobile App as opposed to visiting our website,

The cons are few, but you will not be able to access website-exclusive content.  Our front page featured stories and all past features are not available on the app. You will also miss out on our Explore, eLibrary, Research, more detailed location pages, and sections for birth to six, kids and teens. 

That said, if you simply would like to:

  • Search the collection
  • Get details on any title
  • Check a title's availability – even map the locations where it is currently available
  • Place holds
  • Renew titles
  • See upcoming due dates
  • Add titles to your For Later list
  • Browse bestsellers, new titles and recent reviews
  • Check your neighborhood library hours and get directions to the nearest location

then, consider the Mobile App!