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"Little Central" Open During Construction

We are making areas of Central Resource Library even better in 2021! After clearing the Library of furniture and equipment on the staff side, "Little Central" was opened on February 15 to give patrons access to some resources and modified services during the building upgrade. Little Central includes services like materials return, holds pickup and self-checkout, access to nine public computers, restrooms, printing/copying/scanning, and community information. 

To create Little Central, the Library was closed for a week while temporary walls were installed to create a public barrier from the noise and construction work. In this first phase of the project, construction crew members installed plastic covering over all the book stacks and existing furniture before beginning demolition of the old staff space. Crew members moved the Kids area stacks and started carpet removal.

We know you probably have many questions about what to expect over the next year, so we’ve put together a Construction FAQ that addresses the status of popular services like the Black & Veatch MakerSpace and Genealogy resources, more details about Little Central, and where to find alternate services.

In addition to its public service staff, Central is home to many departments that support all 14 branches. Once the work at Central is complete, you will feel the positive impact across the Library system!

 

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TBT: It's a Foodie Thursday!

Benjamin Franklin once said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." We think food should be added to that notion. At least the need and craving for food. The Nutritionists and Dietitians at eatright.org which is home to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, encourages learning "about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits."

Think about your personal history with food and nutrition. For a little foodie fun, search for your favorite food at jocohistory.org. It's the place to time travel through local history. Be sure to follow our hashtag on Twitter!

Happy Throwback Thursday! Some call it the best day of the week.

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March and April Podcast Episodes

The Did you hear? podcast March episode's theme is "Things You Can Still Do at the Library." We bring you stories about Udemy, the MakerSpaceCareer Development's relationship with a retiree helping you make sense of mint.com and budgeting, and bringing famous authors to storytimes.

We're excited to announce we are excitedly working on our April episode, "Parents as Teachers." Broadly, this theme explores parental involvement in education. We've got something for parents of any K-12 student. COVID has forced many of us to be a bit more involved in our child's education than we ever have before. The Library can help! Whether it's homeschooling or home learning that complements traditional school, Library resources can make your life easier. Join us April 1st to dive into the roles, relationships and resources for parents as teachers.   

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Legislative Coffee

Discover what's percolating in the Kansas Legislature. Representatives and Senators with constituents in Johnson County will discuss the new legislative session, followed by Q&A. You bring the questions!

Submit your questions in advance »

Register for Legislative Coffee on March 20, 9:30 am. Our guests will be:

  • Senator Pat Pettey, District 6
  • Representative JoElla Hoye, District 17
  • Representative Brett Parker, District 29
  • Representative Brandon Woodard, District 30

Presented with the League of Women Voters.

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This Week at the Library

This week at the Library, you can join us for:

Ask-a-Maker Session – Monday, March 15, 10 – 10:30 AM
If you're a Maker working on a current project, register for one-on-one help with a MakerSpace Facilitator, hosted live via Zoom. Whether you need help using hand tools, software or specific equipment, our Makers can answer your questions.

March Readings by Writing Contest Winners – Tuesday, March 16, 6:30 – 7:30 PM
Enjoy readings by the three winners of the Library’s Imagine Your Story Writing Contest. Nick Lopez, John Adams, and Virginia Brackett will each read their winning pieces, along with additional pieces from their body of work. There will also be an opportunity for patrons to ask the authors questions during the reading.

Civics 101 – Thursday, March 18, 7 – 8:00 PM
Don’t remember high school civics class? Want to be more civically engaged, but aren't sure where to start? We’ve got you covered with Civics 101, a refresher on the basics of how our democracy works. Join us as we examine our democracy and get answers to the questions you have.

Legislative Coffee – Saturday, March 20, 9:30 – 10:30 PM
Discover what's percolating in the Kansas Legislature. Senator Pat Pettey, District 6, Representative JoElla Hoye, District 17, Representative Brett Parker, District 29 and Representative Brandon Woodard, District 30 will discuss the new legislative session, followed by Q and A. You bring the questions! This series is presented in partnership with the League of Women Voters.

And much more …

 

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From Clerk to Trainer, Staffer Adapts to Changing Roles

Lucas Kirkendoll has been with Johnson County Library for a little over two years, during a profoundly challenging time for the entire Library system, especially since the Coronavirus pandemic struck. But he has adjusted to changing job roles and responsibilities and appreciates how his colleagues have also adapted and risen to the occasion.

Kirkendoll was hired in late 2018 as a learning and development clerk, providing support for the training specialists. He assisted two specialists with in-person presentations, preparing rooms, printing materials and running reports. And then the world changed.

“When the pandemic hit, initially it was really overwhelming,” Kirkendoll said. But the Library managed that change more smoothly than he had expected.

“I think part of it is just the nature of Library staff in general,” he observed. “How intuitive they are and hungry for learning opportunities. Initially we had to get a real grasp of what we could and couldn’t do and what was best for the organization.”

Some training responsibilities got put on hold, he says. But that generated opportunities to provide support in other ways such as running online meetings and taking notes to keep everyone on track.

He was part of a team working on the diversity and inclusion initiative. “We worked with an outside consultant to train all of our managers,” he said. Kirkendoll acted as a moderator or producer, the person behind the scenes running the online meetings.

Then in November 2020 the position got regraded as a training specialist, allowing him to facilitate and host meetings and to be a point of contact for new employee orientation.

Kirkendoll brings varied life experiences to this role. He grew up in Parkville, Mo., where he attended Park Hill South High School and initially was more pre-occupied with sports than academics. He played soccer at Maple Woods Community College but realized sports wasn’t going to be his career, so got a degree in psychology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

He later got a job as a Johnson County Mental Health case manager. He worked with adolescents dealing with substance abuse and then assisted adults coping with persistent mental illness. He personally witnessed how adolescents in residential treatment valued the Library’s incarcerated services program.

“Those kids would go through books like anyone’s business,” he recalled. He sometimes met adults in  Library meeting rooms, and realized how important Library branches were for community outreach.

Kirkendoll took seriously the advocacy he could provide for clients, to show them “their voice is important.”

While studying in college, one field he found interesting was industrial organizational psychology, focusing on ways to improve the work environment, including job performance, communication and professional satisfaction.

At Johnson County Mental Health, he transitioned from working with clients to working with staff on training and support, which was very rewarding. Then he saw the opening at the Library and applied.

Kirkendoll has enjoyed the Library work, and is also pursuing information technology studies at Johnson County Community College in his spare time.

“I could see that being beneficial for the organization, understanding the application of different software systems,” he said.

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TBT: March is Women's History Month

From womenshistorymonth.gov:

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.

We have an excellent local resource for exploring women's history right here in Johnson County. jocohistory.org is the place to time travel through local history. Be sure to follow our hashtag on Twitter! Have a Happy Throwback Thursday!

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Maintain Your Ride

DIY bike maintenance made simple! Learn to keep your bike in tip-top shape with this free virtual class from Johnson County Library and BikeWalkKC, focused on basic tools and practical know-how.

Maintain Your Ride | Thursday, March 18, 12pm. Register now »

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Storytime on Demand

You can enjoy songs, rhymes, and finger plays any time you and your child want to - on our Facebook Storytime On-Demand playlist »