Search Stories

Read to a Dog program

Benefits of Reading to a Dog

The cultivation of early literacy skills and lifelong learning are an important backbone of Library services. We provide everything from databases and movies to books, magazines and e-zines, making it a place for patrons of all ages to learn and explore!  In order to find enjoyment in such services, it helps to have a comfort level with the basics of reading and reading comprehension.

For our youngest patrons, discovering a level of enjoyment with reading also creates a critical foundation of early literacy skills that determine future educational success.

Reading, like other skills, improve with practice and learning within a friendly environment can further boost the desire to build advanced reading skills. The Library’s READ to a Dog joins regular reading practice with a friendly animal friend -- a trained Reading Education Assistance Dog (R.E.A.D.). For more than 15 years, the Read to a Dog program has been a popular way to join children learning important reading comprehension skills with certified and well-behaved therapy dogs in a friendly, relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere.

Loyal Companions
Registered therapy dogs in the program volunteer with their dedicated handlers as a team. These duos visit libraries, schools, hospitals, detention facilities, care programs and many other settings as reading companions for children in our community. In addition to building critical reading skills and fluency, participation in Read to a Dog programming builds self-esteem, confidence and improved emotional and social skills. Today, there are thousands of registered R.E.A.D. teams working throughout the United States and internationally.

Offered Year-round
​Throughout the year, Johnson County Library hosts opportunities for young readers to participate in the Read to a Dog programs, building upon a 15-year partnership with Pets for Life, founded in 1984, and Intermountain Therapy Animals, founded in 1999. Patrons looking to instill reading confidence in young readers can find reading opportunities at the Leawood Pioneer, Central Resource and Antioch Library locations.

Our local R.E.A.D. teams are fabulous, and we could not provide this program for the children in our community without their tremendous dedication. To learn more about R.E.A.D., visit here.

The cultivation of early literacy skills and lifelong learning are an important backbone of Library services. We provide everything from databases and movies to books, magazines and e-zines, making it a place for patrons of all ages to learn and explore!  In order to find enjoyment in such services, it helps to have a comfort level with the basics of reading and reading comprehension.

For our youngest patrons, discovering a level of enjoyment with reading also creates a critical foundation of early literacy skills that determine future educational success.

Reading, like other skills, improve with practice and learning within a friendly environment can further boost the desire to build advanced reading skills. The Library’... Continue »

JCL Foundation launches new website

Foundation Launches new Website

Checkout the new Johnson County Library Foundation website, www.jocolibraryfoundation.org!  You’ll see a new dynamic design with features, photos, and functions that help to tell the stories of the Library and compel donations to support its programs and collections. 

Learn how the dollars donated to the Foundation help the Library offer programs for patrons of all ages and serve the needs of our community-- above what public funding provides, including:

  • Collection and resource enrichment
  • Youth homework assistance
  • Art programs
  • Civic engagement programs
  • Early literacy initiatives
  • Youth-at-risk programs
  • Technology and STEAM education

Special thanks to all of you who have made a donation, participated in a fundraising event, or volunteered.  The Johnson County Library Foundation counts on the financial and in-kind support of individuals, businesses, and charitable foundations to grow to meet the ever changing needs in Johnson County. 

Enjoy the website, follow the JCL Foundation on Facebook and Twitter, and make a donation today! 

Checkout the new Johnson County Library Foundation website, www.jocolibraryfoundation.org!  You’ll see a new dynamic design with features, photos, and functions that help to tell the stories of the Library and compel donations to support its programs and collections. 

Learn how the dollars donated to the Foundation help the Library offer programs for patrons of all ages and serve the needs of our community-- above what public funding provides, including:

  • Collection and resource enrichment
  • Youth homework assistance
  • Art programs
  • Civic engagement programs
  • Early literacy initiatives
  • Youth-at-risk programs
  • Technology
  • ... Continue »

Did you hear? Our new podcast!

Welcome to the Johnson County Library Podcast! "Did you hear?" is where you'll find all things audio that we produce here at the Library. That might be Librarians talking about upcoming events, guest speakers, interviews with your favorite authors, or live local music recorded at one of our branches. Our first episode is some great live music from BLACK STACEY. Here are three songs recorded at the Leawood Pioneer Library!

Black Stacey

  1. Electric Woman
  2. Happy Music
  3. Change a Thing

 

Welcome to the Johnson County Library Podcast! "Did you hear?" is where you'll find all things audio that we produce here at the Library. That might be Librarians talking about upcoming events, guest speakers, interviews with your favorite authors, or live local music recorded at one of our branches. Our first episode is some great live music from BLACK STACEY. Here are three songs recorded at the Leawood Pioneer Library!

Black Stacey

  1. Electric Woman
  2. Happy Music
  3. Change a Thing

 

MakerSpace

Summer Fun at the MakerSpace

Your Community – Summer Fun in the MakerSpace

The Black & Veatch MakerSpace at the Johnson County Central Resource Library is an environment for discovering creativity and emerging technologies. Visitors of all ages can enjoy access to 3D printing, audiovisual production space/equipment, sewing materials, laser, CNC and vinyl cutting, and a selection of computers with industry-standard software.

Creative Discovery

Depending on the time of day or day of the week, you never know who might be working alongside you in the MakerSpace. The popular destination welcomes hundreds of visitors throughout the day. The gathering spot is popular among engineers, artists, BFA students as well as retired craftspeople and artists who are curious about the newest technologies. What might surprise you though is use of resources within the MakerSpace is free. Generous funding from Black & Veatch makes this possible.

Summer Destination

This summer, the Makers will again offer the popular MakerSpace Passport Program. Much like a staycation, the Passport Program is a great way to find a close-to-home adventure, learning about Maker ideas, tools and skills.

Each week, the Makers will present a new project. Participants will complete a series of different weekly projects using a variety of materials and methods. This is an open, walk-in program. Keep track of your adventure by picking up a Summer MakerSpace Passport and having it stamped after each workshop in June and July. Kids who complete one of each week’s activities will be entered in a Grand Prize drawing. The Passport Program is best for ages 6-12, no grown-ups allowed! The Maker Space provides the supplies.

July Summer Passport Program

Monday, July 9, 10 am-1 pm

Tuesday, July 10, 10 am-1 pm

Thursday, July 12, 5 pm-7 pm

Monday, July 16, 10 am-1 pm

Tuesday, July 17, 10 am-1 pm

Thursday, July 19, 5 pm-7 pm

Monday, July 23, 10 am-1 pm

Tuesday, July 24, 10 am-1 pm

Your Community – Summer Fun in the MakerSpace

The Black & Veatch MakerSpace at the Johnson County Central Resource Library is an environment for discovering creativity and emerging technologies. Visitors of all ages can enjoy access to 3D printing, audiovisual production space/equipment, sewing materials, laser, CNC and vinyl cutting, and a selection of computers with industry-standard software.

Creative Discovery

Depending on the time of day or day of the week, you never know who might be working alongside you in the MakerSpace. The popular destination welcomes hundreds of visitors throughout the day. The gathering spot is popular among engineers, artists, BFA students as well... Continue »

Whizzo the Clown

Clowning Around this Throwback Thursday!

Do you remember Whizzo? “Whizzo’s Wonderland?” "Whizzolark?" This clown was a serious entertainer!

"He had one goal: entertain children and make them laugh."

Read the latest jocohistory blog entry: Frank Wiziarde: Entertainer, Artist, Whizzo the Clown

For even more local history visit jocohistory.org or follow our hashtag on Twitter.

Do you remember Whizzo? “Whizzo’s Wonderland?” "Whizzolark?" This clown was a serious entertainer!

"He had one goal: entertain children and make them laugh."

Read the latest jocohistory blog entry: Frank Wiziarde: Entertainer, Artist, Whizzo the Clown

For even more local history visit ... Continue »

  • Sterling Witt
    Sterling Witt Sterling Witt
  • Sterling Witt
    Sterling Witt Sterling Witt

Now at Lackman: Sterling WittSterling Witt

Monday, May 7, 2018 to Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at Lackman Building

Melodic and aggressive, abrasive and pretty, political and universal, the music and visual art of Sterling Witt has many starting points. In addition to writing catchy, rocking and thought-provoking tunes, Witt is an accomplished painter whose visual work is as vibrant as his music. Encompassing everything from dazzlingly abstract portraits to 3D works that confound, entertain and inspire, Witt brings high-voltage energy to whatever he creates.

*

What comes first – the medium or the message? Tell me a little about the work that will be on view.

I started painting the word Love in an effort to bring more love into my life. I figured if I painted the word, then I would be thinking about it and by thinking about it I would manifest more love in my life. I also think the Love Paintings series have a positive effect on the surroundings of where they are displayed. I chose the watercolor medium because I wanted it to be a challenge for myself to control the paint. Using watercolors with enough water will create a spontaneous result that forces me to act fast and often deal with whatever happens. Being slightly out of control of the painting creates the qualities I'm looking for in the end.

 

What do you feel is your role as an artist?

To express myself and make quality art. I am not one of those people who think anything is art because someone says it is. Composition ought to strike you from across the room. You shouldn't have to think about it, although you might want to think about it after you've enjoyed it thoroughly.  Making art is a personal exploration for me. Often what I appreciate in art is unattractive to others. That old adage: One man’s trash is another mans treasure, is so true for me.

 

What influences your practice/works?

I'm always in search of understanding the world I live in. Discovering the truth--whatever that is--seems to be my personal mission and I assume this has an influence over my creations. Some people think everything is figured out and understood and the world is no longer a place of mystery. Yet a person can spend their entire life studying one subject and never know everything about it. If you think the world is boring and just dirt, rocks, air and water, then the world tends to show you only the mundane because that’s what you believe and what you are open to seeing. For me, it seems the more I understand the less I am certain I know. The world is a mysterious place. Just think: every few years science disproves what was once believed to be fact.

 

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

The Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo never ceases to amaze me. He created some of the greatest illusions and fantasy works. Artists like Arcimboldo make me wonder if art is progressing or digressing as time goes on. He was making his art in the 1500s, and that's incredible to me. The Renaissance Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch is another amazing artist and creates some of the most interesting depictions of historical events, both fantasy and illusion. He was painting in the 1400s--that’s 600 years ago! This is a strong reminder to me that we are not on the cutting edge as much as we often think we are. These guys were making their art in a time when there were no phones, no Internet, no cars, and no electricity. Go have a look at their art and tell me that it's not astonishing.

 

What other writings do you recommend reading to have a better understanding of your artworks and your art practice/process? Please look through our on-line catalog and provide any links to resources that you would recommend.

The Magic of Believing by Claude M Bristol is a great book and was one of the first books I ever read about creating what you want in your life. I have read and reread this book. I would recommend it to anyone. No matter who you are or what you believe, this is a powerful book.  https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/161746036?active_tab=sum...

 

 

Melodic and aggressive, abrasive and pretty, political and universal, the music and visual art of Sterling Witt has many starting points. In addition to writing catchy, rocking and thought-provoking tunes, Witt is an accomplished painter whose visual work is as vibrant as his music. Encompassing everything from dazzlingly abstract portraits to 3D works that confound, entertain and inspire, Witt brings high-voltage energy to whatever he creates.

*

What comes first – the medium or the message? Tell me a little about the work that will be on view.

I started painting the word Love in an effort to bring more love into my life. I figured if I painted the word, then I would be thinking about it and by... Continue »

6 by 6 activity space

6 by 6: Ready to Read and Early Literacy

The Importance of Early Literacy

From day one, a baby’s brain is busy learning about their environment. From the sounds that they hear to the things that they grasp with tiny fingers, every experience helps build connections in the brain. Think back to high school biology. Do you remember hearing the word synapse in those classes? That’s what those connections are. Over time, a network of synapses creates a framework upon which all formal learning will reside. One role of the Johnson County Library is to help children—and the adults who care about them—build that critical framework.

Why the Library

The Library recognized its unique role in brain development many years ago and created an early literacy program designed to be applicable and approachable for everyone: 6 by 6 Ready to Read. The program focuses on six pre-reading skills to help kids get ready for formal education. The Library doesn’t teach reading. Instead, we provide tools so learning to read is easier when the time comes.

Storytime, Activity Spaces and Outreach

Last year, more than 41,000 adults and children attended a library storytime. We plan and present storytimes separately for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Each storytime leader demonstrates the pre-reading skills with songs, rhymes, movement activities and, of course, high-quality children’s books. We are hopeful these learning lessons continue in the car and at home, because it’s the parents and caregivers who have the most influence on a child’s learning; librarians just help start the process.

Literacy Guidance

At Johnson County Library, we have a special team of early literacy specialists who plan the activities in our 6 by 6 activity spaces. These areas are more than a random assemblage of toys. Instead, each center includes activities designed with an intent to reinforce one more of our six pre-reading skills. Play is best when shared, so we strongly encourage adults to play with their children to maximize the impact. Although these spaces vary in size from one location to the next, they are open whenever the library is open and make a great destination for afternoon playdates or bad weather days.

Outside the Library

Of course, not all families can come to the library so we also take our early literacy magic on the road, visiting childcare centers, preschools, park facilities and Parents As Teachers play centers in Blue Valley, Shawnee Mission and De Soto. The Library offers morning workshops for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups and free, for-credit trainings for preschool teachers.

With assistance from the Friends of the Johnson County Library, we also present books for waiting areas at Shawnee Mission Birth Center, Kansas Department of Children & Families, Johnson County health clinics, and WIC offices. To paraphrase Disney’s The Little Mermaid, we want to be where the people are.

The Importance of Early Literacy

From day one, a baby’s brain is busy learning about their environment. From the sounds that they hear to the things that they grasp with tiny fingers, every experience helps build connections in the brain. Think back to high school biology. Do you remember hearing the word synapse in those classes? That’s what those connections are. Over time, a network of synapses creates a framework upon which all formal learning will reside. One role of the Johnson County Library is to help children—and the adults who care about them—build that critical framework.

Why the Library

The Library recognized its unique role in brain development many years ago and... Continue »

Readers Advisory

Find a Great Book to Read

In a rapidly changing world, the Library has come to mean different things to different people – local arts incubator, MakerSpace, or focal point for community engagement – yet for many people the library is still a place for books. Some people see the rows and rows of neatly shelved books at the local library and find them wonderfully enticing, but others find those stacks looming and intimidating, feeling utterly lost in what SHOULD be the simple act of finding a good book.

Find it Here

A book that could be perfect for one person might be absolutely of no interest to another. Or the book that seems to hit all the right points might turn out to be too slow, too twisty, or too unfocused when you actually sit down to read it. Luckily, the Johnson County Library has resources to connect you to that perfect book. Our library staff can help you find that ideal title in a vast array of genres, like space opera, a sweeping historical romance or a gritty thriller.

In addition, we’ll ask you about your favorite appeal factors. Do you like novels that are fast-paced with lots of action? Alternatively, would you prefer novels that are slower, richer and take their time? Do you like books set in a specific place, like the back alleyways of a crime-ridden city where police track down a ruthless killer? Or, would you prefer wild, far-away worlds of adventure filled with vampires or elves? Maybe you want a title that would be perfect for a book group, full of meaty topics? Whatever the need, we understand no two readers are the same and reading suggestions should reflect that.

Making Connections

Not only does the Library have the expertise of our staff with the training to listen to your tastes and help you find what you want, but we also have an online catalog containing connections to great content, accessible with a click of a button. One of our databases, NoveList, can even give you author read-alike lists.

No matter how busy or pressed for time you are, the Library likely has something that fits what you need. Today’s Library is not only about books – Johnson County Library also has eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, books on CD, plus movies and TV shows on DVD. Check out our most recent Staff Picks, and stop in to chat recommendations with us soon!

In a rapidly changing world, the Library has come to mean different things to different people – local arts incubator, MakerSpace, or focal point for community engagement – yet for many people the library is still a place for books. Some people see the rows and rows of neatly shelved books at the local library and find them wonderfully enticing, but others find those stacks looming and intimidating, feeling utterly lost in what SHOULD be the simple act of finding a good book.

Find it Here

A book that could be perfect for one person might be absolutely of no interest to another. Or the book that seems to hit all the right points might turn out to be too slow, too twisty, or too unfocused when you actually... Continue »

Pages