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Writing Contests

We love local authors here at the Library. In support of our home-grown talent, we invite submissions of poetry, fiction, and essays.

Each month we host a new contest with prizes including a $200 honorarium and a reading at the Library or The Writers Place. Read more about the guidelines and enter your original works here »

We love local authors here at the Library. In support of our home-grown talent, we invite submissions of poetry, fiction, and essays.

Each month we host a new contest with prizes including a $200 honorarium and a reading at the Library or The Writers Place. Read more about the guidelines and enter your original works here »

Food and beer

Tonight: An Edible Discussion: Beer!An Edible Discussion

Join fellow foodies in a conversation and potluck. Each month features a varied food theme and a guest speaker from a local restaurant or food business. Come with an appetite for testing different fares and learning from a local expert. Attendees bring a potluck dish and share in a meal exploring that month’s theme. 

June: "Beer" with Pete Dulin, local expert and author
July: "Bread" with Great Harvest Bread Co.
August: "Tomatoes" with Kurlbaum Dry Farmed Heirloom Tomatoes

Join fellow foodies in a conversation and potluck. Each month features a varied food theme and a guest speaker from a local restaurant or food business. Come with an appetite for testing different fares and learning from a local expert. Attendees bring a potluck dish and share in a meal exploring that month’s theme. 

June: "Beer" with Pete Dulin, local expert and author
July: "Bread" with Great Harvest Bread Co.
August: "Tomatoes" with Kurlbaum Dry Farmed Heirloom Tomatoes

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Corinth Library
Teen volunteer

Teen Volunteers

Johnson County Library provides summer volunteering opportunities for students throughout the county. This includes not only a chance to work within the Library and helping with the summer reading program but also an opportunity to gain real work experience and leadership skills. With more than 210 teens volunteers providing over 4,500 hours of service at our thirteen locations, it may seem like an enormous challenge to provide volunteer placement for so many.

Using Technology to Improve Efficiency

Peggy Hendershot, one of Johnson County Library’s teen volunteer coordinators, created a tier system to help manage and standardize the experience of our teen volunteers. The system ranks teens from tier one -- new volunteers learning the ropes -- through tier three -- experienced volunteers ready for more autonomy and leadership. Tier-three volunteers become mentors to other teens and use their problem-solving skills to improve the program.

When faced with rising numbers of teen volunteer applications and limited space in the program, Syed H., currently a high school senior, developed a waiting list using Google forms and a flyer with a link code. He then taught staff how to access and use the waiting list. This digital waiting list is instrumental for placing additional teen volunteers throughout the summer and school year.

Teens Driving Change

This year, Evanna D., a middle school volunteer worked with Mrs. Hendershot to learn interview and placement evaluation skills. She and two other students applied these skills to interview new volunteer applicants in preparation for the summer program. Evanna didn’t stop there. After interviewing, she identified the need for a better form and criteria for the interview process. Mrs. Hendershot encouraged her to create a new form, which proved to be easier and faster than the previous methods.

“We’re always looking for ways to empower our teens,” Mrs. Hendershot said, “By putting together this form, Evanna learned that her feedback counts and that she’s capable of driving change in an adult environment.”

The teen volunteer program at Johnson County Library is a very popular program and fills up fast.  Learn more about 2019 teen volunteer opportunities »

Johnson County Library provides summer volunteering opportunities for students throughout the county. This includes not only a chance to work within the Library and helping with the summer reading program but also an opportunity to gain real work experience and leadership skills. With more than 210 teens volunteers providing over 4,500 hours of service at our thirteen locations, it may seem like an enormous challenge to provide volunteer placement for so many.

Using Technology to Improve Efficiency

Peggy Hendershot, one of Johnson County Library’s teen volunteer coordinators, created a tier system to help manage and standardize the experience of our teen volunteers. The system ranks teens from tier one --... Continue »

Adelante

Adelante! Read!

Programa para niños de 4 a 12 años. Lectura, matemáticas, manualidades, cuentos y presentadores.

¡Todo gratis! No hay inscripción. 

Ver mas Adelante! Read! programas »

Programa para niños de 4 a 12 años. Lectura, matemáticas, manualidades, cuentos y presentadores.

¡Todo gratis! No hay inscripción. 

Ver mas Adelante! Read! programas »

Howard Iceberg

Music Monday: Howard IcebergHoward Iceberg

Howard Iceberg is an icon of Kansas City roots music. A singer-songwriter whose legacy of 1000-plus songs goes back forty years, Iceberg's recorded output in the past few years has been staggering. It's music that cross-pollinates stripped-down midwestern blues with a ragged and sardonic voice reminiscent of Tom Petty and Bob Dylan. We are honored to share an illuminating interview with this Kansas City music legend.

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Please introduce yourself and describe your music for new listeners.

My name is Howard Iceberg.  Over the past 40 years, I've written more than 1000 songs, played out live with Howard Iceberg & the Titanics scores or maybe hundreds of times, and released two or three hundred of my songs, first on cassette, then on CD, and more recently by digital download.  Many local musicians have covered songs of mine in their own shows, and at least a half dozen of my songs have been recorded by other artists.  My main body of work could be called American or roots music, with a strong rock and roll basis; but I've wandered into folk, country, blues, jazz, and elsewhere.  I consider myself a serious amateur and a serious student-- not a professional.  Obvious influences include Bob Dylan, John Prine, and Buddy Holly; but I've also stolen from Miles Davis, Beethoven, Bach, Tom Petty, John Coltrane, The Minutemen, Hank Williams, Smokey Robinson, Chuck Berry, and dozens of others for my music side----and from many writers, including Hemingway, Celine, Henry Miller, Durrell, Shakespeare, Donne, and Jim Thompson for ideas, not to mention my friends and neighbors.  When I remember to keep my eyes and ears open and my mouth shut, songs come to me pretty easily.  (I also was a lawyer for more than 40 years.)

Continue »
Dr. Percival Leroy Jones in military uniformDr. P

Throwback Thursday

This Throwback Thursday we we continue our weeklong recognition of Memorial Day and remember those who died in military service. While Dr. Percival Leroy Jones who served in WWI did not die in active service, we recognize and appreciate all Johnson County military personnel. Jones  also served on the Lenexa School Dist. #46 Board and was Mayor of Lenexa from April 1921 to April 1923. As an early Lenexa physician, he was known for treating pneumonia patients, delivering many babies and making house calls.

Interesting local history can always be found at jocohistory.org or follow our hashtag on Twitter.    

This Throwback Thursday we we continue our weeklong recognition of Memorial Day and remember those who died in military service. While Dr. Percival Leroy Jones who served in WWI did not die in active service, we recognize and appreciate all Johnson County military personnel. Jones  also served on the Lenexa School Dist. #46 Board and was Mayor of Lenexa from April 1921 to April 1923. As an early Lenexa physician, he was known for treating pneumonia patients, delivering many babies and making house calls.

Interesting local history can always be found at jocohistory.org or follow our ... Continue »

musician key

About our Summer Guide Cover

The cover of our Summer Guide features art by local Gavin Snider. He depicted both Kansas City music legends and current musicians in our Listen Local collection. Grab a Guide at any Johnson County Library location and enjoy illustrations of:

  1. Kianna Alarid: Lead singer and songwriter of pop band Yes You Are
  2. Lester Young,  American jazz tenor saxophonist and clarinetist. Helped forge the bebop style in the 1930s and 40s.
  3. Larry Garrett, folk singer-songwriter, guitarist.
  4. Ada Brown: Blue Singer. Brown was both a pioneer of Kansas City jazz and a founding member of the Negro Actors Guild of America in 1936.
  5. Marty Hillard, hip-hop artist, Ebony Tusks. Ebony Tusks is one of Kansas City's most hard-hitting hip-hop acts. 
  6. Julia Lee, blues singer and musician. Lee had a string of R&B hits in the 1940s.
  7. Lupe Gonzalez, musician, bandleader and civic leader.
  8. Qizhen Liu, cellist.  Performs throughout North America, Europe, and Asia as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician.
  9. Count Basie: Jazz composer, pianist and bandleader. An unparalleled musical innovator, Basie's music helped define 20th Century jazz and popular music.
  10. Amado Espinoza, composer, collaborator, maker of custom-made native instruments. Originally from Bolivia, Epinoza's instruments are being played by clients in places as far-flung as France, Spain, Netherlands and South America   
  11. Charlie Parker: Jazz musician and composer. Along with Dizzy Gillespie, this Kansas City-born jazz artist invented bebop.
  12. Chico Sierra: Singer-songwriter, visual artist, poet. 
  13. Chloe Jacobson: Singer-songwriter. Chloe Jacobson will release her first album of melodic and personal indie-pop this summer.
  14. Unknown mandolin player, Fishers Gibson Orchestra
  15. Melba Liston: Jazz instrumentalist and arranger. First noted female jazz trombonist
  16. Joyce DiDonato, Opera singer and recording artist.  A Multi Grammy Award winner of the 2016 Best Classical Solo Vocal Album Joyce and Tony: Live at Wigmore Hall and the 2012 Best Classical Vocal Solo
  17. Calvin Arsenia, harpist, singer, songwriter, collaborator. 
  18. Sara Teasley, drummer of garage rockers Cave Girls

 

The cover of our Summer Guide features art by local Gavin Snider. He depicted both Kansas City music legends and current musicians in our Listen Local collection. Grab a Guide at any Johnson County Library location and enjoy illustrations of:

  1. Kianna Alarid: Lead singer and songwriter of pop band Yes You Are
  2. Lester Young,  American jazz tenor saxophonist and clarinetist. Helped forge the bebop style in the 1930s and 40s.
  3. Larry Garrett, folk
  4. ... Continue »
Julie Bennett Hume

Memorial Day Music Monday: Americana Julie Bennett Hume

Julie Bennett Hume's musical journey has taken many twists and turns. A folk artist who began writing songs when she was a high school senior, Hume became grounded in bluegrass, Appalachian and Cajun music, sharpening her skills as a singer, bassist and guitarist. We're fortunate to share an interview with Hume about her life's work, her new album, the aptly titled Late Bloomer, and what inspires her.

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Please introduce yourself. Describe your music for new listeners.

Hi. I'm Julie Bennett Hume. I live in Lee's Summit, Missouri and am a recently retired German and Philosophy teacher. I now play music, worry about politics and co-host and produce a radio show for KKFI called "River City Chautauqua" in my free time.  I started writing and playing music when I was a senior in high school in Manhattan, Kansas and started performing when I was a student at KU. I played with a lot of different bands when I was in my 20's and early 30's starting with bluegrass and Appalachian music and settling into a Cajun band for several years, playing bass and guitar and singing vocals. I also joined several groups that were part of an organization called "The Center for World Music" in the early 1990's. I sang and played in an Afro-Cuban ensemble, a jug band, a blues trio -- a lot of different types of music, and learned so much from the other musicians during that time. Then real life got going. I was working on my M.A. in German in Austria in the summers, teaching full time and got married, had kids, etc.

As a lot of my ensembles broke up and people moved away, I got out of the music scene and did other things. But I couldn't shake the songwriting habit. Around the time I turned 50, I went to see Rickie Lee Jones and found it really inspirational. She did a version of "Sympathy for the Devil" and I was just mesmerized and inspired that she was still on fire several decades into her career.  One day a few months later I was at home sick and started going through my journals and found songs everywhere (on the backs of envelopes, napkins, receipts, etc.) and I realized I'd been writing songs all along and if I was interested in playing music again and recording songs, I'd better get going. With my family's support, I kind of snuck back in to the music scene. I think that you hear a lot of different sounds in my music, due to the influence of a lot of different people I've played with.  I also owe a great debt to old-time music and old country. Musicians like Leadbelly, Doc Watson, the Carter Family, Kitty Wells, the Delmore Brothers and Jimmie Rodgers have all been big influences. 

Continue »
Potato Sack Race

Throwback Potato Sack!

It's Throwback Thursday and May is National Physical Fitness month. So, potato sack race anyone? We feel there just are not enough potato sack races anymore! Do you feel the same? Or, are you one of those snooty three-legged race fans? ;) Whatever is your bag, we support you in your physical fitness pursuit. Go! Fight! Win!

See more local history at jocohistory.org or follow our hashtag on Twitter.

It's Throwback Thursday and May is National Physical Fitness month. So, potato sack race anyone? We feel there just are not enough potato sack races anymore! Do you feel the same? Or, are you one of those snooty three-legged race fans? ;) Whatever is your bag, we support you in your physical fitness pursuit. Go! Fight! Win!

See more local history at jocohistory.org ... Continue »

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