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This Week at the Library

This week at the Library, you can join us for

Online Storytime  Monday, Feb. 8, 10 - 10:30 AM
The whole family will enjoy this flexible Storytime. Hearing stories is a great way to spend time with your kids and help them foster a love of reading. Stories, songs, fingerplays and movement activities foster pre-reading skills. Fun for the whole family.

One-on-One Genealogy Help – Tuesday, March 9, 9 AM - 1 PM

Book Party – Wednesday, March 10, 2-2:30 PM

Intro to 3D Modeling-TinkerCAD – Friday, March 12, 12 - 1 PM

and much more!



Local Artist Y the Ghost to be Part of Beyond Music

Exciting news from Jacoby Elliot, a local songwriter, performer and musician who we've featured on our Local Music blog. Jacoby's been offered an opportunity to be part of Beyond Music, an "invitation-based community for professional musicians, composers, singers & songwriters representing all cultures and music styles...founded in 2018 by the non-profit Swiss Beyond Foundation and Co-Founder Tina Turner." It seems Johnson County Library's Y the Ghost blog feature (as seen below) played a role here! We're so very proud of Jacoby!


Family grateful for English Language Services at Johnson County Library

When Maria Tamayo Gonzalez and her two children moved to Johnson County from Mexico in 2012 they spoke almost no English. Her husband Adan already lived here and had a job in construction, and now the family was adjusting to life in the U.S. “Soon after I arrived in Merriam I received help for my family because my two children didn’t speak English,” she recalled. Among the first pieces of advice she received was that Johnson County Library offered assistance, classes and resources for Spanish-speaking patrons needing to learn English. “We received a lot of help,” Gonzalez said, “mostly with language and reading.”

In 2013, they were put in touch with Christine Peterson, who that year had been named Latino Services Outreach Librarian. Gonzalez says Peterson has been a huge help to her since 2013, with English classes on Saturdays at Oak Park Library, 9500 Bluejacket St., Overland Park, and, more recently, with citizenship studies. Her children received help with reading and homework. She discovered that Oak Park Library had a good selection of Spanish-language books, and the family has enjoyed both the Oak Park location and the Antioch branch in Merriam over the years.

Gonzalez then had her third child, a daughter who is now 3; both mother and daughter have benefited from the Library’s early literacy program and storytimes to build their language skills. “My little one is very happy to see Christine,” Gonzalez says. “She says, “I’m going to school for Christine, Mom.’” Gonzalez and her children are among about 30 families with whom Peterson works closely. “When we have patrons like that come to the Library, we try to give them as much information as possible,” Peterson said.

Most recently, Peterson has helped Maria Gonzalez with information and classes to gain U.S. citizenship. Maria and her youngest were also in Peterson’s 6 by 6 early literacy program in Spanish. “I encourage the language of the home,” Peterson said. “She will learn how to speak English very quickly because her parents have been reading to her in Spanish. It doesn’t confuse a child. I have many examples of children who have soared in English because their parents have read to them in their native language.”

Maria’s two older children are now 16 and 12. They primarily became fluent in English through school, but said the Library was also a place to improve their reading skills. At Peterson’s urging, they have also both volunteered in past years at Antioch Library and enjoyed giving back to the community. Her son organized and shelved books and supervised younger kids during meetings of Latino families at Antioch Library. “I liked helping out,” he said. Her daughter said after-school Library programs helped her become a voracious reader. “They had books in Spanish that we read, and they made learning English a lot easier,” she said. Before the pandemic, she also worked with younger children struggling to read and got feedback that it helped those students improve their grades.

Gonzalez’s husband, Adan, said they are all grateful to Christine Peterson and the Library for wonderful services and programs that have helped the family build a good home and life in Johnson County.

You can find Español and English Language Learner (ELL) programs such as Online Bilingual Storytime and Intermediate English-language Conversation Class for English Learners at the Johnson County Library. To learn more about the resources and materials available, visit the en Español page on 


TBT: March is Red Cross Month

March is Red Cross Month. From the American Red Cross:

Throughout the month of March, we honor people like you who make the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross possible — the individuals across the country who turn compassion into action, helping others in times of crisis. Our Red Cross Month celebration has been an annual tradition since 1943, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the first Red Cross Month proclamation.

We found such great Red Cross photos at, we just had to share them. Remember, JoCoHistory is 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.


New Podcast Episode

The Did you hear? podcast makes its triumphant 2021 return. It's been a while since you last heard from your Library insider, but we're back! This year, we have some changes. We are now a monthly podcast. New episodes are released on the first day of each month. Also, we now have a small group of hosts who bring behind-the-scenes stories to life for our thematic episodes. This month's theme? "Things You Can Still Do at the Library." We bring you stories about Udemy, the MakerSpace, Career Development's relationship with a retiree helping you make sense of and budgeting, and bringing famous authors to storytimes. All this and Dave has a brain glitch causing him to forget the name for the prestigious annual award for children's book illustrators (Before you scream at your phone or computer, it's the Caldecott Medal.) Enjoy!    


Silent Book Recommendations: The Cook by Maylis de Kerangal

Our Librarian Matt is inspired by his current read and cooks up a tasty treat.


Connect with Your Community

Learn how your tax dollars are put to work to make our community a better place to live. Meet hard-working members of the Johnson County Government and find out how they help every day. Our guests for March 2 are from the K-State Research and Extension Office.

Connect with Your Community March 2, 6:30 pm 


This Week at the Library

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

Ask-a-Maker SessionMonday, March 1, 10 – 11 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.

Connect with your Community – Tuesday, March 2 , 6:30 – 7:30 PM
Learn how the Johnson County Extension office has access to the latest research-based information from universities across the county. Extension agents are Kansas State University faculty members living in the community and offering classes and information on a wide variety of subjects ranging from nutrition, to money management, to horticulture. They’ll help you apply information to your own specific issues here in Johnson County.

Book Party – Wednesday, March 3, 2 – 2:30 PM
Get some fresh reading and listening recommendations from one of our Librarians! Join us for a Book Party where a librarian will "booktalk" a short list of titles centering around a certain genre or theme.

Young Adult Literacy Council – Sunday, March 7, 2-3 PM
Teens are invited to join the YA Literary Council to share favorite books, review titles for the Library website and participate in fun activities. You can meet new people and receive volunteer credit hours for your time with us.

And much more