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  • Windows in the Lenexa City Center construction barrier wall
    Windows in the Lenexa City Center construction barrier wall allow a better view into the site. Windows in the Lenexa City Center construction barrier wall
  • Artist's rendering of the new Lenexa City Center Library
    Artist's rendering of the new Lenexa City Center Library Artist's rendering of the new Lenexa City Center Library
  • North exterior stairs under construction
    North exterior stairs will allow access to the Library on two levels. North exterior stairs under construction
  • Structural steel framing
    Structural steel framing is in place Structural steel framing
  • Topping Out
    A "topping out" ceremony was held in early June, marking the last piece of structural steel to be set in place. Topping Out
  • South precast wall erected
    South precast wall has been erected. South precast wall erected
Windows in the Lenexa City Center construction barrier wall

A Wall with a View

The new Lenexa City Center Library is taking shape! In recent weeks structural steel, the elevator shaft, stairwells and pre-cast concrete wall panels have emerged on the site. And now, you can get a better glimpse as construction progresses on our next Johnson County Library.

“Portholes” have been installed in the construction barrier wall around the Library site. These windows allow for safe viewing of the progress going on behind those walls -- the new home for Lackman Library patrons.

When it opens in late 2019, the two-story Lenexa City Center Library will house a collection slightly larger than the current Lackman Library, and will feature:

  • Kids’ area and Holds on the upper level, with convenient access from the adjacent parking garage and Lenexa Commons area
  • An “extended hours” Holds pick-up lobby for picking up your items after hours
  • Adults and Teens sections on lower level, featuring a cultural commons area, tech bar, and public art
  • A drive-through kiosk in the adjacent parking garage for convenient holds pick-up and material drop off
  • Study and conference rooms in a variety of sizes

In collaboration with Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture, Hollis + Miller Architects designed the roughly 40,000 sq. ft. facility to seamlessly fit into the Lenexa City Center plaza and public market while still providing a distinct image for the Johnson County Library.

The exterior of the Library will feature textured walls with deep stone ledges that will engage patrons and the community by allowing for seating within the public plaza. The large roof is designed with an overhang that caps the building – to not only provide shade but also visual prominence. Limestone terrace seating will also be built into the exterior landscaping.

The Lenexa City Center Library features two entrances- the upper level providing easy paths to the Civic Plaza, Lenexa Rec Center, and City Hall; and the lower level entrance is right across from the Public Market.

And while you eagerly “watch” our progress at Lenexa City Center, continue to check back here for more updates!

 

The new Lenexa City Center Library is taking shape! In recent weeks structural steel, the elevator shaft, stairwells and pre-cast concrete wall panels have emerged on the site. And now, you can get a better glimpse as construction progresses on our next Johnson County Library.

“Portholes” have been installed in the construction barrier wall around the Library site. These windows allow for safe viewing of the progress going on behind those walls -- the new home for Lackman Library patrons.

When it opens in late 2019, the two-story Lenexa City Center Library will house a collection slightly larger than the... Continue »

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 »

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