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Antioch's READ Poster Winner

Each of our locations draws a name from the pool of kids who participated in Summer Reading to win a READ poster photoshoot. Here's Antioch's winner!

Antioch hosts lots of great events, like Table Top Games, and also has some great reading spots, like their "castle" and the three reading nooks near the 6 by 6 play area. Check out all their events here »


Breaking Free

This spring, Johnson County Library charts a new path, exploring issues facing our community and honoring the bravery it takes to venture forward with no road map. Our theme comes from the editors of our teen literary magazine, elementia. One of them chose “breaking free” as an homage to the difficulties of breaking out of your shell and standing up for what you believe in, and the resulting poem is featured below. Our teens are asking their peers, “How do you break free?”

Making these kinds of changes doesn’t stop at the end of one’s teenage years. We are each on a lifelong journey to look critically at self and community and ask what it is that holds us back – what it is we want and need. Figuring out how to empower others and make necessary changes in the world around us is a task that never ends. Inspired by the growing urgency those in our community feel to speak out, be heard and take action the Library invites you to join us in finding your own way this spring.

Our teen and youth programs focus on individuality and expression, cultivating a sense of self in our young people. Our adult programs explore one significant issue impacting our community and the world around us – food insecurity.

The launch of our teen magazine’s 16th volume will bring Jacqueline Woodson, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, to the Library for our reception. We’ll gather young writers and artists from the KC metro area and beyond who have taken to thinking about how they stand up and speak out. Partnerships with the Food Policy Council of Johnson County and Johnson County K-State Research and Extension, as well as a series of events with author Leann Brown work to educate our public about food security and sustainability. A city-wide event with Ta-Nehisi Coates, National Book Award winner, will allow us to break free of our city and county lines to come together and build understanding about systems that were built to keep us apart. Our art exhibitions examine how art and information interact, providing food for the body and the mind in special performances by m.o.i. aka Minister of Information and Sarah Star Wilkinson.

Join us and explore the ways we stand up, speak out, break free and create our own road maps every day. See our Breaking Free programming »



Stained Glass by Oli Ray

I feel like a shattered stained glass window.

The few truths I had lie shattered into the dirt and while half of me leaks sorrow for them,
another part desperately wants to smash my bare feet into them, swirling them into the dirt with
my metallic honesty as I accept the fallacy my life has been.

I was put together at one point, I know that much. I also know that my insides were scotch taped
with ragged edges to keep the outside beautiful. I know happiness twirled and danced until
being kicked into submission, pushed into a box and kept under lock and key. Confusion took
over then, trying to keep up with the tears in our facade.

Thank god they only used scotch tape on my glass like insides.

I wonder if churches do the same: I wonder if they scotch tape the parts of themselves they
would rather the outside not see. Most would see this as ethically relevant but I think some go
as far as to resort to scissors, cutting off excess parts despite all the bleeding.

I wonder how much blood sits beneath the pew seats.

I wonder at exactly which time I was slaughtered there, carried into the back and stored in the
wardrobe where we keep baptism robes, because only our ghosts are as white as those sheets.

I always loved the quiet of an empty sanctuary: the times where it’s dark and silent and it feels
like your mind can touch the ceiling as your thoughts drift and dry through the air lazily, it’s so

I think that’s as close to God as I have ever gotten.

I love those that surround me there, but the silence in smiles reminds me of the dripping sound
beneath my pew that only a few of us ever seem to hear, those I fellowship with have thoughts
much louder than I’d ever let mine dare to be.

Maybe that’s why I always wanted to break that god forsaken stain glass window. Maybe that’s
how I realized how alone I felt while surrounded by family, because I didn’t want to be the only
shattered art piece in the room!

And when I ever finally decide to put myself on display, maybe I will break that window, so when
they decide to reach for the scissors, at least my blood will land on something beautiful.

Because that green carpet turns scarlet translucent, the bathroom stall walls muffle cries better
than an empty desert and hugs are always followed by thoughts of what if they knew.
What if they knew I wasn’t blind and deaf to the tragedies occurring in that building the way they
are? What if they knew I had hard time coming through those doors not because I don’t feel at
home there but because their homely hospitality isn’t for me.

It’s for a girl I can’t be.

Because I’m a shattered stained glass window, and they like their pieces put together in delicate
patterns by dollar store scotch tape and hands holding scissors, but I much prefer mine in the
dirt if that’s the only way to find myself.

I think maybe one day I’ll put myself together, though I’m not sure what I’ll build. I only have
these torn bits of scotch tape repression and a box my depression keeps a tight hold on.

I still think the glass is beautiful though; cracks and shatters create a mosaic that at least isn’t
trying to hide.

Maybe one day it will form a self portrait.

One day, I won’t feel the need to break stained glass windows.

Maybe one day, they’ll see the blood on the floor.



Curiosity Sparks Imagination

Your support of the Johnson County Library Foundation has a profound impact on our community. The Foundation funds library resources, books, and educational programs that encourage curiosity, spark imagination and bring dreams to life.

The Foundation supports lifelong learning programs including:

Your gift has the power to change lives. Your contribution to the Foundation will directly fund Library programs, services, and the growth of the collection of more than 1 million items.  For more information, contact Stephanie Stollsteimer at

Thank you for your continued support!



Wow! Lenexa City Center Library time-lapse

We placed a camera in a window of the Lenexa City Hall Communications office. It overlooks the site of the Lenexa City Center Library construction. For over 8 months we have captured the progress of our newest Library from an empty lot to what you see today. Take 5 minutes and watch this building take shape before your eyes. We're sure you'll say: "Wow!"


Stowers Institute: Scientific Microimaging

Monday, October 1 to Friday, December 21, 2018

Stowers researchers pursue basic biomedical research using model organisms to uncover fundamental knowledge about living systems and enable the application of those insights to improve human health. Often, science and art intersect in stunning visual displays.  While scientific images convey valuable data to researchers, their simple beauty may transcend the information they contain and transform them into objects of art.  This exhibition represents the transformation of data into art.


READ Poster Winner

Each of our locations draws a name from the pool of kids who participated in Summer Reading, and this is our winner for Cedar Roe! Look how proud he looks!

Scheduled: Offering Webinars for Students

You may know of for their one-on-one online tutoring, resume help, and test prep, all free to access with your Library card. is testing out a new way to help students - webinars! Check out the two that will be offered in December. 

Dimensional Analysis in Math, Science and Healthcare Courses
Wednesday, December 5th at 4 pm EST (will be recorded for students in later time zones)
Students may register here.


Strategies for Writing Success - geared to help those middle and high school students who are in the midst of term paper writing season!
Thursday, December 6th at 4 pm EST (will be recorded for students in later time zones)
Students may register here.


Throwback Thursday Mid-Century Christmas

Each year, Johnson County Museum staff transform the All-Electric House’s interior and exterior into a Mid-century Christmas wonderland, placing holiday touches throughout the home that make it appear as though a 1950s family lives there. Christmas cookie cutters in the kitchen. A child’s red velvet dress in the nursery. A Santa hat hanging on the bedpost. And of course, the iconic aluminum Christmas tree, front and center in the living room. Read more and see more at jocohistory >>


Now at Cedar Roe: Fractured Fabrics

Saturday, September 1 to Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Fractured Fabric Society (FFS) at Harper's Fabric and Quilt Co. in Downtown Overland Park is a group of non-traditional quilters who meet to share projects, resources and ideas in an encouraging environment. Show and Tell is a major part of the gathering, along with new techniques and topics of interest. In their 14th year, FFS members meet at Harper’s Fabric & Quilt Co. in Downtown Overland Park. Exhibiting artists are JoEl Vogt, Mary Funk, Gayle Baddeley, Mary Kay Fosnacht, Karen Hansen, Kathleen McDaniel, Jackie Stoaks and Cindy Brendzel.


Introduce the group and tell us a little about the Fractured Fabrics Society.

Fractured Fabrics is a non-traditional art quilting group that meets at the Harpers Quilting and Fabrics store on Santa Fe in downtown Overland Park 4 times a year.


Talk about the work that will be on view. What would you like people to know about it?

Each piece is an original work of art designed and constructed by the artist based on their unique vision and inspiration.


What’s the most challenging thing about the creative process for art quilting?

The most challenging thing about art quilting is translating a vision into fabric, thread and embellishments and producing a finished piece that engages the viewer.


Who are the other KC-area quilters the group looks to for inspiration?

While there are many quilter’s groups in the KC-area Fractured Fabrics is one the few organizations to encourage its members to express themselves with new and innovative techniques.



Put a Book in a Child's Hands

Today is #GivingTuesday -- which kicks off the charitable season when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. This year, your Giving Tuesday gift to the JCL Foundation will directly benefit the Library’s ever-popular Summer Reading Program, and put a book in the hands of a child!

From mid-May until the end of July, Johnson County Library helps combat summer slide by providing a free book to every child who signs up with the reading program. Having books at home is strongly linked with academic achievement. By growing children’s personal libraries and helping them find intrinsic value in reading, the library bridges that summer learning gap and invests in the future of our community.

The Library gave away 18,823 books to kids throughout Johnson County this past summer, in comparison to 15,000 in 2017. And that increase is with no additional locations. With the recent opening of our new Monticello Library, we project 22,000 books will be distributed in summer 2019.

Your gift on this Giving Tuesday will directly support this critical service for kids and their families throughout Johnson County. All donations make a difference, for example, $25 buys 5 books!

And today,  your donation can go even further if you use the donate button on our Foundation's Facebook page

On #GivingTuesday, Facebook is partnering with PayPal to match up to $7 million in donations to eligible US-based nonprofits. Donations made on the Foundation’s Facebook page will be matched, dollar-per-dollar starting at 7 a.m. on November 27 (only) and will continue until matching funds run out.   

Happy Holidays and thank you for your continued support of our mission for lifelong learning.