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Reminder: Tomorrow is Central's Last Day as We Know It!

In 2021 we’ll be making areas of Central Resource Library even better, with an expanded and improved Kids area, additional meeting rooms, exterior enhancements like the addition of a drive-thru and renovations to our staff spaces among the upgrades. 

While we hope you are as excited as we are for these improvements, that means we’ll be temporarily modifying or suspending some services during construction. Key dates and details are as follows: 

  • From Monday, February 8 to Sunday, February 14 Central is expected to close to the public. During this week staff and construction crews will begin prepping for what we’re calling “Little Central.” 

  • On Monday, February 15 Little Central will open in a portion of our front lobby. It will offer limited services, including holds pick-up, materials return and public PCs through the duration of construction. 

  • Construction is anticipated to complete in late 2021

In addition to its public service staff, Central is home to many departments that support all 14 branches and is considered the hub of the Johnson County Library system. Once the work at Central is complete, you will feel the positive impact on Library service with noticeable efficiency, more services and better use of resources.  

We know you probably have many questions about what to expect over the next year. We’ve put together a Central Resource Library Construction FAQ that addresses the status of popular services like the Black & Veatch MakerSpace and Genealogy resources, more details about Little Central and where to find alternate services.  

Watch an animated fly-through of the exciting changes you will see once the library reopens in late 2021, and stay tuned to and @jocolibrary on social media for construction updates. 

You are receiving this email because you have listed Central Resource Library as your preferred branch, or our records indicated you’ve checked out material(s) from the Central Resource Library in the last 18 months. 

Our materials handling spaces, through which new materials, holds and other Library items flow, are being reorganized for operational efficiency 


Location Spotlight: Antioch Library

The Antioch Library has had a 60+ year history at its current location in Merriam. The new location (just down the street at the new Merriam Community Center campus) is anticipated to open in 2023. Plans currently include amenities like a drive-thru window for holds pickup and materials return. Session dates for virtual public info sessions about building design will be announced later this spring, once the architectural firm has been selected.

Antioch is the Johnson County Library system’s oldest building and was at one time the headquarters, beginning in November 1956. After Central opened in 1995, Antioch transitioned to a branch Library in March 1996.

The spacious building has a cheerful children’s section, a big bank of computers and printers that are in constant use, a comfortable quiet room, and art gallery space. It also houses Johnson County adult education classes serving nearly 200 students. The Library serves patrons not only from Merriam but also from Mission and even southern Wyandotte County.


TBT: Football

Are you ready for some football? If so, you're in luck! The Kansas City Chiefs defend their crown Sunday! 

Here's a nod to those who came long before. Leather helmets? How about no helmets at all? Football has long been a favorite tradition in our area. Discover more images and details at It's your place to time travel through Johnson County, Kansas History!


Connect with your Community

State and local governments have a daily impact on our lives and many are unaware of all that’s happening right here in our community. Being informed and engaged can help you take advantage of opportunities or take action to improve the community around you. Johnson County Library is pleased to offer several upcoming opportunities for those interested in connecting with and learning more about what’s happening in the Johnson County Government and the Kansas Legislature.

Civics 101
If you don’t remember high school civics class or want to be more civically engaged, but aren't sure where to start, Civics 101 has got you covered. This is a refresher on the basics of how our democracy works. Join the Library to examine our democracy and get answers to the questions you have.

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. The upcoming February session will spotlight a planner from the City of Overland Park’s Planning & Development Services.

Legislative Coffee

Discover what's percolating in the Kansas Legislature. Representatives and Senators with constituents in Johnson County will discuss the new legislative session, followed by Q&A. Grab your favorite coffee and join the Library online for this engaging series, presented in partnership with the League of Women Voters.


We're an Open Book

Our The Open Book eNewsletter is a great way to stay informed about Library happenings. It's sent to patrons the first Tuesday of every month. Sign up »

See today's issue »


This Week at the Library

This week at the Library, you can join us for

Resumes – It’s all about You - Monday, Feb. 1 | 6:30 – 8 pm

Connect with Your Community – Tuesday, Feb. 2 | 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Book Party – Wednesday, Feb. 3 | 2:00 – 2:30 pm

The Past is Prologue: "Neither Wolf Nor Dog" film – Thursday, Feb. 4 | 12:30 – 1:30 pm

Live Family Trivia – Saturday, Feb. 6 | 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

& much more »


Meet the Filmmaker: Steven Lewis Simpson

Join us for a Q&A with filmmaker Steven Lewis Simpson about his film Neither Wolf Nor Dog. This film was adapted from the acclaimed novel by Kent Nerburn. The story follows a white author who finds himself in the heart of contemporary Native American life in the sparse lands of the Dakotas by a 95 year old Lakota elder and his side-kick.

Patrons are encouraged to watch the film in advance of the Q&A. The film can be viewed over a one-week period from Sunday, January 31 - Saturday, February 6.

Submit your questions to the filmmaker in advance »

Filmmaker Q&A Thursday, Feb. 4, 12:30 pm


Our Librarian Ian's Favorite Table Top Games

During this pandemic, board games have been a valuable pastime for many people, whether it's breaking some out with the family and friends or learning how to play games on new online platforms. At Johnson County Library, our Table Top Games Committee has been trying to think of ways that we can share our passion with our patrons even if we can’t meet in person. Join us each month for a virtual Table Top Games event!

Ian's Table Top Games Story

I have always been an avid video gamer, but my board game experience was limited to Trivial Pursuit until I started working as a teen services librarian at the Kansas City Public Library. I volunteered to participate in a tabletop gaming initiative a couple of the other intrepid teen services librarians were starting in our system. I was aware that these fancy and complicated European tabletop games existed, but they seemed too complicated for me to seek out on my own. I quickly learned that the difficulty curve of modern board games was mostly something I had invented in my head. I founded a weekly teen tabletop gaming program at my branch and it quickly became my favorite part of the workweek. When I came over to Johnson County Library and found that they had their own Table Top Games programming, I tried to keep my cool when my manager asked if I wanted to be involved with it. “Yeah, that would be cool,” I said, doing backflips and fist pumps in my head.

One of my favorite things about tabletop gaming is that they covertly promote useful life skills. In my tabletop gaming incubator we would play games and then discuss which 21st Century skills they reinforced. These included things like literacy, leadership, teamwork, and flexibility. My favorite games are those that have a low barrier of entry but have tons of replayability.

Some of my favorite games:

Splendour - Who knew a game about Renaissance jewel merchants could be so THRILLING. Granted, a lot of this games appeal is its excellent gameplay mechanics (and wonderfully tactile poker chip “jewel” tokens). It’s a game where every single playthrough teaches you a new, better way to play. It’s almost plain unfair that there is an app version of this (which I had to delete from my phone to, you know, be a productive member of society).

Carcassone - Another example of “who knew a game about constructing a medieval fortified town in France could be so much dang fun!” The Germans really know what they are doing when it comes to elegant game design. This is another one of those games that takes minutes to learn, and a lifetime to master.

Takenoko - If this game is available at one of our game nights, I’m usually going to try to make people play it with me. While this game growing bamboo for a voracious panda is pretty cutesy on the surface, the gameplay is phenomenal and so much fun.

Betrayal at House on the Hill - I’m not a big horror movie guy, but this game about a group of people exploring a haunted house is one of my favorites. It’s all the fun of a D&D-esque role playing game without having to learn any lore or math. Best of all is when the game switches up halfway through and one of your party members starts working with the monsters (vampires, werewolves, giant amorphous blobs, there are dozens of crazy horror movie scenarios!) trying to destroy you.

Ticket to Ride - This is my favorite game to introduce folks to the wild and wonderful world of board games beyond Monopoly. It’s hard to think of a more perfect gateway game.


2021 Theme for Black History Month: The Black Family

Family comes into focus with the 2021 theme for Black History Month, The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity. While family gatherings may look a little different this year, the joys of sharing memories, photos and stories strengthen connections.  

Johnson County Library has so many resources it might be hard to choose which to read, listen to, or participate in, so it’s good we get to celebrate all month long.  Black History Month begins February 1 and ends March 1.  

Photo courtesy of the Worcester Art Museum 

Get Started with Primary Sources 

Local History 



  • Celebrate 100 Years of the Negro Leagues - 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues – learn about its development, players, and legacy. 

  • Read More Black Authors: Kids and Teens – Celebrate Black voices with this collection of both fiction and non-fiction titles for younger readers.  

  • Upbeat Black History Month – A collection of uplifting African-American stories from throughout our country's history, with an emphasis on the underknown.