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Stories Come to Life with Wonderbooks

Wonderbooks are children’s books with a ready-to-play audiobook already inside. Simply take one off the shelf, press play and listen as the story comes to life. It’s never been more fun to read along! Whether you and your kid crave favorite classics, a fascinating topic, or a lovely new story, talking books allow kids to engage with books visually and sonically as the book reads aloud.

Wonderbooks read to children, ask questions, and make learning fun. Discover the ready-to-play audiobook inside every Wonderbook. Then, switch to Learning Mode for literacy learning fun that fosters continual exploration of stories and comprehension. They feature a long 16-hour battery life so you can say yes when your child says, “again, again!” You can also charge them at home if you can’t get enough. Wonderbooks even feature a headphone jack for those times when you’re in the car or during quiet times.

When you’re in a Library location, look for the Wonderbook sticker on your favorite children’s books. To browse the Library collection online, go to the online catalog and click Advanced Search, scroll down to Category 1 and select Talking Books, then hit search. This will populate a list of all the Wonderbooks Johnson County Library has available. Browsing through the selection, you’ll find titles like, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin with narration by Gwyneth Paltrow and Adriana Sananes, Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein with narration by Andrew Watts, Trains by Amy Shields with narration by L.J. Ganser and Corduroy by Don Freeman with narration by Viola Davis. With hundreds of Wonderbooks to choose from, there are many topics and interests for your child to enjoy.

Wonderbooks help children hear and see words at the same time which can greatly benefit early literacy. Stop by any Johnson County Library branch or visit our catalog to find Wonderbooks today.

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Join us for Movies in the Park

Grab a blanket, pack a picnic, and join us for live music and activities. Bring the family to one or both of our upcoming Movies in the Park! Festivities begin at 7 p.m. prior to the movies which will start at dusk.

Movie in the Park: Free Willy
Friday, July 22, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Electric Park, 93rd & Loiret Blvd in Lenexa
More information »

Movie in the Park: Finding Nemo
Friday, July 29, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Thompson Park, Downtown Overland Park
More information »

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This Week at the Library

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

Library OnDemand Available anytime you like.

Your doorway into live and archived programs. Arts & Culture, Career & Finance, Community Matters, Writers and more!

Personal Branding and Networking Tuesday, July 19, 11 a.m. – noon

How do you present yourself? Join an ICG Professional Certified Coach as she talks about personal development, networking strategies, and ways to best highlight the qualities that make you an excellent employee and coworker.

Behavioral Interviewing  Tuesday, July 19, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Are you prepared to highlight your best qualities when answering questions about how you've handled situations in the past? Every interview includes at least a few behavioral interview questions – in this virtual workshop you will find out which are the most common and get tips on how to answer them.

Goal Setting and Time Management  Wednesday, July 20, 10 – noon

This workshop will give you the skills and knowledge to identify how you currently use your time, identity your personal time management strengths and weaknesses, learn the dimensions of self-management of time and identify new habits you can implement to improve your personal time management.

Maintain Your Ride Thursday, July 21, noon – 1:30 p.m.

Get your hands dirty and learn to keep your bike in tip-top shape with this free class from Johnson County Library and BikeWalkKC. Live and in-person at the bicycle fix-it stand in front of Central Resource Library, our instructors will teach you how to keep your bike in good working order with a few basic tools and some practical know-how. You will learn how to clean and lubricate your chain, fix a flat, adjust shifting and braking, and other basic bike maintenance skills. We’ll also show you how to use the Library’s bicycle fix-it stand. This is a hands-on class!

Music in the Movies Performance Workshop with Kansas City Civic Orchestra Friday, July 22, 7 – 8 p.m.

Join us for this all ages performance workshop at Electric Park, featuring Jennifer Mitchell, Violinist for the KC Civic Orchestra. Tonight, we will listen and talk about music in movies! Come ready to smile, sing and groove to the sounds from some of your favorite films. A screening of the movie Free Willy will follow.

Movie in the Park: Free Willy Friday, July 22, 8 – 10 p.m.

Grab a blanket, pack a picnic, and cool down with us at Electric Park for this 1990s classic. The Kansas City Civic Orchestra will kick-off at 7 pm prior to the showing which will start at dusk.

And much more happening this week »

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Art Contest!

Art Contest: "I Love My County Because ..." 

In an effort to bolster civic education and educate communities on the role of county government, the National Association of Counties (NACo) is hosting the 2022 “I Love My County Because” art contest in conjunction with National County Government Month. In addition to a $100 dollar prize, the top 13 submissions will be featured in a NACo calendar, which will be distributed to NACo members nationwide. Winners will also be announced in NACo’s publication, County News, and their artwork will be displayed at NACo’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the NACo Art contest, Johnson County Government wants to see your art as well. Share your art using our hashtag: #ILoveJoCo and we will showcase our favorites on our social media pages. Thank you for showing your county pride!

Start your masterpiece! And, get all of the details like eligibility, guidelines, criteria, deadline and submission requirements.

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Library Analyst Guards Against Cybersecurity Threats

John Siceloff joined Johnson County Library in March, in a new position created for a vital purpose.

His job is to help the Library system guard against hackers, malware attacks and other cybersecurity threats that are becoming more prevalent every day. He’s part of a larger team protecting data and beefing up cybersecurity in the parks department, law enforcement agencies, the courts and other Johnson County departments.

“The idea was to create a bigger cybersecurity footprint for the County as a whole,” Siceloff said. “The threat landscape continues to get worse and worse.”

He is dedicated to preventing and detecting unwanted intrusions and, if necessary, remediation and recovery. That means protecting confidentiality and integrity while maintaining availability of Library data for employees and patrons.

“Let the people safely access the information they need and keep the bad guys away,” he explained.

Siceloff brings a wealth of information technology experience to the job. Most recently, he had been working as a Johnson County government network supervisor for more than a year when he saw the Library posting.

“I thought that the job and the cultural environment of the Library looked fascinating,” he said. “It was an opportunity for me to get into the security field more deeply. In all of my other previous roles I dealt with IT security but it was not my primary focus.”

Plus, Siceloff has always loved Libraries. “My family goes to the Library all the time. I’m an avid reader and I’m a big believer in the Library mission.”

Siceloff’s career path includes other fascinating jobs in far-flung places. He grew up near Wichita, graduated from KU and did GIS work in Florida. Then he took a break from computers for a few years to run a scuba diving shop, providing master scuba diving training in Panama City Beach, Florida. He met people from all over the globe and shared with them the wonders of the underwater world.

He and his wife and growing family then traded the Gulf Coast for the wilds of Alaska, where he worked on the 911 system in Soldotna. Later, he worked at the University of Wyoming, first helping to modernize the technology for massive athletic facility upgrades, then becoming a system administrator for the whole university.

Wanting a more urban environment for their three children, Siceloff and his wife relocated to Johnson County, where they live in Lenexa. His oldest daughter recently got her pharmacy tech license and works in the area.

His son will be a junior at Shawnee Mission Northwest and is active in cross country, track and choir, including recently singing with a school choral group at Carnegie Hall. 

Siceloff’s youngest daughter will be a freshman at Shawnee Mission Northwest and is a competitive figure skater.

“They’ve actually loved the move,” Siceloff said of his family, noting that they are taking full advantage of the area’s cultural, sports and educational opportunities. They are also big Library users and frequent the Central branch, which is close to their home.

So far, Siceloff is thriving in his new job.

“In my opinion it’s going outstanding so far,” he said. “I think the biggest reason is the attitude of the staff and the management.” He said the Library’s top administrators are big believers in what he does and the importance of the work. “That makes my job very easy.”

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Look Into Lenexa's Past

It’s another grand Throwback Thursday where we encourage you to time travel through Johnson County's history. JoCoHistory is a collaborative presentation of the history from the Johnson County Museum, Johnson County Library and many JoCoHistory partners. Explore historical photographs and documents about the people, places and organizations of Johnson County, Kansas, from the 19th century to the present.

Collection spotlight: Lenexa Historical Society

About this collection: This collection is comprised of over 3,500 images relating to the history, development and people of Lenexa, Kansas. Particular strengths include area construction projects, photos of the Legler Barn Museum, the Lenexa Centennial celebration of 1969 and early landowners. The photographs were collected and maintained by the Lenexa Historical Society, who are headquartered at the Legler Barn Museum in Sar Ko Par Park.

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Save the Date: Library Lets Loose

After two years of celebrating virtually, Senia and Will Shields invite you to a party at the newly renovated Central Resource Library for 2022's Library Lets Loose, on Saturday, Sept. 17!   

The event is Johnson County Library Foundation’s signature fundraiser, and the Shieldses are this year’s honorary hosts. Guests will enjoy music, dancing, food and libations, all benefiting the lifelong learning programs the Library offers throughout Johnson County.   

“Once you become a lover of reading and a lover of books you understand the important role libraries play in our lives. Our libraries are constantly creating new opportunities for patrons,” Will said.   

Will Shields played 14 years for the Kansas City Chiefs and received numerous awards, including NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015. The Shieldses have made many contributions throughout the Kansas City community for more than 25 years, including the formation of the Will to Succeed Foundation in 1993. Senia says, “Literacy has been an important part of our work and we love the library resources. They open up new opportunities and are paramount for operating successfully in our world.”  

The Shieldses are excited to invite the community back for this special event! Early Bird tickets and more information about the event are available at LibraryLetsLoose.org.

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