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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!

Friends of the Library Pop-Up Book Sale Saturday, Dec. 10, 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Shop gently used books and items at the Friends of the Library headquarters!
20% Friends members discount all day!

Storytimes Many of our locations offer a variety of Storytimes ranging from family, baby, toddler, and preschool- focused programs. Check your preferred location for dates and times to make a choice that best fits your child.

Last Chance to see our Fall Exhibitions Now through Dec. 21.

Johnson County Library is proud to share the work of Kansas City metro area visual artists in our library art galleries. We have some locations with dedicated art gallery spaces to inspire people of all ages and beautify our libraries. We seek a diverse selection of artwork that inspires, educates and promotes community connection. If you're a local artist interested in submitting your artwork for consideration, learn more here.

And much more happening this week »

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Jeanne Savage at Sounds Easy video store in 1984

Jeanne Savage at Sounds Easy video rental store in 1984. The store was known later as Savage Video.

Do you remember video stores?

There's no better time than Throwback Thursday to look back into Johnson County history. Before streaming video, we had DVDs. Before DVDs, we had VHS tapes. When Hollywood movies were first put onto tape and we were able to rent them to view them in our own living rooms, well, it was a big deal. 

Our friends at the jocohistory blog have offered up a new story that details Johnson County's video store phenomenon: Hollywood at Home: A History of Johnson County Video Stores

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Last Chance to See Our Fall Exhibitions

Johnson County Library is proud to share the work of Kansas City metro area visual artists in our library art galleries. We have some locations with dedicated art gallery spaces to inspire people of all ages and beautify our libraries. We seek a diverse selection of artwork that inspires, educates and promotes community connection. If you're a local artist interested in submitting your artwork for consideration, learn more here.

Our Fall Exhibitions will be removed December 21, so take this opportunity to enjoy art at your favorite library location.

Read on to see what each branch has on display, and check out our full interviews with each artist »

Antioch Library - Drawing
Anita Easterwood is a portrait artist and illustrator from Kansas City, KS with over 13 years of experience. She received her Bachelors in Art from Kansas State University, and Masters in African American Studies from The University of Kansas. Specializing in traditional drawing, digital art and oil painting, her work celebrates Blackness through Black culture, fashion, history, and sisterhood. Her artwork will be on display at the Antioch Library branch until December 21, 2022.

Cedar Roe Library - Photography
Becky Brinkley is a native Kansan and Kansas City Art Institute alumna living and working in the KC area. Becky has worked with ceramics, fiber arts and photography. Her most recent work has been experimenting with alternative photographic processes, using plants and direct contact processes exposed by sunlight.

Lenexa City Center Library - Painting
Black Space Black Art is an artists collective started by Natasha Ria El-Scari, owner of the Natasha Ria Art Gallery. The collective matches African American artists to local businesses, in order to broaden the exposure of the artists and the artwork and introduce it within the community. 

Corinth Library - Painting
Educator and painter Eiman Yousif draws artistic inspiration from her cultural experiences in Africa and UAE. Her work is colorful and abstract with a focus on feminism. 

Shawnee Library - Painting
Jean Hershey developed as a painter through her years working as a commercial artist. She allows emotions and the subconscious mind to guide her in the creation of abstract pieces with bold color and movement. 

Central Resource Library - Painting
Former Hallmark executive and trained printmaker Patti Streeper has turned her creative energy toward painting. With a focus on portraits, Patti uses art to tell the stories of women who have made significant contributions to society. 

Oak Park Library - Painting
Originally from the Philippines, Kansas City based artist Raffaela Malazarte has been experimenting with oil painting since 2000. Her style is greatly influenced by fauvism and impressionism.Raffaela’s choice of colors and brush strokes are very bold, thick and vibrant. 

Blue Valley Library - Mixed Media
Artist Susan Ferguson creates pieces made to give viewers an opportunity for reflection on their connections and experiences related to the environment and environmental sustainability. Experimenting with materials, techniques and mediums, Susan produces artwork that is colorful, textured and layered.

Leawood Pioneer Library - Textile
Artist Weifang Gong’s work is inspired by the environmental impact and pollution she witnessed in her years as a textile designer. Her painterly textiles reflect her practice of no waste/reusing and the influence of traditional Chinese paintings. 

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Johnson County Library Foundation Helps Make Magic Happen

Leila Gallagher and her family have been avid Johnson County Library patrons for years, often visiting Lackman and now the Lenexa City Center branch. 

When her son Joey was diagnosed with a rare brain disease six years ago, the Library became an even more important source of normalcy, comfort, fun and knowledge. Gallagher became especially aware of how the Johnson County Library Foundation supports programming that serves the entire community.  

The Foundation is the fundraising non-profit that helps the Library build its collection and resources, beyond what tax dollars provide. Its annual year-end appeal is underway, with the theme “Your gift makes magic happen.” 

“The Library has been a godsend,” says Gallagher, who has volunteered with the Foundation’s Library Lets Loose gala and whose family also makes charitable donations to this worthy cause. 

“It’s such an important aspect of our lives,” Gallagher said of both the Library and the Foundation. “It makes us feel good to be able to do something outside of ourselves. And we know that impact is so profound, how many branches they are able to serve with that money.” 

Foundation Executive Director Stephanie Stollsteimer said about 1,500 appeals have been mailed to regular donors, inviting them to make a year-end contribution.   

“Year-end giving is a tried and true tradition,” Stollsteimer said. “It’s the giving season, when not-for-profits and donors connect.” 

Every dollar helps, Stollsteimer said, to support the Library’s early literacy efforts, STEM education, online tutoring and civic engagement. Foundation funding also supports the Library’s hybrid online and in-person programming, which began during COVID and is thriving. 

The Foundation’s Library Lets Loose event, held in-person Sept. 17 after two virtual years, was hugely successful, attracting 500 participants to the newly reopened Central Resource Library. Stollsteimer said she hopes this year-end appeal builds on that momentum. 

This year’s theme embraces the feeling that many have: books are magic, and both adults and kids are looking for magic in their lives. Foundation supporters can help in that mission by mailing back their donor card or going online to jocolibraryfoundation.org/donate

For Gallagher and her family, the Library has indeed brought magic to their lives. Leila and her husband Scott co-own the small business ePromotions, which markets promotional products, and Scott also works in sales. Their daughter Gia is 17, and Joey is now 10 years old.  

Joey had a stroke and seizure six years ago and was diagnosed with moyamoya, a rare cerebrovascular disorder. He saw specialists at Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Hospital and had two brain surgeries at Boston Children’s Hospital. His treatment is ongoing and he is doing well with his schooling, both at home and in the classroom. 

Gallagher says the Lenexa branch provides a quiet refuge for her and her husband to get out of the house and work on their business. Gia loves talking to the Librarians and gets materials for AP English and other classes. For Joey, the Library is his happy place. 

“It was a normal, safe place and a place that he knew didn’t feel like physical therapy or the doctor’s office,” Gallagher said. “It’s hilarious, we go about every two weeks. We get about 20 books.” 

The family enjoys Lenexa’s beautiful interior, filled with colorful mosaics. “We really love the team there,” Gallagher added. “They are so friendly and welcoming.” 

As someone experienced with public relations and non-profits, Gallagher realizes the Foundation’s great value. “It is so important to the community, literacy as a whole,” she said. 

Stollsteimer said connections to families like the Gallaghers are what make the Foundation doubly worthwhile. “Library lovers are timeless,” she said. “They continue to support the Library.” 

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Meet Brian Hanni, Author of "Banner Year"

Meet Brian Hanni, author of Banner Year: The Championship Season of the 2021-22 Kansas Jayhawks.

Wednesday, Dec. 14
6-8 p.m.
Central Resource Library
no registration necessary

Join us for an evening with Brian Hanni, Voice of the Jayhawks, for a talk on Banner Year, the official commemorative championship book of the 2021-2022 season of the University of Kansas. Nonfiction Award. Hanni will discuss the book and conclude with an audience Q&A. Book purchase and signing will follow.

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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!

Teen Takeout Sign up starting Thursday, Dec. 1 

Sign up for the Teen Takeout book and get a free new-release teen book each month! Every month features a different theme, and the book is yours to keep. Registration runs from 1st to the 15th of every month (until full) at jocolibrary.org/teen-takeout.

One-on-One DNA & Genetic Genealogy Help Friday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m. – noon

Visit the Johnson County Genealogical Society at www.jcgsks.org to schedule an appointment. A volunteer will contact you by email to set up an in-person or a Zoom session link for you prior to the scheduled date.

Storytimes Many of our locations offer a variety of Storytimes ranging from family, baby, toddler, and preschool- focused programs. Check your preferred location for dates and times to make a choice that best fits your child.

And much more happening this week »

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branch manager Amy Barclay poses in front of the Corinth library

Branch Manager Amy Barclay in front of the Corinth Library

Corinth Looks Ahead to 60th Anniversary and the Future

Johnson County Library’s Corinth branch, at 8100 Mission Road, is popular with patrons from Prairie Village and beyond. It opened Feb. 24, 1963, so 2023 will mark its 60th anniversary milestone.  

In 1967 Corinth expanded on both the north and south sides to reach its current size of 20,475 square feet. In 1988 it had an interior renovation, with the addition of an elevator and east side windows.  

The building has had some major maintenance in recent years, including a new roof and updated electrical and heating/cooling work. It has a well-stocked children’s section and a spacious computer area and remains a favorite Library destination for young families and adults.  

“We are quite busy. We are well loved,” says Amy Barclay, who has been branch manager since January 2019. “Corinth is known for being a place for families to come and meet and connect. We have tutors here all the time. We often rank quite high on customer service.” 

But there’s also a recognition that the community could use a more modern facility. The current land-locked location is not conducive to expansion. The 2015 Comprehensive Library Master Plan identified the need to replace Corinth with a new building, but no timeframe was specified.  

A more immediate branch task is the Merriam Plaza Library project, a replacement for the current Antioch branch. The final design has just been completed for the new branch, with construction planned in 2023 and a grand opening in 2024.   

The Library Board has been weighing how to prioritize the timing of new construction for Corinth and the best way to work with Prairie Village city officials. 

Very preliminary talks began in 2019 between the Library and Prairie Village leaders over possibly collaborating on a civic campus that could include a new community center and Library, in proximity to Harmon Park. Survey results in December 2019 showed strong support for the Library in Prairie Village overall, and support for the Library being included in a shared campus. Talks were then put on hold due to COVID-19. 

Stakeholders from the Library and city of Prairie Village resumed conversations earlier this year and indicated a willingness to keep working together.  

Barclay and other Library leaders would love to see a new Corinth branch with a convenient drive-thru, larger meeting rooms, better accessibility for people with disabilities, and other amenities found in the newest branches — Monticello and Lenexa City Center — and in the renovated Central Resource Library.  

The Prairie Village City Council is beginning to explore the feasibility of building the community/civic center, but this remains very tentative. On Oct. 3, the City Council debated whether to conduct a survey to gauge citizen support for the project, but postponed a decision. At their November meeting, the City's ad hoc civic center committee elected to send an updated version of the survey to residents. If citizen support exists, the city would still need to figure out a location, conceptual design and how to pay for it.   

The Library, which has its own dedicated funding source, will also pursue its own areas of inquiry, including programming and how much space will be needed; site feasibility including traffic flow, parking and potential phasing; and cost estimating. 

In the meantime, Barclay says Corinth is doing well and enjoying the return to in-person programming, with its popular Storytimes, book groups and Legislative coffees. 

“It is really refreshing to be in a branch where the community is so invested in this building,” Barclay said. “I do still think the community pretty much loves this branch. We’re not losing patrons to the prettier branches. There’s a lot of loyalty to Corinth and to Prairie Village.”