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Museum Memories

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: Johnson County Museum

About this collection: The Johnson County Museum has a wide range of images dating from the late 19th century to the current day. A major focus of the collection centers on individuals and groups of people in domestic, recreational, scholarly and business settings.


Rosetta Stone

Stretch all of your language-learning muscles: listening, reading, writing and speaking! The Rosetta Stone Library Solution teaches through context clues rather than grammar and translation. Learn new material in core lessons, do activities to reinforce what you've learned, and wrap up units by chatting in a simulated conversation. Speech recognition gives you interactive feedback, plus your progress will sync across all of your devices!


Storytimes are Back!

Did you miss Storytimes during our brief break in December? We did, too! We are excited to once again welcome back Storytimes to 10 branches and online. Storytime start dates and schedules are tailored to each individual branch, so be sure to check the Events page or the Spring Program Guide for specific details. Check out the Storytime FAQ for all the details on how to attend and which Storytime variety is right for your child’s age group and developmental abilities. See you soon at Storytime! 


This Week at the Library

Library OnDemand – Available anytime you like

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

Tabletop Games – Tuesday, Jan. 17, 6 – 7:45 p.m.

Join us at Central Resource Library for a fun-filled evening with family members and friends, old and new, and become a part of the Johnson County tabletop gaming community. Kids, teens and adults can enjoy a variety of games together, including collaborating to escape the Forbidden Island, getting creative with a round of Dixit, or strategizing their way to victory as King of Tokyo! Discover and learn new games from our collection or bring your personal favorite to share. Come and go as you please. Refreshments are provided. Each month, our gaming librarians will feature a family-friendly game and teach you how to play it. Central's featured game for January is Carcassonne.

Two Chapters Book Club – Wednesday, Jan. 18, 4 – 5 p.m.

Come read with us at Central Resource Library! A librarian will read aloud the first two chapters of a favorite book and you can decide to check out a copy to take home if you like it. If the chapters are short, we might sample more. We’ll have snacks and activities related to the book. Ages 7-11.

Legislative Coffee – Saturday, Jan. 21, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

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 at the Corinth Library. You bring the questions; we provide the coffee and doughnuts. Registration is not required to attend in-person.

Kansas Day Celebration – Saturday, Jan. 21, 1 – 5 p.m.

Let’s celebrate Kansas! This family-friendly event at Central Resource Library will include live music, old-timey games and a chance to show off your Kansas trivia knowledge. Enjoy a slice of birthday cake and check out the new Kids Area at Central Resource Library. Come and go anytime between 1-5 p.m. and see what Kansas has to offer!

Young Adult Literary Council – Saturday, Jan. 21, 2 – 3 p.m.

Teens are invited to join the Young Adult Literary Council at the Gardner Library to share favorite books, pick up advanced reader copies of teen books to read and review, and participate in other fun activities such as author visits, game days, event planning and more. Meet new people and receive volunteer credit hours for your time with us.

And much more happening this week


Did You Know? Johnson County Library Has “Did You Hear?” Podcast

Podcasting has become an increasingly popular communications tool for education and entertainment.

Since 2018, Johnson County Library has offered its own podcast, titled “Did You Hear?”

These digital recordings have proven to be a fun and creative way to share Library staffs' passion for what they do. Episodes offer a behind-the-scenes exploration of Library services, events and the collection, revealing how the Library is so much more than buildings with books.

Ninety-five episodes have generated nearly 20,000 downloads, averaging 200 per installment. The most popular, about the U.S. Census, garnered nearly 1,000 downloads. Other popular episodes include interesting topics like K-Pop, Return Bin Finds, Notable Books, the MakerSpace, Community Matters and Library Hacks. They are all available on the Library's website.

Interviewees have included an astronaut, award-winning authors, civic leaders and popular chefs. The 20-minute conversations, released monthly, take listeners on an audio journey of discovery.

Co-Hosts Dave Carson and Charles Hower make a great team and are excited for 2023.

“We really found our swing this year, our stride,” said Carson, who launched the podcast project in June 2018. The program has had several co-hosts but has built continuity and momentum since Hower signed on in early 2021.

Carson and Hower each bring unique skills to this endeavor. Carson has a master’s degree in educational technology and has been with Johnson County Library for almost 15 years, concentrating on web content development and multimedia production. In 2018 he realized podcasting could enhance what the Library was already doing with its website, videos and social media.

Hower was hired as a Monticello clerk in 2018 and became an information specialist at Central in March 2020. He has a music recording background and is an avid podcast listener.

Their first episode together in 2021 focused on what patrons could still do through the Library, despite COVID restrictions. The “Did You Hear?” podcast, available through the Podbean hosting service to all sorts of podcast apps, provided great Library outreach during the pandemic.

“It was connecting patrons to those resources, saying ‘Hey, we’re still here,’” Hower explained.

Hower personally learned a lot. “Getting to speak to people about their jobs and find out their backgrounds, I really enjoyed that early on,” he said. “Now, I think my favorite part is that it feels like I’m hanging out with friends and I get to chat with them.”

Carson appreciates how the Library's administration has supported the initiative, providing equipment for high-quality audio.

“I’m a lifelong learner like everybody is here,” Carson said. “All the different people who come in here, we have a general sense of what they do, but when you get into the specifics, that’s where the real meat of it is. It’s so enjoyable.”

They began 2022 by interviewing a Library staffer preparing to retire and another newly hired, comparing their perspectives. Other installments shined a spotlight on summer reading and the Writers Conference.

They are excited for 2023 and are planning their next installments. They would love to hear your feedback through this brief survey.

“If we can help people see everything that the Library is involved with, I think that helps break down stereotypes,” Carson said, “showing who the librarians are and what a modern library is and can be, and your unique and personal relationship with it.”

Did you subscribe to Did you hear?

Did you subscribe to Did you hear?

The Did you hear? Podcast

Quite simply, the Did you hear? Podcast is your Library insider. It's a fun way to share our passion for what we do. It pulls back the curtain to reveal how we do it. It shines a light on services, events and our collection to illuminate how the Library can help you be your best.

Podcast Survey

We're pondering our podcast potential and your opinion matters! Take our survey.


How? Visit one of these popular podcatchers:

Did you hear? Podcast at Podbean
Did you hear? Podcast on Stitcher
Did you hear? Podcast on Spotify
Did you hear? Podcasts on Apple Podcasts

Or, wherever you regularly listen to podcasts, you can find us by entering "jocolibrary" into the search bar. You'll find "Did you hear?" Then click subscribe.

Too complicated? No worries. You can find all of our podcast episodes below. Click and listen. It's that easy!



December - Kaleidoscope of Sound
A Kaleidoscope brings to life an endless variety of shapes and patterns. What would a kaleidoscope of sound be like? We dedicate this episode to the harmonious melody of voices, tones, music and other noises that bring the Library to life every day. Explore the world of Library sounds with us in three segments: past, present and future. Past: Celebrate the best podcast moments of the year. Present: Experience the auditory kaleidoscope created by a mosaic of sounds found in the Library. Future: Hear what Elissa Andre, external communication manager, is most looking forward to in 2023!

November - Thanksgiving, Hygge & Turkey Talk
We are thankful for you our listening audience and for the many good people, ideas and things that make our lives filled with coziness and "comfortable conviviality" with feelings of wellness and contentment. We dedicate the episode to warmth and thankfulness. We explore the concept of Hygge, interview two chefs to help you stretch yourself as a home cook and create delicious dishes that will make your Thanksgiving feast more flavorful, and we even interview a turkey.

A big shout out to Chef Brett Dehart who is co-owner/operator of two kitchens at a very popular food hall in downtown Overland Park. Much appreciation to Chef Kolika Simmons who is a chef and food blogger. Many thanks to them for adding their expertise to this episode! And finally, our gobs of gratitude to our gobbling thespian, Brian Berrens who played Larry the Turkey!

October - Library Lowdown Quiz Showdown Part II
We continue our games as a fun way to learn about the Library! We play Library Jeopardy and Wheel of Fiction!

We are no longer accepting entries for our puzzle contest, but you can still print the puzzles out, complete them, have a lot of fun and if you're not too careful, you might just learn something!

April - Silver and Gold
We asked the same 10 questions of an employee who just began her career at Johnson County Library and of an employee counting down the days until retirement. Their answers may surprise you!

May - Mesmerizing Memes and More
These days you can't just put up a website and call it good. You have to have a "web presence." Go to where the people are online instead of expecting them to come to you. What's the behind-the-scenes story when it comes to philosophy, strategy and creating social media content for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube?    

June - Summer Reading
Summer Reading 2022: Oceans of Possibilities, runs Saturday, June 4-Friday, July 29. Grab a reading log for your favorite kiddo! We dive deep (see what we did there?) into this Aquatic episode.

July - Make-along
Our friends from the MakerSpace lead us through a hands-on activity. Charles and Dave will make something great and you the listener can make-along as well!

August - Back to school
With educational resources like those we offer, your child has a real advantage. We explore everything you maybe didn't know the Library had to offer to prepare your child for the coming school year. 

September - Library Lowdown Quiz Showdown Part I
We love radio programs like “Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!” We also live for getting to know everything there is to know about Johnson County Library! What do you know? What do we know? Get ready for a variety of Library games.

Episode Archive

With the exception of early episodes that were published to YouTube exclusively, all episode are available at our Podbean podcast hosting site. There you will find some gems like our seven part "Discover your Library" episodes, poetry, music, interviews and more.


Time Travel Johnson County's History

JoCoHistory expands the public's sense of community through an understanding of Johnson County's history and its place in American society.

The purpose of JoCoHistory is to collaboratively provide access to historical materials related to Johnson County, Kansas. It utilizes the strengths and expertise of each contributing organization to develop a broadly accessible web presence.

Specifically, the goals of JoCoHistory are to:

  • Access local information through digitization of original and unique materials regarding the history and development of Johnson County
  • Provide access to locally and remotely held information relevant to the history of Johnson County
  • Provide curriculum tools that meet Kansas and national curriculum standards
  • Promote an understanding of the importance of local history and regional development

The initial phase of the project began in Fall 2004 and was made possible by funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and from the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners through the Heritage Trust Fund (HTF). Initial contributors for JoCoHistory were the Johnson County Museum, Johnson County Library, Johnson County Archives and Olathe Public Library. Subsequent years have seen the involvement of Kansas School for the Deaf, Lenexa Historical Society, Olathe Historical Society, Overland Park Historical Society and Shawnee Mission School District.


eLearning Spotlight: Brainfuse HelpNow

“Ask for help. Not because you are weak. But because you want to remain strong.”

— Les Brown

Brainfuse HelpNow has several ways to get homework help:

  • Live tutoring daily 2 - 11 p.m.
  • Writing Lab to get feedback within one business day
  • SkillSurfer for study resources and test prep
  • Send Question to get a response within one business day
  • LEAP to create a customized learning plan

Plus several more tools to collaborate and learn using the website or mobile app.

This resource is generously supported by the Louis and Elizabeth Nave Flarsheim Charitable Foundation.

Learn more about Brainfuse HelpNow