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TBT: It's Hip to be Square

As you very well know, September is National Square Dance Month. 'Do si do' and 'swing your partner' over to Jocohistory, where you can enter the search term "square dancing." It's a fun glimpse into a different time as we celebrate this Throwback Thursday.

Remember, Jocohistory is the place to time travel through local history. Be sure to follow our hashtag on Twitter!

Some call TBT the best day of the week.


What do you know about the Library?

It's the Library Lowdown Quiz Showdown Part I
We love quiz podcasts and 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! In this fantastically fun episode, we play Bluff the Librarian with Local Arts Librarian Bryan and Library Password with Matt, Patti and Courtney.

Be sure to stay until the end when we announce the winners of our at-home Crossword and Word Search!


Meet the Presenter: Steven Kolbe

The mystery genre has been around for approximately 181 years, with Edgar Allen Poe's The Murders In The Rue Morgue commonly attributed with creating the first literary detective. Whether there's a body found in the library, a gritty crime scene marked off by caution tape or a prized artifact found stashed away, mystery stories of all shapes and sizes are here to stay.

Steven J. Kolbe is no stranger to a mystery — after all, he writes mystery novels, reads and reviews mystery novels, and teaches folks how to write a good mystery. His most recent novel, How Everything Turns Away, features a suspended FBI agent who stumbles upon a grisly murder and seeks to find the victim justice before the killer strikes again.

Steven studied at NOCCA and LSU in Louisiana before moving to Kansas to attend Kansas State University, where he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in English.  Before calling himself a writer, he was a student worker for the prestigious literary journal The Southern Review. According to Steven, if you received a formal rejection letter in the mid-2000s, he probably sealed the envelope.

When he's not writing, Steven spends time with his wife and three children in their home in Southwest Kansas. An avid library supporter and fan of mystery novels, Steven also enjoys blogging about his traveling adventures as well as sharing writing tips.

Steven will be sharing his expertise at this year's Writers Conference. He will present a session titled "Abnormal Psychology in Fiction,” lead a workshop on how to add tension to a scene and sit on a panel about rejection and critique.        

Learn more about Steven at his website.

-- written by Jesseca Bear, adult services information specialist


Cast Your Vote for Best Library

Voting for the Pitch's Best of KC 2022 is open through Sept. 30, and three of our locations are on the ballot for Best Library Branch on the Kansas side!

We think all our branches are pretty great, but if your favorite is Central Resource, Corinth, or Lenexa City Center, head on over to the ballot to spread the word. There's no category for Best Library Patrons but if there were, we're sure ours would win!


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!

Walk and Read at Listowel Park Saturday, Sept. 17 - Sept. 25, Anytime

Johnson County Library, Shawnee Parks and Recreation Department and De Soto Parents as Teachers invite you to visit the Walk and Read program at Listowel Park. “Imagine” and “Lucky Leaf” will be posted.

Young Adult Literary Council In-Person event Sunday, Sept. 18, 2 - 3 p.m.

Teens are invited to join the Young Adult Literary Council 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. You can meet new people and receive volunteer credit hours for your time with us.

The Art of InterviewingWednesday, Sept. 21, 6:30 - 8 p.m. 

Your resume got you noticed and invited for an interview. Now it’s game time! Professional development consultant Efren Mojica of All About You Consulting will outline the entire interview life cycle: pre-interview, interview, and post-interview, as well as how to adapt to the increasingly-common virtual interview.

Writers Conference PregameThursday, Sept. 22, 6:30 - 8 p.m. 

Excited for the November Writers Conference? Us too! We’re so excited, in fact, that we can’t wait until November to start! Get a head start with our first-ever Writers Conference Pregame at the Central Resource Library. Meet fellow writers and conference planners, review session descriptions, register and pick up a free copy of our conference book, Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways by Sarah Stein Greenberg (as supplies last). Faculty will join, both in-person and virtually.

And much more happening this week »


Search our Web Catalog using lists!

When you search our catalog, you can search by 'lists,' Librarian and user-created ways to browse for something new to read! Looking for readalikes for a favorite book, or maybe a subject your young reader is obsessed with? Try searching for lists today!


Get Your Financial House in Order

Johnson County Library is delighted to present Nancy Doyle, personal finance expert and financial literacy advocate, to offer patrons invaluable advice on managing their financial lives more effectively and confidently.

Doyle will share her insights on “Getting Your Financial House in Order,” on Oct. 11 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom. Register online to attend.

Doyle, who is based in Chicago, is the author of two books: Manage Your Financial Life: A Thoughtful, Organized Approach for Women, and Manage Your Financial Life: Just Starting Out. In her books, speeches and consulting work, Doyle provides easy-to-understand strategies and real-life examples to illustrate key concepts for women, millennials, families and those dealing with life transitions.

She offers an independent, objective approach to financial planning, which is important in money matters.  Doyle is a passionate advocate for personal financial literacy and also a big supporter of public libraries.

Doyle’s presentation is part of Johnson County Library’s fall programming. Career and Finance Librarian Marty Johannes says it fits right in with the mission of helping patrons navigate challenging times. 

“Financial literacy is always an important skill to develop,” Johannes said, “but especially as we emerge from the pandemic it becomes an even more critical skill.”

At a complex time when people are bombarded with numerous financial choices, accounts and platforms, Doyle will explain how to make better financial decisions and how to gain peace of mind through a kind of financial “spring cleaning.”

According to Ms. Doyle, “getting organized is an essential first step for managing your financial life.” After Doyle presents, there will be time for questions and answers.

Doyle brings 30 years of experience in investments and wealth management. She is an experienced family office investment professional. She has also been an equity research analyst and consulted on investor relations strategies for financial services companies.

She is a graduate of Georgetown University and received her MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a Professional Member of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals.

Doyle’s presentation is one of six Career and Finance programs offered this September and October by Johnson County Library. Other programs provide information on funding for small businesses, writing a resume that gets results and preparing for a successful job interview.

The Library will also offer the highly-popular program, Step-by-Step Through the FAFSA. Jason Anderson of Gradmetrics walks line-by-line through the FAFSA form and explains the ins-and-outs of the college admissions and financial aid process. The program will be offered online in September, and as a hybrid program (in-person and online) in October. 

Information on all these programs is available in the Fall guide, available in Library branches and online.

Johannes notes that during the pandemic, the Library created a robust archive of online career and finance webinars that people can watch when it’s most convenient for them.

“We and our patrons discovered the beauty of virtual programs,” Johannes said. “For us, it has meant we’ve been able to really expand our reach beyond those who could come into the Library and beyond those who could attend the live program at a specific time.” 

Most archived online programs are available on the Johnson County Library’s YouTube channel.  They can also be accessed from the Career Development and Personal Finance Research webpages.


Meet the Presenter: Ethan Zolotor

I first met Ethan Zolotor during the summer of 2009 in one of the more unlikely places: summer school. Well, summer gym to be more precise. Summer gym was an eclectic mix of incoming freshmen who wanted to get their physical education credit out of the way and upper classmen who neglected to take P.E. classes until the very last minute. We were incoming freshmen who lucked out and were in a class whose instructor just wanted to be called “Coach,” play dodgeball and all its variations, and most of all ignore the syllabus. It was great to have Ethan as a familiar face in the hallways of a large, 6A high school.

Ethan went on to become an engineer who made formula-e cars, laser systems and hybrid-electric boats. If that is not impressive enough, Ethan did all this in addition to staying up late to work on his own stories. Ethan grew up surrounded by books from his family’s library and always carried around handwritten stories on stacks of loose paper. He was constantly writing and drawing, taking inspiration from fantasy literature, manga and western comics. All of this brought the world of Hyperborea to life; the first book Severed Legacy, published in 2019, and the sequel Traitor’s Path which was released this year!

The Conference Planning Committee is thrilled to have Ethan Zolotor join the faculty for the 2022 Writers Conference, giving presentations on world building, finding and working with an illustrator, and sitting on the revision panel.

You can find his books on Amazon:

Also check out @hyperboreabooks on Instagram!

-- written by Kathryn “Katt” Cooper, adult services information specialist