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Have you signed up for our Kids and Family Newsletter?

With the success of our Summer Reading newsletter, we wanted to continue providing you with the latest kids & family news. Our goal is to connect you with fun and engaging programs and resources for you and your children. We look forward to delivering up-to-date and valuable kids and family recommendations right to your inbox each month. Sign up today!

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Antioch Library Replacement Update

Antioch Library has had an over-60-year history in its current location at the corner of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Antioch Road, beginning in 1956 as a 7,200 square foot leased space with parking for 30 cars. Now, plans are in the works to re-locate Antioch Library to the new Merriam Community Center campus in the next few years.

In 1961, following legislation that permitted the Johnson County Library Board of Directors to own property, the Antioch building and site were purchased. Until Central opened in 1995, Antioch was called Headquarters. The Antioch building has been expanded twice, in 1970 and 1983. 

In 1995 the Central Resource Library was opened and the Antioch Library was converted to a branch, reopening in 1996. In the over twenty years since then, Antioch has provided space for the Friends of the Library, JCCC’s Adult Education program, and functioned as the home office for Youth Services staff.

In 2017, the City of Merriam approached the Library to consider relocating Antioch Library to the new Merriam Community Center campus, at the 6000 block of Slater. After a study with the city, the Library Board approved this path. The new Antioch Replacement building is anticipated to be approximately 16,000 square ft. and include a drive-thru for holds pickup and material return. Similar to the Lenexa City Center Library, the Antioch Replacement Library will share parking space with the City of Merriam’s Community Center.

Earlier in 2020, the Library Board and City of Merriam approved agreements for conveying property and outlining shared parking and maintenance responsibilities. In September, members of the Board of County Commissioners seated as the Public Building Commission approved the sale of bonds to partially fund the Antioch Library Replacement project – the remainder of project costs will be funded from Library Reserves to be transferred into the project account.

We anticipate publishing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Architectural Services before the end of 2020, then seek citizen input/comments later in 2021. Design for the Antioch Replacement Library is projected to begin in 2021; completion of the new library is anticipated in 2023. 

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Have you listened to our podcast?

Have you ever listened to our podcast? Did you know we even had a podcast? If you haven't listened and didn't know, that's OK! There may be a lot of things you didn't know about your favorite place on earth (The Johnson County Library) and the Did you hear? podcast gives you a glimpse behind-the-scenes. It's your Library insider.

Listen to the latest episode. Another episode will be featured here next week!

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Ballot Boxes @ Your Library

In Johnson County, the number of mail-in ballot applications has surpassed 100,000. Election officials are working hard to increase Johnson County's capacity to handle this record-breaking number of mail-in ballots.

One way to meet that need is the installation of ballot drop boxes across the County. Johnson County Election Commissioner Connie Schmidt wants residents to feel comfortable voting by mail, telling KSHB "...They can bypass the post office (and) go right to the election office drop box, and then you're bringing it right back to us."

Beginning Oct. 17, six of these secured ballot boxes will be available at Johnson County Library locations, with a seventh box at the Johnson County Government Northeast office building in Mission. Similar ballot boxes, which are being provided by the Kansas Secretary of State, will be installed across the state ahead of the election.

Johnson County Library is proud to be part of this initiative. The Library's ballot box locations are:

  • Blue Valley Library, 9000 W. 151st St., Overland Park
  • Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th St., Overland Park
  • De Soto Library, 33145 W. 83rd St., De Soto
  • Gardner Library, 137 E. Shawnee St., Gardner
  • Shawnee Library, 13811 Johnson Drive, Shawnee
  • Spring Hill Library, 109 S. Webster St., Spring Hill

Read more from KSHB's news story ».

Whether you are a seasoned voter, or registering for the first time, Johnson County Library has you covered with election information. Check out our guide to Kansas Elections and Voting, which contains information on how to check your registration and polling place, important dates and deadlines, and how to find more information about candidates.

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Writers Conference

Local writers rejoice!  Registration is live for our 6th annual Writers Conference. The conference will kick off on Thursday night with a discussion of the power of language featuring faculty members Rudy Francisco, Randall Horton, and Megan Kaminski.  Friday and Saturday will feature lectures and workshops on everything from starting a memoir to writing query letters.  Writers at all stages can find new inspiration, work through roadblocks, and connect with other members of the community. 

On Sunday, November 15, our Writers Conference has a day of programming designed just for the young writer in your life.  Explore the Idea Storm, learn how to create interesting characters, or explore the perspectives of animals!  Participants will have time to write and share.  For all interested students, with a focus on grades 4-8.

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Election and Voting Resources

Whether you are a seasoned voter or registering for the first time, recent changes and social distancing guidelines may have you looking for more information. Johnson County Library is helping serve the needs of our community by connecting people to resources that provide nonpartisan education. This is done through online programs and voter resources. If you’re looking to register, view a sample ballot, review campaign themes, fact-check and more, the Library has you covered.

Here are some important things to know before you vote. 

Who can register? 
You must be a resident of the state in which you are registering and be a U. S. Citizen. If you are 17, but will turn 18 before the election date, you can register.

How do I know if I am already registered to vote?  
Check your status and polling location from VoterView provided by the Kansas Secretary of State. If you have changed your name, moved, or want to change party affiliation, you will need to re-register before the next deadline. 

Where do I register?
You can register online from the Vote 411 website. For a paper form, visit the Kansas Secretary of State website to print one. You can also pick one up at your nearest Johnson County Library.

How do I vote in advance or by mail in ballot? 
You can apply to vote by mail from your County Election Office, or through KSVotes. Voters with permanent disabilities are eligible to apply for Permanent Advance Voting Status, and return to your County Election Office.

Where do I find more information about candidates? 
You can view a sample ballot from the Johnson County Election OfficeBallotpedia, and Vote 411.   

Ballotpedia provides biographical, current and past work of elected officials, campaign themes and more.  

Factcheck.org is a nonpartisan, non-profit site covering many topics of current interest related to campaign topics as well as 2020 Presidential candidates. 

Politifact, a non-profit news organization, offers fact checking on current topics, candidate statements and claims, media personalities and campaigns. Users may also submit claims to have them fact checked. 

For information about candidates or issues, Shawnee Mission Post and The Kansas City Star include coverage of local candidates and issues on upcoming ballots. Johnson County Library provides access to these publications, visit the eNewspapers section to get started.

Here are some important dates in the upcoming elections in Johnson County:

Oct 13: Last day to register for the General Election

Oct 14: Advanced Voting by Mail begins for the General Election 

Oct 19: Advanced Voting in Person begins for the General Election 

Oct 27: Last day to apply for an advance ballot (vote by mail) for the General Election 

Nov 2: Last day to advance vote in person for the General Election. 

Nov 3: General Election day: all mailed ballots must be postmarked by today and received no later than 3 days following the election day (Nov 6). Advance ballots may be hand-delivered to the county election office or to any polling place within the county by close of polls. 

For more detailed information, visit the Johnson County Library Elections and Voting page.

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This Week at the Library

This Week at the Library, you can introduce your kids to the concept of voting, get tips on improving your interviewing and writing skills, learn how to keep your bike in tip-top shape, plus --teens are invited to meet local author Adib Khorram!

Kids Vote! Storytime
Monday, October 12 | 3:00 – 3:45 pm  | Register online
Wednesday, October 14 | 3:00 – 3:45 pm | Register online

The Art of Interviewing  Monday, October 12, 2020 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Beginning Genealogy Classes  Thursday, October 15 | 10:00 – 11:30 am

Maintain Your Ride Thursday, October 15 | Noon – 1:30 pm

The Write Questions Saturday, October 17  | 9:00 – 11:00 am

Meet the Author: Adib Khorram  Sunday, October 18 | 2:00 – 3:30 pm

See all of our events »

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Kids Vote! Storytime

It is never too early to learn about voting rights as American citizens. This interactive program will introduce kids to the concept of voting, the history of voting rights in The United States, and the how and why of voting through stories, games and of course: voting. You and your child will experience the excitement of having your voice and choice heard! Come join the party! Great for kids 4-8, however all are welcome.

  • October 12 @ 3 pm
  • October 14 @ 3 pm
  • October 19 @ 7 pm

Register online for this program »

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The Fall Library Guide is Here

Be sure to pick up a copy of the Fall 2020 Library Guide at your favorite Library branch. The Fall Guide looks a little different than it has in the past. Our Summer Guide was headed to the printer right as our Library buildings closed to the public on March 15; with so much unknown about the weeks and months ahead, especially the safety of in-person services that the guide primary highlights, we canceled the printing of our Guide for the first time ever.

In the Fall Guide, we not only promote our virtual programs but highlight the breadth of services offered by the Library. If patrons want to know how we've adapted our programs over the past months, direct them to The New Now for Library Programs, which focuses on our Online Programming Team. Our email and phone service is featured in Opening the Library's 'Virtual Branch'. And our exciting new Curbside Holds Pickup Service, which is now open at Leawood, Gardner, and Cedar Roe, is also featured.

We hope this Guide reminds you that no matter what story they want to read, experience, or create, the Library offers the resources and connections they need to enrich their lives.

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TBT: Happiness!

What is happiness?

Sometimes happiness is a nice hat, just the right stump to stand on for speech-making, and eating green onions. We wonder just what this little tyke had to say about those onions.

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

Happy Throwback Thursday! Some call it the best day of the week.