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New Friends Board on Board

The newly-seated board of directors of the Friends of Johnson County Library lost no time in getting oriented and getting down to work. 

Members spent the morning of January 6 together catching up on Friends history and reviewing accomplishments from the past few years. The first full board meeting of the year, on the following Tuesday, January 9, heard lively discussions about committee assignments and strategic direction for the Friends in 2018 and beyond. 

The Board also toured the MakerSpace at Central Library. The Friends Bookstore at Central now sells a few supplies useful in the MakerSpace. Business is, so far, good!

The Board has plans to travel its monthly meetings around the system to get to know Libraries and programs better. They'll visit the Friends Sorting Center in February and the Antioch bookstore in April. The executive committee, under the able direction of President Julie Steiner, plans to work with the Library and Foundation to flesh out strategic planning during the course of this year.

If you're interested in joining the Friends, we'd love to have you! Become a Friend today »


Wanted: Bookmark Art!

Post-it note? Your napping kitty's tail? Folded corner (gasp!)? None of those are nearly as cool as having a bookmark with your very own artwork on it. Enter your bookmark art in the National Library Week Bookmark Design Contest, and you could see your lovely design on bookmarks available at all of our Library locations.

From preschoolers to adults, there are different age categories each with their own winner. Entries are due Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. Print out your entry form (PDF) and start creating!

The winning illustrations will be unveiled during National Library Week in April. The winning bookmarks will be printed and distributed throughout the remainder of the year at all 14 branches of the Johnson County Library and three Friends Bookstores.

Co-sponsored with Friends of Johnson County Library.



Welcome Stephanie Stollsteimer!

We warmly welcome Stephanie Stollsteimer as our new Executive Director for the Johnson County Library Foundation. Stephanie joined the team on Monday, January 8, 2018.

Stollsteimer has a Master of Business Administration degree and her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She has worked for a range of not-for-profits and has a passion for libraries and public service. She previously aided United Soccer Coaches as Marketing and Membership coordinator. She has also worked with the Kansas City Ballet, the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City, and as Executive Director of the SkillBuilders Fund.

We’re grateful for the professionalism and experience that Ms. Stollsteimer brings to the Foundation mission of helping the Library build its collection and resources, offer programs for patrons of all ages, and better serve the needs of our community.


Shawnee's New Maker-made Chess Set

Shawnee Library has a new chess corner, with pieces and a board made in our Black & Veatch MakerSpace! Come over and play!


Have Fun with Books!

One of our 6 by 6: Ready to Read Early Literacy skills is "Have Fun with Books." Children who enjoy books and are interested in them will naturally want to learn to read! Educators and researchers use the term print motivation to describe this area of early literacy. We've got lots of ideas about how to help little ones see that books, words, reading, rhyming are fun! Watch our Librarian Megan's fun rhyme "Two Little Rhythm Sticks" with your little ones, and then head over to our Have Fun with Books page for lots more fun ideas!


Making TV, Literally!

Make48 is an invention competition and a nationally televised show on PBS. One of our MakerSpace gurus, Nick Ward-Bopp, volunteered at the most recent competition as a tool technician at the beginning of Season 2 filming. The Make48 team came to the MakerSpace to shoot some footage Monday, Jan. 22. Our MakerSpace and Nick are ready for their closeups! 


Music Monday! Chloe Jacobson: True Blue

Happy Music Monday where we select a single from one of our full Local Music LIVE recording performances. This week, it's True Blue by Chloe Jacobson. We'd like to think we're your "true blue friend" because one thing good friends do is pass along really good music from up-and-coming talented folks from right here in our community! Enjoy! Learn more about Chloe and hundreds of other Local Music artists.


It's pronounced: mon–tih–sell–oh

First things first: it’s [mon–tih–sell–oh]. We know – that’s not how Thomas Jefferson might have said it. However since its founding in 1857 the Monticello township, and now the community,  have adopted the Americanized pronunciation. So have we.

SHAWNEE, WE HAVE A BUILDING. Planning’s completed, designs are approved and permits have been issued. Monticello Library is becoming a reality in Shawnee, Kansas where Shawnee Mission Parkway abuts Kansas Highway 7.

Earthwork on the 22435 W. 66th Street site started in March 2017. After the May 10 Groundbreaking Ceremony, construction actively got underway. A concrete pad was poured; a steel framework began to describe the silhouette; utilities were connected. A retaining wall was installed on the south, and the 100-space parking lot was paved by year’s end.

Monticello Library is anticipated to be “dried in,” as they say in the construction trade, in January 2017. Once the exterior of the building is closed up, work will start in earnest to finish the interiors and to make the building systems – heating, lighting, electrical – operational.

Specific planning for Monticello Library actually got underway in 2005. When the project was fully funded in early 2016, more focus groups and staff committees weighed in to assure that the new building would meet current demands and standards. Among the features that were cited by community and staff as necessary, both in 2005 and 2016:  ample meeting spaces for public use; robust wifi and other tech support; a drive-through window; dynamic children’s programming. All of these, and more, are planned for the new facility.

The need for a Monticello branch was noted in the Johnson County Library Facilities Master Plan 1990-2010. In 2000, the Library Board first requested that the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) place the Monticello facility in the annual Capital Improvement Plan (CIP); it was requested annually after that. In 2010, the County Commissioners ratified the site purchase from Bank of America, and a small donation of land from the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth augmented the footprint for parking. The BoCC approved issuance of bonds for the site purchase, and placed the project on the County CIP timeline for construction in 2015.

The economic downturn of 2008-09 caught up with the project in 2011, and the Commissioners removed this project from the County’s 2012-2016 CIP. The Library planned to provide alternative services in the area –such as storytimes and a self-service lending machine on the future Monticello site, pending future developments…

In 2015 the Library’s Board approved the 20-year Comprehensive Library Master Plan and named Monticello Library as the first implementation priority. A public funding increase was approved that year, and the project was launched. The Clark Enersen Partners of Fairway, KS was selected as the project architect, and McCownGordon Construction are serving as construction manager to bring Monticello Library to life.