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Curbside Holds Pickup Convenience

For many of us, this is a really busy time of year. Trying to get more done but not having more time can be stressful to say the least. This may even mean giving up some of the things you enjoy until things start to settle down. Luckily, you can still enjoy all your favorite materials from Johnson County Library with the ultra-convenient Curbside Holds Pickup service at the Cedar Roe, Gardner, Leawood Pioneer, Oak Park and Spring Hill Libraries. When you’re placing your items on hold, select one of the Curbside Holds Pickup branches and enjoy the perks of curbside pickup.     

This service has been very popular and for good reason. You simply pull up to a reserved parking spot in your comfortable vehicle. Text that you’re there and in no time, your items are brought out to you. Then as you are pulling out of the parking lot you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner. It’s simple, fast and stress-free.   

Curbside Holds Pickup service was launched last year to give patrons a contactless pickup option at the Cedar Roe, Gardner and Leawood Pioneer branches. Due to the popularity of the services, it was then expanded to Oak Park and Spring Hill Libraries.  

While you are always welcome to pick up your materials inside the branch, you also have the option for contactless holds pickup from the comfort of your vehicle. With curbside service now at those five locations along with drive-thru windows at the Blue Valley, Lenexa City Center and Monticello locations, a contactless holds pickup option is available in all quadrants of Johnson County. 

Hours for curbside service mirror the current branch hours, but the service closes 15 minutes prior to the close of the branch. Please note that Curbside Holds Pickup service may be temporarily suspended during severe weather, including extreme temperatures. 

To use the curbside service: 

  1. Look for the parking stalls designated with blue Curbside Hold Pickup signs in the branch's parking lot. 

  1. To initiate the pickup, text the word HOLD to the phone number on the sign and follow the prompts. Message and data rates may apply. Please note you must be present at the Library to initiate pickup. 

  1. When staff has located and checked out your material, a Library staff member will bring out your hold(s). Pop your trunk or roll down a passenger window so staff can safely place your item(s) in your car. 

Many have already discovered the convenience of the Curbside Holds Pickup service at Johnson County Library. If you haven’t tried it yet, now is a great time with the busy holiday season. To learn more about the curbside service, checkout our Curbside Holds Pickup FAQ

Photo collage of conference planners

Our Writers Conference Planners! Clockwise from top left: Helen Hokanson, Jesseca Bear, Lisa Allen, Kathryn "Katt" Cooper, Joseph Keehn, Diane Haner and Cindy Frazer.

Meet the Conference Planners!

Now that we’ve introduced you to our Writers Conference authors and presenters, it’s time to introduce ourselves!

The core team that plans the Writers Conference is small, but mighty!

Helen Hokanson has worked at the Library for 25 years. She found her niche as the Local Writers Librarian in 2014 and leads our committee not just in planning the Writers Conference, but in visioning and planning year-round programming, readings, and writing contests.

Joseph Keehn is the Events & Programs Coordinator for the Johnson County Library, where he plans, develops, implements, evaluates and manages programs and events that meet the diverse needs of all patrons. He has been with the Writers Conference since its beginning.

Cindy Frazer has been at Johnson County Library since 1985 and has been on the Writers Conference committee for 7 years. Thanks to Cindy, we have signage and schedules and all those didn’t-think-of-that essentials that make the conference successful.

Lisa Allen started at the Library in 2019 and joined the Local Writers Committee that same year. She is an Adult Services Specialist.

Jesseca Bear started at the Library in 2012 and joined the Local Writers Committee earlier this year. She is an Adult Services Specialist.

Kathryn “Katt” Cooper started at the Library in 2018 and has been part of the Local Writers Committee since 2019. She is an Adult Services Specialist.

Diane Haner has worked at the Library since 2001 and joined the Local Writers Committee in 2016. She is an Adult Services Specialist.

-- written by Lisa Allen, adult services specialist


Books to Go Kits

Johnson County Library's Books to Go kits support our early literacy initiative 6 by 6, Ready to Read by making it easy and convenient to bring the Library into your home or early education center. Our Books to Go give you and your child an enjoyable variety of ways to explore ABCs, Bugs, Colors, and more! 

Our 6 by 6, Ready to Read skills are skills children learn before they learn to read. Reading, singing, talking, rhyming, playing with shapes and enjoying playing with books are essential skills for children long before they even start to learn their letters. Reading, singing and rhyming give a child invaluable experience hearing the music and rhythms of the English language. Talking improves a child’s future vocabulary – long before they’re able to mimic the words they hear, the amount of words they are exposed to has a huge positive effect on future enjoyment of reading, grades, and test success. Naming and manipulating shapes helps children identify letters in the future. And playing with books; imitating adults flipping pages, opening and closing books, and moving pages from side to side stimulates motor skill development and teaches children that books are fun. Our Books to Go kits encourage all of these skills, in an easy to grab package ready for your family to enjoy! 

Each themed kit contains a curated selection of books, audio, a DVD and an activity sheet to help foster a love of reading and early literacy skill development. Over 50 kid-friendly topics are available in our Books to Go kits. Whether your child is curious about the seasons, colors, construction, the weather, or needs some help understanding doctors, dentists, having a new sibling or potty training, our Books to Go kits will help you and your child explore topics in a fun way from a variety of angles. Johnson County Library patron Emily, mother of 3 year old Ben, said, “Being able to look at a book together about colors, then sing a song about colors, and then follow the activity sheet’s suggestions, like talking about our favorite colors and colors we see out in the world, really helps us think creativity together and helps my child love our time spent reading even more!” 

Pick up a blue canvas bag at any branch location and get everything you need for hours of fun with your child. You can even place holds on different kits!



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!

Gather at the Table Tuesday, Nov. 15, 5 – 6:30 p.m.

Conversation allows people to better understand different viewpoints. Friendships and communities are often built by the conversations that happen over a meal. Gather with us to break bread and discuss some of the difficult and controversial topics at the forefront of our thoughts and news. This fall we will discuss the First Amendment and multiple related issues from social media to book bans. All are welcome at any time during this drop-in discussion group. Food and drink are provided.

Reckoning with White Privilege: A Conversation with Brendan KielyThursday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m. – noon

Join us at Central Resource Library for a morning conversation with Brendan Kiely, participating virtually from his home in New York. Kiely is the New York Times bestselling author of All American Boys (with Jason Reynolds), Tradition, The Last True Love Story and The Gospel of Winter. His most recent publication, The Other Talk: Reckoning With Our White Privilege will be the focus of the conversation. Signed bookplates will be available following the program. Refreshments will be served.

Maintain Your Ride Thursday, Nov. 17, noon – 1:30 p.m.

Get your hands dirty and learn to keep your bike in tip-top shape with this free class from Johnson County Library and BikeWalkKC. Live and in-person at the bicycle fix-it stand in front of Central Resource Library, our instructors will teach you how to keep your bike in good working order with a few basic tools and some practical know-how. You will learn how to clean and lubricate your chain, fix a flat, adjust shifting and braking, and basic bike maintenance skills. We’ll also show you how to use the fix-it stand. This is a hands-on class! Registration is required.

Writers Conference Kickoff Thursday, Nov. 17, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Faculty and attendees will kick off the 7th annual Writers Conference at Central Resource Library with readings that respond to prompts from our conference book, Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Create, Think, and Lead in Unconventional Ways, by Sarah Stein Greenberg.

An evening with Author Anne-Marie Oomen Friday, Nov. 18, 6 – 8 p.m.

Join us for an evening at Central Resource Library with award-winning poet, memoirist, playwright, and teacher Anne-Marie Oomen for a celebration of her award-winning memoir As Long as I Know You: The Mom Book, winner of AWP’s Sue William Silverman Nonfiction Award. Oomen will give a reading followed by a conversation with local author Virginia Brackett and conclude with an audience Q&A. Representatives from the Johnson County Department of Aging and Human Services will be on hand to offer resources about caregiving and local bookseller Green Door Bookstore will be on-site to sell copies of Oomen’s memoir. A book signing will follow.

And much more happening this week »


An Evening with Anne-Marie Oomen

When we talked with Writers Conference faculty member Anne-Marie Oomen about the possibility of an event to celebrate her newest, award-winning memoir, As Long as I Know You: The Mom Book, the conversation quickly turned to what Oomen calls “book good.”

We learned, then, that as much as Oomen loves to read her work in front of a crowd, she also has bigger goals for this book. Specifically, she wants to share what she and her family learned as they navigated her mother’s deteriorating health and transition into assisted living with others who are currently facing—or will soon face—this stressful time of life.

To bring this vision to life, we planned this evening to be both a literary event and a community conversation. Local author Virginia Brackett will moderate the event and will be in conversation with Oomen about the book itself and the craft elements that make it unique.

In addition, Tim Wholf, Johnson County’s new Director of Aging and Human Services, will join Oomen and Brackett to discuss the realities of navigating the system when a parent or loved one is aging and needs assistance.

In addition to discussions with Brackett and Wholf, Oomen will read from the memoir, which was awarded the 2021 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Sue William Silverman Prize for Creative Nonfiction and will take questions from the audience. Books will be available for purchase from local business The Green Door Book Store & Gift Shoppe.

-- written by Lisa Allen, adult services specialist


Why We Give: Chris Anderson and Lyn Buckley

Growing up on the west side of Chicago – and in walking distance to a library nearby, Foundation board member Chris Anderson cannot remember a time when he didn’t go to the library.

“The library was always a safe place to go,” he recalled, and by age 11 he could walk there on his own to check out books, which provided a great sense of independence.  

Chris’s wife, Lyn smiled broadly as she remembered her mom taking her to the library when she was a little girl to check out books. It quickly became her favorite place, and she has loved books ever since, noting that reading is her favorite pastime. Out of her siblings, she was definitely the bibliophile and still is. She affectionately refers to books now as “the beauty of the universe.”

As parents to two sons, it was part of their daily routine to read bedtime stories every evening. Their sons now read nightly to their kids continuing the tradition. Chris and Lyn share their love of libraries and reading with their grandchildren and noted their oldest granddaughter is in fourth grade has her very own library card. Lyn added that for people of all ages, library programs are key to engagement as they are centered around access and exploration. From early literacy storytimes to author visits and beyond, sharing information that is open to everyone is unique to libraries and a wonderful resource.

A fun shared experience Chris and Lyn have enjoyed for over 25 years is being part of a book group, where they have read many books they would otherwise not have been exposed to or read. Chris added that reading a variety of literature is the spice of life.

As a Foundation board member for many years, Chris believes the Library is a worthwhile organization to support on different levels. He remembered when he first came on board being amazed at the breadth of all the things the library offered, including online resources and programming for all ages. He added he believes that many of the Library’s programs are able to offer additional resources that exist due to extra funding provided by the Foundation.

Lyn shared her vision of the future of libraries to include more e-readers, a source for continued access to materials and programming for everyone, and a place in particular for students to access technology centered around gaining knowledge.

“Librarians are the most wonderful people on earth!” Lyn exclaimed. “They are always happy to help with anything — be it finding a book, research materials. and connecting people with the resources they are looking for!”

Johnson County Museum’s special exhibition, REDLINED: Cities, Suburbs, and Segregation

Johnson County Museum’s special exhibition, REDLINED: Cities, Suburbs, and Segregation, is on display through Jan. 7, 2023.

New Blog Entry from the Johnson County Museum

Confronting Segregation in Johnson County

The Johnson County Museum’s special exhibition, REDLINED: Cities, Suburbs, and Segregation (on display through Jan. 7, 2023), is a gripping exploration of the history of redlining from its origins to its legacies, which continue to shape our lived realities today. REDLINED tells a national story told with a local focus that reveals how Johnson County both shaped and was shaped by the history of redlining. While the bulk of the exhibit is about the federal policy of redlining from its origins to its lasting legacies, the exhibit also highlights Johnson County’s unique role in each stage of the process, including efforts to combat redlining and its effects. In this post, we are highlighting the work of three Johnson Countians who confronted the system of redlining and, in doing so, changed our community.