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Book Sales Continue Online

It’s that time of year when we've historically hosted the Friends’ Sizzlin’ Summer Book Sale. Last year's sale was canceled owing to COVID, and we’re sorry to say that this year's sale has been canceled as well.

Never fear: you still have many ways to purchase lightly-used books and AV materials AND benefit JCL at the same time!

Themed sales have been running all year long at the two Friends Bookstores located at Antioch and Blue Valley Libraries. Many titles end up being cheaper than they might have been at a big book sale! Plus, Friends members receive 20% off regularly-priced items purchased at the stores. Bookstore information is posted on the Friends website.

Friends' internet sales have grown extensively over the past year. Shop their online storefront anytime, and save a few dollars on shipping by making arrangements for local pickup.

Stay tuned to the Friends website and social media for more sales news; in-person sales are returning this Fall!

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Cedar Roe Library reopens today!

We are excited for patrons to return to Cedar Roe Library! You'll find all-new shelving and we've moved a few things around. We think you will really enjoy the new kids area and our relocated reading room. It was no easy task! We removed every book from every shelf. We then removed the old shelves and installed new ones. Want to see a month's worth of work condensed into a 90 second time lapse video?

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Cedar Roe Reopening

Cedar Roe Library will reopen its doors on June 21 at 9 am, after the completion of a critical upgrade to the building's HVAC system, as well as other exciting improvements to enhance your experience.

During its recent closure, Cedar Roe Library received a new HVAC system, new shelving and a new building layout that maximizes natural light and patron convenience, a full inventory and a deep cleaning. We also piloted a curbside holds pickup service that allowed us to serve nearly 2000 patrons during the building's closure. This service will continue to operate after the building reopens.

We anticipate Cedar Roe closing briefly later this Summer for a roofing replacement. Watch jocolibrary.org and @jocolibrary on social media for announcements. Thank you for your patience as we improve our facilities!

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Join Us in Merriam

Antioch Library is relocating to the Merriam Community Center campus, and we want to hear from you!

The Library is working with Dake Wells Architecture to design the new Library for the future, and to meet the changing needs of the community. Join us for a live input session where you will meet the architects, learn about the project, and ideate about your future library. 

When: Wednesday, July 7 from 6 - 7:30 PM*

Where: Future site of the Library @ Merriam Community Center campus

This open-house-style program will be outside in person. Travel to the Merriam Community Center parking structure, 6040 Slater St, Merriam, KS, and then join the team under the tents on the adjacent green space, the future site of the Library.

*Note: Due to wet site conditions and the chance of rain, this event was rescheduled from June 30.

Learn more about the Antioch Library Replacement project and additional ways of engagement via Library OnDemand. And, follow @jocolibrary on social media for project updates and photos. 

Construction will occur after the design is finalized with completion anticipated in 2023.

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We strive to host inclusive, accessible events and provide information online that enables all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully with Library services. To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact us info@jocolibrary.org or 913.826.4600.

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TBT: Bunch of Balloons

As you very well know, June is National Give a Bunch of Balloons Month. What do you do? Find someone in need of encouragement and brighten their day with a balloon bouquet! This practice began as a way to bring joy to children suffering illness. Use #GiveABunchOfBalloonsMonth to share on social media.

We'd like to bring you some smiles too. We can't give you balloons, but we sure can point you towards some historic pictures of balloons. Remember, jocohistory.org is the place to time travel through local history. Search "balloon" for a colorful adventure. Be sure to follow our hashtag on Twitter!

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

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Once more with feeling.

It's an encore posting of our June podcast episode. If you haven't listened yet, we lay out what we're focusing on for the next 7 months in our new Discover Your Library series. It's exciting stuff.

We introduce you to our new series AND we play some fun getting-to-know-you games so you can learn a little bit more about your podcast hosts. Did you hear?

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Begin Your Own Book Club

Have you been wanting to join one of our book clubs and registration has been completely full! Why not start your own?

Visit our For Book Clubs Page. There you will find some great advice on how to get started.

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Corinth's Herb Garden

Where some might have seen a vacant space, Corinth librarians Meagan and Diana saw potential. Several years ago, they got started converting alcoves near the Library parking lot into what is now an herb garden. The garden serves as the basis for educational programs, and provides natural beauty and inspiration for readers.

Their process is part of a growing trend. Libraries are increasingly incorporating green spaces, both in new building projects, like Monticello’s roof terrace, through partnerships, like at Oak Park’s community garden, or in the case of Corinth, with some creative reuse. A Library Journal article noted that “the best libraries don’t stop at the front door.”

After noticing some old rusty flowerpots that were creating an eyesore, Spencer asked her branch manager at the time if she could make some improvements, and soon the garden began to take shape.

Then Meagan joined the team, "and she was super supportive of the idea. She took it to the next level to make it an educational garden,” Diana said.

Meagan pulled together some research about green spaces, and utilized her own gardening expertise. A local Girl Scout troop helped put their plan into action, sowing new plants in the spaces. While Library staff have largely kept up with maintenance over the years, a full-time volunteer is now on board to tend to it on a more regular basis.

“We have the rocks, the pots, the soil, and we’re composting and regenerating,” said Diana. “We’re drying plants out and planting the seeds and recycling each year. We start everything from seeds, so kids can guess what’s growing and watch the life cycle of seeds.”

The events of the past year presented some new challenges for the garden, when the pandemic meant that all Johnson County Libraries closed their doors.

Now, as the world comes back to life, so has the garden. Over the years, Corinth has built programming to connect to the garden, incorporating the 6 by 6 skills for early literacy.  Other programs have included an aromatherapy session that used scents from the herbs, and “plantable” bookmarks made from recycled paper with wildflower seeds embedded. This year, the Summer Reading launch will prominently feature Corinth’s garden as well as a Master Gardener giving tips and advice.

“This summer, with Summer Reading being all about animals, we got onto the topic of wildlife and ecology, and the ways that we can help wildlife in our community,” said Christin. “Rather than simply talk to people about how you can plant natives or bring native species into your space, we wanted to tell the story of the Library doing that.”

Christin and Diana noted that the pandemic and events of the past year have also placed new importance on outdoor spaces, shedding light on the value of the project that started as a labor of love.

“Revitalizing the garden and being able to open that space again...It feels really big to me, especially this year. People can go to the Library, sit on the patio and chat, or smell the plants growing while they watch their kids,” Christin said. “Communities look to their Library now in ways that they didn’t before. Libraries are not just a quiet building, but where people live their lives and engage with their community. People need those connection points.”

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Take-Home Table Top Games

Join us to explore games featuring Tails and Tales this summer! Your next game night will be the cat’s pajamas with the help of our collection of take-home games and goodies. Sign up for your kit and we’ll set one aside for pickup at a branch of your choice. Become top dog when playing games with your own flock, or go hog wild against other eager beavers at our online Take-Home Table Top events. All ages are welcome.

Events in this series:

Take-Home Table Top Games (Event 1 of 2)
Monday, June 21, 2021 (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM)

Take-Home Table Top Games (Event 2 of 2)
Saturday, July 17, 2021 (2:00 PM – 4:00 PM)

The events will be hosted using the meeting software Zoom. A Johnson County Library staff member will contact you via the email you registered with to determine your kit pickup location and provide instructions on how to access the Zoom meetings. You do not need to download any software or create an account.

Note: Kit supplies are limited. Registering for our events will reserve you a kit to take home. Event registrants will receive a kit whether they choose to attend one, both, or neither of the online events.