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Open Book is Out Today!

The September issue of The Open Book eNewsletter is out today!

What is The Open Book?  This newsletter provides updates on Library branches, upcoming events and programs, service highlights and how the Library is evolving to meet your needs. 

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This Week at the Library

Walk and Read – Daily, All Week

“Take a walk and read a book.” Not normally sound advice, but that is exactly what Johnson County Library is suggesting families do this week at Osage Park, (6300 West 87th St., Overland Park, KS) and at various locations throughout Johnson County. Walk and Read creates a family reading experience in the great outdoors! Families who participate will read two stories posted around the path, one going each direction. When you finish one story, you can flip around to the other side of the sign and begin the next story, which will lead you back around the path. 

One-on-One Genealogy Help via Zoom – Tuesday, Sept 7, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Basic Genealogy and DNA one-on-one help are now being held online via Zoom specific to your questions and research. Visit the Johnson County Genealogical Society at to schedule an appointment. A volunteer will email a personal Zoom meeting link to you prior to the scheduled date.

Community Matters Book Club –  Thursday, Sept 9, 6 – 7 p.m.

Explore identity and the world around us in a welcoming space. This inter-generational book club provides kids and families a place to read about the unique experiences of diverse characters and historical events. Each month we will provide a selection of books for you to keep, along with an invitation to join us as a family for discussion, questioning, and community building. Copies of the books will be provided to participants who live in Johnson County. Best for parents or guardians, and their children ages 8-12.

Brainfuse HelpNow – Daily, All Week

Brainfuse HelpNow has several ways to get homework help:

  • Live tutoring daily 2 – 11 p.m.
  • Writing Lab to get feedback within one business day.
  • Skillsurfer for study resources and text prep.
  • Send Question to get a response within one business day.
  • LEAP to create a customized learning plan.

Plus, several more tools to collaborate and learn using the website or mobile app.

And much more …


Exhibitions Return to Johnson County Library

Johnson County Library fosters creatives of all types who live and work in our community. The Library features and celebrates the work of local artists in the physical and digital spaces of the Library, and promotes collaborations and partnerships between the Library, artists and arts organizations. Beginning September 1, the Library is excited to have exhibitions returning to many of our locations. You can find the following exhibitions at the Library locations below:

Antioch Library - Dylan Carroll
Born red-green colorblind, artist Dylan Carroll uses a simple color palette while utilizing the monochromatic scales of each color in his abstract paintings. This exhibition of his work is not meant to be the focus of one theme or issue; rather he views these images as “completely subjective, allowing the viewer to create their own personal connection with the work.”

Blue Valley Library - Jennifer Walker
Sculptor Jennifer Walker uses many types of materials and varied methods to produce her creative works. She has created ornamental relief carvings for architectural restoration, new construction, sculptures for The Kansas City Zoo and a recent commission for The Kansas City Art Institute.

Cedar Roe Library - Sol Anzorena
Sol Anzorena has been making art since she was very young and has been traveling and studying art at different universities in Poland and Brazil. Anzorena’s love of nature inspires her to create “organic and loose” works.

Leawood Pioneer Library - John Keeling
Drawn to what he describes as the “transparency” of watercolor, painter John Keeling captures scenes of nature and animals in his work, from the “fragility of a flower or the devoted gaze of a beloved pet.”

Lenexa City Center Library - Nate Hofer
Nate Hofer is a graphic designer and musician who draws upon his Midwestern upbringing during the Cold War in the 1980s to create documentary photographs and solo performance sound pieces. The photos in this exhibit have been shortlisted for the 2021 Global Peace Photo Award.

Oak Park Library - Daniel Baxley
From the artist: “Every morning upon rising I made my coffee, and immediately went to my studio. I entered into a kind of meditative state and allowed any remnants of my dreamtime or any other elements from my subconscious to freely flow forth as pastel images on 9"x12" paper.”

Oak Park Library - Joha Bisone
From the artist: “Inspiration is found through the never-ending supply from the natural world. My exploration has led to an ongoing series revolving around the intricacies of patterns in nature, specifically enthralled by the markings and colorings of birds, fish and plants.”

Shawnee Library - William Toney
William Toney uses photography and mixed media to document an abstract lived experience. Toney writes: “I create still lifes from objects I find in the street, retired flowers, my old clothes, etc. In my work, repurposing, repositioning and the shifting of hierarchies attempts to reclaim power by demanding to be seen in a different context.”

To learn more, visit the Exhibitions page on For those interested in a virtual experience, check out Artists in Sight. In this series, the Library interviews some of the Kansas City area's best local visual artists for insights about their work, creative process and the things that inspire them. Visit Library OnDemand to watch.

Johnson County Library – Nurturing the Community’s Collective Wisdom


Oak Park Closure for Repairs

Oak Park Library will be closed to both staff and the public Monday, Sept. 13 through Saturday, Sep. 18 for safety upgrades to the building's electrical system and a renovation of staff workspaces. Curbside Holds Pickup service will also be suspended, and returns will not be accepted during the closure. The building is scheduled to reopen Monday, Sept. 20 with normal hours.

  • If you have items checked out from Oak Park that will be due during the closure, please return your items to another branch or renew materials through your Library account. Please contact us for assistance with renewals.
  • Holds ready for pickup but not checked out by 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11 will remain on-shelf for one additional week. Check your library account for specific dates. Please contact us no later than Sept. 11 if you would like to pick up your available holds from another branch during the closure period.
  • Meeting rooms and public computers, including printing and copying services, are available at our other Johnson County Library locations. Central Resource and Antioch are closest in proximity to Oak Park. Please note meeting rooms are not currently available at Central Resource Library.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we work to improve your facilities! Follow @jocolibrary on social media for updates.


New Podcast Episode

Discover Your Library: The Arts

We're back again for your monthly Library Insider. it's the Did you hear? podcast and we are on part 4 of our Discover Your Library special. This month? The Arts! 

Music, art exhibitions, writing ... we have so much to offer artists and you!

In this episode:

  • Musical guest The Wires
  • Local Writer Martha Gershun reads her short story: "The Hatch"
  • Local Arts Librarian Bryan Voell chats about exhibitions, our new Artists in Sight on demand offerings, and the local music blog 
  • We sample an interview with Artist Sol Anzorena
  • A talk with artist Dianna Bartel
  • and so much more!

Art is transformative and transcendent. Let us take you away for the next hour or so.


Facebook Live Book Parties


Facebook Live Book Parties are live events where Johnson County Library staff members interact with you about books! Each party revolves around a short list of titles representing a certain genre or theme. You can find the Facebook Live Book Parties at While you're there: like, follow, share.

For the first Fall Facebook Live Book Party on noon at September 1, we'll be joined by some very special guests: the crew of the HarperCollins Library Marketing team, who will be talking all about the awesome new books that will be hitting the shelves in the fall. Join Librarian Gregg as he talks to Virginia Stanley, Chris Connoley, and Lainey Mays for a Fall Book Buzz that will keep your hold shelves full! For those who might not be able to attend this live and interactive session, this will be recorded so folks can access it later.


Virtual Table Top Games

September Featured Table Top Games

Join us Wednesday at 6 p.m. for our monthly virtual Table Top Games event! Each month, we gather in Zoom and on Board Game Arena to play games, make friends, and have adventures. Here’s what we’re playing this month:

Potion Explosion: Channel your inner mad scientist! Choose your potion ingredients carefully to make them explode. The bigger the explosions, the faster you’ll brew your potions.

Libertalia: Where do pirates go when they retire? To Libertalia, of course. Battle to become the richest pirate so you can build this utopian pirate retirement colony.

Kingdom Builder: Take advantage of the terrain and buildings available to your fledgling kingdom to construct settlements, win objectives, and amass piles of gold.

Welcome To (Your Perfect Home): Play the role of a 1950s residential developer! Everyone gets the same resources; can you arrange yours into the most enviable housing estates with fancy pools and luxurious parks.

Dragonwood: The enchanted forest of Dragonwood contains many menacing creatures. Stomp on some fire ants, shriek at a grumpy troll, or strike the menacing orange dragon with a magical silver sword—you’ll need to vanquish your foes to emerge victorious.


This Week at the Library

Walk and ReadDaily, All Week

“Take a walk and read a book.” Not normally sound advice, but that is exactly what Johnson County Library is suggesting families do this week at Big Bull Creek Park, (20425 Sunflower Rd., Edgerton, KS) and at various locations throughout Johnson County. Walk and Read creates a family reading experience in the great outdoors! Families who participate will read two stories posted around the path, one going each direction. When you finish one story, you can flip around to the other side of the sign and begin the next story, which will lead you back around the path. 

English Language Conversation Classes Basic and Intermediate Level Interviews/Entrevistas para las Clases de conversación en inglés de nivel básico e intermedio  –  Tuesday, Aug 31, 6:30 – 7:45 p.m.

Practice using the language by joining our virtual English conversational sessions for basic and intermediate levels. You must register and be interviewed to assess your level of English proficiency. If accepted, you will attend the series of classes on Tuesdays: September 14, 21, 28; October 5, 12, 19; November 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; December 2, 9, 16 at 6:30PM until 7:45PM.

Facebook Live Book Party –  Wednesday, Sept 1, Noon – 1 p.m.

Facebook Live Book Parties are live events where library staff members will booktalk a short list of titles around a certain genre or theme and staff will interact with patrons in real time. This Book Party will be held on Facebook live. Visit JoCoLibrary on Facebook and be sure to ‘follow’ us to get notifications when we go Live if you have a Facebook account. You do not need a Facebook account to watch our Book Party.

Caregiver Workshop Series –  Wednesday, Sept 1, 7 - 8 p.m.

Whether it's getting them to eat their vegetables or understanding what's going on inside their heads, being a caregiver of young children can be challenging. Each month's caregiver workshop explores a different topic to support and enrich relationships between kids age birth to 6 and their caregivers.

And much more …


Meet the Author & Illustrator

Meet the Author & Illustrator: Sharice Davids with Nancy K Mays and Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley

Register for this program online or call 816.260.4600.

Kansas 3rd district congresswoman Sharice Davids loves encouraging kids to use their voice and lift up their communities. Join us for a reading and discussion with Rep. Davids, co-author Nancy Mays, and illustrator Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley as they talk about the art and story in Sharice's Big Voice. Their book tells the triumphant story of Davids, one of the first two Native American women ever elected to Congress and the first openly LGBTQ+ congressperson to represent Kansas in Washington.

This program will be hosted using the meeting software Zoom. A Johnson County Library staff member will contact registrants via the email you registered with to provide more information about the program and instructions on how to access the Zoom meetings. You do not need to download any software or create an account.

In connection with our author event with Congresswoman Sharice Davids and her debut children’s book, Sharice’s Big Voice, kids are invited to join our youth writing and art contest, Reaching for Your Dreams. In Sharice’s Big Voice, Sharice dreamed of making a difference in this world by pursuing politics and now represents Kansas as a Congresswoman. What are your dreams? How will you accomplish them? What stands in your way? How will you stay motivated and what happens if you fail? Any or all of these questions and more can be explored in your submission. Short stories, essays, poems and art can be submitted Sept. 1-14.. Winners will received a copy of Sharice’s Big Voice signed by the authors and illustrator. Open to ages 10 and under.