Cedar Roe Library will be closed April 19 – June 20 for construction. Please see our FAQ for more information.
Here's a glimpse of Little Central!
We are making areas of Central Resource Library even better in 2021! In addition to its public service staff, Central is home to many departments that support all 14 branches. Once the work at Central is complete, you will feel the positive impact across the Library system.
We know you probably have many questions about what to expect over the next year, so we’ve put together a Construction FAQ that addresses the status of popular services like the Black & Veatch MakerSpace and Genealogy resources, more details about Little Central and where to find alternate services.
Services available at Central during construction include:
This week at the Library, you can join us for:
Money Mondays – Banking Basics: Modern Money – Monday, Feb. 22, 6-7:00 PM
Join Dana Branham, Director of Community Affairs, Kansas Office of the State Bank Commission, to get an unbiased view of the different banking options available to consumers. Learn to shop for a financial institution, the types of accounts, what to expect when opening an account, and how to use apps to stay on track.
Artists in Sight – Tuesday, Feb. 23, 6:30-7:00 PM
Since we can’t go to live concerts these days, here’s an opportunity to get a glimpse into the local music scene with an interview with Fally Afani, award-winning journalist and photographer. Her photography captures the electric energy and urgency of the Kansas City and Lawrence music scenes.
Book Party – Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2-2:30 PM
Exposing the Myths of Retirement Investing – Thursday, Feb. 25, 2-3:00 PM
This week’s session is titled, “Taming the Emotions That Hurt Investments”, presented by Emerson Hartzler, pro bono financial advisor, exposing this and other “myths” and providing practical and understandable strategies for retirement investing.
For so many people, 2020 was a year of reckoning with our nation’s history of racial inequality.
That was true for Johnson County Library’s Local History Librarian Amanda Wahlmeier. She worked with her programming committee to tell impactful local and regional stories of struggle and triumph in the crusade for community progress.
With the 2020 pandemic and the Library’s pivot to online programming, Wahlmeier and the Past is Prologue committee quickly focused on racial and social justice, especially after the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis.
“In May, we were already thinking about social justice, but the George Floyd incident really made us commit to it,” Wahlmeier said. The Past is Prologue monthly programs highlight stories that are often glossed over or misrepresented in history books. They feature outstanding presenters, with help from the Humanities Kansas Speakers Bureau.
Patrons have been enthusiastic about these hour-long online presentations.
“We’re very pleased with the patron response,” Wahlmeier said. “We’ve had great comments and a lot of requests. The public is very interested.”
Future programs will explore the bi-state Dividing Lines tour and little-known stories of Kansas City.
The 2020 pandemic and social upheaval reinforced for Wahlmeier the importance of community members knowing their history and illustrated the Library’s crucial role in imparting that information. Online programming allows people to participate from home, and she’s excited to provide resources for teachers and parents.
Wahlmeier has been Local History Librarian since August 2017 and brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role. She majored in history and international studies at Baker University before getting a master’s in history from University College Dublin in Ireland. She was curator at the National Orphan Train Museum in Concordia, Kan. for several years before she obtained a library science master’s degree from Emporia State and joined Johnson County Library.
“Having an opportunity to merge Library and archival work was very attractive,” she said.
In 2020, she had just helped complete the Kansas Day and Genealogy Day activities before in-person events shut down for the pandemic. Besides organizing the Past is Prologue events, she kept busy updating the Library’s local history resources, including digitizing newspapers such as the Shawnee Dispatch and Gardner News that people should soon be able to access from home.
She hopes that, even when in-person events resume, patrons will continue expanding their use of the Library’s rich local history resources and materials.
Black History Month began February 1 and ends March 1. Continue to explore Black History in our area by visiting jocohistory.org. There you will find historical photographs and maps documenting the people, places and organizations of Johnson County.
Johnson County Library also has so many resources it might be hard to choose which to read, listen to, or participate in, so it’s good we get to celebrate all month long.
Get Started with Primary Sources
Associated Press Collections Online – Includes news coverage on Martin Luther King, Jr., Freedom Riders, desegregation, voting rights and more.
American Civil Liberties Union Papers – 20th century ACLU records focusing on race, civil rights and more.
Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive – Documents and research guides related to the history of slavery, abolition and emancipation.
The Legacy of Corinthian Nutter – Learn about the major contributions Ms. Nutter made in Webb v. School District 90 (located in Merriam, KS), which ended segregation five years before Brown v. the Board of Education.
The Midwest Afro-American Genealogical Interest Coalition (MAGIC)- Promotes genealogy and family history through presentations, monthly meetings, a quarterly magazine, exhibitions and tours of Kansas City.
Olathe’s early African-American community –Kansas’ anti-slavery legacy offered a fresh start for many former slaves and their families after the Emancipation Proclamation.
African-American Stories on Kanopy – Hundreds of films, documentaries, and series exploring everything from current events to the history and cultural legacy of African-Americans.
The Past is Prologue - A series of programs featuring topics that were often left out, glossed over or misrepresented in our history books, such as The Kansas City Monarchs and the Negro National League , Corinthian Nutter and the South Park School, and The Town of Nicodemus, KS
Celebrate 100 Years of the Negro Leagues - 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues – learn about its development, players, and legacy.
Read More Black Authors: Kids and Teens – Celebrate Black voices with this collection of both fiction and non-fiction titles for younger readers.
Upbeat Black History Month – A collection of uplifting African-American stories from throughout our country's history, with an emphasis on the underknown.
Take the Black History Month Kahoot quiz for some fun and to test your knowledge:
We're so excited to announce that after a 2-month hiatus, our podcast—your Library insider—Did you hear? returns Monday, March 1st!
What's new in 2021? Four new co-hosts, a monthly format, themed episodes, new production and a special new segment we're calling "In Search of Paul Rudd."
What hasn't changed is our commitment to bringing you the behind-the-scenes stories that you've come to expect. So, be sure to head over to Podbean or wherever you prefer to get your favorite podcasts and subscribe. While there, consider revisiting some of our favorite episodes like Return Bin Finds, The Census, Library Hacks, authors interviewing authors like Author Research in Action: Oppenheimer and local musical acts like Miki P.
The countdown has begun!
If you're feeling a little taxed by tax season, the Library is here to help. Have you seen the tax resources we've assembled for you? We connect you to in-person and online tax help. We've identified the helpful contacts and articles you need to make tax season more bearable. How about a list with links to federal and state forms, schedules and publications? Yes!
This week at the Library, you can join us for
Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture Series: Author Ibram X. Kendi – Monday, Feb 15 \ 6 - 7:30 p.m.
We are honored to partner with the Division of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Missouri, Kansas City on their annual Martin Luther King Jr. lecture series. The lecture series honors Martin Luther King's tremendous contributions to furthering civil rights by featuring national thought leaders, who provide insight and advocacy to current civil rights issues of education, economic and justice system inequalities.
Body Talk: Rebekah Taussig in Conversation with Charlesia McKinney – Tuesday, Feb. 16 \ 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Rebekah Taussig, author of Sitting Pretty: the View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body and Charlesia McKinney, Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition with an interest in fat studies, will discuss what it means to live in their particular female bodies.
Disability as Space for Imagination – Wednesday, Feb. 17 \ 6:30 – 7:30
In this lecture, Rebekah Taussig, author of Sitting Pretty: the View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body, will explore the powerful connection between the cultural narratives around our physical selves and the world we live in, from physical spaces and economic opportunities to social roles and interpersonal relationships.
Virtual City Cycling – Thursday, Feb. 18 \ Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Little Central will open in a portion of our front lobby on Monday, February 15, offering limited services.
Services available at Central during construction include:
Modified services during construction:
For more details and answers to your questions, check out our Central Resource Library Construction FAQs.