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Our Librarian Josh's Favorite Table Top Games

During this pandemic, board games have been a valuable pastime for many people, whether it's breaking some out with the family and friends or learning how to play games on new online platforms. At Johnson County Library, our Table Top Games Committee has been trying to think of ways that we can share our passion with our patrons even if we can’t meet in person. Join us each month for a virtual Table Top Games event!

Our Librarian Josh's Table Top Games Journey

Hi! I'm Josh. Like Katy, I remember playing games with my family starting at a young age: Sorry, Trouble, Monopoly, Clue, and more. My brother and I almost came to blows when our dad taught us how to play Risk. (To be fair, I did make an alliance with him, only to attack one of his countries a few turns later. But even now that we're adults, I'm not going to invite him to play Munchkin with me.) I was also an imaginative kid, playing Make Believe and Let's Pretend on my own or with friends, making up stories with Star Wars action figures or pretending to be superheroes on the playground during recess. That primed me for getting into tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons at the same time I was getting bored with traditional board games. It was through the online RPG community that I learned of "Euro-style" tabletop games. I bought Ticket to Ride out of curiosity and LOVED it. Soon after, Wil Wheaton launched his YouTube series TableTop, showing the diversity of new games and, as Katy said, that there was a growing community of players of these new games. So when she asked me if I wanted to help running a monthly tabletop program, I gave her an enthusiastic "YES!" (This earned both of us high fives from Wil when we talked with him at Planet Comicon one year. #humblebrag) I can't wait for this pandemic to be over so I can go back to playing games with people in person. And no, I haven't played the game Pandemic at all this year.

Josh's favorite games: Ticket to Ride, Pirate's Cove, Munchkin, Smash Up, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, Fate, 7th Sea, Mage: The Ascension, Trinity Continuum.

Read our other Table Top Games Committee members' stories and favorite games »


TBT: Chinese New Year and Old Years

Chinese New Year 2021 begins tomorrow, Friday, February 12th, 2021! It's the Year of the Ox. In the Chinese zodiac, the Ox is known for its honest nature, diligence, dependability, strength and determination. The Ox has a significant place in Asian culture

The words that describe the Ox seem appropriate for Chinese immigrants who have come to call Johnson County home. Dig into a little of their experience at There you'll find the photograph seen here of students of the Chinese school, oral histories like Lihui Xiong - New Immigrants and the American Dream Exhibit, advertisements for Chinese businesses in publications like The County Squire, The Johnson County Leader, The Village Squire, and more when using the search term: "Chinese History."  


Black Women Making History

We are celebrating the 2021 theme for Black History Month, The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity, with historic firsts. This week we're highlighting a few Black women making history.

First we have Vice President Kamala Harris, with her book The Truths We Hold, An American Journey.

Another first, The Legend, The Bessie Coleman Story, a documentary about the first Black and first Native American woman to hold a pilot’s license. Bessie Coleman was a celebrity pilot performing in airshows throughout the country until her untimely death testing out a new airplane.

And a local biography: Cathy Williams, From Slave to Female Buffalo Soldier. Williams was a former slave from Independence, MO who went on to disguise herself as a man and fight with the Buffalo soldiers during the Civil war.

Johnson County Library has so many resources, it might be hard to choose which to read, listen to or participate in, so if you’d like more during the month-long celebration of Black History, we've gathered more for you to enjoy »


Axis 360's "Dyslexia Font"

Pssst! I have a secret to share. I'm a librarian who doesn't like to read.

I mean, I love to read, for pleasure. But it pains me to read anything that doesn't fascinate me. Instructions. Guides. Textbooks. Nonfiction: unless it's about something salacious or it otherwise piques my interest. I'm one of those people where, when I'm forced to read something I don't want to read, I finish a paragraph and realize I have no idea what's going on. So I re-read the paragraph. Same. No idea. It takes me forever to read through anything that is not absolutely fascinating.

It's not the end of the world. I love audiobooks, for instance. But not everything is available in audio format, and sometimes my fourteen-year-old is not in the mood to read to me. (Ungrateful! Think of all the years I spent reading to her! Although, I admit, I never read her things like income tax form instructions like I have asked her to read to me.)

All this is to say, I'm extremely excited to have discovered something new today that might help me focus on my "required reading." Johnson County Library's eBook service, Baker and Taylor's Axis 360, has a "dyslexia font." Right now this font is only available by reading on the website itself, which I can still access from my iPhone, just through the Safari browser instead of the Axis 360 app. Just change the font in the browser reader. It works with many titles, although not quite all. The dyslexia font is coming to the app in early 2021 in the next update.

I don't know if I have dyslexia. I've never been tested. And when I do find something to read that excites me, I generally plow through it and remember it for years, if not decades. However, I probably do have ADHD, so maybe the dyslexia font works for all sorts of neurodiverse readers. I've tried it out today and I love it so far.

If you know someone who struggles with "required reading" let them know about this feature. And let us know if you have any questions. We'd love to hear how it works for you!



This Week at the Library

This week at the Library, you can join us for

Online Storytime - Monday, Feb. 8 \ 10 -10:30 AM
The whole family will enjoy this flexible Storytime. Hearing stories is a great way to spend time with your kids and help them foster a love of reading. Stories, songs, fingerplays and movement activities foster pre-reading skills. Fun for the whole family.

One-on-One Genealogy Help  - Tuesday, Feb. 9 \ 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Book Party - Wednesday, Feb. 10 \ 2-2:30 p.m.

Intro to 3D Modeling-TinkerCAD - Friday, Feb. 12 \ 12 – 1 p.m.

And much more ...


Super Books about the Super Bowl!

There's just something about the Super Bowl. Each year the National Football League's championship is like an engrossing movie, but nowhere as predictable as our box office favorites. Each one lives on in American folklore. Heroes are discovered. Who will seize the day? It's like a national holiday. 

If you just can't get enough football this time of year, we have all the books and other items in our catalog about the Super Bowl.


Reminder: Tomorrow is Central's Last Day as We Know It!

In 2021 we’ll be making areas of Central Resource Library even better, with an expanded and improved Kids area, additional meeting rooms, exterior enhancements like the addition of a drive-thru and renovations to our staff spaces among the upgrades. 

While we hope you are as excited as we are for these improvements, that means we’ll be temporarily modifying or suspending some services during construction. Key dates and details are as follows: 

  • From Monday, February 8 to Sunday, February 14 Central is expected to close to the public. During this week staff and construction crews will begin prepping for what we’re calling “Little Central.” 

  • On Monday, February 15 Little Central will open in a portion of our front lobby. It will offer limited services, including holds pick-up, materials return and public PCs through the duration of construction. 

  • Construction is anticipated to complete in late 2021

In addition to its public service staff, Central is home to many departments that support all 14 branches and is considered the hub of the Johnson County Library system. Once the work at Central is complete, you will feel the positive impact on Library service with noticeable efficiency, more services and better use of resources.  

We know you probably have many questions about what to expect over the next year. We’ve put together a Central Resource Library 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.  

Watch an animated fly-through of the exciting changes you will see once the library reopens in late 2021, and stay tuned to and @jocolibrary on social media for construction updates. 

You are receiving this email because you have listed Central Resource Library as your preferred branch, or our records indicated you’ve checked out material(s) from the Central Resource Library in the last 18 months. 

Our materials handling spaces, through which new materials, holds and other Library items flow, are being reorganized for operational efficiency 


Location Spotlight: Antioch Library

The Antioch Library has had a 60+ year history at its current location in Merriam. The new location (just down the street at the new Merriam Community Center campus) is anticipated to open in 2023. Plans currently include amenities like a drive-thru window for holds pickup and materials return. Session dates for virtual public info sessions about building design will be announced later this spring, once the architectural firm has been selected.

Antioch is the Johnson County Library system’s oldest building and was at one time the headquarters, beginning in November 1956. After Central opened in 1995, Antioch transitioned to a branch Library in March 1996.

The spacious building has a cheerful children’s section, a big bank of computers and printers that are in constant use, a comfortable quiet room, and art gallery space. It also houses Johnson County adult education classes serving nearly 200 students. The Library serves patrons not only from Merriam but also from Mission and even southern Wyandotte County.


TBT: Football

Are you ready for some football? If so, you're in luck! The Kansas City Chiefs defend their crown Sunday! 

Here's a nod to those who came long before. Leather helmets? How about no helmets at all? Football has long been a favorite tradition in our area. Discover more images and details at It's your place to time travel through Johnson County, Kansas History!


Connect with your Community

State and local governments have a daily impact on our lives and many are unaware of all that’s happening right here in our community. Being informed and engaged can help you take advantage of opportunities or take action to improve the community around you. Johnson County Library is pleased to offer several upcoming opportunities for those interested in connecting with and learning more about what’s happening in the Johnson County Government and the Kansas Legislature.

Civics 101
If you don’t remember high school civics class or want to be more civically engaged, but aren't sure where to start, Civics 101 has got you covered. This is a refresher on the basics of how our democracy works. Join the Library to examine our democracy and get answers to the questions you have.

Connect with Your Community!
Learn how your tax dollars are put to work to make our community a better place to live. Meet hard-working members of the Johnson County Government and find out how they help every day. The upcoming February session will spotlight a planner from the City of Overland Park’s Planning & Development Services.

Legislative Coffee

Discover what's percolating in the Kansas Legislature. Representatives and Senators with constituents in Johnson County will discuss the new legislative session, followed by Q&A. Grab your favorite coffee and join the Library online for this engaging series, presented in partnership with the League of Women Voters.