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Staff Pick: Bright Star

Todays staff pick, Bright Star, is from our librarian Zachary!

"Based on the romance between English poet, John Keats (played by Ben Whishaw), and Fanny Brawne (played by Abbie Cornish).  Keats, not considered a successful writer during his life (dying at only the age of 25), is not considered a suitable husband for a woman of Brawne's status. Likewise, Keats' writing cohort (Paul Schneider), believes Keats needs to focus more on honing his craft than trivial flirtations. Directed by the Academy's reigning Best Director, Jane Campion, this film was a delightful discovery that sprung out of exploring her catalog of work. Campion's work is striking in how it can feel so sensory. Touch...smell...even taste...engaged by her delicate and meticulously crafted imagery. Their romance, intertwined with the beauty of exploring language and poetry made for a compelling, beautiful love story."


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!

Walk and Read at Franklin Park  Monday, Oct. 3 - Oct. 9, Anytime

Johnson County Library and the City of Prairie Village invite you to visit the Walk and Read program at Franklin Park. Halloween Night and Head to Toe will be posted.

Meet the Author: Celeste HeadleeTuesday, Oct. 4, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.   

Communication has increased in our technological age, but it can often feel as if meaningful conversation and civility are in short supply. Celeste Headlee, author of We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter, will share science-based fundamentals of communication and discuss how prioritizing civility facilitates inclusive and productive communities and civic engagement. Headlee will also provide concrete actions to enhance relationships and build self-confidence through improved communication.

One-on-One DNA & Genetic Genealogy Help Friday, Oct. 7, 9 a.m. - noon

Visit the Johnson County Genealogical Society at to schedule an appointment. A volunteer will contact you by email to set up an in-person or a Zoom session link for you prior to the scheduled date.

And much more happening this week »


Newest Library Board Member has Heart for Public Service

Johnson County Library’s newest Board member, Jeffrey Mendoza, brings a passion for public service to this position.

Nominated by County Commissioner Janeé Hanzlick, Mendoza was appointed in May. He’s pleased to be part of a crucial community organization.

“I’ve always been a huge supporter and fan of libraries everywhere I’ve lived,” Mendoza said in an interview. “I felt this was a great place to give back and to sustain the high quality of libraries for future generations. I figured this is a place I could make an impact and give back and help Johnson County and Overland Park.”

Mendoza and his wife Elizabeth have a one-year-old son, Julian, and are excited to put down roots in Johnson County. Hanzlick was impressed with his background and commitment.

“As an attorney with the Department of Labor, a Marine Corps Reservist and a representative of the Latino community, Jeffrey brings valuable skills and perspectives to the work of the Library Board,” she said. “I especially appreciate that he is the father of a young child and is looking to build a strong foundation for the Library’s future.”

Mendoza is the son of immigrants (his mother from the Dominican Republic and his father from Peru) and grew up bilingual in New Jersey. He saw how hard his parents worked and the value they placed on education. He was instilled with a great work ethic and desire to succeed in school and professionally.

“I used the library all the time, both public and in school,” he recalled.

He also joined Junior ROTC and had mentors who inspired his patriotic ambition to serve in the military.  

He graduated in 2013 from Rutgers University, majoring in Political Science and Spanish. He was commissioned as a Marine Corps Second Lieutenant upon graduating and also started law school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Mendoza had never heard of UMKC, but the law school recruited him aggressively, appreciating his Latino heritage, East Coast upbringing and military commission.

He knew nothing about Kansas City and his family was shocked. But after visiting the campus, meeting faculty and students, he quickly enrolled. It was a great experience, and he met his future wife, also a UMKC law student.

After law school graduation in 2016, Mendoza started active military service, working in Virginia and North Carolina. He was a legal advisor to a base general and then prosecuted special victims’ crimes.

He and Elizabeth married in 2019. When his active duty military contract ended in 2020, he transitioned to the reserves and the couple moved to Overland Park. Julian was born in May 2021.

As a U.S. Department of Labor trial attorney, Mendoza prosecutes labor violations and protects workers’ rights throughout the region.

It’s vital work, but he wanted to serve the community in other ways. So he reached out to Hanzlick, who thought he was a great fit when the District 4 Library Board position came open.

Mendoza and his wife read regularly to their son, both in English and Spanish, and enjoy visiting the Central Resource Library children’s area. They are also both big readers; Mendoza especially likes biographies of military leaders and sports figures.

He is determined to ensure the Library continues to provide exceptional materials, programs and services for all, including children and families, and Spanish-speaking and immigrant populations.

“I want to make sure we maintain the great work of the Library, make sure the Libraries in our community are known as a safe haven,” he said.


Archiving Architecture

It’s another grand Throwback Thursday where we encourage you to time travel through Johnson County's history. JoCoHistory is a collaborative presentation of the history from the Johnson County Museum, Johnson County Library and many JoCoHistory partners. Explore historical photographs and documents about the people, places and organizations of Johnson County, Kansas, from the 19th century to the present.

Collection spotlight: Johnson County Museum Historic Preservation Survey

About this collection: Begun in 1991, the Historic Preservation Survey is a collection of photos documenting the architectural style and condition of more than 10,000 pre-1950 homes across Johnson County. The original photos are owned by the Johnson County Museum.


Everyone Loves eBooks!

Sure, the “e” in eBooks stands for “electronic.” But here at Johnson County Library, we like to think the “e” also stands for “everyone.” With great fiction and nonfiction reads for kids, teens and adults, we really do have eBooks for everyone … even you!


eBooks on Libby
This is our largest eBook collection! With titles for kids, teens and adults.

For grades pre-K to 3, your favorite stories come to life online with fun read-along text!

For grade K-12, bring learning to life with hundreds of interactive nonfiction books that integrate multimedia into each page.

TumbleBook Library
For grades pre-K to 6, enjoy animated storybooks, read-alongs, chapter books, games and more for kids. 


Gardner Library Temporarily Closed for Improvements this Fall

Gardner Library will be closed to the public Wednesday, Oct. 5 until mid-December for interior and exterior improvements, including roof replacement, updates to plumbing and mechanical systems, and repaving. The final reopening date will depend on conditions such as weather and supply chain availability; patrons will be notified via email and other Library communication channels once a reopening date is determined.

Patrons may continue to return materials to the exterior return bin during the duration of closure, and Curbside Holds Pickup will be available during normal operating hours beginning Monday, Oct. 10 through early December. Please note the location of the dedicated Curbside parking stalls will shift a few stalls to the right to accommodate construction equipment in the lot.