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October 2016 - Spencerian Script and Ornamental Penmanship: Early American Handwriting - $107.71
The first book in its field to be published in over 40 years, Spencerian Script and Ornamental Penmanship is the most comprehensive text ever written on these American styles of handwriting. This 600 page, two-volume set represents a five-year effort by the author to present in a single work: the most thorough instructional section on the techniques of writing such decorative penmanship; the largest collection of plates ever assembled for publication (400 pages), representing works by America's 19th and early 20th century writing masters; and an extensive historical account of America's Golden Age of Ornamental Penmanship.

This book explains how all the letters can be made gracefully and rapidly using various combinations of a few basic pen strokes. It explains Spencer's philosophy of teaching principles which engage the mind as well as the hand. It also details his methods for teaching classes of children. One of these is having the children write rhythmically, in concert, as the teacher counts. The power of this method is being rediscovered today.

The two-volume spiral-bound format allows the reader to view the manuscript and plates side by side. Volume One consists of eight chapters and four appendices, including: Penmanship in a New Land, Styles of Penmanship, Tools and Equipment, Technique, Lowercase and Capital Letters, Signature Writing, The Golden Age of Ornamental Penmanship, Penman's Hall of Fame, The Poems of Platt Rogers Spencer, Sources for Supplies and historical reproductions of original designs for oblique penholders. Numerous diagrams and illustrations throughout. Volume Two (the plates) is divided into the following sections: Penmanship of Platt Rogers Spencer, Letterforms, Correspondence Writing, Novelty Styles, Signature Writing and Off-Hand Flourishing.

International orders this month were shipped either directly or via freight forwarders to China, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, The United Kingdom and Australia!

The Friends of Johnson County Library group was inaugurated in 1956. Those founding members were the tested and trusted volunteers of the Citizen’s Library Committee, who had advocated since 1950 to establish a Johnson County library system. Once a County Librarian had been hired and regular operations were underway, the group re-organized as the Friends. They have indeed been good friends and have worked tirelessly in support of the Library– as volunteers, fundraisers, political advocates – for the ensuing 60+ years.

The Friends launched their successful Summer used book sale about 30 years ago, and have since opened used bookstores at 3 branches. The Friends, ever forward-thinking, established an internet sales presence in 2004. That year, 116 items sold earning $3888.22 for the group.

Times have certainly changed. The Friends reported nearly $140,000 internet sales in 2015. In June 2016, they passed the $1 million mark in total online sales. Items sold have ranged from the prosaic: an out-of-print insurance book that is still in demand – to the profound: the Collected Works of Sigmund Freud.

Books and audio materials have been shipped to 6 continents, and more orders arrive daily.