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Plan Your Purchase

Explore the best deals on popular products along with helpful gift guides from Consumer Reports, an impartial tester of cars, electronics, household appliances and more. Be a smart shopper and research your next big or small purchase with information like:

  • Product reviews and ratings
  • Guides for the best time to buy
  • Selector tools for cars and mattresses
  • Recommendations for travel and lodging services
  • Customized security planner to protect your personal data

The Library provides access access to the website as well as the annual Consumer Reports Buying Guide on Flipster.

The Founding Mothers of Johnson County Library group photo in front of book shelving at an open house for the Library's temporary headquarters.

Open House, February 5, 1956, Temporary Headquarters, 5844-46 Merriam Drive, Merriam. Photo courtesy Johnson County Library collection on JoCoHistory

New Blog Entry Looks Back at Library Founders

The Founding Mothers of Johnson County Library 

The “founding” of Johnson County Library started with the Prairie School Library Committee in 1951 and lasted at least five years – through the referendum campaign in 1952, followed by the problem of funding the newly-authorized library, to the transition from volunteer libraries to staffing by paid library employees, which concluded in 1956. At that point, the Library Committee was evolved into the Friends of the Library. Many of the women originally involved in leading the effort moved away in the years after.

Read the full article on the JoCoHistory Blog. »


No Wait Wednesday: Mickey Chambers Shakes It Up by Charish Reid

Hello and welcome to another edition of No Wait Wednesday, where we take a look at a title that's sitting on our New Release shelf just waiting on a lucky reader to check it out. (And the best part? Just like it says in the title: no waiting.) With the post-Thanksgiving season upon us and the days getting shorter and shorter, some of our patrons might need something bright, funny, and romantic to spice up those dark and chilly nights. Luckily, we have a delightful, charming, and refreshing romance novel in Mickey Chambers Shakes It Up by Charish Reid to do just that.

As the novel begins, Mickey Chambers is going though a bit of a tough time. As a part-time professor at a local university, she's not teaching as many classes as she would like - or as many as she needs to survive financially. She's also dealing with some chronic thyroid issues that require medication that's on the pricey side. But with a sunny, sassy, can-do attitude, she looks around for a flexible gig to supplement her income, and lands on the seemingly perfect solution - a part-time bartender job. There, she meets her new boss and owner of the bar, Diego Acosta. Diego's also going through a rough patch, as his wife died several years ago and he's having trouble keeping his neighborhood bar open, with employees coming and going. He's also trying to better himself and make good on a promise he made to his wife, so he takes some classes at the local college to finish his degree - which is when he discovers that his English professor is the serving drinks in his very own bar. 

Mickey Chambers Shakes It Up is at its best when Reid plays with the power dynamics between Diego and Mickey, who each have influence in their own spheres - Mickey confidently calls the shots in the classroom, while Diego is the boss at the pub where they work. The interplay between them adds plenty of spice to the romance, and Reid excels at witty banter that never feels rote or cliche - the sparks on the page feel both genuine and earned. Mickey and Diego are fully three-dimensional characters, as both have to navigate their own obstacles, with Mickey's frustration with her lack of classes on top of her hyperthyroidism and Diego's reluctance to open his heart after the tragic passing of his wife. Also, the ages of the two protagonists are significant - Mickey is in her thirties and Diego is in his forties, so both go into the relationship with eyes wide open and experience guiding - and, sometimes, burdening - them. In any case, the sparks between the two are absolutely undeniable, and Reid's grumpy/sunshine pairing will melt the hearts of readers. This refreshing, steamy build will absolutely satisfy, and romance readers of all stripes should give this one a try and put it on their hold lists. 


This Week at the Library

This week at the Library, you can join us at:

Toddler Storytime – Tuesday, Nov. 28, 10 – 10:30 a.m.

Toddlers will enjoy this Storytime at the Gardner Library with short stories, songs, fingerplays and movement activities to reinforce early language learning. Designed for ages 18 months-3 years and a caregiver. Siblings welcome.

Tabletop Games – Tuesday, Nov. 28, 6 – 7:45 p.m.

Join us for a fun-filled event with family and friends at the Monticello Library and become a part of the Johnson County tabletop gaming community. Discover new games from our collection or bring your personal favorite to share – you might get creative with a round of Dixit, collaborate to escape the Forbidden Island or strategize your way to victory as King of Tokyo! Come and go as you please. Refreshments are provided.

Homework Help – Wednesday, Nov. 29, 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.

School is challenging for many students, and pandemic learning loss is an additional reality facing today’s youth. The Central Resource Library is thrilled to announce the return of Homework Help coaches to support student learning and academic achievement. Homework Help will focus specifically on literacy support for grades 2-5. Students are encouraged to bring specific homework assignments from school, such as book reports, writing projects, vocabulary, spelling, science or social studies reading, or any other work related to their specific literacy needs. English Language Learners (ELL) are welcome. Students will be served on a first-come, first-served basis, and busy times may require a wait. Additional online tutoring resources are available at on our website and include BrainFuse, Lightbox, and Khan Academy among others.

Teen Book Club – Saturday, Dec. 2, 2 – 3 p.m.

We are proud to present the Library’s first ever Teen Book Club. Let’s get together to share our love of reading and chat about each month’s books. No registration necessary. Come join us at Antioch. Bring your own book or check out the month’s book, “Spell Bound” by F.T. Lukens ahead of time from the Library—the title is offered in the catalog as a physical copy and eBook.

And there’s much more happening this week … 

Already have a busy week?  Remember, you can watch recordings of many of our programs at your convenience with Library OnDemand



Making A Big Purchase? Check Out Consumer Reports for Free Through The Library

When Consumer Reports began publishing in 1936, the average price of a new car was roughly $630 — less than it costs to purchase a set of high-end tires today. Prices may have changed a bit in the last 90 years, but what hasn’t changed is the buying public’s need for unbiased product information. Thankfully, free access to this invaluable resource is available online and in hard copy at each of Johnson County Library’s 14 branches. 

Busy moms like Kate Downey of Gardner and Monica van der Zee of Lenexa particularly appreciate the online access. Downey is the mother of three kids ages 7 and younger while van der Zee has five children ranging in age from 14 to 22. 

Downey remembers learning about access to Consumer Reports through an e-newsletter from the Library, and van der Zee recalls finding out about it from friends who work at the Library — most likely after asking for advice on Facebook when looking to make a big purchase. Consumer Reports has helped Downey choose dependable brands when purchasing appliances at outlet stores. 

“I've found that a lot of other ‘best product’ sites seem to be either mass-produced or AI-produced content,” she said in an email. “It's very difficult to sort through them and find reliable information from a source that has actually tested the products. Consumer Reports has specific protocols for testing their appliances so you know how they actually work.” 

Downey has told friends about getting free access to Consumer Reports with a Library card, all of whom appreciated the information 

“I've found that other people are pleasantly surprised when they find out that the Library has resources like Consumer Reports available,” she wrote. “I don't think very many people are aware of the wide variety of services the Library offers.” 

For van der Zee, Consumer Reports has been helpful in assisting her son in replacing a car damaged in a recent wreck. This real-time resource provided by the Library also helped when the family recently needed a new washing machine. 

“I went to Nebraska Furniture Mart, and I was looking at all their scratched and dented ones and I had Consumer Reports pulled up on my cell phone to see if the ones with minor cosmetic damage were still good models, and I ended up buying one,” van der Zee said. 

Despite its convenience and vast array of information, her family does not use Consumer Reports enough to pay for an annual subscription, she said.  

Van der Zee adds that it never seems to fail that when she does look at Consumer Reports, she finds herself clicking through to other online resources she forgot the Library provided, and is reminded that the research area of the Library website is also useful in helping her kids with school. 

“If any of them have homework assignments or anything where they have to do research, I always point them towards the Library website to look stuff up,” she said. 
It’s easy to access Consumer Reports from home if you have an internet connection. Simply go to the Library’s website, click “Research” in the top navigation bar, then click “Consumer Information” from the drop-down menu. The first entry in the right-hand column is Consumer Reports, and you’ll see a blue box to the right that says “Access Now.” Once you’ve entered your Library card number and password as prompted, you’ll have full access.  
Help is always a phone call or an email away if you run into any issues; or you can always stop by your favorite branch and a Librarian will be glad to help.

Railroad car at the station

In 1907, the Strang Line connected downtown Olathe and downtown Kansas City.

Lose Track of Time

Time travel through Johnson County's history on this beautiful throwback Thursday. Did you know is the best place to explore historical photographs and documents about the people, places and organizations of Johnson County, Kansas, from the 19th century to the present? JoCoHistory is a collaborative presentation of the history from the Johnson County Museum, Johnson County Library and many JoCoHistory partners.

If you want to ride the research rails on a topic like “the history of the railroad in Johnson County,” there’s simply no better place than JoCoHistory.


Submissions Are Open for the 2024 Art and Poetry Walk!

Christina Rossetti said it best: There is no time like Spring/When life’s alive in everything

Winter hasn’t arrived yet but we’re already thinking about Spring. The chill breeze, the flower buds, the promise of sunshine—there are so many things to love. That’s why we’re creating an Art and Poetry Walk in April 2024!

Johnson County Library is accepting written and visual art submissions. Selected submissions will be printed on 17 x 23 inch signs and placed along the walking trail in Strang Park behind the Central Resource Library in April 2024.

In a short poem, haiku, or micro-story tell us what makes you feel alive. Or, share a visual representation of the same. 

The deadline for all submissions is March 1. You can submit your work here

Curious what a poetry walk looks like? Check out the current poetry walk on display in Strang Park now through November 30th. You can also check out the Walk and Read information page to see what the signs will look like: Walk and Read | Johnson County Library (