February is Black History Month

"Time for Change: Action Not Words" is the theme for the 2023 Black History Month. Johnson County Library 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. Black History Month begins today, Feb. 1 and ends March 1.   

Photo courtesy of the Worcester Art Museum 

Get Started with Primary Sources 

Local History 

  • 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.  

  • JoCo History Collections - Historical photographs and maps documenting the people, places and organizations of Johnson County. 

  • 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. 



  • 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.                                 


Staff Pick: Sushi Go!

Our librarian Charles wrote a review of the card game Sushi Go!

"Sushi Go! is a fast paced card game with adorably cute artwork that is sure to satisfy your gaming appetite. As is typical of the entire range of games by producer Gamewright Games, this is an easy to learn family game. Despite that, the strategic depth lends Sushi Go! a high replay value, and this game strikes a balance that makes it enjoyable for players of all skill levels."

Read more of Charles' review »

Our librarians will be featuring Sushi Go! at the upcoming Tabletop Games event at Blue Valley on Wednesday, Feb. 1!

Come play some games with us, friends and family!

This Week at the Library

Library OnDemand – Available anytime you like

Your doorway into live and archived programs. Arts & Culture, Career & Finance, Community Matters, Writers and more!

One-on-One Genealogy Help – Tuesday, Jan. 31, 9 a.m. – noon

For One-on-One or DNA and Genetic help, visit the Johnson County Genealogical Society at to schedule an appointment. A volunteer will contact you by email to set up an in-person at Central Resource Library or a Zoom session link for you prior to the scheduled date.

Careers Begin Here: Workforce Partnership – Tuesday, Jan. 31, 7 – 8 p.m.  Online Event

Learn about career exploration tools and resources, as well as technical training opportunities in high-demand career fields available through Workforce Partnership. Erich Ulmer, Project Director, will provide an overview of available services.

Tabletop Games – Wednesday, Feb. 1, 6 – 7:45 p.m.

Join us at Blue Valley Library for a fun-filled evening with family members and friends, old and new, and become a part of the Johnson County tabletop gaming community. Kids, teens and adults can enjoy a variety of games together, including collaborating to escape the Forbidden Island, getting creative with a round of Dixit, or strategizing their way to victory as King of Tokyo! Discover and learn new games from our collection or bring your personal favorite to share. Come and go as you please. Refreshments are provided. Each month, our gaming librarians will feature a family-friendly game and teach you how to play it. Blue Valley's featured game for February is Sushi Go!

Matt Stewart on Writing Dialogue – Wednesday, Feb. 1, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Learn to write meaningful dialogue that flows throughout your story. Emmy-award winning news reporter Matt Stewart discusses the best ways to get your characters to talk. Stewart graduated from the top-ranked journalism school in the country and has spent 25 years interviewing people from all walks of life. He will share what he's learned in the classroom and in the field to help your dialogue snap so you can take your book to the next level.

Matt Stewart: Writing Dialogue Workshop – Saturday, Feb. 4, 9 – 11 a.m.

Spend a morning elevating the dialogue in your manuscript as Fox 4 News reporter Matt Stewart helps you clean it up to make it even better. If your characters don't speak with purpose, you risk your readers losing interest. Stewart will take his knowledge as both an author and television broadcaster and offer tips and advice to give your characters character and help make your book even better.

And much more happening this week

Staff Pick: King of Toyko

Our librarian Charles wrote a review of the board game King of Tokyo!

"In this game for 2-6 players, monstrous, robotic, and alien kaiju (think Godzilla) battle to be the last one standing. A fast-paced and easy to learn dice rolling mechanic fuels this family friendly brawl, and with a little help, even early readers can enjoy a taste of glory when they become the King of Tokyo."

Read more of Charles' review »

Our librarians will be featuring King of Tokyo at the following Table Top Games events at Blue Valley on April 5!

Come play some games with us, friends and family!

Kinsley Riggs Named Johnson County's Deputy Librarian

Kinsley Riggs, just promoted as Johnson County’s Deputy Librarian, joins County Librarian Tricia Suellentrop and the leadership team at a pivotal time. They will work to update the strategic plan, continuing to adapt the Library for a bright future.

Riggs brings a wealth of experience to her new position. She joined Johnson County Library in February 2008 as an assistant branch manager at Gardner/Edgerton/Spring Hill. She served as branch manager at Corinth and Antioch before her appointment in 2016 as Adult Services Manager. In that role she has overseen programs, outreach and information services for adult patrons system-wide, and helped the Library navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. 

She’s watched the Library grow as an organization for nearly 15 years, becoming more modern, professional and resourceful through all sorts of challenges. “That to me is exciting, to see how much further we can go. What’s next for the Library?” she said, adding that she’s eager to explore new ways to serve the community. The Deputy Librarian role is especially enticing, she said, because it involves more opportunities to engage in leadership within the Library and the chance to work more closely with other County government departments.

Riggs grew up in Shawnee and fondly remembers going to Antioch for activities as a child, when it was the headquarters branch. She and her mother explored other branches as they opened, including the Shawnee branch on Johnson Drive, which was right down the road from their house. She wasn’t a big reader as a child but savored branch visits. She had a make-believe Library in her closet, complete with a date-due stamp to check out books to her mom and brother — a budding Librarian even then.

Her love of reading began with an AP history class, when she was captivated by the story of (civil rights pioneers) the Delany sisters, and started immersing herself in non-fiction and biographies. She attended Washburn University, where she worked as a student circulation supervisor at Mabee Library. She pursued a Library Science master’s degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, then returned to Johnson County to begin her career.

Working in the branches, she learned about everything from materials handling to reference to programming to customer service. She also learned to nurture and encourage her staff. “That is part of what I enjoy most about management,” she said. “Helping individuals develop and achieve their goals, find their next steps.” As Adult Services Manager, she analyzed what worked — and what didn’t work — with book groups and other programming and outreach, and helped develop more collaborative approaches throughout the system. The pandemic broke down even more silos. Riggs bonded with Youth Services Manager Angel Tucker and Events and Programs Coordinator Joseph Keehn as they guided staff through numerous online and in-person innovations.

Riggs is delighted to work with Suellentrop. “She has often been a person I go to with meaty, knotty problems,” Riggs said. “She has a great way of asking questions to help you find the path forward.”

Riggs and her husband Dan live in Olathe and have a 7-year-old daughter, Lydia, who loves their nighttime reading rituals. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, finding time to share experiences with friends around Kansas City, and traveling the states with her mom.

She sees her new professional role as a welcome challenge, as Libraries provide vital resources for information, entertainment and social progress in an increasingly complicated world.

“The Library has become more of a community place and space over the last 10 years,” she said. “That is something we are trying to stay ahead of, to make sure we are meeting the demands and needs of our community.”

Mrs. Monte Redman and Judy Redman in Prairie Village Volunteer Library.

Mrs. Monte Redman and Judy Redman in Prairie Village Volunteer Library.

Corinth Library Celebrates 60 Years!

Johnson County Library’s Corinth branch, at 8100 Mission Road, is popular with patrons from Prairie Village and beyond. It opened Feb. 24, 1963, so 2023 will mark its 60th anniversary milestone.

In the 1950s, before the Johnson County Library had funding, volunteer run libraries were spread through the county. In 1953, a branch was opened in the Prairie Village Shopping Center. It was located in the basement of one of the shops.  When funding was available in 1956, the library moved upstairs to a rented space on the Concourse.


In 1961, voters approved a bond issue that allowed for the site purchase and build of a library in Prairie Village. Corinth opened its doors on February 24, 1963. The branch site and that of the adjacent Corinth Shopping Center were already famous in Kansas City history.  The clothier Herbert Woolf built Woolford Farm on 200 acres and raised thoroughbred racing horses. He hosted lavish parties whose guests included Theodore Roosevelt and many other notables.  In 1938 his horse Lawrin won the Kentucky Derby. Lawrin is buried on the top of the hill just west of the library.

Read the full article on the JoCoHistory blog.


eLearning Spotlight: Brainfuse Adult Learning Center

The Brainfuse Adult Learning Center offers study resources for high school equivalency, U.S. citizenship, Microsoft Office help and more, plus live online tutoring 2 - 11 p.m. daily.

Caregiver Workshop: Executive Function Life Skills

Life can be challenging, but the good news is there are simple everyday things you can do to help the children in your life thrive.

Save the date! Join us for a virtual Caregiver Workshop presented by noted early childhood educator Beth Fredericks on how to strengthen executive function skills in young children.

Caregiver Workshop: Executive Function Life Skills
Feb. 1, 7-8 p.m.
Register »