Friends and Foundation

A Very Special Did you hear? podcast Episode: Library Lets Loose!

Extra! Extra! Hear all about it!

Did you know the Johnson County Library has a podcast? If not, this special episode is the perfect place to begin listening. By spending a mere 15 minutes with us, you too will be able to answer with a resounding "Yes!" to the question: "Did you hear?"

We discuss the annual one night only party at the Library we call: Library Lets LooseYou are not going to want to miss this festive, lively after-hours celebration and fundraiser for Library Lovers at Central Resource Library. If you are 21 years or older, we invite you to join our Honorary hosts Senia and Will Shields to enjoy food, drink, music, our MakerSpace and truly good people!

Tickets and more information:

libraryletsloose.org

A Very Special Did you hear? podcast Episode: Library Lets Loose!

Extra! Extra! Hear all about it!

Did you know the Johnson County Library has a podcast? If not, this special episode is the perfect place to begin listening. By spending a mere 15 minutes with us, you too will be able to answer with a resounding "Yes!" to the question: "Did you hear?"

We discuss the annual one night only party at the Library we call: Library Lets LooseYou are not going to want to miss this festive, lively after-hours celebration and fundraiser for Library Lovers at Central Resource Library. If you are 21 years or older, we invite you to join our Honorary hosts Senia and Will Shields to enjoy food, drink, music, our MakerSpace and truly good people!

Tickets and more information:

libraryletsloose.org

Library Lets Loose In Person for 2022

Library Lets Loose is Saturday, Sept. 17. Everyone is eager this year to gather and celebrate in person.

“We’re so excited that we’re in person, and at the shiny newly-renovated Central Resource Library,” says Stephanie Stollsteimer, Johnson County Library Foundation Executive Director.

The festivities are the Foundation’s signature annual fund-raiser. Although virtual in 2020 and 2021, this year Library lovers (ages 21 and above) will congregate Sept. 17 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. for drinks and dancing, food and fun. It will be a great night out to support Lifelong Learning opportunities at the Library.

Space is limited and Reservations are encouraged. Get more info:  jocolibraryfoundation.org/events

“We’re just thrilled to be in the Central Library,” Stollsteimer said. “There is a fabulous new Kids’ area. The Black & Veatch MakerSpace will be showcased too. It’s a chance for folks to get in and to see what a fabulous space it is. Oh, and to have a party!”

This year’s honorary hosts are Senia and Will Shields, long-time Johnson County Library supporters and champions of early literacy.

“The Library has been an incredible impact on our lives, and that’s why we’re excited to be honorary hosts for this year’s Library Lets Loose,” Will Shields said. “Once you become a lover of reading and a lover of books, you understand the important role libraries play in our lives. Our Johnson County Libraries are constantly creating new opportunities for library users.”

Senia Shields echoes that sentiment. “Literacy has been an important part of our work and we love the Library resources,” she said. “They open up new opportunities and are paramount for operating successfully in our world.”

The couple arrived in Kansas City in 1993 when Will Shields was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs as an offensive guard. That same year, they established the Will to Succeed Foundation, which provides financial and educational resources to those in need.

Shields played his entire 14-year career with the Chiefs, retiring at the end of the 2006 season. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.

At its pre-pandemic peak, Library Lets Loose hosted about 500 people. Stollsteimer hopes for another great turnout this year. Central has plenty of room for a big crowd of Library lovers. Participants will sample cocktails and delicious bites from local restaurants. DJ Stann Tate makes a return appearance to lead everyone in letting loose on the dance floor in the Library.

Donors can win prizes, including several unique experiences. The event also features a scavenger hunt with a chance to register for a special prize. Patrons can view videos to learn more about the Library and its programs.

Donate online before and during the event: all donations are greatly appreciated. Gift dollars enhance Library services and programs above and beyond what taxpayer dollars provide. They are a vital part of Johnson County Library’s success.

Stollsteimer is especially gratified that Library supporters remained so generous during the COVID pandemic. Corporate sponsors lined up for the virtual Library Lets Loose events and are once again showing their support this year.

Last Chance: Friends Bookstores Closing!

Antioch & Blue Valley Bookstore Clearance Sales

July 26, 28, & 30, 2022: 75% off Clearance Sale in Friends library bookstores

Expanded Final Sale Hours:

Tuesdays, 10:00 am - 5:00 p.m.

Thursdays, 12:00 pm - 7:30 p.m.

Fridays, 10:00 am - 5:00 p.m.

Saturdays, 10:00 am - 5:00 p.m.

The last day of business for both stores is Saturday, July 30, 2022.

Save the Date: Library Lets Loose

After two years of celebrating virtually, Senia and Will Shields invite you to a party at the newly renovated Central Resource Library for 2022's Library Lets Loose, on Saturday, Sept. 17!   

The event is Johnson County Library Foundation’s signature fundraiser, and the Shieldses are this year’s honorary hosts. Guests will enjoy music, dancing, food and libations, all benefiting the lifelong learning programs the Library offers throughout Johnson County.   

“Once you become a lover of reading and a lover of books you understand the important role libraries play in our lives. Our libraries are constantly creating new opportunities for patrons,” Will said.   

Will Shields played 14 years for the Kansas City Chiefs and received numerous awards, including NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015. The Shieldses have made many contributions throughout the Kansas City community for more than 25 years, including the formation of the Will to Succeed Foundation in 1993. Senia says, “Literacy has been an important part of our work and we love the library resources. They open up new opportunities and are paramount for operating successfully in our world.”  

The Shieldses are excited to invite the community back for this special event! Early Bird tickets and more information about the event are available at LibraryLetsLoose.org.

Why We Give: Leigh Anne and Bill Neal

The Library has always been a valued and important place in my life. My earliest and happiest memories of the Library are from childhood, when my mother would take me to Corinth Library to the children’s area on the lower level. We would select as many books as we could carry to take home and share together. Inside those books were adventures, places and lessons that would help shape me as I grew up.

My parents nurtured in us a love of reading from as early as I can remember. They also set me on a course for success with a strong foundation. On many evenings after dinner all through elementary, middle and high school, my parents and I would go to the Library and seek out the books or materials each of us liked to read. The Library was the setting for time spent together. 

As I grew up, the Library continued to be the place for study and research all through school. As a working adult, the Library has been a place where I could go to research or write to support my work in education and post-graduate studies. My husband grew up in a small town in Kansas, and his mother, who was an avid reader, shared a passion for reading and the value of the Library with their family. Today, Bill and I enjoy finding great books to read and enjoy at our local Johnson County Library branch.

Through my lens as an educator, daily I see the value of our Johnson County Library as a place of support for children and families.The 6 by 6 program offers families with young children tools and information to encourage early literacy development. Storytimes, interactive exhibits and book walks that families can enjoy together are so important to instilling a love of reading in children and helping parents partner in shared literacy with their children. The Homework Help program, along with wonderful youth-focused Library initiatives like the teen literary magazine, elementia, that allow students leadership experience and a platform through which to hone their creative writing and storytelling talents, positively support young people in our community.

Johnson County Library continues to evolve to support the needs of a changing society and community. The Library-as-community-hub, where people can come to support their needs no matter their age or stage in life, is a mission to which our Library has been very committed. Offering access to technology for those who may not have it for workforce needs or to connect with critical resources can be life-changing.The Black & Veatch MakerSpace provides opportunity for individuals of all ages to explore a hobby, create an invention or launch a small business concept.

It is the diversity, not only of whom the Library serves but also what the Library offers, that makes our Johnson County Library such an important part of our community. It is not only a love of books and the Library and nostalgic memories of special times spent with family, but it is also the valuable programs and services offered that are making a difference in our community that inspire my husband and me to support the Johnson County Library Foundation.

-- Leigh Anne Neal

Friends Book Sale Today

The Friends of Johnson County Library have recently completed renovations at their Pine Ridge Headquarters to allow them to host book sales at that location. And there's a book sale happening there today! Stop by to shop for new books to add to your collection and support the Library at the same time.

Friends Pop-Up Book Sale
Saturday, April 23
12:30 - 5 p.m.
8279 Melrose Dr., Lenexa, KS 66214

Can't make it today? More sales are coming soon! Head over to the Friends' website and scroll to the bottom to sign up for their newsletter. You'll hear all the latest Friends news, including upcoming book sales. Happy shopping!

Why I Give: Leigh Anne and Bill Neal

The Library has always been a valued and important place in my life.  My earliest and happiest memories of the library are from childhood when my mother would take me to the Corinth Library to the children’s area in the lower level where we would select as many books as we could carry to take home and share together.  My parents nurtured a love of reading from as early as I can remember.  Inside those books were adventures, places, and lessons that would help shape me as I grew up. They also were the foundation, not just my love of reading, but also set me on a course for success with a strong foundation. On many evenings after dinner all through elementary, middle, and high school, my parents and I would go to the library and seek out the books or materials each of us liked to read – the library was the setting for time spent together.  As I grew up, the library continued to be the place for study and research all through school.  As a working adult, the library has been a place where I could go to research or write to support my work in education and post-graduate studies.  My husband grew up in a small town in Kansas, and his mother, who was an avid reader, shared a passion for reading and the value of the library with their family.  Today, Bill and I enjoy finding great books to read and enjoy at our local Johnson County branch.

Through my lens as an educator, daily I see the value of our Johnson County Library as a place of support for children and families.  The six-by-six program offers families with young children tools and information to encourage early literacy development.  Story times, interactive exhibits and book walks that families can enjoy together are so important to instilling a love of reading in children and helping parents partner in shared literacy with their children.  The Homework Help program along with wonderful youth-focused library initiatives like elementia that allow students leadership experience and a platform through which to hone their creative writing and storytelling talents positively support young people in our community. 

Johnson County Library continues to evolve to support the needs of a changing society and community.  The Library as community hub where people can come to support their needs no matter their age or stage in life is a mission to which our library has been very committed.  Offering access to technology for those who may not have it for workforce needs or to connect with critical resources can be lifechanging.  The Black & Veatch Makerspace provides opportunity for individuals of all ages to explore a hobby, create an invention, or launch a small business concept.  It is the diversity, not only of who the library serves but also what the library offers that makes our Johnson County Library such an important part of our community.  It is not only a love of books and the library and nostalgic memories of special times spent with family, but it is also the valuable programs and services offered that are making a difference in our community that inspire my husband and I to support the Johnson County Library Foundation. 

Friends Donation Events Are Back!

The Friends of Johnson County Library have resumed their popular donation drop-off events. Bring your gently used books, DVDs, CDs and more.

Saturdays

9 - 11 a.m.

Friends Headquarters: 8279 Melrose Drive, Lenexa, KS 66214

Events may be canceled for inclement weather. You can also call 913.492.4791 for more information or to arrange a donation time outside of the drop-off events.

Why I Give: Ava Christie

Growing up overseas, Ava Christie learned the value of libraries at a young age. She remembered finding the local library with her family as they moved around to different places. Libraries were special, familiar places filled with books and materials that inspired her.  “All you need is a library card, and the world is your oyster”, remarked Ava as the inspiration is ever-present for her today. 

In college in Douglas County, KS, Ava has fond memories of the library being a strong and important part of the culture and community. The Library would continue to play a significant role in her studies through her master’s degree and PhD programs as she utilized Inter Library Loan resources for her research and thesis.

As a mom, Ava raised her kids with her same love for the Library, which she referred to as “a best friend.”  Frequenting the Corinth and Central branches for books and programs, she noted the Library is a place which extends far beyond books, and is a place to meet people, access media and audio/visual materials, large print materials and travel books. Travel continues to play a key role in Ava’s life both personally and professionally and she visits libraries everywhere she goes. She has noticed over time that newer libraries seem to be redefined as a focal point, accessible, and transparent with large windows to look in as well as see out.

Entering her 15th year as a volunteer on the Foundation’s board of directors, and starting her tenure as president, Ava credits the strengths of the Johnson County Library system and its key role in our county and communities for her continued involvement and support. She believes the Library has always been a place of diversity and inclusivity, citing the teen publication elementia as an example for young people of various ethnic, economic and cultural backgrounds to be highlighted. She adds that the Library is an exciting and fulfilling place to be and is reflective of the community it supports. Ava believes the community in turn supports the Library because we build and strengthen literacy and awareness, and to inform people is to empower them.

Looking to the future, Ava sees our Library system continuing to be modern and forward-thinking and to stay relevant and responsive with ever-changing community needs. “Johnson County Library is not standing still”, says Ava enthusiastically, “and there isn’t another entity in the world of charitable organizations where you can make such a profound difference.  The Library provides equal access to information to everyone, and everyone is welcome.  Libraries are the key to helping people of all ages open and grow their world. The openness and availability 24/7 are unique to libraries as nothing else exists this way.”