By Elissa Andre
It’s now been a year since we were thrown into our “new normal” at Johnson County Library.
While we miss many of the everyday interactions we had when our branches were buzzing with patrons and events were in-person, we hope you’ve found value and convenience in some of the new services we’ve launched over the
last 12 months:
Our new Curbside Holds Pickup service launched at Leawood Pioneer Library in July 2020, and as of Feb. 1 includes Cedar Roe, Gardner, Oak Park and Spring Hill locations. We’ve delivered more than 5,000 items to your vehicles in the last eight months, and plan to continue offering Curbside service even after the library returns to pre-pandemic levels of operation.
Since we began Virtual Programming in summer 2020 on platforms like Facebook Live, Zoom and ON24, we’ve hosted almost 800 online events with nearly 34,000 total participants from across the globe. We will launch a virtual library community website this spring with links to upcoming events, and recordings of past programs to view at your convenience.
Johnson County Library’s first eNewsletter, The Open Book, also launched in 2020. Sent directly to your inbox on the first Tuesday of each month, The Open Book allows us to share highlights and updates from across our 14 branches and online resources. We’ve since grown our email outreach to include newsletters to our Summer Reading program, Kids and Family features, and Career and Finance offerings. Signup is easy at jocolibrary.org/enewsletters.
For many of us, the best part about Johnson County Library is the experiences and interactions we share as a community.
We’ll update our website and social media platforms and will send you emails through your Library account as we add back hours, services and events throughout the year. Meanwhile, as we look ahead to spring, we look forward to bringing the best of the library right to your home with features both familiar and new – see a full list of events and register at jocolibrary.org/events.
Our new Connect with Your Community series explores the many ways your tax dollars help make Johnson County a great place to live.
On March 2, we’ll meet employees from the K-State Research and Extension Office (a unique partnership with Kansas State University, Johnson County Government and the United States Department of Agriculture).
On April 6, we’ll get to know the Facilities Management team, who oversee maintenance on existing county properties as well as design and construction of new ones, like the Johnson County Courthouse.
Artists in Sight is another exciting new event series that features some of the Kansas City area’s best visual artists for insights about their work, creative process and the things that inspire them. These 30- minute monthly conversations include painter and musician Sol Anzorena on March 23 and author and illustrator Lindsey Yankey on April 27.
Finally, our virtual booklists are a great place to discover new reads and upcoming releases. Place your holds straight from the booklists and pick up at your local branch. Click on the Explore section of jocolibrary.org or follow our librarians in the catalog to get started.
We also host weekly interactive Book Parties on Facebook Live to get recommendations straight from library staff and your fellow readers.
Elissa Andre is external communication manager for Johnson County Library.