By Elissa Andre
2020 has been quite the year for our community – everyone has felt the impact of COVID-19 in some way or another.
That’s why Johnson County Library is committed to supporting our friends and neighbors during this unprecedented time, whether through books, music or film that transport you to another time or place, virtual events that safely connect you to those who share your interests, or resources and workshops that expand your horizon.
Here’s a little behind-thescenes knowledge about the library: when planning our programming, we split our year into trimesters – spring, summer and fall. Each season, we study both patron feedback and current events to choose themes on which to align our programming.
This fall, three main topics stood out: non-partisan election resources and civic engagement opportunities, which have included debate watch parties and refreshers about topics like the Electoral College; an exploration of issues surrounding racial justice in the Kansas City area, such as our Past is Prologue events focusing on local history and November’s two-part workshop Talking to Preschoolers about Race; and, due to the pandemic, a renewed focus on career development and personal finance resources. After all, as Benjamin Franklin famously stated in his 1758 book The Way to Wealth, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest!”
Johnson County Library offers several upcoming workshops for people in every stage of life. Looking for a career change or new opportunity? Networking isn’t just something for those just starting out – refresh your skills and get tips for modernizing your approach at our Networking for Professional Success event on Nov. 9.
For those just looking for a fresh approach to budgeting, especially as the holiday season approaches, we offer a course on 21st-century budgeting using the platform Mint. com on Nov. 12. Attendees can also schedule one-on-one coaching sessions for tailored assistance with your budget.
If you are nearing Medicare eligibility, or have questions about the maze of coverage options, our Nov. 16 program Making the Move to Medicare covers Parts A, B, C (Medicare Advantage), D and Medicare supplements (Medigap) and will help you navigate enrollment and deadlines.
All workshops are taught by local professionals in partnership with Johnson County Library. Events do require registration and are subject to change; visit jocolibrary.org/ events or call 913-826-4600 for more information and a full schedule of events.
While our librarians miss seeing your faces in person, this new virtual world does have a few benefits. If you can’t attend a live session that piques your interest, many of our online programs are recorded and posted on youtube.com/ jocolibrary for you to watch at your convenience, from the comfort and safety of your home. Plus, fewer weather delays and cancellations to worry about as the seasons change!
Finally, in addition to our monthly general newsletter, The Open Book, which highlights events and resources across Johnson County Library, we’ve also kicked off a specialized Career & Finance newsletter for those who opt-in. Once a month you’ll receive notice of upcoming events, reading recommendations, and eResource spotlights available with your library card – such as access to the Wall Street Journal, Consumer Reports and online courses through Udemy – straight to your email inbox. Sign up by visiting jocolibrary.org/event-types/career-and-finance.
We’re already dreaming of spring here at the library, planning for the new year ahead despite the continued uncertainty. We’re so grateful for your support over the last several months, whether you’re visiting us online or in one of our branches and we look forward to serving you in the months and years to come. In the meantime, “Happy Holidays” from all of us at Johnson County Library!
Elissa Andre is external communication manager at Johnson County Library