Saturday, July 09, 2005

Johnson County Libraries Day!

July 9, 2005

Today I’m in eastern Kansas, with the first stop being the Dykes Library at Kansas University Medical. Director Karen Cole introduced me to several staff and gave me a tour of the library. They are nearing the end of a renovation project that will provide the library with more room, more technology and new furnishings. Karen is standing in front of a section of new student study tables.

At noon, I was invited to a luncheon of Johnson County area librarians hosted by Mona Carmack, director of the Johnson County Library System. After a lovely lunch, Mona provided a tour of the central library, and three of the branches. Thank you, Mona, for a wonderful day and the opportunity to meet so many library staff!

The central library is beautiful, designed especially for research and study. It was originally a large retail facility, but was rebuilt and renovated about a decade ago.
Johnson County Library Director, Mona Carmack, stands in front of one of a number of insect murals currently on display at the central library.

The first branch we visited was the Oak Park Branch in Overland Park. This library is
very busy and every computer terminal was being used while I was there!
Oak Park branch manager Leslie Nord shows some of the “ready kits” available at the library. These kits include book, videos, audio and other media assembled by topic. For example, a ready kit on cake decorating would have everything in one bag about the subject to get started on a big baking project! What a neat idea!

The Blue Valley Branch of the Johnson County Library system in Overland Park. This lovely facility is built in the prairie style with concrete made to look like sandstone. We had a tour of the library which is furnished in the arts and crafts style.

An outside view of the Johnson County Library branch in Gardner. Terry Velasquez showed us around this new facility which hosts a bright, sunny interior. A beautiful new art display had been hung just that day.

The Johnson County Libraries provide outstanding service both at their facilities and through their web page. The web page is considered a "branch" of the library and is staffed with librarians who provide content and organization. Take a look at

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