Your Community: Breaking Free

“If you have no road map, you have to create your own.”
– Jacqueline Woodson

This spring, Johnson County Library charts a new path, exploring issues facing our community and honoring the bravery it takes to venture forward with no road map. Our theme comes from the editors of our teen literary magazine, elementia, one of whom is featured on the cover of this publication, who chose “breaking free” as an homage to the difficulties of breaking out of your shell and standing up for what you believe in. Our teens are asking their peers, “How do you break free?”

Making these kinds of changes doesn’t stop at the end of one’s teenage years. We are each on a lifelong journey to look critically at self and community and ask what it is that holds us back – what it is we want and need. Figuring out how to empower others and make necessary changes in the world around us is a task that never ends. Inspired by the growing urgency those in our community feel to speak out, be heard and take action the Library invites you to join us in finding your own way this spring.

Our teen and youth programs focus on individuality and expression, cultivating a sense of self in our young people. Our adult programs explore one significant issue impacting our community and the world around us – food insecurity.

The launch of our teen magazine’s 16th volume will bring Jacqueline Woodson, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, to the Library for our reception. We’ll gather young writers and artists from the KC metro area and beyond who have taken to thinking about how they stand up and speak out. Partnerships with the Food Policy Council of Johnson County and Johnson County K-State Research and Extension, as well as a series of events with author Leann Brown work to educate our public about food security and sustainability. A city-wide event with Ta-Nehisi Coates, National Book Award winner, will allow us to break free of our city and county lines to come together and build understanding about systems that were built to keep us apart. Our art exhibitions examine how art and information interact, providing food for the body and the mind in special performances by m.o.i. aka Minister of Information and Sarah Star Wilkinson.

Join us and explore the ways we stand up, speak out, break free and create our own road maps every day.

Johnson County Library – Nurturing the Community’s Collective Wisdom