Johnson County Library in Overland Park, Kan., has a long history of hosting community issues and engagement events.
To go along with our current theme of civic engagement, this month our featured library is Johnson County Library in Overland Park, Kansas. The library has a long history of hosting community issues and engagement events, starting with a forum on regionalism in 2002. Most recently, the library combined Civil War Sesquicentennial programming with civic engagement to offer a forum on the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Participants were asked to consider whether President Franklin Pierce should have supported the Kansas-Nebraska proposal, which gave local settlers the right to determine whether or not slavery would be permitted, and how they would have advised President Pierce.
Other community issue programs offered by the library include:
• “Understanding and Responding to Poverty Among Children and Their Families in Johnson County: A Community Conversation”
• “AmericaSpeaks: Our Budget, Our Economy Highlights”
• “Going Hungry in Hard Times”
• “Health Care in America: How Can We Make it More Affordable?”
• “The Challenges of Immigration”
• “Finding Common Ground: Science, Religion and Public Policy”
• “The New Science of Food: Facing Up to Our Biotechnology Choices”
• “The Future of Energy”
• “Democracy’s Challenge: What Can I Do Now?”
• “Educating Kansas Children”
• “America’s Role in the World”
• “Race Relations: Beginning the Conversation”
Health care was also a popular topic. The library presented forums on “Balancing Health Care at the End of Life,“”Ethical Allocation of Healthcare Resources,” “The Under-insured and Uninsured Community,” and “Ethics and Costs of Prescription Drugs.” In addition, the library offered a Focus on Johnson County series that included the programs “Understanding Property Taxes,” “Are County Health Services Serving More with Less?” “How Green is Your County?” and “The Impact of the Recession on County Government.”
For more information about Johnson County Library’s civic engagement programs, visit the library’s Community Issues and Engagement page on their website.