Friends and Foundation

Karen Ristau

Meet Friends Board Member Karen Ristau

The following is a conversation with Friends Board Member Karen Ristau

How long have you been a member of the Friends?
I have been a member of the Friends since December 2018.

What inspired you to serve on the Friends Board?
I’ll admit, I was not aware of the Friends organization until my cousin’s wife approached me about an open position on the Board. We talked about how the Friends support Johnson County Library and many of their programs through memberships, bookstores and book sales. As a long-time patron of the Library, I was instantly intrigued by the Friends organization and thought serving on the Board would be a great opportunity for me to give back to an organization near and dear to my heart.

You’re a Library volunteer, too, right? Tell us a little about that experience . . .
Yes, I volunteered for my first book sale in March and loved it! It was amazing to see all the customers perusing the huge selection of books, movies, CDs and albums and finding items that were new and exciting for them. I was happy to assist the patrons, answer questions, restock the selections, and help
make the book sale a success. I’m looking forward to many more volunteer opportunities in the future!

Your elevator speech: why should I join the Friends?
Johnson County Library offers programs and services to the young, the old, and everyone in between. These programs help develop, support and maintain the love of reading and learning.

The ongoing support of the Friends organization is essential to help keep many of programs in place. Examples of programs supported by the Friends are the 6 by 6, Ready to Read early literacy program, the Black & Veatch MakerSpace where youth can explore 3D printing, vinyl cutting, laser cutting and many other topics, and the Incarcerated Services program that provides Library services to justice-involved patrons.

Join the Friends to support the young, the old and everyone in between who enjoy and benefit from the programs and services of Johnson County Library.

What are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading It’s Always the Husband, a thriller by Michele Campbell, an author who is new to me. I am always on the lookout for new authors to read and this one does not disappoint.

The following is a conversation with Friends Board Member Karen Ristau

How long have you been a member of the Friends?
I have been a member of the Friends since December 2018.

What inspired you to serve on the Friends Board?
I’ll admit, I was not aware of the Friends organization until my cousin’s wife approached me about an open position on the Board. We talked about how the Friends support Johnson County Library and many of their programs through memberships, bookstores and book sales. As a long-time patron of the Library, I was instantly intrigued by the Friends organization and thought serving on the Board would be a great opportunity... Continue »

MakerSpace materials

Making Friends

You’ll be pleased to learn that the Friends Bookstore at Central Resource Library carries a wide array of materials for use in the Library's MakerSpace!

When the Central branch was renovated in 2015, the MakerSpace was moved and enlarged six-fold. Visitors to the Space have found more equipment and helpful advisors to help them learn software and hardware. Sessions such as MakerSpace Beginners Nights have been a super introduction to all the Space has to offer. 

The machines in the MakerSpace, such as the CNC Router and the Epilog Helix and Zing laser engravers, tend to perform best with specified types of materials. Maker technicians and Friends saw opportunity to provide service to Makers needing supplies and to help the Friends generate some revenue.

Welcome to the Maker Materials Market!

You’ll find 12 x 24 x 1/8" acrylic sheet in six colors and birch plywood sheet, same size. Friends Bookstores Manager Becky Epperson reports that sales are brisk. Coming soon: soldering supplies and Maker kits!

Of course the Bookstores also sell gently used books and AV materials. Net profits of Friends sales benefit Library programs such as 6 by 6, Ready to Read.

You’ll be pleased to learn that the Friends Bookstore at Central Resource Library carries a wide array of materials for use in the Library's MakerSpace!

When the Central branch was renovated in 2015, the MakerSpace was moved and enlarged six-fold. Visitors to the Space have found more equipment and helpful advisors to help them learn software and hardware. Sessions such as ... Continue »

Read a Book Ball

It's Book Ball Time!

Today, June 8 is the Johnson County Library Foundation's annual Stay Home and Read a Book Ball, a virtual fundraiser for the Library. Funds raised from this year’s event  will support the Library’s Summer Reading program!

Join the fun with our Stay-at-Home host, award-winning picture book author and illustrator, SHANE EVANS! Shane’s books include We MarchUndergroundOlu’s Dream and Chocolate Me. He will be hosting a LIVE Q&A for one hour. Stay tuned for details and join us on FB to ask Shane a question!

Be sure to join us on FaceBook between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. from the comfort of your favorite reading nook. Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Choose a book
  2. Get comfortable at home
  3. Share your reading selfies on social media: #jocobookball
  4. Make a donation to the JCL Foundation!
     

 

Thank you for your continued support!

 

Today, June 8 is the Johnson County Library Foundation's annual Stay Home and Read a Book Ball, a virtual fundraiser for the Library. Funds raised from this year’s event  will support the Library’s Summer Reading program!

Join the fun with our Stay-at-Home host, award-winning picture book author and illustrator, SHANE EVANS! Shane’s books include We MarchUndergroundOlu’s Dream and Chocolate... Continue »

Lackman volunteers

Lackman Library Volunteers

This #ThrowbackThursday we're honoring our Lackman Library Volunteers!

My name is Linda, and I'm happy to have had the opportunity to visit with some of the Lackman Library volunteers during an appreciation lunch for them. Some of them will move to other volunteer posts within the Johnson County Library, and others are moving on to new opportunities as services move from Lackman Library to Lenexa City Center Library. From a woman with 34 years of library service to one who had just started, they all contributed in their own special way to the foundation and success of the Lackman Library.

Jo Ouseley, the 34-year volunteer, started at the main branch of the Johnson County Library then transferred to Lackman shortly after it opened in 1997. She and the Lackman branch have commendably served the residents of Lenexa and Johnson County ever since. Jo was the recipient of the Shankel Award for Outstanding Volunteers in 2009. I listened as she and other volunteers reminisced about sorting and re-shelving books in the children’s department. They concluded it was not the best time to wear new slacks, and as Jo pointed out, the amount of time they spent on their knees provided ample opportunity to catch up on their prayers.

Another volunteer, Donna Pray, shares special memories of the Lackman Library with her grandson. She was busy with her volunteer duties one day when a certain little boy caught her attention. She quickly recognized her three-year-old grandson who came in with his babysitter to attend story-time, a popular event for toddlers. He was surprised to see her and asked why she was at the library and not at her house where he had always seen her. For years he enjoyed visiting the library, not only for story-time, but for a smile and hug from Grandma as well.

Volunteering is not just something you do if you have time, it makes your time more valuable. Take Kathy Peters and Judy Carney, for instance. The time they spent volunteering became priceless when they found their best friend in each other. Kathy, a 10-year volunteer, liked to shelve books and Judy, a 9-year volunteer, liked to work on DVDs and audiobooks. They were so fast and efficient with their individual tasks that they always found time afterwards to talk… and a friendship was born! Kathy loves to read, so it’s understandable that her favorite day of the week was the day she spent at the library. Being a well-rounded reader made her a good resource for those looking for recommendations, and patrons grew to count on her as a resource for their next great read.

Janet Hall, a volunteer since November 2013, found an undeniable satisfaction in the hours she put in at the Library, but it’s the staff and other volunteers for which she is truly grateful. Their care and concern after her son passed away a few years ago will never be forgotten. She treasures their kindness and holds dear the wind chimes that were given to her in his memory.

Other volunteers I met that day were Lou Ann Carpenter, Lorraine Gerard, Fran Jaderborg, and Nikki Hollembeak.  They all confirmed what I easily sensed: the bond and camaraderie they shared was invaluable. It was also clear that a mutual appreciation existed between the Library staff and the volunteers. Each group seemed extremely grateful for the other. Like the pages of a book, they were all bound together. The pages have turned, and the book has been closed - but what a story it was!

Photo from left:  Nikki Hollembeak, Kathy Peters, LouAnn Carpenter, Lorraine Gerard, Fran Jaderborg, Janet Hall, Donna Pray, Judy Carney, Jo Ouseley, Volunteer Coordinator Rita Glick

Lackman volunteers not pictured: JoAnn Hadel, Elaine Scherder, Glenda Carden, Bill Hartel, Pat Veno, Deanne Belshe, Sandy Allshouse and Jan Hendrix.

 

 

This #ThrowbackThursday we're honoring our Lackman Library Volunteers!

My name is Linda, and I'm happy to have had the opportunity to visit with some of the Lackman Library volunteers during an appreciation lunch for them. Some of them will move to other volunteer posts within the Johnson County Library, and others are moving on to new opportunities as services move from Lackman Library to Lenexa City Center Library. From a woman with 34 years of library service to one who had just started, they all contributed in their own special way to the foundation and success of the Lackman Library.

Jo Ouseley, the 34-year volunteer, started at the main branch of the Johnson County Library then transferred to Lackman shortly after it... Continue »

Jodie Dietz

A Conversation with Jodie Dietz

How long have you been a member of the Friends?
I have been a member of the Friends for a few years. I was looking for a good gift for a friend who really loves the books so I bought her a family membership and decided that I would also purchase a membership as a gift for myself.

You're a Library volunteer, too, right? Tell us a little about that experience . . .
I believe the public libraries are so important to our community. When my kids were little, we loved the story times and summer programs. When my kids got a little too old for the storytimes, they began volunteering with the youth program. I decided they should not have all of the fun so I began volunteering at the library too! 

Your elevator speech: why should I join the Friends?
You should join the Friends because it supports our community. Everyone is welcome at the library! There are not a lot of other entities in our community that serve the population from the youngest to those with more life experiences.

What are you reading/listening to – or watching – right now?
I love to read mysteries and memoirs. My current read is Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy.

- Friends of the Library Board Member, Jodie Dietz

How long have you been a member of the Friends?
I have been a member of the Friends for a few years. I was looking for a good gift for a friend who really loves the books so I bought her a family membership and decided that I would also purchase a membership as a gift for myself.

You're a Library volunteer, too, right? Tell us a little about that experience . . .
I believe the public libraries are so important to our community. When my kids were little, we loved the story times and summer programs. When my kids got a little too old for the storytimes, they began volunteering with the youth program. I... Continue »

Caroline McKnight

Why I Give: Caroline McKnight

Growing up in Port Arthur, TX, I remember my mom had a friend who was a school librarian. She was my first exposure to that career path. Over time, my interest in pursuing that same path blossomed and she became my mentor. Being a librarian always resonated with me through school. I always had a strong curiosity and reflecting now, I am a lifetime learner.

After graduating college, my first job was… a school librarian! I decided to embark on my library career in the city at the origin of the Kansas City Southern Railway line in Kansas City, as Port Arthur was the terminus. My first job was with the Shawnee Mission School District. Being a school librarian brought me much joy, as I loved fostering literacy, learning and education with the students.

Flash forward, after taking time off to raise my family, I was appointed to the Johnson County Library Board and was back in the library world. I also subsequently worked with the Johnson County Library Foundation Board for many years, focusing on fundraising to support the Library’s collection and programming.

Now, in retirement, one of my greatest pleasures is reading to my granddaughters. I also volunteer in a school library and my career has come full circle.

Why do I give?
I believe the future of the library is to continue to foster communication. Access to information is vital and facts are the drivers. Some institution has to be in charge of the facts, and I believe that institution is the library.

I feel strongly that our library is important, not just to me, but to all who use it, and even those who don’t. Even if unused, a library stands for something important. I greatly want this institution to endure and prosper.

I continue to volunteer with the Library Foundation, specifically with the “1952 Society: Writing the Library’s Next Chapter”, the planned giving initiative kicking-off this year. Ensuring the future of our Library through planned gifts is vital to me. I would not feel comfortable asking others to make this commitment without first making it myself and have chosen to make a gift to the Library in my will.

To be good stewards of this place we love, we must consider the future. Yes, legacy gifts to the library have always been an option. But today we are making a promise to ourselves, and to our library, that we will work to build the 1952 Society. We will identify and encourage those who care as much as we do to leave a legacy. The name we chose, The 1952 Society, references the past. But, without a doubt, it will be those who look to the future that will insure our library brings value to other lives well beyond our own.

  • Caroline McKnight

Growing up in Port Arthur, TX, I remember my mom had a friend who was a school librarian. She was my first exposure to that career path. Over time, my interest in pursuing that same path blossomed and she became my mentor. Being a librarian always resonated with me through school. I always had a strong curiosity and reflecting now, I am a lifetime learner.

After graduating college, my first job was… a school librarian! I decided to embark on my library career in the city at the origin of the Kansas City Southern Railway line in Kansas City, as Port Arthur was the terminus. My first job was with the Shawnee Mission School District. Being a school librarian brought me much joy, as I loved fostering literacy, learning and education... Continue »

JCL Foundation

Your Gift Makes An Impact

The Johnson County Library Foundation’s mission is to build an endowment for the Library’s collection and secure support for life-long learning programs offered at Johnson County Library.

The  Foundation does this by securing and managing donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations to support the Library above and beyond what public funding provides. Special thanks to all of you who have made a donation, participated in a fundraising event, or volunteered! The Foundation counts on the financial and in-kind support of individuals, businesses, and charitable foundations to grow to meet the ever-changing needs in Johnson County.

In 2018, more than 500 individuals, couples, corporations and foundations made a point of making a donation to the Foundation to support the Library's programs. Go here to see the impact your gift has made. 

Since its establishment in 1996, the Foundation has supported the Library’s lifelong learning programs including:

  • Collection and resource enrichment
  • 6 by 6 Ready To Read
  • Summer Reading
  • Homework Help
  • Live online tutoring
  • elementia Teen Literary Program
  • Black & Veatch MakerSpace
  • Civic Engagement
  • Joan Berkley Writers Fund 

Thank you for your continued support. Your gift has the power to change lives! 

The Johnson County Library Foundation’s mission is to build an endowment for the Library’s collection and secure support for life-long learning programs offered at Johnson County Library.

The  Foundation does this by securing and managing donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations to support the Library above and beyond what public funding provides. Special thanks to all of you who have made a donation, participated in a fundraising event, or volunteered! The Foundation counts on the financial and in-kind support of individuals, businesses, and charitable foundations to grow to meet the ever-changing needs in Johnson County.

In 2018, more than 500 individuals, couples, corporations and foundations made a point... Continue »

Josephine Foote

Why I Give: Josephine Foote

Where to begin? Companionship is a good place. The characters in books were my earliest friends, as our neighborhood was short on children. Some of these literary friends were animals, which was fun. Books brought adventure and magic like houses made of candy and carpets that flew. You could time-travel back to ancient Egypt or China. You could learn to draw, to make things, to read a foreign language. The library was a Treasure House!

When I was a child we didn’t yet have television, and Johnson County didn’t yet have a public library. If my mother couldn’t drive me, I thought nothing about walking from Old Mission Hills to the Kansas City public library in Southwest High School. I have always had a love of libraries.

Books provided such joy and education that it was an easy decision to choose librarianship as an occupation. I got a Master of Library Science from Simmons College in Boston and later spent many happy years as the reference librarian at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO. I loved learning something new every day. A reference librarian doesn’t necessarily know the answers but sure knows where to find them.

Today I live in Cambridge, MA, and most of my family still lives in Kansas City, so I’m back to visit three times a year. I always visit the library and am grateful for all the cookbooks I’ve borrowed and for the online databases I use like ValueLine. It’s impressive how many wonderful community outreach programs the Library provides. It’s amazing all the new ideas that come through libraries!

Why do I give to the Johnson County Library Foundation?

As libraries evolve and grow, I believe it’s more important now than ever that the community gives back to support these services. One of my favorite quotes is on the Boston Public Library building: “The Commonwealth requires the education of the people as the safeguard of order and liberty.”  A strong democracy is dependent on an educated citizenry.

Where to begin? Companionship is a good place. The characters in books were my earliest friends, as our neighborhood was short on children. Some of these literary friends were animals, which was fun. Books brought adventure and magic like houses made of candy and carpets that flew. You could time-travel back to ancient Egypt or China. You could learn to draw, to make things, to read a foreign language. The library was a Treasure House!

When I was a child we didn’t yet have television, and Johnson County didn’t yet have a public library. If my mother couldn’t drive me, I thought nothing about walking from Old Mission Hills to the Kansas City public library in Southwest High School. I have always had a love of libraries.

... Continue »

JCL Foundation

Curiosity Sparks Imagination

Your support of the Johnson County Library Foundation has a profound impact on our community. The Foundation funds library resources, books, and educational programs that encourage curiosity, spark imagination and bring dreams to life.

The Foundation supports lifelong learning programs including:

Your gift has the power to change lives. Your contribution to the Foundation will directly fund Library programs, services, and the growth of the collection of more than 1 million items.  For more information, contact Stephanie Stollsteimer at stollsteimers@jocolibrary.org.

Thank you for your continued support!

 

Your support of the Johnson County Library Foundation has a profound impact on our community. The Foundation funds library resources, books, and educational programs that encourage curiosity, spark imagination and bring dreams to life.

The Foundation supports lifelong learning programs including:

Put a Book in a Child's Hands

Today is #GivingTuesday -- which kicks off the charitable season when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. This year, your Giving Tuesday gift to the JCL Foundation will directly benefit the Library’s ever-popular Summer Reading Program, and put a book in the hands of a child!

From mid-May until the end of July, Johnson County Library helps combat summer slide by providing a free book to every child who signs up with the reading program. Having books at home is strongly linked with academic achievement. By growing children’s personal libraries and helping them find intrinsic value in reading, the library bridges that summer learning gap and invests in the future of our community.

The Library gave away 18,823 books to kids throughout Johnson County this past summer, in comparison to 15,000 in 2017. And that increase is with no additional locations. With the recent opening of our new Monticello Library, we project 22,000 books will be distributed in summer 2019.

Your gift on this Giving Tuesday will directly support this critical service for kids and their families throughout Johnson County. All donations make a difference, for example, $25 buys 5 books!

And today,  your donation can go even further if you use the donate button on our Foundation's Facebook page

On #GivingTuesday, Facebook is partnering with PayPal to match up to $7 million in donations to eligible US-based nonprofits. Donations made on the Foundation’s Facebook page will be matched, dollar-per-dollar starting at 7 a.m. on November 27 (only) and will continue until matching funds run out.   

Happy Holidays and thank you for your continued support of our mission for lifelong learning.

 

Today is #GivingTuesday -- which kicks off the charitable season when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. This year, your Giving Tuesday gift to the JCL Foundation will directly benefit the Library’s ever-popular Summer Reading Program, and put a book in the hands of a child!

From mid-May until the end of July, Johnson County Library helps combat summer slide by providing a free book to every child who signs up with the reading program. Having books at home is strongly linked with academic achievement. By growing children’s personal libraries and helping them find intrinsic value in reading, the library bridges that... Continue »

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