Friends and Foundation

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 »

Big Fall Kids Book Sale

Big Fall Kids Book Sale

Join the Friends of Johnson County Library for the Big Fall Kids Book Sale, where we'll have thousands of gently-used children's books, DVDs & audiobooks at bargain prices! Ranging from board books to YA/teen titles. Most items will be priced $2 or less. Cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AMEX accepted with valid I.D. This sale will take place at the Central Resource Library at 9875 W. 87th St in Overland Park.

Thursday, Nov 15: 9am - 7:30pm
Friday, Nov 16: 9am - 5:30pm
Saturday, Nov 17: 9am - 3pm

Join the Friends of Johnson County Library for the Big Fall Kids Book Sale, where we'll have thousands of gently-used children's books, DVDs & audiobooks at bargain prices! Ranging from board books to YA/teen titles. Most items will be priced $2 or less. Cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AMEX accepted with valid I.D. This sale will take place at the Central Resource Library at 9875 W. 87th St in Overland Park.

Thursday, Nov 15: 9am - 7:30pm
Friday, Nov 16: 9am - 5:30pm
Saturday, Nov 17: 9am - 3pm

Mike Zakoura JCL Foundation supporter

Why I Give: Mike Zakoura

Growing up in the small town of Osawatomie, KS, Mike Zakoura was destined for a life filled with words, paper, books – and giving, above and beyond. His journey has included majoring in Journalism and Radio at the University of Kansas; being an editor at the Kansas City Star until 2000, and working in the Interlibrary Loan Department at Johnson County Library for 16 years, until he retired this summer.

I sat down with Mike shortly before he left JCL to learn more about his dedication to literacy and his loyal giving to the JCL Foundation through Johnson County’s Employee Payroll Deduction Program. I found out that for him, giving back to the community is a life-long priority. When asked why it was meaningful to give to the Library in addition to working here, he replied, “It is important for County employees to know about the Employee Payroll Deduction Program that benefits the Johnson County Library Foundation. We tend to focus on necessities versus charities. Sometimes charities take a back seat. Giving is a commitment.”

Children’s literacy holds a special place in Zakoura’s heart.  He has been married for 43 years, raised daughters, and has grandchildren. “I think it is important to give to kids’ literacy and help provide opportunity. I see a life wider than my own. People need to consider children.”  Another example of Zakoura’s giving: his volunteering for literacy. He gives time to his granddaughter’s school reading to the students. “It is important to help influence young people to read. For kids, you can’t dictate a road, but you can help influence their path.”

Reflecting on his decade and a half working in a library Mike says, “Libraries are on the short list of places people can be comfortable asking questions. Libraries are safe places. The Library is a place where you can be free and read a book, be it sci-fi, history, children’s literature—there is something for everyone.”  A big reason he enjoyed the Interlibrary Loan Department is the ability to connect materials to libraries in smaller communities, similar to where he grew up. Mike says he’ll miss the people the most- the relationships he’s built here.

What does Mike see as the future of libraries?  “More tech!” he declared. “The Library will continue to metamorphose to stay relevant in the community. Libraries will always have an important role and just take different forms as they evolve.”

“Why do I give to the JCL Foundation?  I believe people should choose an organization to give to because it’s the right thing to do. You don’t have to save the world, but you do have to save a small part of it. It doesn’t have to be much, but it does have to be something. Find your passion – be it children’s literacy or whatever is meaningful to you – and give to it.”

- Steph Neu, Johnson County Library Foundation

 

Growing up in the small town of Osawatomie, KS, Mike Zakoura was destined for a life filled with words, paper, books – and giving, above and beyond. His journey has included majoring in Journalism and Radio at the University of Kansas; being an editor at the Kansas City Star until 2000, and working in the Interlibrary Loan Department at Johnson County Library for 16 years, until he retired this summer.

I sat down with Mike shortly before he left JCL to learn more about his dedication to literacy and his loyal giving to the JCL Foundation through Johnson County’s Employee Payroll Deduction Program. I found out that for him, giving back to the community is a life-long priority. When asked why it was meaningful to give to the... Continue »

Kansas Poet Laureate Wyatt Townley, and  Roderick Townley were among the guests!

Letting Loose @ the Library!

It was a huge success! The JCL Foundation's annual Library Lets Loose fundraising event was held September 29.  Nearly 500 Library lovers attended this festive fundraiser that featured unique and creative experiences, scrumptious food and drink pairings – and local music, artists, performers and creators. And, more than $120,000 was raised!

Proceeds from the event benefit the JCL Foundation which helps support Library programs and the collection. The Foundation provides funding for programs that go above and beyond what you would expect from a Library! Early childhood literacy, Summer Reading, Homework Help, teen writing programs and civic engagement are just a few of the many programs that make a difference in our community.

If you were unable to attend the evening’s festivities, the silent auction is still live online! You can bid on several stunning original pieces of art and jewelry, many of which are currently on display at the Central Resource Library. Simply go online to view these works and place your bid, or simply enter the “Buy it now” price. A percentage of each sale will benefit the Foundation thanks to our partners with GUILDit.

Also, there’s still time to provide your support and receive a one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet two of Kansas City’s literary treasures — Candice Millard and Steve Kraske — and sit in on their lively conversation covering topics sure to entertain and inform. Purchase your seat(s) for just $100 per person. 

Thank you for your continued support, and be sure to save the date for next year’s event —Saturday, September 28, 2019!

It was a huge success! The JCL Foundation's annual Library Lets Loose fundraising event was held September 29.  Nearly 500 Library lovers attended this festive fundraiser that featured unique and creative experiences, scrumptious food and drink pairings – and local music, artists, performers and creators. And, more than $120,000 was raised!

Proceeds from the event benefit the JCL Foundation which helps support Library programs and the collection. The Foundation provides funding for programs that go above and beyond what you would expect from a Library! Early childhood literacy, Summer Reading, Homework Help, teen writing programs and civic engagement are just a... Continue »

Vicki Denk Friends member

A Conversation with Friends Member Vicki Denk

How long have you been a Friends member?

I’m a new Friends member this year, but prior to that, I was a volunteer for two years.

What do you want to learn by serving on the Board?

I’m learning how valuable and fulfilling an experience it is to volunteer with the other talented and committed members of the Friends Board and the dedicated library staff.

Your Elevator Speech: Why You should join the Friends of Johnson County Library

Part of Friends mission is to help make books available to everyone in our community.  It’s so important that we have access to multiple sources of information and points of view, especially today.   Books educate us, inform us, and bring us enjoyment.  By supporting Friends, you also help support many valuable library programs such as the 6 x 6 literacy program and the incarcerated services program.  Friends is dedicated to promoting the Library and its valuable programs and services for all ages and interests in our community. 

What are you reading now?

I’m reading Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson.  I’m hooked on biographies.

How long have you been a Friends member?

I’m a new Friends member this year, but prior to that, I was a volunteer for two years.

What do you want to learn by serving on the Board?

I’m learning how valuable and fulfilling an experience it is to volunteer with the other talented and committed members of the Friends Board and the dedicated library staff.

Your Elevator Speech: Why You should join the Friends of Johnson County Library

Part of Friends mission is to help make books available to everyone in our community.  It’s so important that we have access to multiple sources of information and points of view, especially today.   Books educate us, inform us, and bring us... Continue »

Teen volunteer

We Rely on Our Volunteers

We are the fortunate beneficiary of a lot of volunteer support. Every year, more than 1,200 people give us about 50,000 hours' worth of their time and talent to help in virtually every area of the Library. We're very grateful!

With so many volunteers and opportunities in which to place them, Library Volunteer Coordinator Ron Zluticky and others have been working diligently with the County over the past year to develop an online volunteer management system. This new online portal is now live and allows volunteers to easily search for opportunities that suit their interests, schedule their own shifts, and communicate effectively with the Volunteer office and their branch location.

If you're interested in volunteering with us, please visit our JCL Volunteer page for more information.

Thank you, we couldn't do it all without you!

 

We are the fortunate beneficiary of a lot of volunteer support. Every year, more than 1,200 people give us about 50,000 hours' worth of their time and talent to help in virtually every area of the Library. We're very grateful!

With so many volunteers and opportunities in which to place them, Library Volunteer Coordinator Ron Zluticky and others have been working diligently with the County over the past year to develop an online volunteer management system. This new online portal is now live and allows volunteers to easily search for opportunities that suit their interests, schedule their own shifts, and communicate effectively with the Volunteer office and their branch location.

If you're interested in volunteering with... Continue »

Friends of the Library

Thankful for Generous Friends

Good friends support you with their words, great friends support you with their actions. Friends of Johnson County Library are a perfect example of both.

The Friends’ story began with the PTA Library Committee at Prairie School. A group of volunteers emerged who promoted the need for a county public library, to complement and expand services available through the then-single location of the Olathe Public Library. The Citizens Library Committee, as they became known, recruited more volunteers to carry petitions throughout the County. They were successful in placing a Library question on the ballot in the Fall of 1952. The measure was approved by voters 4:1!

Funding was however not immediately available to establish and operate a library. So the volunteers continued their work in the community. They collected donated books, asked for lumber donations, built shelves, made curtains and painted walls. On June 2, 1953, they opened the first volunteer library in the Dunbar School in Shawnee. The group opened additional volunteer branches in stores and homes. The second library opened in the basement of a committee member’s home in Merriam and a third in the basement of Jay’s Men’s and Boy’s Wear in the Prairie Village Shopping Center. People came to borrow books, to donate materials and to volunteer their time to help the Library.

By 1954, eleven volunteer branches were operating. The Library received its first direct tax funding in 1955: a budget of $32,000. In 1956 the Antioch Branch opened as headquarters on its present site in Merriam. Bookmobile service began to outlying communities. That same year the Citizens Library Committee reorganized as the Friends of Johnson County Library with more than 150 charter members. The Friends have continued their advocacy and philanthropy on behalf of the Library since that time. They have been instrumental in garnering public support for libraries throughout our 67-year history.

Today the Friends are a membership organization with almost 1,000 participants. Their primary activities are operation of 3 bookstores at the Antioch, Blue Valley and Central libraries, and their annual book sales, such as the popular BIG Fall Kids Book Sale coming up in November. They raise funds to support Library programs and activities such as Incarcerated Services, Summer Reading, and 6 by 6 Ready to Read.

Invest in your community and become a member of the Friends of Johnson County Library.  

Good friends support you with their words, great friends support you with their actions. Friends of Johnson County Library are a perfect example of both.

The Friends’ story began with the PTA Library Committee at Prairie School. A group of volunteers emerged who promoted the need for a county public library, to complement and expand services available through the then-single location of the Olathe Public Library. The Citizens Library Committee, as they became known, recruited more volunteers to carry petitions throughout the County. They were successful in placing a Library question on the ballot in the Fall of 1952. The measure was approved by voters 4:1!

Funding was however not immediately available to... Continue »

Black & Veach MakerSpace at Central Resource Library

Black & Veatch Extends MakerSpace Partnership

Global engineering and construction company Black & Veatch is continuing a successful partnership with Johnson County Library as part of the company’s growing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach with a renewed 3-year, $90,000 commitment to the Black & Veatch MakerSpace at Central Resource Library

Johnson County Library named the facility the “Black & Veatch MakerSpace” after an extensivel 2016 renovation and enlargement of the space. The partnership is the first of its kind in the Library’s history, with the Library’s Foundation joining Black & Veatch’s Building a World of Difference Foundation to expand the MakerSpace’s size and scope.

The renewed gift permits the MakerSpace to pursue some interesting new projects.

  • The Makers of JCL will debut brand-new virtual reality hardware. Library patrons will be able to develop their own VR projects and explore the cutting-edge intersection of 3D modeling, virtual reality and digital fabrication.
  • Youth Services librarians will work with teachers to book field trips to the Black & Veatch MakerSpace. Library Makers are also working with teachers and administrators about how they can integrate these technologies in their schools.
  • Makers will expand development and circulation of the popular Maker Kits, which will contain equipment that can be checked out.

The Makers at JCL have certainly made productive use of BV support since 2016.

  • 174,280+ people visited the MakerSpace from March 2016 – June 2018
  • 13,193 users booked an appointment to work with Makers and technology at the Library
  • Adults are the most frequent users of the Central Resource Library space, and Kids/Teens comprise 80% of the outreach/programming audience for Maker events

​"The MakerSpace has become a valuable resource that makes science, technology, engineering and math accessible and fun for problem-solvers of all ages,” said Steve Edwards, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Black & Veatch. “Having our name attached to the MakerSpace helps the library expand its offerings and keeps STEM-focused activities within reach of the young people in our community.”

“Black & Veatch’s commitment has definitely made a difference in the worlds of our patrons,” said County Librarian Sean Casserley. “The MakerSpace is Johnson County’s home for builders and innovators of all kinds, and we’re pleased to continue this important work with Black & Veatch’s generosity.”

To learn more about Black & Veatch's growing STEM outreach with the Black & Veatch MakerSpace at Central Resource Library, click here.

Global engineering and construction company Black & Veatch is continuing a successful partnership with Johnson County Library as part of the company’s growing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach with a renewed 3-year, $90,000 commitment to the Black & Veatch MakerSpace at Central Resource Library

Johnson County Library named the facility the “Black & Veatch MakerSpace” after an extensivel 2016 renovation and enlargement of the space. The partnership is the first of its kind in the Library’s history, with the Library’s Foundation... Continue »

JCL Foundation launches new website

Foundation Launches new Website

Checkout the new Johnson County Library Foundation website, www.jocolibraryfoundation.org!  You’ll see a new dynamic design with features, photos, and functions that help to tell the stories of the Library and compel donations to support its programs and collections. 

Learn how the dollars donated to the Foundation help the Library offer programs for patrons of all ages and serve the needs of our community-- above what public funding provides, including:

  • Collection and resource enrichment
  • Youth homework assistance
  • Art programs
  • Civic engagement programs
  • Early literacy initiatives
  • Youth-at-risk programs
  • Technology and STEAM education

Special thanks to all of you who have made a donation, participated in a fundraising event, or volunteered.  The Johnson County Library 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. 

Enjoy the website, follow the JCL Foundation on Facebook and Twitter, and make a donation today! 

Checkout the new Johnson County Library Foundation website, www.jocolibraryfoundation.org!  You’ll see a new dynamic design with features, photos, and functions that help to tell the stories of the Library and compel donations to support its programs and collections. 

Learn how the dollars donated to the Foundation help the Library offer programs for patrons of all ages and serve the needs of our community-- above what public funding provides, including:

  • Collection and resource enrichment
  • Youth homework assistance
  • Art programs
  • Civic engagement programs
  • Early literacy initiatives
  • Youth-at-risk programs
  • Technology
  • ... Continue »

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