Foundation Stories

Why I Give: Tyler Harms

Tyler Harms is a Senior Software Engineer at Garmin International, Inc.

I’m not the stereotypical library patron. My reading list is embarrassingly light and I take months or years to work through a single book. Despite this, I recognize that the Johnson County Library is a treasure. I regularly find myself in awe of its breadth of offerings and impact on our community. Like most libraries, you can borrow books there, but Johnson County Library is so much more than books! It is a hub for the community’s access to information, entertainment, education, and civic engagement. It is truly world-class, and I’m extremely grateful that it’s here for me to enjoy.

Johnson County Library’s extensive offerings enrich my life in so many ways. I’ve spent my lunch break learning new languages with Mángo and Rosetta Stone. I’ve booked meeting rooms to explore creative and collaborative endeavors with my friends. I love that I can tinker in the Black & Veatch MakerSpace, and the library makes it easy to interact with local legislators through the Legislative Coffee program.

I can’t imagine building an organization as superb as Jonson County Library. Growing up in rural Missouri, our hometown library staff was genuinely dedicated to serving the community, but a lack of funding and community support made it difficult to expand or even maintain their offerings. This is in stark contrast to JCL and makes me appreciate our library that much more.

I give to the Johnson County Library Foundation because we are privileged to have this library in our community, and I believe it is up to us to support its mission however possible. The Library staff are among the most devoted and open-minded individuals I’ve ever encountered. Every time I interact with them I am impressed by how seriously they take the library’s mission, values, and vision. I know institutions like JCL are grown over decades and virtually impossible to replicate, and I want to ensure that the library remains vibrant for many decades to come.

Garmin graciously matches my donation to the Foundation via United Way. I love that I double the impact of my support by teaming up with my employer. If you’re considering donating, see if your organization will match your contribution.

– Tyler Harms

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During this difficult time in our community, the Johnson County Library Foundation is as committed as ever to supporting our partners at Johnson County Library. You can follow progress and get updates on the Library’s COVID-19 responses here.