Foundation Stories

Be sure to join our Honorary Hosts, Rick and Denise Mills, Saturday, September 18, for an evening of fun and entertainment at our signature event Library Lets Loose!

Library lovers everywhere will enjoy this festive, FREE, family-friendly event.  Better yet, register now! And in the meantime, here’s a look at some of the fun from last year’s event.

Rick and Denise Mills, 2021 Library Lets Loose Honorary Hosts.

Your Sponsorship supports life-long learning resources and programs for patrons of all ages including:

  • Library collection enrichment
  • Youth homework assistance online
  • Art and community engagement programs
  • Early literacy initiatives
  • Summer Reading
  • Youth-at-risk programs
  • Teen literary programs
  • Local writers’ workshops
  • Incarcerated services books and services
  • Race Project KC
  • Online programming for education and entertainment
  • STEM education through the Black & Veatch MakerSpace

The driving force behind the creation of the Johnson County Library Foundation was County Librarian Mona Carmack. In the early ‘90’s, Mona began speaking about a JCL Foundation that would be devoted to raising donated funds for the Library collection and its programs.  This was a new concept for the Library at that time and in 1994, planning for the Foundation began and in 1996, the Foundation was established as a separate nonprofit organization.

Fred and Carol Logan

As a separate nonprofit, the Foundation needed the governance of a board of directors and distinguished community volunteers rose to the occasion. “The founding Board had a lot of heavy hitters,” said founding board president, Neil Shortlidge.   “Names that come to mind are Fred Logan, former Congresswoman Jan Meyers, former County Commissioners such as Bill Franklin and David Wysong, several mayors and a number of former Library Board members. “

Foundation founding board member Fred Logan has remained a strong donor and supporter over the years with wife, Carol.  “I believed that people would be very supportive of a foundation that was devoted to supporting the Library,” said Logan.  “Time has proven that to be the case.”

Caroline McKnight also served as a founding board member and continues to this day as a volunteer. She explains that the Foundation is relevant today because all strong and thriving institutions deserve to have a way for those who see their value support them financially. “Yes, of course, we all pay a pittance in taxes that accrue to build and maintain a wonderful library system, “ said Caroline. “But there are those who choose to offer more support, and a charitable arm makes that possible.”

Caroline McKnight and Neil Shortlidge
Caroline McKnight and Neil Shortlidge

Your investment in Johnson County Library generates a 300% return.