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.
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.”