Foundation Stories

Why I Give: Amanda Vega-Mavec

I donate and volunteer for the Johnson County Library Foundation because libraries and books have always played an important role in my life. I want to help provide that opportunity for others. My first memory of a library is of the one from my grade school, where the librarian, Mrs. Sanchez, nurtured my love of reading and learning. She and my teachers realized that as long as I had a book in my hand, I was less likely to cause trouble. So, I always had a book in my hand. (And I was even allowed to shelve books as a reward!)

Those educators along with my parents also nurtured my desire to learn about all types of topics. No topic was off limits, but they created a safe opportunity for me to ask questions about and discuss any topic. This directly impacted my analytical and critical thinking skills. And, my ability to think for myself. I am so grateful they gave me these opportunities and think they should be available to every child.

Libraries serve many roles; I feel like I am always learning new things. For me, at this stage of my life, it’s about being a meeting place for the community. I go to the library for meetings for other groups I am involved with almost as much as I go to pick up books. Not too long ago we invited some family friends to join us for a library event. They ran into several friends, including a beloved staff member I also know well. In that moment the library was the mutual friend that brought us all together.

I am currently finishing Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Mind and on deck are Entre Guadalupe and Malinche: Tejanas in Literature and Art and Book Collecting Now: The Value of Print in a Digital Age. I always have a “next up” pile of books going. I will even start carrying around my next book before I finish the one I’m reading.

Pictured is Amanda, her daughter Camila, and exchange student Greta at the Central Resource Library in Overland Park.
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