Foundation Stories

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. This year, on November 27, 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 on November 27,  your donation can go even further if you use the donate button on our Foundation 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.   

Thank you for your continued support of our mission for lifelong learning!

Authors Wyatt Townley and Roderick Townley

It was a huge success! Our third annual Library Lets Loose fundraising event was held September 29.  Nearly 500 Library lovers (including our cover photo stars –local authors Wyatt and Roderick Townley) 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! View a fun photo gallery here!

A big shout out to our generous 2018 sponsors. We couldn’t have done this without your help!

Proceeds from the event benefit the Foundation which helps support Library programs and the collection. We provide 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.

 

The Central Library is set!  We are ready for this  festive event with experiences, entertainment, food, drink and fun ways to donate spread throughout the library — all evening long!

Set for Saturday, September 29 from 6 – 10 pm at the Central Resource Library, it’s our signature fundraising event featuring live music, food, drink, silent auction and interactive experiences. Tickets and sponsorships are still available online or at the door.

And, no need to wait for the event night, our silent auction is currently 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.

Other interactive experiences include hands-on activities in the Black and Veatch MakerSpace, robot drawing and paintings, literary performances by local actors, and trivia contests. Creative food and drink pairings will be served throughout the evening  – including a signature cocktail!

If you haven’t visited the Library in a while or, if you’re a frequent visitor, it’s a great way to see the Library in a whole new light. And, you’ll help us contribute to the Library’s important collections and programming.  We hope to see you there!

The countdown has begun — Library Lets Loose is Saturday, September 29 from 6 – 10 pm at Central Resource Library!  But if you hurry, you still have a few more days  to purchase tickets and sponsorships.

Library Lets Loose is not your typical sit down dinner kind of fundraiser. It’s a choose your own adventure kind of event!” So says Foundation Director Stephanie Stollsteimer. ”The event is a more of a free-form party for adults, with lots of experiences spread throughout the library — all evening long.”

Also included in the festivities are more ways extend your fun and stretch your support through several donation opportunities.   A portion of all sales and donations will directly benefit the Library’s programs and collections!

Still need some convincing? Listen to our special edition podcast featuring our food and drink lineup!

Library Lets Loose is not your typical sit down dinner kind of fundraiser. It’s a choose your own adventure kind of event!” So says Foundation Director Stephanie Stollsteimer. ”The event is a more of a free-form party for adults, with lots of experiences spread throughout the library — all evening long.”

Library Lets Loose is Saturday, September 29 from 6 – 10 pm at Central Library. It’s the Foundation’s signature fundraising event featuring live music, food, drink, silent auction and interactive experiences. Tickets and sponsorships are still available.

“The Library’s theme for fall programming is Women’s Voices,” said Stephanie. “Following along that theme we are incorporating several fabulous live performances from local female bands including, The Black Mariah Theater, Katy Guillen & The Girls, and Jessica Paige, plus a silent auction of original artwork by local women artists.”

Other interactive experiences include hands-on activities in the Black and Veatch MakerSpace, robot drawing and painting by Andy Wise, literary performances by local actors, and trivia contests. Imaginative food and drink pairings will be served throughout the evening from local restaurants – including a signature cocktail!

Included in the festivities will be a Fund a Need campaign for specific Library programming and collections needs, and raffle ticket sales for gift baskets donated by community sponsors. A portion of all sales and donations will directly benefit the Library’s programs and collections.

“If you haven’t visited the Library in a while or, if you’re a frequent visitor, it’s a great way to see the Library in a whole new light,” said Stephanie. “We hope to see you there!”

Listen in to the Library’s special edition podcast to learn more about Library Let’s Loose:

Join our honorary hosts, Valerie and Charley Vogt, for a grand party at the Library on September 29!  

Library Lets Loose
is a festive fundraiser which features unique and creative experiences, tasty local libations, scrumptious food and drink pairings – and local music, artists and creators.

Many of you know Charley for his service on the Johnson County Library Board and his key role in helping the Monticello Library become a reality. He was also very active in civic engagement in Western Shawnee with the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club and with Country Club Bank. We are fortunate to have Charley and Valerie’s  leadership in the footsteps of past honorary hosts Ann and Bob Regnier, and Carol and Fred Logan.

Tickets and sponsorships are available now. Contact 913-826-4740 for more information. See you there!

The Monticello Library at 22435 W. 66th Street in Shawnee, is the first new library location in Johnson County since 1994. The new building opened for business August 5 – and we invite you to check it out!

Design for Monticello Library benefited from extensive public input and deep analysis of evolving needs for Library services in the 21st century.  The two-story, 30,000+ square foot building features floor-to-ceiling glass along three sides designed to let in lots of natural light and to be stylishly visible to those driving by on Shawnee Mission Parkway.

The Library and County identified a site in 2010, and the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System made a generous donation of adjoining land to provide adequate parking.

The building’s interior incorporates flexible spaces and design strategies so it can adapt to future uses and public needs without requiring physical expansion. There are a number of study rooms and meeting spaces, Mac and PC computer stations, and lots of cozy seating throughout to enjoy the collection. View a PDF of the Monticello Library floor plan tour 

The Foundation is proud to support Monticello Library and extends a heartfelt thank-you to all of our supporters who have contributed financial, in-kind, and volunteer assistance to help open the doors on this newest addition to the JCL system.

A special shout out to the Timken Foundation, which funded the Burgeon unit in the Kids’ 6×6 activity center. This interactive display engages preschoolers and their caregivers in exploring 6 early literacy skills by the age of 6.

Be sure to check out all the great features and offerings at Monticello Library. And, as always, help us to continue to support the great programming and collections at all of the JCL locations.

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. The JCL Foundation held a reception July 25 which celebrated this re-commitment.

Johnson County Library named the facility the “Black & Veatch MakerSpace” after an extensive 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 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, watch the video here.

We’re excited to launch this new website with dynamic features, photos, and functions — all which help to tell the stories of the Library and compel donations to support its programs and collections.

Check out each of the pages and see how 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.  We count 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! 

At the Johnson County Library Board of Directors meeting  June 14, the Foundation was thrilled and honored to present a BIG check in the amount of $82,703!  This check represents  the annual disbursement from the endowment, which supports the Library’s collection.  Pictured (l-r) County  Commissioner Ron Shaffer, Steph Neu, Stephanie Stollsteimer, Nancy Hupp, Anne Blessing, Bethany Griffith, Donna Mertz, and Brandy Butcher.

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