Lifelong Learning + Community Engagement

Black & Veatch MakerSpace
The Black & Veatch MakerSpace is an environment of creativity and emerging technologies.  Located in the Central Resource Library, visitors can have access to 3D printing, AudioVisual production space/equipment, sewing materials, laser, CNC and vinyl cutting, and a selection of computers with industry-standard software. These resources are popular among engineers, artists, BFA students. The MakerSpace is the place for anyone who is ready to learn and make. The space receives generous funding from Google Fiber, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Black & Veatch.

Civic Engagement
Civic Engagement initiatives at Johnson County Library provide a place for the community to come to together to discuss issues affecting the local community and the nation. Our methods of engagement include forums, focus groups, panel discussions and interactive programming. In the past, the Library has hosted discussions on gun control, animal breed-specific legislation, school shooting, legislation and race issues. The Library provides these opportunities as a way to build and encourage citizen participation.

The Lauffer Civic Engagement Fund supports Civic Engagement at the Library. The fund honors and recognizes the years of leadership service from Donna Lauffer, our former county librarian who served from 2007 to 2011. Even in retirement, Donna remains actively involved in civic engagement throughout our community.

Joan Berkley Writers Fund
The Joan Berkley Writers Fund supports local writers through the provision of space at the Library, resources and programming. The fund allows the Library to offer local writers programming such as the Writers Conference in November and ongoing workshops designed to spur writers on to innovative works.

The resource memorializes the service of Joan Berkley, a faithful supporter of librarians and a visionary in recognizing the important role libraries play in inspiring self-expression and creativity. Joan was a Triple Crown award champion, one of only four other individuals who served on the Johnson County Library Board, the Friends of the Library Board and the Johnson County Library Foundation board.

Incarcerated Services Support
Johnson County Library provides a number of literature-related workshops and services for juveniles and adults serving an incarcerated sentence. The Read To Me program fosters early literacy and inter-generational reading by educating incarcerated clients through a three-week program featuring read-aloud techniques designed to create family bonding between a parent and child. Participants record themselves reading a book, which is later shared with their child. Changing Lives Through Literature workshops feature small-group discussions about short stories, poems and novels facilitated by a Library outreach professional.

The Incarcerated Services Support programs serve the New Century Complex, the Juvenile Detention Center and the Olathe, Kansas, courtrooms that handle many fostering cases.

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

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.