About the Friends of Johnson County Library
The Friends of Johnson County Library is a member-supported group promoting community awareness of and involvement in Johnson County Library. We serve as Library advocates, we raise supplemental funds, and we foster literacy and lifelong learning.
Friends volunteers and employees work at the library branches, the Sorting Center, and at books sales - and are 600 strong and growing. Together we process more than 600,000 donated items each year and we are the single largest donor to the Library. The Friends have raised and given more than $2.4 million since 1999 - as well as 18,000+ hours of volunteer work each year.
The Friends organization formed more than 65 years ago to advocate for a public library. Prior to county funding, we opened volunteer libraries in schools, stores and homes. In 1955, Johnson County Library received funding for a paid director and our group became "Friends of the Library." In the ensuing years the Friends have hosted events, advocated for bond issues, conducted booksales and established used bookstores. As a 501c3 we continue to be a vital part of the Johnson County Library community.
The Friends began as the Prairie School PTA Library Committee. They determined a need for a Johnson county library system which was growing by leaps and bounds after WW2. They circulated petitions for county wide election and advocated for citizens to vote for a Bond Issue. The Johnson County Library was established in 1952 with over 80% of the citizens voting YES.
However, it took some time to collect the original tax funds. So, the Committee set up and operated volunteer libraries. They collected donated books, built shelves, sought free spaces and operated with volunteers. Our County Commission approved funding in 1955, and hired Miss Shirley Brother (seen on step of Bookmobile) as the first County Librarian. In 1956 the Citizens Library Committee reorganized as Friends of the Library. They operate as a separately incorporated nonprofit and have energetically and eagerly supported JCL since that time with time, talent and treasure!
Meet Our Board
The Friends of Johnson County Library, and the Johnson County Library Foundation, are volunteer-led and passion-fueled organizations. Their joint missions are to support Johnson County Library. New volunteer board leadership joined up for 2023.
2023 Friends of Johnson County Library Board of Directors
L-R, Back row: Lauren Deegan, Chris Meier, Stacy Bunck, Jennifer Curtiss. Middle row: Jodie Dietz, Cassie Klein, Lindsay Park; Front row: Marsha Daley, Shanna Eiklenborg. Lower left: Karen O’Mara; Lower right: Vicki Denk, Diane Carlisle.