The Library Foundation
is a 501c(3) organization run by community leaders who work with the library to address emerging needs and trends through private donations

donate online

The Friends of the Library
are library lovers who support the Library through advocacy, volunteerism, fundraising, or simply becoming members

join the friends

From the Foundation President

In 2013, the Foundation made its most significant single contribution to the library since the construction of the current building. In helping fund the library's move to a new computer system, the Foundation has ensured that the library is at the forefront in providing services online and, with the significant savings that will result from the change, that the library will be able to continue to offer exceptional collections and programs going forward.

The Foundation has also helped the library continue to offer activities that, for many Johnston families, have become annual traditions: Holidays in Johnston, the library's Summer Reading Program, Art in the Barn, and others. These events enrich the intellectual, social, and cultural life of our community and provide opportunities for citizens of all ages to learn, to play, and to get to know one another.

Your generous gifts have made these experiences possible. Thank you. We hope you will continue to help the library enrich and change lives in 2014.

About the Johnston Public Library Foundation

Foundation Board Members - First Row: Linda Kading, Karen DeHaven, Matt Thacker, Lisa Cooper, Eric Melton (Library Director); Second Row: Alexandra Johnston, Jijun Zou, Justin Frerichs, Tim Heldt, Greg Judas; Not Pictured: Carol Crane, Jyll Johnson-Miner, Dennis Schuessler, Lisa Severino

The mission of the Johnston Public Library Foundation is "to enhance and improve the Johnston Public Library." Board members –our neighbors, business and community leaders– work to generate community support for collection development, programs, and technology initiatives that are beyond the means of the library's operating budget.

The Foundation's Recent Projects


In 2013, funding from the Foundation made possible the library's transition to a new Integrated Library System (ILS) offered by Polaris Library Systems. The new ILS offers:

  • Improvements in searching of the library's collection
  • Access to ratings and reviews, music and audiobook samples, and bestseller lists
  • The ability to browse library materials by genre and format
  • The ability to download e-books and e-audiobooks directly from the library's catalog

Over the next five years, the Foundation's investment in this new ILS will save the library over $100,000 –savings that can be put toward building the library's collection and offering new services.

The Commons

In 2013, the former vending area was transformed into a comfortable lounge area for wi-fi use, conversation, and browsing the Friends Book Sale.

The Commons

Frequently Asked Questions - Foundation

Don't my taxes pay for the Johnston Public Library?

While public funds make libraries possible, donations and community support allow libraries to flourish. Contributions, large and small, go to support technologies, programs, and community needs that are beyond the library's operating budget.

Is the Foundation a city entity?

No. The Johnston Public Library Foundation is an independent 501c(3) organization led and funded by community members like you.

How is the Foundation organized?

The Foundation has a Board made up of of local volunteers. Elected positions on the board include a President, Vice president, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Library Director, the Library Board President, a member of the Friends of the Library and nine to eleven additional members make up the rest of the Foundation Board. Interested in getting involved? Contact us

What is the difference between the Library Board and the Library Foundation?

Library Board members are appointed by the mayor and approved by the city council. The Board makes administrative decisions for the library such as adopting policies and setting the budget. The Library Foundation works to raise private funds for library services and decides how those fund will be used.

How will my donation be used?

100% of your donation will be used to support collection development, programs, technology initiatives, and other library services. Contact us if you're interested in your donation being used for a specific project or need.

Friends of the Johnston Public Library

The Friends group was established in 1996 to:

  • Help the library continue to offer a wide variety of materials.
  • Provide input on vital issues.
  • Spread the word about the library and its role as a center for literary, intellectual, and cultural activity.
  • Support the library financially with membership dues.
  • Maintain an association of persons interested in libraries.

Join the Friends of the Library or Renew Your Membership

Select a membership level. Membership is open to all and dues are tax-deductible.

Rather mail your membership dues? Please make your check payable to the Johnston Public Library Foundation and mail it to 6700 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, IA 50131. Write "Friends Membership Dues" on the memo line.

Frequently Asked Questions - Friends

If I join the Friends, do I need to volunteer at the library?

No. Your membership is support enough but we'd love to see you at Friends of the Library events like Art in the Barn.

Don't my taxes pay for the Johnston Public Library?

While public funds make libraries possible, donations and community support allow libraries to flourish. The Friends of the Library recently provided new lounge furniture and a Duplo table for the library's Youth Services area.

How is the Friends of the Library organized?

The Friends of the Library consists of officers -a President, Vice president, Secretary, and Treasurer- and dues-paying members.

How often do the Friends meet?

The Friends of the Library group holds an annual meeting in March -all members are encouraged to attend. Meetings of Friends Officers are held quarterly and are open to all members.

How is the Friends of the Library funded?

The Friends of the Library group raises funds through the library's book sale, membership dues, donations, and special events like Art in the Barn.

Art in the Barn 2013

Contact Us


Contact Information (phone or email):



Craft In the Barn
Saturday, November 22nd

Knitwear, jewelry, pottery, and a variety of other handmade crafts will be available for purchase at this free fundraiser for the Johnston Public Library.

Learn More

Johnston Public Library Foundation
6700 Merle Hay Road
Johnston, IA 50131
(515) 278-5233