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

On behalf of the Johnston Public Library Foundation Board I'd like to thank you for making 2015 another successful year. With your contributions, the Johnston Public Library Foundation continued its support of Holidays in Johnston, the library's Summer Reading Program, and other programs and services that help put the library at the center of learning and living in Johnston. Your generous gifts continue to enable the Library to offer additional services and make important improvements. Thank you. We have exciting plans for 2016 and hope we can count on your continued support.

About the Foundation

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

Building Updates

Opened in 2001, the aesthetics and construction of the Johnston Public Library building have stood the test of time. Some of the building's furnishings and technology, however, have become worn or obsolete.

In 2015, the Foundation funded renovation of the Commons area including booth seating, an electric piano, and installation of a countertop and sink for use in receptions and other programs that utilize the space.

Foundation donations also funded installation of ceiling-mounted digital projectors in our large meeting room. The library hosts hundreds of meetings of community and business groups each year. This upgrade saves staff time and enables the library to offer groups the technology they expect.

Youth Services Microscope

Donations to the Foundation helped the library provide access to a durable, easy to use microscope for children to explore insects, plants, and other specimens at the library. Like museums, art centers, and other cultural and educational institutions, the library is trying to do more to respond to demand for hands-on learning experiences, particularly those that spark curiosity and inspire creative thought. The microscope in the library's Youth Services area is a great way to introduce children to the wonder and beauty of the natural world and the use of scientific instruments.

Children's Programming

The Johnston Public Library's summer programs for children and teens would not be possible without Foundation support. In 2015 the library reached more than 3,500 young people with summer programs including "Superhero Academy", "Mad Science", a magic show, and more. The Foundation also encourages reading skill retention by providing prizes for kids who complete a summer reading log.

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 funds 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

Contact Us


Contact Information (phone or email):



Art In the Barn
Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Wine, boutique beer, light appetizers, and displays from local artists will be featured at this annual fundraiser for the Johnston Public Library

Learn More

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