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

Johnston Public Library books and other materials were checked out more times in fiscal year 2016 than ever before. A big part of the library's continued importance to the Johnston community comes from the ability of staff to offer innovative programs, services, and materials. Your support through gifts to the Johnston Public Library Foundation plays a crucial role in helping this happen. Thank you. We have exciting plans for 2017 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

Tech Lab

The Tech Lab opened in 2015 to provide equipment for individuals and families to archive and preserve their family histories as captured in photographs and video and audio recordings. Since then, the Tech Lab has been expanded with software for creating and editing video and audio productions, editing images and photographs, and building websites.

The Tech Lab grew again this year with the addition of a Retro 8, a unique piece of equipment to digitize 8mm and Super 8 film reels. The best part is that use of Tech Lab software and equipment is free of charge and open to all.

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 Foundation provides critical support to the Johnston Public Library's summer activities for children and teens. In 2016, nearly 3,500 attended summer programs like the Hanson Family Jugglers, the Iowa State Extension Insect Olympics, Ben's Bubble Show, and more, all free of charge. The Foundation also supports reading retention over the summer months by providing prizes for completion of library reading logs.

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):



5k For Karen

This family-friendly spring road run held in honor of Karen Coaldrake is administered by the Johnston Public Library Foundation with proceeds benefiting the Johnston Public Library and the Dragon Scholarship Fund Committee.

Learn More / Register

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