JCPL Foundation has 20% to go for Clark Pleasant upgrades

The Johnson County Public Library Foundation is raising money for projects that would expand offerings in its new Clark Pleasant branch.

The campaign has raised more than $317,000, about 80% of its $400,000 goal for the Enhancing the Story campaign. The money has been allocated to six projects at the branch, which opened earlier this year: an early childhood learning center, a robotics learning lab, a teen gaming area, an adult learning center, public art and a nature trail, library director Lisa Lintner said in an email.

“Donations range from kids buying bake-sale cookies for a dollar to donations in the tens of thousands of dollars from private donors, corporations and several foundation grants,” she said.

Of the about 250 donors who have contributed to the fund, some of the largest givers have included the Elba L. and Gene Portteus Branigin Foundation, Duke Energy Foundation, Cummins Inc., Johnson County Community Foundation, the Friends of JCPL, Pitney Bowes Foundation and the three Rotary Clubs in Johnson County, she said.

The 17,200-square-foot, $8.8 million library branch opened at 350 Clearwater Blvd., just east of U.S. 31 in Whiteland, in March. Library officials have been spending money from the fundraising effort as money is raised. Some key projects, such as the “Life in Johnson County” photography display, the STEAM Zone Robotics Learning Lab, the Teen Gaming Center and the Adult Learning Center, are already present at the branch, Johnson County Public Library spokesperson Jody Veldkamp said in an email.

Other projects, such as a statue celebrating women in Johnson County, completion of a community tile art display in the youth program room, a community garden and the Exploration Walk with STEAM activities, are still to come, Veldkamp said.

The Rotary Club-funded Exploration Walk, which will be a component of the nature trail, will open this fall, he said.

The fundraising effort has already paid dividends and has created new spaces for people of all ages to enjoy, Caleb Drake, the library foundation’s president, said in an email.

“Since the opening of the new Clark Pleasant branch, we’ve had the pleasure of seeing patrons enjoying the spaces funded by the campaign,” Drake said. “The STEAM Zone Robotics Learning Lab, the Early Childhood (Learning Center) and Adult Learning Center offer educational, fun activities and engaging programs for patrons of all ages.”

To help the foundation meet the remaining fundraising goals, donate at or send a check made payable to the JCPL Foundation to 49 E. Monroe Street, Franklin, Ind. 46131.

Gifts of $500 or more will be acknowledged on the donor wall inside the library, according to the foundation website.

With questions about the fundraiser, call the library foundation at 317-738-9835.