Making Connections to the Heart of the Community
Libraries are a community’s great equalizer, drawing together families from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, faiths and socio-economic status to strengthen the bonds of community. They are essential community centers and a welcoming resource for lifelong learners. Libraries alone extend resources to households by providing broadband internet access, computers and by connecting students with homework help. When we make improvements to one library; we are improving library services throughout the county.
The Johnson County Council approved an issue of library bonds in 2019 to support a new Clark Pleasant Branch in Whiteland, Ind.
We now hold the power to replace need with opportunity through a modernized branch of the Johnson County Public Library system for the Clark Pleasant area of Johnson County.
“Having a strong public library that serves the needs of the community is a great resource in helping all families advance literacy and education levels. These community amenities are the indelible assets which make Johnson County an amazing place to live, work and grow.”
Dr. Patrick Spray
Addressing the Greatest Need
The boards of JCPL and the JCPL Foundation jointly examined the services, resources and facilities needed to meet the future needs of a growing Johnson County.
The Clark Pleasant Branch, one of four in the JCPL system, has served 1.2 million visitors in its 18 years of operation. The area’s rapid population growth leads to program registrations regularly exceeding capacity. The branch not only serves Clark and Pleasant townships, but its central location in the county also makes it easily accessible to all Johnson County residents.
The community is attracting large companies and corporate investment which will continue as more people and employers recognize the amenities of Johnson County. This growth made the county the third fastest-growing in Indiana in 2016. The population has nearly doubled since 1987. Since 2000 the Clark-Pleasant Community Schools has seen a 104% increase in enrollment. The Pleasant Township population is projected to grow 34% by 2030.
The current Clark Pleasant Branch faces significant challenges:
Clark Pleasant area is growing rapidly.
As new families move in; more schools are being built.
The building was not designed as a library:
Small children’s area
No dedicated teen area
No study rooms
Lacks space for community groups
Public computers adjacent to busy area
"Libraries are more relevant today than ever before. They are places for all ages to learn and find stories that fuel the imagination. They are a home for personal growth and a hub for neighbors to connect with one another."
Community Development Specialist, City of Franklin
Libraries Impact Our County
The impact a library makes on economic development and the quality of life in a community cannot be overstated. The JCPL system’s successful development of its Trafalgar Branch is proof, and the relocation and transformation of the Clark Pleasant Branch will do the same.
The branch is currently in a structure designed as office space and it is difficult to locate. The new location will nearly double the space from the current 10,000 square feet to 17,200, creating a flexible library to accommodate the area’s substantial growth. The new branch in Whiteland will sit on seven acres along US 31 between New Whiteland and Franklin – an impossible-to-miss beacon of community and education - becoming the site of the visions and inspirations that bring the entire community together.
“Public libraries are catalysts for a community’s physical development. Libraries are highly regarded and seen as contributing to the stability, safety, and the quality of life in neighborhoods. Our plan is to enhance Clark Pleasant’s quality of place.”
Lisa Lintner, Director
Johnson County Public Library
"As a chalkboard girl in a touchscreen world, I often need computer help. The staff at the Johnson County Public Library always offer computer assistance, and they do it with patience and kindness."
Library Patron CPB
Ensuring the Greatest Benefit
Philanthropic support of this project will bring meaningful benefits to families through what happens inside the sophisticated new exterior.
The full Clark Pleasant Library project is an $8.8 million venture
that includes $7.4 million in bond issues and $1.4 million in
reserve funds provided by the library.
This special-projects campaign seeks to raise some $500,000 to equip intentionally designed spaces with state-of-the-art
technology and equipment, as well as to construct an exterior
space that promotes art, health, and nature.
A library is “a key site of both cultural consumption and production and a facilitator of civil society in a way that other public places are not.”