Former Trustee Talks About His Vision of the Library

John Mendoza, Former Library Foundation Trustee

As a child, John Mendoza remembers looking at the variety of books offered in the bookmobile parked outside Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. To this day the bookmobile still can be found outside the church. Onsite services make it very convenient for parents and children to check out books.

Years later, Mendoza joined the board of trustees for the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.

“The idea that we were being creative, had a vision for the library, and for the future, was my favorite part about being involved,” Mendoza said.

He participated during the expansion of the library and the Great Expectations Campaign, which helped raise $4.2 million in 2002. He closely monitored the building process through meetings with the construction firm.

In 2005, he joined The Library Foundation Board of Trustees and helped raise funds for the library.

Mendoza’s vision was for the library to become a focal point of pride within the city. He noted creative partnerships such as the farmers market, which now takes place on Mondays from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

He said that a partnership with public schools and Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library would also be helpful for the community.

Mendoza said that it would be a benefit for the community if the library worked with city transit to make it easier for those who don’t have transportation.

“I remember as a child I would have to ride my bike to the library because that was the only form of transportation I had,” Mendoza said.

He recommends publicizing all the programs that the library offers in a way where citizens can see what their tax dollars and their donations are accomplishing. He emphasized that the library needs to publicize services that are being offered and to inform people why charitable gifts are needed.

“The library could become obsolete unless there are donations. At some point of time, inflation might overtake whatever money is there,” Mendoza said.

“I enjoyed my time at the library,” Mendoza said. “All we need is greater public awareness.”

  • Jim McHenry

    The Library and The Library Foundation were very fortunate to have John Mendoza serving as a trustee. He is a highly respected advocate for the library and its array of programs and services.