MANATEE Her last name is pro-nounced “Edy” like the ice cream company, Edy’s.

Ave Ehde would probably appreciate that pronunciation tip since her colleagues say she tries to make her workplace a veritable dessert.

Ehde is a Manatee County librarian who believes that libraries should be community centers, not book warehouses. Read more...

I am a Lifelong Learner!

December 2016

Dear Library Foundation Supporter,

Can you imagine a community without the valuable resource of libraries? We would lose a place where books, magazines, movies and other sources of reading are offered completely free. We would also lose family programs, access to telescopes and maker spaces for young inventors. We would lose computer access for job-seekers and researchers. And, we would lose a valuable partner in the fight against illiteracy. Read more…


An Evening with Nicholas Sparks

Date: February 7, 2017
Time: 7 PM
Where: Neel Performing Arts Center
Information: 941-216-8746

Join us for an entertaining lecture with best-selling author Nicholas Sparks. Mr. Sparks will share anecdotes from his 20-year career as a novelist, as well as answer questions from the audience. The lecture begins at 7 p.m. at the Neel Performing Arts Center on the campus of the State College of Florida. Guests can participate in a raffle for signed books, and pre-signed copies of his latest book, “Two By Two” will be available for purchase. All sponsors are invited to pre-event receptions and those at the Silver Level ($2,500) and above can attend a special VIP party attended by Mr. Sparks!

To order tickets, please call 941-216-8746. Or click here to order online. To learn more about the event, click here.

Sponsorships are available which include tickets to the event and invitations to a pre-lecture reception.

Giving Challenge 2016 #BeTheOne


Your gift to the 2016 Giving Challenge will enable the Manatee Library Foundation to continue our funding of the Library System’s new literacy program,“I Am a Lifelong Learner.”

The 2016 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota with giving strengthened by the Patterson Foundation, as well as support from the Manatee Community Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, William and Marie Selby Foundation, and the Herald-Tribune Media Group.


Florida State Library Association Honors Manatee County Library System With Four Awards

Manatee County Library System Florida Library of The Year

This is the second time in three years Manatee Libraries are taking home the Florida Library Association Youth Services Award for innovative teen programming.  In 2013 the Betty Davis Miller Youth Award was bestowed upon Manatee Libraries for ManaCon, a free and inventive teen comic convention developed by Ericka Dow, one of the research and instructional librarians, to bring the teens back into the library.  This impressively successful annual event celebrated its 5th year in October 2015, filling the library with more than 2,000 teens for the day to celebrate comic book art, culture, and traditions. Read the full story here.


I Am A Lifelong Learner

Lifelong library learners check presentation

The Library Foundation, Inc presented a $161,000 check to Chairman Vanessa Baugh and Ava Ehde, Library Services Manager, for year one of the two- year Lifelong Learner/Literacy commitment at Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioners Meeting. The Lifelong Learner Program supports the local Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Initiative and aligns with the Library Summer Slide program offerings for youth literacy and year-round parent training.

The funding was made possible by the January 19, 2016, Stephen King and John Grisham – Bookends, An Evening With Two Literary Giants event presented by Northern Trust and held at the State College of Florida’s Neel Auditorium. The generous support of the authors, sponsors and our community made this a Best Seller Event. Thank you!




For more information on how you can help increase literacy in the community