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!

Our kudos to Event Chairs – Jane Plitt and Susan Wilcox; Treasurer – Paul Lynch and Past Event Chair – Doris Pope.



Introducing the Lifelong Learner Literacy Program

On January 26, 2016, the Library Foundation Inc., approved funding for the a new two year literacy program, the Lifelong Learner Literacy Program.

Net proceeds from the BookEnds event will be used to kick off the first year of the program, and we need your support to continue this historic effort into 2017.

You can visit our Literacy Giving page to learn how to aid in reaching our youngest readers and their families in all areas of the community through the Lifelong Learner Literacy Program.

Libraries are magical

With your support in 2015 our Library Foundation provided over $141,000 in support to our county public library system.

Your support has helped the Library continue to be an award-winning innovative, customer sensitive community center for young and old alike. More people than ever before are coming to Library programs and using Library facilities and resources.

Yet the challenge of outreaching to the underserved and the general community remains.

Continuing in 2016 the Library is committed to building on its success and expanding its wonderful literacy and summer reading programs for youth. We hope you will continue to support the Library Foundation as we work to expand the number of Florida Library Youth reading programs, help the Library purchase more literacy kits, and provide funds for additional exciting programs and resources.

Visit our Donate Now page to learn more about our innovative programs and giving opportunities.



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