John Grisham and Stephen King deliver a once-in-a-lifetime event

Stephen King and John Grisham

Thank you to Stephen King and John Grisham for helping The Library Foundation surpass its fundraising goal of $175,000.

If you were unable to attend the event you can get the wrap up, view photos, and watch Book Ends in its entirety by visiting the BookEnds page.

With the end of every adventure, begins another…

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.


Lisa Unger’s Thoughts on BookEnds

Dear Friend,Wow! I’m still seeing stars this morning after attending Bookends: An Evening with Two Literary Giants featuring Stephen King and John Grisham. Held at the State College of Florida and benefitting Manatee Library Foundation, this fundraiser commanded over $200,000 last night.


I was privileged to meet both authors at the VIP reception held before the event, and aside from being mega-talented superstars, they were both as sweet and lovely as two people could be. Stephen King is one of my earliest and most powerful influences as a writer and one of my first loves as a reader, so meeting him was really a dream come true. (He gave me a hug!!) And it was an equal delight to meet John Grisham, arguably one of the greatest thriller writers — well, ever. He was as kind and charming as you imagine him to be.

On stage they engaged in a smart and funny conversation about their careers, lives, their wives, and how publishing has changed over the years — with a little bit of politics thrown in. It really could not have been more enjoyable. The life of the writer can be a solitary one, with lots of highs and lows. So, it’s always an inspiration to listen to iconic talents talk about the hills and valleys of their own careers. Colette Bancroft gives a wonderful recap in the Tampa Bay Times today. Read the article.

It was a stellar evening, meeting these luminary gentlemen and participating in an event that benefits libraries and literacy programs, something that is so important to our communities.

By Lisa Unger


Libraries are magical

Manatee County Public Library System

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