BE AN ADVOCATE FOR OUR LIBRARIES
By Anne Roman
Libraries need community support to thrive, and we need you to be an advocate for our new library and the Manatee County Library System. Being a library supporter means communicating to the county government how crucial free public library services are to you and your family. When you look behind the scenes at successful public libraries across the United States, you inevitably find a strong Friends group that raises funds and advocates to ensure that their library is relevant and well-funded. Read more here.
Manatee County Libraries Master Plan
In 2019, Godfrey Associates were contracted to provide a comprehensive guide for library facilities, operations and services for the next 10 years. Sponsored by The Manatee Library Foundation, the consultants’ review identifies strengths and needs.
As a result of the Library Master Plan, Library Services published a Long Range Plan with four goals, that reflect the findings of the study. Library Services is moving ahead with the Long Range Plan with hopes of having many goals underway or completed prior to the opening of the new library on Rangeland Parkway in Lakewood Ranch.
The mission of the Friends of the Lakewood Ranch Library is to support the library and sustain its work for the continued enrichment of the people of Manatee County. This is accomplished by educating the community, advocating to support the efforts of the Manatee County Public Library, and providing funding for the library through public and private sources.
The Friends of the Lakewood Ranch Library started as a grassroots movement in February 2017 formerly known as the Friends of the East Manatee Library at Lakewood Ranch. In January 2018, the first public meeting was held seeking volunteers for committees and board members. The first Board of Directors meeting was held in May 2018 with six board members. Our work supports the Manatee County Libraries with a focus on the new branch coming to Lakewood Ranch in 2023.
Manatee County government budget and funding is stretched to cover the costs of library facilities and staff salaries. Therefore the Friends organization raises money to support lifelong learning and enrichment opportunities for all ages. Programs supported include, but are not limited to, story time, summer reading, cultural events, computer classes, special library collections, and book clubs.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Sue Ann Miller, Ed.D. President
Regina Negrycz Vice-President
Ruth Castor Secretary
Jim West Treasurer
Janet Allen Director
Emily Finnegan Director
Lori Hildbrand Director
Barbra Kaprielian Director
Rhonda Leiberick, APR Director
Wendy Solhan Director
Tammy Parrott Library Services Manager
Tiffany Mautino LWR Branch Manager
Callie Hutchinson LWR Assistant Branch Manager
COMMITTEES & CHAIRS
Gala: Joyce Blight
Bookstore: Lori Hildbrand & Barbra Kaprielian
Financial: Jim West
Grants: Sue Ann Miller, Ed.D.
Marketing & Public Relations: Rhonda Leiberick, APR
Membership: Emily Finnegan
Mission: Janice Novello, Ph. D.
Stewardship: Janet Allen
Technology: Regina Negrycz
Volunteers: Wendy Solhan
Board Meeting Dates 2023
Tuesday January 10, 2023 Harmony Community Room
Tuesday March 14, 2023 Braden River Library
Tuesday May 9, 2023 Braden River Library
Annual Meeting, Board Elections
Tuesday August 8, 2023 Braden River Library
Tuesday September 12, 2023 Braden River Library
Tuesday October 10, 2023 Braden River Library
Meetings, times and locations are subject to change.