Manatee Library Foundation presents Manatee County Library System with $100,000

  • Jun 2, 2015

Money from Stephen King fundraiser will help purchase new online operating system for library patrons

 MANATEE COUNTY, FL (June 2, 2015) – Manatee Library Foundation presented the Manatee County Public Library System with a check for $100,000 today during a regular meeting of the County Commission.


The donation comes through proceeds from “An Evening with Stephen King,” the January fundraiser at the Manatee Performing Arts where King spoke to 370 people about his career and creative process.


King, an international best-selling author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction and fantasy, whose book sales exceed 350 million, did the event pro bono. Northern Trust, a Chicago-based financial institution with a 125-year business history, was the Presenting Sponsor, and State Representative Jim Boyd served as the event’s Honorary Chair. 


"The Library Foundation Inc. is grateful to the community who helped us raise this  historic sum  of $100,000 enabling us to partner with the County to purchase a new operating system that will delight all library users,” said Jane Plitt, President of the Library Foundation, Inc.  “We are also indebted to Stephen King for his time and  help  to bring in great talent that attracts such generosity of spirit."


The funding makes possible a new integrated library system (ILS), which will improve the patron experience and improve the overall efficiency of the six library facilities scattered throughout the County in tracking items owned, orders made, bills paid and items patrons have borrowed.


Library Operations Manager Kevin Beach said the system will benefit patrons most through its visually attractive and easy-to-use public catalog.


“The system will enable patrons to have more information at their fingertips,” Beach said. “For example, when they search in our catalog for books, they’ll also find images of book jackets and reviews. Another feature, Community Profiles, will enable access to local organizations and event information.”


Library Services Manager Ava Ehde thanked everyone involved in the fundraiser.


“Thank you (Commissioners) for all of your support to allow us to do unusual ventures like this,” Ehde said. “Thanks to the Library Foundation that has passion and dedication and a true love of libraries. Thanks to staff and thanks to Mr. King.”


For more information about Manatee County Library System, visit or follow them on Facebook at and


For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.


About the Library Foundation, Inc.: For 30 years, the Library Foundation has helped enhance the Manatee County Library System with additional free support and materials for patrons. The Foundation has been instrumental in elevating the Library into the digital age by upgrading programming and outreach efforts. Recent initiatives by the Library Foundation include purchasing computers and wireless networks in the branches, digitalizing pictures in the historical library, purchasing e-reader and eAudio books and materials, providing assistance to the Library’s low income patrons through “Right Service Florida,” launching a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) program and bringing best-selling authors to Manatee County. To learn more about the programs sponsored by the Library Foundation, go to


About the Manatee County Public Library System: A Florida Library Association “Libraries Changes People’s Lives” winner, the Manatee County Public Library System supports the County’s growing community and visitors through a wide range of educational and technological resources and programs at six facilities in downtown Bradenton, the east county region, the south county area, Holmes Beach, Palmetto and Ellenton. Last year the Library System was visited by over 963,000 patrons who made use of its resources over 3.5 million times (a record high) and provided over 2,500 informational and educational programs which served an estimated 57,000 patrons. For more information, go to