Celebrate With Us!

 Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Celebration of Manatee Library

Serving Braden River Community Planned for March 19


MANATEE COUNTY, FL (March 10, 2016) – Manatee County’s Braden River Library is planning a celebration to mark 25 years of serving the Braden River community on Saturday, March 19, starting at 10 a.m. Having just won four awards last week from the Florida Library Association, including Florida Library of the Year, there’s more reason for Manatee County Public Libraries to celebrate.


The festivities will begin with refreshments and a presentation given by Commissioner Vanessa Baugh; Ann Peabody, one of the first presidents of The Friends of the Braden River Library; Ava Ehde, Library Services Manager; Kevin Beach, Operations Manager; Cathy Laird, Branch Supervisor; and Judy Mullen, Assistant Branch Supervisor. A live jazz performance by Lady & the Bard will follow.


Braden River Library has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a trailer on four acres, originally used by the Sheriff’s Department as a place to corral their rustled cattle.


This library started with only 5,000 volumes and three staff members and circulated 7,000 books a month but now boasts 84,000 volumes and nearly 23,000 monthly circulations and serves 660 customers on a daily basis.


In June of 1997 their current 15,000 square foot facility opened, and with that, an increasing number of programs and services was added to support Braden River’s growing community.


Cathy Laird, Branch Supervisor since 1998, said this is especially true of programs geared to teens and tweens. Youth summer programs have been so popular that large tents are often used to accommodate attendees.


Laird said they have also increased adult programming. Outside of three book clubs, the library holds regular informational programs on a variety of topics, such as health and wellness, technology and finance. A variety of arts and crafts and art shows are held, along with special events, such as theater and music.


“We are happy to turn this milestone into a celebration with our customers. Our library serves as a community center, and we are pleased to offer programming and services that our customers have requested and use frequently. As the population of our service area continues to grow, we hope to have the chance to enlarge our facility to better serve their needs,” said Laird.


According to Cheri Coryea, Director of Neighborhood Services, which includes Library Services, Manatee County Public Libraries is working in conjunction with the Braden River Friends to plan an expansion of the facility beginning in 2018. 


“This is a beautiful facility enjoyed by our east county residents. The staff, programming and loyal patrons have made it their goal to expand youth services and fulfill unmet needs in the future,” said Coryea. “We cannot thank the Friends and volunteers enough for their hard work and love of their library.”

 Ava Ehde, Library Services Manager adds, “The use of Manatee Public Libraries continues to increase annually, demonstrating the growing and vital need for library services and resources. An expansion will give us the opportunity to respond better to the needs of community members of all ages.”


Braden River Library’s anniversary event is being sponsored by The Friends of the Braden River Library. The library is located at 4915 53rd Avenue East, Bradenton 34203. For more information, please contact 941-727-6079.


About the Manatee County Public  Library System: The Florida Library Association’s 2016 Library of Year and 2013 “Library Innovation” 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 (Riverwalk), the east county region, the south county area, Holmes Beach, Palmetto and Ellenton. Last year, the Library System was visited by nearly 850,000 customers who made use of its resources over 3.7 million times (a record high) and provided 2,000 informational and educational programs which served an estimated 47,000 customers. For more information, call Central Library at (941) 748-5555, ext. 6307. For more information on Manatee County Public Library System, visit online at mymanatee.org/library and follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/MCPLS and facebook.com/mcplsteen. For more information about Manatee County Government, call 941-748-4501 or visit mymanatee.org, facebook.com/manatee.county.fl or twitter @ManateeGov