Foundation raises $386,100 to benefit Sarasota County public libraries

Love Our Libraries annual luncheon, held Feb. 10, had largest attendance ever

Last month, the Library Foundation for Sarasota County welcomed 700 guests to its annual Love Our Libraries author luncheon, the largest attendance since the event’s 2012 inception, the nonprofit has announced.

The luncheon, which featured best-selling author Erik Larson, was held at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota on Feb. 10, a news release notes.

Moreover, “The sold-out event raised a record-setting $386,100, which will help to fund Summer Learning programs at all ten Sarasota County public libraries, purchase books and digital resources, increase advocacy efforts, and enhance the libraries’ technological footprint,” the release points out.

Larson’s talk was followed by a question-and-answer session led by Renee Di Pilato,” director of Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources Department, the release adds.

The Love Our Libraries author luncheon was supported by 45 community partners, including the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, which was the presenting sponsor, and Bookstore1 Sarasota, which sponsored the reception for Larson, the release continues.

“We’re incredibly grateful for our many community partners and donors whose support makes this event a success and helps to ensure the strength of Sarasota’s public libraries,” said Alisa Mitchell, the Library Foundation’s executive director, in the release.

“Since its founding in 2011, the nonprofit Library Foundation for Sarasota County has raised more than $8 million in private funds for the benefit of Sarasota County public libraries,” the release points out. To learn more about the Foundation and how a person or group can support its mission, visit or call 941-404-3139.