Sept. 29 celebration to mark 25th anniversary of Selby Public Library in downtown Sarasota

Event planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This is an historic photo of Selby Public Library. Photo courtesy Sarasota County

Selby Library, “an integral part of downtown Sarasota’s cultural landscape,” will celebrate its 25th anniversary with an event planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29, county staff has announced.

The facility is located at 1331 First St. in Sarasota.

“Attendees can look forward to the debut of the Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources’ Pop-Up Library, providing access to a wealth of knowledge in various locations across the county,” a news release notes. The event also will feature a Creation Station open lab, “where attendees can use state-of-the-art technology to craft unique items,” the release says. Further, a “diverse range of exhibits will showcase the library’s rich history and contributions to the community.”

The release also points out that the celebration will include Mote Marine Laboratory and the Sarasota History Center presentations, “offering unique insights into Sarasota’s past and the library’s enduring role in shaping its future.” Additionally, remarks by Sarasota County Commissioners Mark Smith and Ron Cutsinger “will provide a glimpse of the library’s vision and commitment,” the release says.

“Selby Library’s legacy extends far beyond its 25 years of dedicated service,” the release continues. “In 1907, the library’s story began when the Ladies’ Town Improvement Society began a small library in an upstairs room of a building” on the southwest corner of Main Street and Pineapple Avenue.

“We have pioneering women to thank for infusing the community with the means to expand education and literacy,” said Renée Di Pilato, director of the Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources Department, in the release. “John Hamilton Gillespie donated a room for their book collection,” she added. “Today, our library system has expanded to hold 2.8 million books including print, visual and electronic formats.”

For more information, call the county Contact Center at 311.