Library Foundation for Sarasota County raises $414,000 to support county libraries

Total breaks record for Love Our Libraries author luncheons

Author Colton Whitehead (right) signs a book for luncheon attendees on Feb. 12. Contributed photo

During its 12th annual Love Our Libraries Author Luncheon on Feb. 9, the Library Foundation for Sarasota County raised “a record-setting $414,000 to support Sarasota County public libraries,” the nonprofit has announced.

The guest speaker was two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author Colson Whitehead, a news release notes. Leaders of the Foundation welcomed 600 guests to the event, which was held at  the Municipal Auditorium in downtown Sarasota.

Following Whitehead’s remarks, Renee Di Pilato, director of Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources, led a question-and-answer session, the release adds.

The event proceeds will help fund Summer Learning programs at all 10 Sarasota County public libraries, “increase advocacy efforts, and send free books to Sarasota’s youngest residents through the Library Foundation’s partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library,” the release points out.

The Love Our Libraries Author Luncheon was supported by 45 community partners, including the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, which was the Presenting Sponsor, and Bookstore1 Sarasota, which was the Author Reception Sponsor, the release notes.

“We’re incredibly grateful for our community partners and donors whose generous support helps the foundation to strengthen Sarasota’s public libraries,” said Alisa Mitchell, the Library Foundation’s executive director, in the release.

Since its founding in 2011, the nonprofit Foundation 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 to support its mission, visit or call 941-404-3139.