Library Foundation Raises More Than $350,000 at Annual "Love Our Libraries" Author Luncheon

Arts & Culture

Pictured: Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Charlayne Hunter-Gault at the Library Foundation for Sarasota County’s “Love our Libraries” Author Luncheon, February 3, 2022.

The Library Foundation for Sarasota County welcomed 430 guests in-person and 100 additional livestreaming guests when it presented its annual “Love Our Libraries” Author Luncheon at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium on Feb. 3. The guest speaker was Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, author, literary scholar, and creator and host of the groundbreaking PBS genealogy series, “Finding Your Roots.” His talk was followed by a question-and-answer session led by Charlayne Hunter-Gault, a Sarasota resident and former foreign correspondent for CNN, NPR and PBS.

The “Love Our Libraries” luncheon raised more than $350,000, which will go toward the purchase of books and digital resources to be used throughout the Sarasota County library system, free books
mailed monthly to hundreds of Sarasota’s youngest residents through the Library Foundation’s partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, and innovative programs like the Creation
Stations that are now in nine of Sarasota County’s 10 library branches. The Community Foundation of Sarasota County was the presenting sponsor. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the nonprofit Library Foundation for Sarasota County has raised more than $8 million in private funds since its founding in 2011 for the benefit of Sarasota County public libraries. “With the conviction that great communities deserve great libraries, we are proud to champion strong public libraries, support innovation and help to extend the library system’s reach for everyone in Sarasota County,” said Alisa Mitchell, the Library Foundation’s executive director.

Pictured: Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Charlayne Hunter-Gault at the Library Foundation for Sarasota County’s “Love our Libraries” Author Luncheon, February 3, 2022.

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