About the Friends of Fruitville Public Library

Who We Are

A non-profit, public membership organization financially supported by dues and other fund-raising activities. Our mission is to advocate the value of the library to the community and elected officials, promote volunteering, and provide financial support. As a 501 (c) (3) Organization we are dedicated to the task of helping make our great library even better. Through our fundraising we are able to help the Fruitville Library purchase materials and services not provided through the Library’s regular budget.

We are particularly focused on supporting enrichment programs for adults, teens, and children. The library’s summer programming for children is a critical factor in preventing “summer slide” that can erode skills and learning habits gained during the school year.

We also invest in early learning programs such as “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” to support parents as they guide their preschool children toward the skills and habits that create life-long learning.

We invite year-around residents as well as seasonal visitors to join the Friends of the Fruitville Public Library in this important enterprise. Becoming a Friend of the Fruitville Public Library through donating your talents, treasure, or time enables you to make a difference in the world.

Our Mission

The mission of the Friends of the Fruitville Public Library
is to advocate the value of the library to the community and elected officials, promote volunteering and provide financial support.

Our History

The first meeting of the Friends of the Fruitville Public Library was in April 2001 under the original name of the Friends of the East County Library with the leadership of Mrs. Ruth Dickie as the first President and several Board of Directors.

The Friends of the East County Library became a nonprofit corporation in June 2001.

The Fruitville Public Library celebrated its grand opening on Dec. 8, 2001, with Mrs. Sarabeth Kalajian as Head Librarian, a full staff of employees, 59 volunteers and lots of community support. The Friends Bookstore also opened inside the library.

In July 2002, the name was officially changed to The Friends of the Fruitville Public Library, Inc. because Sarasota County changed the library’s designation to the Fruitville Public Library from the East County Library.

The Friends were a major contributor in the building of the Reading Garden in 2003. A brick-paved path was installed in the garden and the fundraising sale of engraved bricks was started.

Today, there are hundreds of engraved bricks in the Reading Garden.

Each year the Friends’ Membership Drive in October invites members to continue their commitment to the library by their tax-deductible donation. Our Annual Membership meeting in January allows members to learn about the year’s activities and to vote for Board Members.