A publication of Friends of the Punta Gorda Library

Punta Gorda, Florida

Volume 15, Issue 3

February 2019

Dear Friends,

A current New York Times bestseller is The Library Book by Susan Orlean. This book is initially described as the mystery of the 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Public Library. The fire burned for seven hours, reached 2,000 degrees and consumed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more. After 30 years, the mystery still remains about who set the fire. Was it an accident or was it arson, and if it was arson, why?

But this book is more than just the mystery of the fire; it is also a detailed history of libraries, the crucial role libraries have played, and continue to play, in our lives, and the evolution of libraries in our country and around the world. The book is heavy on facts and information, but it is also a tribute to libraries and those important individuals who work in our libraries.

This Bookmark is mailed to Friends members, and is available in the Punta Gorda Library, so most of the people who read this publication are already library users and supporters. But from time to time, the Friends Board members and I, as well as some of you, get the same question in some form as to why we need a library and what is the value. When I get this question, I get out my imaginary soap box, step up and start explaining what libraries have to offer and why they continue to be important.

Jonathan Karp, President and Publisher of Simon and Shuster, has stated in regards to the publication of The Library Book “the library is much more than a civic institution – it is a physical manifestation of knowledge, community, and self-improvement…”

Like the Friends Board and members of the community, I get excited when I drive past the new Punta Gorda Charlotte Library on Shreve Street and see the construction progress. The exterior of the building has been painted, and it is lovely.

For those of you who have been a part of our library family for a long time, you know the Friends have been working toward a new library for many years. Our hopes and dreams had many starts and stops, but we are only months away from completion. The building needed to be functional as well as aesthetically pleasing, and that has been achieved. Charlotte County recently stated in the newspaper that the completion date will be August 2019.

The Friends have one more big dream for 2019, and that is to host a Celebration Gala at the new library. We want to be able to celebrate our new library with the community that has supported us through this very long journey. While there are no firm plans at this time, we hope a few local businesses will sponsor this event with us. Now we just have to work the details out with Charlotte County. We will keep you informed.

The Friends 2019 Literary Luncheon was a success. Paula McLain is not only a New York Times bestselling author, but she is also a wonderful speaker. The entire Board worked towards the success of this annual fund raiser with their time and financial resources. Susan Cravens and Ginny Caldwell co-chaired the event with me. The Isles Yacht Club presented a tasty meal and provided top-shelf service. We want to thank Judi Roth for once again being our Platinum Sponsor. Although we were not able to accommodate everyone who wanted to attend the Literary Luncheon, we were able to work with Copperfish Books so Paula could have an event at their store. The Copperfish ladies and I were talking with Paula before she left and Paula commented that she would certainly let her management team know what a warm welcome she received, as well as being able to reach 300 plus people in two events within 24 hours. This is the kind of reputation that we want in Punta Gorda so other authors will want to come here.

I want to remind all of you who have not yet renewed your 2019 membership that you can fill out the application found here in the BOOKMARK and drop it off at the Friends Bookstore or mail it to the address on the Membership Application.

We appreciate your support.

See you around the library,