Dear Friends,

My name is Minerva King and I am the new President of the Friends of the Punta Gorda Charlotte Library. I am excited as I begin working with the new Board, the library staff and our Friends members. Former president Katie Mazzi has left some big shoes to fill, but I know she is always available to offer help and advice. I step into this new role after being Secretary of the Board for two years and I continue to be the Editor of the Boomark. I want to thank everyone on the Board for having confidence and trust in me for this new role. We have a wonderful 2020 Board composed of former mem-bers and new members with everyone working together to make our events a success as well as to continue to strengthen the partnerships the Friends have with the library community.

Part of being the Bookmark editor is attending as many library programs as possible in order to not only report on them and highlight them for our readers, but also to get an idea of the interests in Charlotte County. Lately, I have also attended some interesting programs from History Services. One was a tour of the Southland Trail Cemetery, where they gave its background of turpentine-making by prisoners and another was a program highlighting the Florida artists known as the Highwaymen, African-American artists, who made their living painting Florida landscapes and selling them on the roadsides to tourists. These programs are examples of how well-planned and informative our programs are in Charlotte County. Our library programs are in full swing for the season, for both adults and children and I encourage you to see what interests you and attend some.

have met some of you at our annual Literary Luncheon where Marie Benedict was our guest speaker. That was a wonderful event; the Friends have brought some excellent authors to Punta Gorda. Stay tuned next fall to see who our next guest author will be! In the mean-time, check out the pictures from this year’s luncheon in this issue. Florida Weekly photographer, Steve Lineberry graciously photographed our event and allowed us to share his pictures with everyone.
I look forward to serving on the Friends Board in the years to come.
Friends always,



The Flybrary is a joint venture between the Punta Gorda Airport and the Charlotte County Library System that provides air travelers with free reading material. The Library System describes the purpose of the Flybrary as “intended to promote literacy, reduce anxiety, and help create a positive travel experience”. Friends Board member Tony Farina goes to the airport weekly and replenishes the shelves with donated books that have either been withdrawn from the library collection or donated to the Friends Bookstore. The public is invited to take reading material with them when flying in or out of the airport without being concerned about returning anything. If you have materials that you would like to donate to the Flybrary, you can contact the Friends Bookstore or the Punta Gorda Charlotte Library.

Adult Programs

Charlotte County Historical Programs

Charlotte County History Services continuously presents historical programs including the Southland Trail Cemetery tour and the Highwaymen Art in the Park, held at the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center. The cemetery tour docents gave the history of the use of local pine trees in the making of turpentine including photographs of the methods and equipment used. The Highwaymen program was held at the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center (CHEC), and after hearing descriptions of their lives and circumstances as well as seeing samples of the artists’ style, each attendee picked out his/her own spot and painted it in order to have an appreciation of the artists’ work. The History Services website ( lists additional events, exhibits and tours and some event flyers are also displayed in the library. You can also call them at 941-629-7278 (PAST).


Steampunk by Tony Farina, Friends Director

Have you ever walked past a book that had a bunch of gears on it and wondered why it was in the fiction section and not in the how-to section? Have you had people show up at your house on Halloween with googles and top hats looking totally out of time and place? Have you ever heard the term “Steampunk” and wondered what the heck that was? Read on and find out how all those things are connected.

In 1979, writer, KW Jeter, wrote a science fiction novel called Morlock Night. He called it a “gonzo-historical” and he told a prospective publisher that Victorian fantasy novels would be the next big thing. He suggested that the books that featured anachronistic technology should be called Steampunk. The name stuck.

If you’ve ever read a book by H.G. Wells or Jules Verne, you are rooting in the early history of Steampunk. In those books and stories, technology has advanced well past the time in which those stories were set. Those books were just considered science fiction because when those stories were written, they were set in modern times. Steampunk is different because it sets the stories in the British Victorian era or in the American Wild West. Often, you will find zeppelin technology has become advanced and air travel is common. That is why people wear those goggles. They don’t want to get bugs in their eyes while zipping around the skies.

question being asked in Steampunk novels, movies or comic books is this: What would happen if technology advanced faster than it did? What would the world be like? Unlike speculative novels that imagine the future, Steampunk reimagines the past.

If you want to try out some Steampunk most of the best stuff is found in the YA room. Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker series imagines a world where technology changed the way the Civil war ended. Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan Series re-imagines World War I with flying whales and walking tanks. There are amazing illustrations by award winning artist Keith Thompson. The current Queen of Steampunk, Kelly Link, has multiple collections of short stories sure to keep you up at night thinking big thoughts.

If you want to entice the little kids, pick up The Invention of Hugo Cabret by artist/writer Brian Selznick.

If you want to see it in action, film director Paul W. S. Anderson made a Steampunk adaptation of The Three Musketeers. It is such a fun time. Orlando Bloom steals the show as a manic, flamethrower toting Duke of Buckingham.
If none of these strike your fancy, just type the word Steampunk into the library catalog search engine. Before long, you will be wearing your own set of flying goggles.

Happy reading.


Author Talk with Lisa Black by Judi Beaumont, Friends Director

Speaking to a full house, author Lisa Black presented a fascinating view of life as an author and forensic scientist. According to Ms. Black, most people misunderstand the art and science of forensic investigation due to television programs such as CSI Miami and NCIS. She stated there are two popular myths that folks have about forensic science. One is that anyone in a police department can access information about everyone who has ever been fingerprinted. The second myth is there are databases that contain information about every substance known to man, an impossibility given how many new substances are being created daily.

Ms. Black first obtained a degree in political science, which she said left her with no marketable skills except typing so she became a secretary for 10 years. She wrote nine novels at this time, before one got published. In the meantime, she went back to school to get a degree in biology. The earlier novels she had written were mysteries, so after she obtained her second degree in biology, she went to work in the coroner’s office in Cleveland, Ohio and included her work experiences into her new mysteries
After years of working in the coroner’s office in Cleveland as a forensic scientist analyzing gunshot residue, DNA, blood and other types of trace evidence, she moved to Southwest Florida. For the last several years, Ms. Black’s day job has been as a certified latent print examiner and crime scene investigator for the Cape Coral Police Department (“CCPD”). She is a civilian employee of the CCPD, does not carry a gun and is always at a crime scene with police, never alone. She also goes to traffic accidents, but only to take pictures for those police who are specially trained to investigate traffic accidents. Her presentation included photographs of crime scenes she had to analyze during training compared to actual crime scenes she has investigated. Those visual comparisons drew gasps of appreciation from the audience who could clearly understand the difficulty of forensic investigations conducted in the environment of a real crime scene.

Her popular novels, the Theresa MacLean series and the Gardiner & Renner series, draw heavily from her experience processing crime scenes and knowledge in the trace evidence labs. Ms. Black discussed her latest thriller, Let Justice Descend featuring fictional forensic expert Maggie Gardiner and Cleveland detective Jack Renner. At this time, her books have been translated into six languages, one has reached the NY Times Best Seller’s list and one has been optioned for film and a possible TV series. Copies of her books were available to purchase and there was a book signing following the presentation.

Library Technician Robert Atkisson, Sr., a former Cape Coral police officer who worked with Ms. Black prior to his retiring from police work, introduced Ms. Black, thanked both the other members of the library team for their work on the arrangements for this very popular event and The Friends of the Punta Gorda Charlotte Library for providing refreshments.

Make It Take It Lab

Come to the next Make It Take It Lab on February 20th at 4:30-5:30 All ages are invited to use our crafting supplies to make something creative. Children 5 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Register online or call the library at 941-833-5460. The Friends have donated the funds for materials for this program.

The Punta Gorda Friends of the Library can receive a small percentage of your purchases from Amazon through Amazon Smile. Participation in this program does not add anything to your bill; Amazon will just donate 0.5% of your purchases to the Friends. To participate, simply go to and make your purchases as usual. You will even be able to see how much of your purchases have been donated. We appreciate your support!

Friends of The Punta Gorda Charlotte Library

401 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda Florida 33950

The mission of the Friends of the Punta Gorda Charlotte Library is to promote awareness of, appreciation for, and use of the Punta Gorda Charlotte Library. The greatest little secret in our area, hiding in plain sight, is THE LIBRARY. To view all its resources go to .

Friends provide the library with vital funding, which may not otherwise be available, for increasing media collections, funding children, teen and adult programs, and procuring furniture and equipment.

Friends raise money through membership dues, special events and the Friends Bookstore. The Bookstore sells the recycled donations given by friends and patrons. Money is also received from donations given by individuals,
businesses, non-profits and corporations.

Friends fund free music and drama programs in the new library and in community locations. Friends monies also support and expand children’s programs in STEM, Reading and the Arts.

On January 22, 2020 at the Isles Yacht Club, Friends hosted the annual Literary Luncheon. The guest author was Marie Benedict, a lawyer as well as a New York Times best-selling author. Friends members began reserving their
seats on October 17, 2019 and the event was sold out within days.

Please become a Friend ! Annual memberships are January 1st through December 31st, (memberships dated after October 1, 2019 will be for the entire 2020 calendar year).

Thank You for your continued loyalty and support. The Friends website is:

Friends of the Library Business Patrons

Share this information with your business friends and encourage them to become a Friends Business Patron.

Amberg Insurance Center
Andreae Group at ReMax Harbor Realty
Animal Medical Clinic of Punta Gorda
Avant Construction, Inc.
Bayfront Health Punta Gorda/Pt. Charlotte
Bohall’s Total Comfort, Inc.
C&R Graphics
Centennial Bank of Punta Gorda
Chapman Insurance Group
Charlotte State Bank & Trust
Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
Comfort Keepers of Port Charlotte
Copperfish Books
Don Gasgarth’s Charlotte County Ford
Farr, Farr, Emerich, Hackett, Carr & Holmes, P.A.
Florida Cancer Specialists
Friendly Floors
GFWC – Punta Gorda Woman’s Club, Inc.
Gould Family Trust
Graddy Insurance Group
Gulf Island Sails, LLC
Hometown Title & Closing Services
Isles Yacht Club
Jeffrey Joffe, DMD, P.A.
Jim Koinis, Edward Jones Investments
Joyce Vein & Aesthetic Institute
Landsberg Bennett Private Wealth Management
McCrory Law Firm
Mike Martin Agency-State Farm Ins. Punta Gorda
Moving Seniors With Care
Nix & Associates Real Estate LLC
Nolan Family Insurance
Olsen, Lynch & Wright, CPAs, P.A.
Pineapple Storage
Presley Beane Financial Services
Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce
Punta Gorda Downtown Merchants Assoc.
Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association
Rivera Professional Plaza
Sanchez, George DMD
SandStar Homes, LLC/SandStar Remodeling
Towles Corp. of SW Florida
Twin Isles Country Club
Village Fish Market & Restaurant
Waste Connections, Inc.
Webb, Lorah & McMillan, PLLC

Lifetime Member: Marianne Lilly, RE/MAX Harbor Realty