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North Sarasota Library named after community advocate

Post Date:05/02/2019 1:41 PM

Johnson served the community for nearly four decades while working at the Selby Public Library, and was a dedicated advocate for a library in Newtown. Through a volunteer friends of library group started by Johnson in 1979, she helped to secure a $10,000 state grant to help pay for a mobile library that brought books to five north Sarasota neighborhoods. 

She worked tirelessly for years to help establish a new library, and Johnson was there for the 2003 groundbreaking of what would become the North Sarasota Library. Now, 16 years later, her name will adorn the building she helped to create. 

"It's an honor to be recognized by the community and the county commission," Johnson said, adding, "The feeling is indescribable. I'm still pinching myself."

In addition to the renaming of the library, the library's meeting room was named after Dr. Edward James II, the community leader who died in 2018. 

According to Sarabeth Kalajian, director of Sarasota County's Libraries and Historical Resources, renaming the library after Johnson is a testament to her dedication, hard work and vision. 

"Ms. Johnson is the very definition of public service. Naming the North Sarasota Library after her means the community will always remember her efforts, and she will continue to inspire many generations to come," Kalajian said, adding, "Honoring Dr. James by naming a meeting space devoted to learning and civic dialogue recognizes his legacy of community leadership." 

For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000. 

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