LEESBURG — Children at the Leesburg Public Library’s story time on Tuesday, Aug. 17, at 10:30 a.m. will welcome a special guest storyteller, State Rep. Marlene O’Toole of The Villages.
The “Summertime Stories” program at the Leesburg Public Library, located at 100 E. Main St. is for children, ages 4-8. In conjunction with the library program, the Florida Library Association will recognize Rep. O’Toole for her outstanding support of libraries during the 2010 legislative session.
When the State Aid to Libraries Grant Program was eliminated from the proposed state budget, citizens, librarians and many legislators rallied to have the $21.25 million restored. According to the Florida Library Association, Rep. O’Toole attended many committee meetings and consistently showed her support to have the funds restored. The state aid is expected to have a fiscal impact of $534,496 in her three-county district, which covers Lake, Marion and Sumter counties.
“Rep O’Toole was one of the legislators who was really a library supporter in the 2010 session,” said Faye Roberts, Executive Director of the Florida Library Association. “If it would not have been for her support then State Aid funding for libraries could have been lost.”
State Aid benefits public libraries throughout the state. It provides funding for various library resources, including staffing, materials, technology and programming. The grant program consists of three types: operating, equalization and multi-county cooperative grants. Lake, Marion and Sumter counties all receive operating grants. Sumter also receives an equalization grant, the portion of state aid that especially benefits small and rural counties.
“The State Aid for libraries benefits libraries of different sizes, but it is particularly important to small public libraries,” Roberts said.
Making the presentation to Rep. O’Toole, on behalf of the Florida Library Association, will be Wendy Breeden, Director of the Lake County Department of Public Resources and Immediate Past President and current Board Member of the association.
For more information about “Summertime Stories” program at the Leesburg Public Library, call (352) 728-9790 or log on to www.mylakelibrary.org. For more information about the Florida Library Association, call (386) 438-5795 or log on to www.flalib.org.