TAVARES — Wendy Breeden, Director of Lake County Library Services, will receive the “Florida Leader of the Year Award” from the Florida Library Association Friday at the 2006 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Lake Buena Vista.
According to the association’s Web site (www.flalib.org), the award is presented to a member of the Florida Library Association for distinguished service. This service is characterized by dedicated commitment to the association’s goals through active memberships on committees, attendance at conferences, support of statewide advocacy efforts, submissions to the association’s publications, acceptance of leadership roles or other significant activities on behalf of the association.
During the past year, Breeden chaired a committee that successfully searched for a new lobbyist for the association and was a member of the association’s legislative committee. She was also appointed last year to a statewide task force to review the state aid grant for libraries.
“The task force reviewed the annual grant that is received from the state, which is in Florida Statutes,” Breeden said. “We reviewed the formula with the purpose of trying to make it fairer for everyone. As a result, new legislation will be proposed next year.”
In addition, Breeden is leading efforts to construct two new libraries in Lake County. Citrus Ridge Library in the Four Corners area of Lake County and a joint-use library between Lake County Government and Lake-Sumter Community College are in various planning phases. In February, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved to proceed with construction bidding for the Citrus Ridge Library. Construction is expected to begin this summer with completion expected in late 2007.
A request for state financial assistance for the proposed joint-use library at the South Lake Campus of Lake-Sumter Community College is proceeding. According to Breeden, $5 million for the library is currently in the budgets for the Florida Legislature House and Senate. If the proposed funding stays intact through the legislative process, the library could be built by 2008.