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The Tampa Bay Library Consortium is pleased to announce that Sarasota County’s Shannon Staub, Senator Jeff Brandes from Pinellas County, and Senator Jack Latvala who represents parts of Pinellas and Pasco Counties as the recipients of its 2017 Library Champion Awards.
TBLC Library Champion Awards are granted to recognize elected or appointed officials who have demonstrated exceptional support for, and attention to libraries. It is presented to elected or appointed officials serving at any level of government.
Shannon Staub
Shannon Staub, served for fourteen years on the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners and earned the title of “library cheerleader” for her strong support for education and library services in Sarasota County. Shortly after her time on the Commission ended, Mrs. Staub was asked to assist in the effort to create a library foundation. She accepted the invitation and served as the first President. The Library Foundation of Sarasota County’s phenomenal success is largely attributed to her enthusiastic leadership, vision, and her ability to invite and persuade others to join the effort.
In November, 2017, the ribbon will be cut on the Shannon Staub Library on the campus of Suncoast Technical College. There will no doubt be thousands of
appreciative library users cheering her honor!
Senator Jeff Brandes
Senator Brandes has been an active library supporter since his election in 2012 and represents District 24 that includes much of Pinellas County. In 2013 he filed a bill that would have established a library innovation grant program administered by the State Library. This past session, he was able to include $3 million in the budget a for Library Technology Grant program that was passed by the Legislature but then vetoed by the Governor. Senator Brandes regularly meets with library advocates and readily shares his vision for libraries. He currently Chairs the Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee. He received this award in 2013 and 2014.
Senator Jack Latvala
Senator Latvala represents District 16 that includes parts of Pinellas and Pasco Counties. He has a long record of supporting libraries and played a leadership role in establishing the East Lake Library in Pinellas County. He served in the Senate from 1994 to 2002, was elected again in 2010, and has been re-elected since. The Senator Chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee and helped craft a budget with funding for library programs though several were subsequently vetoed. Senator Latvala has received this award in each of the last four years.
Many thanks to these great leaders!