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Longboat Key Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 3 weeks ago

Longboat Library open for extended winter hours

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The library will also hold more events in the upcoming months, including a welcome back author party Friday
by: Brendan Lavell General Assignment Reporter

The start of season means a few things on Longboat Key: the departure of 90-degree weather, the arrival of standstill traffic moving on and off the island — and extended hours at Longboat Library.

During the relative calm of summer, the library is open for three hours a day, from 9 a.m. to noon. But when the bulk of patrons and visitors return, it operates from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays as well as 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

To kick things off, the library will hold a Welcome Back Lawn Party on Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. (It will be moved to Saturday in the case of inclement weather.) Thirteen authors, including New York Times bestseller Patricia Gussin, her husband Robert Gussin, Michael Jordan and Ed Janka, will be there to showcase books. Local guitarist Paul Jaffe will provide live music.

“We have had author parties before, but nothing this time of year,” Longboat Library President Mary Baker said. “We decided it was a good time to kick off the season. We’re all just getting back, so we wanted to welcome the community and let people know we’re here.”

The library will also hold a couple of book sales over the next few months, including an upcoming cookbook sale.

As you’d expect, things gets busier during season. More people buy books (especially on Wednesdays, when customers can select any of the more than 1,200 books for sale at half-price) and memberships, and some people drop by just for the companionship — although they usually leave with books too.

“The atmosphere is different,” Baker said. “It’s livelier. There’s a lot of conversation about books and so on. ‘Have you read the new Ann Patchett?’ ‘Have you got the new Jodi Picoult in?’

“We’re a friendly place.”

Brendan Lavell is a general assignment reporter for the Observer. He earned degrees in journalism and history at the University of Missouri. He has visited 48 of the 50 United States, has a black cat named Arya and roots for the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, 76ers and Chelsea FC.

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