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North Sarasota Library renamed to honor community advocate

Johnson also helped the county secure a $10,000 grant that funds a mobile library for north Sarasota neighborhoods in 1979.

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  • | 10:52 a.m. May 2, 2019
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The North Sarasota Library now bears the name of Betty J. Johnson, who served as both a county employee and longstanding advocate for youth literacy in the greater Sarasota area.

Sarasota County announced the name change on May 2. Johnson served the Selby Library for more that 40 years while advocating for a library in Newtown.

Johnson said the feeling of having the library, established 16 years ago at 2801 Newtown Blvd., named in her honor is “indescribable" and that she’s “still pinching herself.”

"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," said Sarabeth Kalajian, director of Sarasota County's Libraries and Historical Resources.

The County Board of Commissioners first approved of the renaming recommendation at its April 10 meeting.

"I’m grateful,'' Johnson said. "I’m appreciative for those who thought me worthy of naming the library after my work.”


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