The Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners recently renamed the North Sarasota Library after Betty J. Johnson, a longtime county employee who was committed to youth literacy.
Johnson served the community for nearly four decades while working at the Selby Public Library, and was a dedicated advocate for a library in Newtown. Through a volunteer friends of library group she started in 1979, Johnson helped to secure a $10,000 state grant to help pay for a mobile library that brought books to five north Sarasota neighborhoods.
Johnson worked tirelessly for years to help establish a new library, and was there for the 2003 groundbreaking of what would become the North Sarasota Library. Sixteen years later, her name will adorn the building she helped to create.
"It's an honor to be recognized by the community and the county commission," Johnson says. "The feeling is indescribable. I'm still pinching myself."
In addition to the renaming of the library, the library's meeting room was named after Dr. Edward James II, the community leader who died in 2018.