Friends of the Rocky Bluff Library
6750 US HIGHWAY 301 N
Ellenton FL 34222-0133
Friends of Rocky Bluff Library exist to provide financial and other support for the enhancement of library resources and services to the residents of northeast Manatee County.
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
Board Chair Ms Doris C Pope
Board Chair Affiliation Retired
General Info
Organization DBA
The Friends of Rocky Bluff Library
Supported Organization Rocky Bluff Library
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1995
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt 0
State Registration Yes May 2018
Financial Summary
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of DeterminationView
Impact Statement

Major accomplishments of 2016:

1. The Friends significantly increased funding for the library’s public programs, enabling Rocky Bluff library to offer 15% more programs to the community over 2015. Attendance was high with instances of long lines and crowded conditions, demonstrating that community interest in the programs can outstrip the current library facilities

2. The library lobby renovation was completed and provided patrons with attractive “homelike” seating, improved lighting, and space for rotating art displays featuring local artists.

3. Collaborating with Manatee County, the University of Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and local businesses, the landscape surrounding the library was dramatically improved by rehabilitating two stagnant ponds and adding some attractive Florida-friendly plants.

Major goals for 2017:

1. Facility enhancement – Of the six libraries in Manatee County, Rocky Bluff Library is the smallest in square footage and the third largest in patronage/circulation. It is also the only free community gathering place northeast of I-75.  In 2016 Manatee County voters approved a .5% sales tax. Rocky Bluff Library is slated for expansion in 2018 with funding from the increase in taxation. To complete the interior of the additional space in 2016 Friends began a $100,000 capital campaign.  In addition, 2017 should see the completion of the 5 year project to reclaim the ponds, upgrade the landscaping, and add outdoor seating. This work is being done as a cooperative effort with local nurseries, Palmetto High School FFA and horticulture students, and Friends landscaping committee. Successive grants have been utilized to fund this long-term project.

2. STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) - Friends will fund library programs helping children and young adults engage with these five basic educational components.

3. Literacy – In concert with Manatee County schools’ and libraries’ focus on early childhood education and the literacy enhancement endeavor, the Friends will provide funding for library tools and materials to complement those programs.

4. Professional Development – Friends will fund at least one continuing education or professional development conference for each of the six library staff members in 2017.

5. Programs to serve the diverse Rocky Bluff patronage from pre-school children to senior citizens. 

Programs discussed in the Program Section are all examples of programs funded by the Friends. 
Needs Statement
1. STEAM Kits (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) - $5,000
2. Summer Reading and Family Literacy - $5,000
3. Staff Professional Development - $5,000
4. Creative Aging and Cultural programming - $5,000 
5. Facility enhancement - $100,000
Background Statement

In 1995, realizing a gap in Manatee County funding of programs at Rocky Bluff Library, the Friends of Rocky Bluff Library was formed. Over the next 2 decades, we broadened the scope of funding not only with programming needs but to include enhancing the look and feel of the library with increased circulation, ongoing supplies, new furniture, staff tools and materials and outside landscaping. 

Areas in which the Friends organization have focused are:

·       Increased programming support so that each summer children have a place to go to continue their learning and to be entertained in a manner that sparks interest and creativity. 

·       Add to the collections; children’s, bi-lingual, cook books, subscriptions, reference materials.

·       Fund employee professional education allowing library services to expand as the knowledge base of the staff grows.

·       In 2011 Rocky Bluff Library moved to a new location. Limited County funds did not provide all of the items needed for the move. The Friends held a capital campaign and provided much in the way of furniture, interior decoration and moderately updated outdoor signage.

·       Purchased staff tools and materials used in programs and events

·       Further improvements included a partnership with Manatee County, the University of Florida, and local businesses to renovate the property and improve landscaping.

·       With the arrival of iPads, iPods, Kindles, Smart phones, etc., Friends funded Rocky Bluff’s first electronic education programs for adults.

·       Produce bi-annual newsletters to keep members informed.

·       We are the only Friends organization in Manatee county to have a web-site

·       Friends hold 2 book sale events each year to raise funds.

.        We also manage a year-round book store within the library 

·       Our annual Author luncheon, has been held each year since 2005.  Presenting, without compensation, very well know authors such as: Mary Jane Clark, David Hagberg, Lisa Unger, Terry Griffin, and Blaze Clement.

·       The display of “The Giving Tree” honors major donors. It was designed, built and donated to the Friends by a member.

 Our continued ability to meet the needs of the Rocky Bluff Library centers on additional fund raising efforts and community support.  Our biggest challenge is recruiting active members. Although we have over 300 annual dues paying members, we only have 13 active members working on management and functional activities to maintain the projects shown above. Our goal for 2017 is to attract a broader base of active participants.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Manatee
Areas Served Comments

Rocky Bluff Library serves the northeast section of Manatee County - Ellenton, Parrish and some of Palmetto (34222/34219/34221)  While this area had been primarily agricultural over the past 100 years, in the last 25 years residential development has been growing at warp speed. Population has increased 600%. In addition,  there are 27,000+ residential homes approved by the county commission for construction in this area.

There has also been a growth in commercial facilities and small business; there is no heavy industry. With road developments, this area is now considered a suburb of the Tampa area.

Service Categories
Primary Org Type Education
Secondary Org Type Public & Societal Benefit
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

The ability of Friends of Rocky Bluff Library to provide funding that expands the library's public service programs has improved public awareness of the library as a valued community resource and has also contributed to increased public interaction with the library. Since 1995 the Friends organization has supplemented Manatee County funding for programs and activities within the library.

As President, it has been very rewarding to see how the funds we raise help the library not only improve but to also increase the number of programs and services provided to the communities of Ellenton, Palmetto and Parrish. During 2016 Rocky Bluff Library saw approximately 144,000 patron visits reflecting an increase of 15% over 2015.  These visits were from adult patrons enjoying the engaging activities like Mahjong, adult coloring, chess and book clubs, creative aging classes, movie nights, listening to inspirational speakers, music during the popular Lunch, Listen and Learn events or to relax and read in the comfortably furnished lobby area.  As well, the many, many children's programs that teach young children the joy of a library as well as to show their parents and caregivers the many educational and fun resources available to everyone at the library.  Clearly our little library does make a difference.   
The ongoing goal of our Friends group is to engage more volunteers at all age levels. As an example, during the spring and summer of 2017 we are partnering with Sweet Bay Nursery, and the Palmetto High School FFA and horticultural students to plant and maintain landscaping around the library. This work will be instructive for them and help our goal of providing a pleasant environment for library patrons. Throughout 2017 we will be hosting a series of events that will engage more volunteers and increase awareness of the Friends.
Personally, my volunteering at Rocky Bluff library, and serving on the Friends Board has been a valuable lesson, helping me understand that a small amount of time can become a great benefit to my day and my understanding of my community. 
Doris Pope, President
Friends of Rocky Bluff Library 
The summer reading program is intended to attract school age children to the library and to reading by offering them the opportunity to participate in interesting activities at the library. The theme of the 2015 program was "Every Hero has a Story" and the June and July sessions sponsored by the Friends included programs with local heroes like fire fighters and the county sheriff as well as an introduction to the heroes of Greek mythology as well as a magic show and a performance by Taiko Tampa Drumming.  Children were encouraged to borrow books from the library before or after each program.  The 2016 program will be more structured with reading lists and reading goals at each reading level, tied to several theme alternatives. For example, a ballet theme might feature ballet picture books for the youngest children. very simple ballet stories for beginning readers and chapter books for the older children.
Budget $2,000
Category Education, General/Other Literacy
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Children Only (5 - 14 years) Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Short Term Success
Children will feel comfortable in the library and come to regard reading as an enjoyable activity that opens new windows on the world.
Long Term Success
Children who learn the value of reading at a young age will be more successful in school and have greater opportunities for further development through higher education.
Program Success Monitoring
Monitoring the success of the 2015 program was necessarily informal and qualitative.  While attendance and participant response will remain important measures of success in 2016, the more structured program planned for 2016 will better lend itself to quantitative monitoring.  Since each child will have a personal reading goal for the program, it will be possible to measure the degree to which each participant achieved his or her reading goal. 
Program Success Examples
The success of the 2015 Summer Reading program can be measured by the excellent program attendance.  Total attendance for the seven programs in June and July was 476, or an average of 68 children per program.  A second test of success are the enthusiastic favorable comments on the programs from both children and parents. 
Lunch, Listen, Learn Concerts offer members of the community the opportunity to hear a range of musical performances close to home.  Performances in 2015 included a fiddler, a dulcimer club, an electric violinist, a blues guitarist and holiday music performed by a hand-bell group.  As the program name suggests, audience members are invited to eat lunch at the library while they listen to music that is not usually available in the Ellenton-Parrish area.
Budget $1,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified Adults Elderly and/or Disabled
Short Term Success
In the short term Lunch, Listen, Learn attracts people to the library for musical programs of a type not often available in the Ellenton-Parrish-Palmetto area with the intention of encouraging them to become frequent library patrons.  Program attendance is the test of the program's success.  Attendance growth over the course of the year was impressive enough that all the other Manatee County libraries decided to adopt the program in 2016.
Long Term Success
The long-term success of the program will be an increase in the participation of Lunch, Listen, Learn audience members in more traditional library programs. Friends are so committed to this program that funding for the 2016 series has been budgeted.
Program Success Monitoring
The success of the 2015 program was measured by the growth in attendance and the enthusiasm and comments of audience members.  For 2016 audience reaction will be captured more systematically in brief audience questionnaires distributed at each performance. 
Program Success Examples
Although the Lunch, Listen, Learn program was conceived of as a way of attracting new audiences to the library, the program also had an unanticipated benefit for the artists who enjoyed an enthusiastic response to their performances.  This was particularly true for the talented young woman who played the electric violin.  Many in the audience had never seen an electric violin and the program evolved into a spirited dialogue between the audience and the violinist, who was clearly delighted at the interest aroused by her performance.
There are no movie theaters in the communities served by the Rocky Bluff Library.  The Films with Fran program provides an alternative movie venue by presenting a number of curated film series  organized by theme and presented at the library for a general community audience.  Two series were offered in 2015: a series of biographical films on Creative Lives including Georgia O'Keefe, Virginia Wolff, Frederic Chopin and Truman Capote and a Memoirs to Film series including Tobias Wolff's memoir, This Boy's Life, and A Mighty Heart, based on the memoir written by the widow of American journalist Daniel Pearl.  Even though many people would be able to watch the same films at home, Films with Fran provides people in the Ellenton-Parrish-Palmetto communities the opportunity to view movies in a  friendly social setting. 
Budget $500
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Film & Video
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified Elderly and/or Disabled Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Short Term Success
The Films with Fran program is intended to attract people from the community to the library by offering them an opportunity to view interesting films in a social setting. The hope is that as a result of positive experiences with the film programs they will become regular library patrons.  Increasing attendance is a measure of the short-term success of the program.
Long Term Success
The best way to measure the long-term success of the Films with Fran program will be to track the activity of the film audience members to see whether they became regular library patrons.
Program Success Monitoring
During the first year of Films with Fran attendance monitoring showed a steady increase in attendance and audience comments were extremely positive.  As the program continues, questionnaires will be used to capture audience response to each film.
Program Success Examples
The people who have been attracted to the Films with Fran series are different from the typical library patron.  The participants tend to be sophisticated film buffs, both men and women, who are enjoying the opportunity to view and discuss the selected films and to help in selecting the themes for future film series.  The feedback from participants is extremely positive.
Program Comments by Organization Programs discussed in the Program section are all examples of Programs funded by Friends. For children, we fund the full summer series as will as the ongoing weekly readings with younger children.  Adult programming beyond those described are also part of our supplemental funding to Rocky Bluff Library.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email N/A
Experience There are no paid officers or board members of the organization.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development No
Contractors 0
Volunteers 13
Management Reports to Board N/A
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Doris Pope/Florida State Volunteer of the YearFlorida Library Association2016
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan Under Development
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Under Development
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures Yes
Multi-Media Comments by Organization

The Friends of Rocky Bluff Library has a broad base of communication with our members and soon to be members.

·       Twice yearly we produce a multi-page newsletter. We update our past accomplishments, thank new and renewing members and donors, and talk about upcoming events with lots of pictures to help tell our stories.  We send the newsletter both in print and electronically to our members and make copies available in the library to all patrons.

·       We use our web site to inform interested parties of the work done by the organization and encourage involvement.  A splash page alerts readers to important upcoming events.  

         Email messages are sent to inform our membership of upcoming events. 

·       We provide free book marks to patrons that include our logo, with the hours of the library.

·       We produce bulletins, including our tri-fold brochure, as handy aids to familiarize patrons with our activities on behalf of Rocky Bluff library.

·       The book marks and the tri-fold brochure are part of the welcome package handed to each new library card member by the Rocky Bluff staff.

       Our local Parrish Village News generously contributes space each month to showcase activities of Rocky Bluff Library and the Friends group.

·       Our library table and “Giving Tree” in the lobby of Rocky Bluff provide information about us and our generous donors.

Board Chair
Board Chair Ms Doris C Pope
Company Affiliation Retired
Board Term Jan 2017 to Jan 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Ms Syble E DiGirolamo Volunteer
Ms Sandra G Hammer Volunteer
Ms Rebecca G Jodan Volunteer
Ms Margaret A Kmak Volunteer
Ms Mercedes T Kratz Volunteer
Ms Judith A Kreiling Volunteer
Ms Susan M Lescenski Volunteer
Ms Jane A Moore Volunteer
Ms Dorothy M Neely Volunteer
Ms Doris C Pope Volunteer
Ms Jane L Reed Volunteer
Ms Diana Schmitt Volunteer
Ms Sondra J Thorson Volunteer
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 13
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 0
Female 13
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 9
Board Meeting Attendance % 90
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Governance Comments by Organization

Our organization, The Friends of Rocky Bluff Library Inc., has been fortunate to have a long-term core of dedicated volunteers who serve on the Board and are actively involved in the projects and programs. The northeast section of Manatee County, which the library serves, is growing rapidly and patronage of the library is also increasing at a rapid pace.  The challenge is recruiting those new to the area to become actively involved with the Friends.

There are currently over 300 members of Friends of Rocky Bluff Library.  There has been up to 15 active Board members and over 30 individuals who volunteer to assist with the semi-annual book sale. To accomplish the goals being set and the projects for the library, general members need to become active members. Retirees are gradually becoming involved, however, the professionals and young parents who use the library have not been able to commit the time. 

Likewise, most businesses are relatively new to the area. Friends have recently created a committee to focus on restructuring membership and studying how to develop a business membership level. Additional ways to target businesses to assist in fundraising is being balanced with developing ways Friends could give back to businesses. These are new opportunities Friends are looking forward to in the coming year.

With a goal of recruiting professionals, young parents, and business representatives to Board membership, we look forward to restructuring the By-Laws in regard to Board leadership with formal orientation to positions and term limits.
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Start Month Jan
Fiscal Year Start Day 01
Fiscal Year Begins 2017
Fiscal Year End Month Dec
Fiscal Year End Day 31
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $20,000.00
Projected Expenses $20,000.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations Yes
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign Yes
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
Campaign Purpose Assist Manatee County with the expansion of the Rocky Bluff Library facility.
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates Sept 2016 to Dec 2018
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of Feb 2017
IRS Form 990s
Audit/Financial Documents
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$11,023$10,234$24,554
Administration Expense$2,617$675$3,089
Fundraising Expense$2,551$3,607$3,051
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses4.221.410.71
Program Expense/Total Expenses68%71%80%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue4%20%17%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$0$0$0
Current Assets$0$0$0
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$0$0$0
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $57,797Fundraising $14,177Fundraising $12,942
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountDonations, gifts, grants $5,241Contributions, gifts, grants $3,805Contributions, gifts, grants $5,305
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountMembership Dues $3,786Membership Dues $2,296Membership Dues $3,150
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets------
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization

Friends have several opportunities to make a large impact on Rocky Bluff Library. We have embraced a capital campaign to raise funds to increase the size of the library. Currently there is only one meeting room and it is booked to capacity there are no study areas and very little reading room. As noted in other sections, with a rapidly and continuously growing population there is an increasing need for programs and space to meet demand. The challenge in meeting this demand is finding donors for large contributions. We believe it would be possible to garner support in the $500 to $1000 range, however, the population and businesses in the area do not lend themselves to the several very large donations that would be needed.

Additional facility needs have been identified and Friends are assisting with the County and library staff in prioritizing them. They include: a digital sign to be located on the highway; doors with windows to let in natural light in the exit area; closed circuit TV for safe monitoring of the children's area; outside benches and reading deck; additional landscaping; assisting Manatee County with the planned expansion by purchasing furniture, art work, and supplies needed in the added space. We are targeting $100,000 earnings in this campaign thru December 2018.
In addition, the ongoing enhancement of  library functions is our primary purpose for being. To do that we have identified the following:  ongoing STEAM materials; science project kits; a speaker fund; pop-up library equipment/display/wagon; increase the collection of biographies and language learning for speakers of other languages; and, electronic books. These items require finding of at $20,000 each year. 
We have prioritized these needs into two layers - what we could do within our current budget and what could be done with  additional monies within a one to two year period. We need $20,000 as annual income to maintain and enhance current library functions and programs and an additional $100,000 over a 2 year period to assist with the planned expansion. 
We continue to address ways to garner financial support to raise funds to meet the identified needs including but not limited to Semi annual book sales, Author luncheons, Raffles, Book Shoppe, annual Giving Challenge and ad hoc fund raising events.  


Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from the unaudited compilations as the organization files a 990-N.  No balance sheet information has been provided.
Nonprofit Friends of the Rocky Bluff Library
Address 6750 US HIGHWAY 301 N
Ellenton, FL 34222 0133
Phone 941 723-4821