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 2017:

1.    The Friends significantly increased funding for the library’s public programs including 5 new programs: mahjong, creative aging, color therapy, cooking with Chef Warren, and trivia. Attendance was high at all programs both existing and new. Trivia Nights; advertised for “Ages 14 to 114,” was originally intended only for the summer for year-round residents. Because of popularity Trivia will be continued year-round.

2.    Friends installed an outdoor electronic sign advertising Rocky Bluff Library events We are proud to be the first library to display electronic news.

3.    Updated landscaping has made the library an inviting place to stroll or sit with a good book. With the funding from grants, local businesses, Palmetto High School FFA, and many volunteer hours on the part of Friends, over 100 plants, planters and mulch have been added. A landscape group comprised of board members and community volunteers have weeded and watered to establish and maintain the grounds.

4.    STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) has been a program focus of the library to reinforce teaching in the schools. There were programs for elementary and high school but there was a gap not covering middle school students. Friends wrote and received a grant that created a large Lego engineering center. Staff offer programs using the Lego center and children can also use the center with supervision.


Major goals for 2018:

1.    Continuing STEAM focus, Friends will install a “Kryan Kiosk”. The four-sided kiosk holds iPads with math and engineering focused games for children.  

2.    A “Storytelling Festival” is to promote Children’s literacy and the awareness of Rocky Bluff Library as a community resource for children and adults. Although targeting children, it will also appeal to adults. Professional story tellers will be engaged. This will be the first storytelling event to be held within the Manatee County Library system. With the interest already generated, the event could be replicated by other libraries.

3.    Literacy – In concert with Manatee County Schools’ and libraries’ focus on early childhood education, Friends will provide funding for library tools and materials to complement these programs.

4.    Professional Development – Friends will fund continuing education/professional development opportunities for Rocky Bluff library’s staff

5.    Programing – Continue to fund programs for patrons at all points on the age and interest spectrum. 




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 - Ongoing capital campaign to aid in the expansion of Rocky Bluff Library
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 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 were the first Friends organization in Manatee county to have a web-site. Based on our success, others have followed suit. Added to            our media coverage, we now have a Facebook presence.

·       Friends hold 2 book sales and special sales 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 14 active members working on management and functional activities to maintain the projects shown above. Our goal 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. As Rocky Bluff Library patron visits continue to climb, so does the impact on the Friends to increase our monetary support.  By supporting a broader range of activities adult patrons are enjoying the  Mahjong, Color Therapy, Trivia, Chess, Book Clubs, Creative Aging classes, movie nights, listening to inspirational speakers, music during the popular Lunch, Listen and Learn events  and space 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 by engaging in  STEAM related programs and activities that demonstrate to their parents and caregivers the many free 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. We were also able to install the long awaited outdoor electronic sign that shows passers-by the products and services within the library. We will continue hosting a series of events that will engage more volunteers and increase awareness of the Friends of Rocky Bluff Library.
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 

Summer Reading Program


The mission of the Summer Reading Program is 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 program also introduces the children to subjects that are not part of the ordinary school curriculum, which is especially valuable for children who are home-schooled. The theme of the 2017 program was "Build a Better World". The seven sessions sponsored by the Friends in June and July were John Storms World of Reptiles, Tampa Taika Japanese Drumming, Surapsari Mask Dance and Drama(Japan), Out of My Hands Juggling and Illusion Show, Florida Public Archeology Network, Didgeridoo Down Under and Katie Adams’ Make Believe Theater.  Although children are encouraged to borrow books from the library before or after each program, the emphasis of the program is on creating opportunities for children to use the library for pleasure rather than only for schoolwork.  

Budget $2,000
Category Education, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served 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

The library uses program attendance to monitor the success of the program.  

Program Success Examples

Total attendance for the seven programs in June and July of 2017 was 670, or an average of 95 children per program, demonstrating the great success of the 2017 Summer Reading Program.  Further evidence 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 2017 included Edwin Culver, Classical Guitar; African Drums, A Deeper Shade of Soul, Latin Jazz; Maureen Balote, Irish Storyteller; and Manatee School for the Arts Choir.  As the program name suggests, audience members can 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
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
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.  In 2017 the Lunch, Listen Learn programs attracted a total audience of 177 people.

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 the program that funding for the 2018 series has been budgeted.

Program Success Monitoring

The library measures the success of the 2017 program by the growth in attendance and the enthusiasm and comments of audience members.  

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.  In addition to the actual performance, the artists interact with the audience, explain their instruments and music, and respond to audience questions.


The mission of the children’s Art Club is to fill a gap in arts education by introducing children to art and artists from around the world at a time when many public schools have cut their funding for the arts.  The Art Club is also important for the many children in the Rocky Bluff Library service area who are home-schooled.  The program, which began in 2015, is a collaboration between the library and the Harrison Ranch Arts Guild.  Originally, the monthly Art Club programs were limited to 20 children between the ages of 8 and 12.  However, it proved so popular that in its second year the library expanded each program to accommodate 25 children between the ages of 6 and 12.  In addition to supporting the program itself, the Friends made possible the installation and stocking of a secure art materials storage facility in the library’s general purpose room.  In 2017, total participation in Arts Club programs was 246.

Budget $1,500
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Short Term Success

The Art Club was an instant success, introducing children to art and artists from around the world at a time when many public schools have cut their funding for the arts. Children are required to pre-register for each program.  Each monthly program fills quickly and usually 3 to 8 children are on a waiting list. 

Long Term Success

Currently the Art Club is operating at capacity.  Having additional capacity will allow more children to participate and gain an increased appreciation for the arts.  When the library completes its planned addition there should be sufficient space to repeat each Art Club program so that all the children who would like to attend are able to do so.

Program Success Monitoring

The library monitors program pre-registration and attendance each month.

Program Success Examples

The demand to expand the Art Club to include more participants and to extend the targeted age group show that the Art Club has been a great success since its inception.  It is also a great example of the successful collaboration between the library, the Friends and an outside organization – the Harrison Ranch Arts Guild - which also provides art works for quarterly exhibits in the library lobby.

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 well 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 14
Management Reports to Board N/A
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No
The Friends of Rocky Bluff work with the other Manatee County Friends groups and the Manatee Library Foundation to attain our mission of serving Rocky Bluff Library and Manatee County.
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Doris Pope/Florida State Volunteer of the YearFlorida Library Association2016
Friends Of Rocky Bluff Newsletter of the YearFlorida Library Association2017
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
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. Our newsletter was voted 2017 Newsletter of the Year by the Florida Library association.

       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.  
We have a Facebook page to link us to the younger generations.
         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.

Our new outdoor electronic sign also serves to alert the  public to not only the library events but to the Friends activites that support the 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 2018 to Jan 2019
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Ms Syble E DiGirolamo 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 Beverly Mattocks Friends of Rocky Bluff Library
Ms Dorothy M Neely Volunteer
Ms Doris C Pope Volunteer
Ms Jane L Reed Volunteer
Ms DJ Rice Friends of Rocky Bluff Library
Ms Diana Schmitt Volunteer
Ms Gloria Solino Friends of Rocky Bluff Library
Ms Sondra J Thorson Volunteer
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 14
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 0
Female 14
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 8
Board Meeting Attendance % 93
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria No
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)
Program / Program Planning
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 2018
Fiscal Year End Month Dec
Fiscal Year End Day 31
Fiscal Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $20,000.00
Projected Expenses $20,000.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
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 by purchasing interior electronics and furniture for the addition.
Campaign Goal $100,000.00
Campaign Dates Sept 2016 to Dec 2020
Amount Raised To Date 52000 as of Jan 2018
IRS Form 990s
Audit/Financial Documents
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$29,137$11,023$10,234
Administration Expense$1,600$2,617$675
Fundraising Expense$4,081$2,551$3,607
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.834.221.41
Program Expense/Total Expenses84%68%71%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue40%4%20%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$68,399$0$0
Current Assets$68,399$0$0
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$68,399$0$0
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Service Revenue $16,299Fundraising $57,797Fundraising $14,177
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $10,275Donations, gifts, grants $5,241Contributions, gifts, grants $3,805
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $4,081Membership Dues $3,786Membership Dues $2,296
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%----
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. In 2017 the Friends paid for the installation of a digital sign located on the highway at the library entrance. Still needed are 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; LEGO building systems, 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 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