Skip to main content

Love Your Library Reimagined for 2021

Back to Outside the Stacks
Library Director Eric Head and his mother, retired librarian Wylene Head.

Love Your Library Reimagined for 2021

In 2011, with a passionate push from then Citrus County Library Advisory Board (LAB) member and current Friends of the Citrus County Library System (FOCCLS) President, Sandy Price, the first Love Your Library Evening was launched. What started as a way to raise funds for remodeling projects at some of the aging branch locations, has become a cherished evening celebrating the Library System every February. For the last decade, library lovers have come together to celebrate all that the Citrus County Library System (CCLS) has to offer, raise funds, and advocate the importance and impact libraries have in the community.

Each year, the Love Your Library Evening has a featured themed. Our guests have been traveled to the tropics with “Key West Fest”, pulled out their cowboy hats and boots for the “Wild West Fest” and gone back in time to the roaring 20’s with the “Bootlegger’s Ball.” The event takes roughly 8 months to plan each year, with a team of LAB members working hand-in-hand with library staff to make the evening a success. “Every year has gotten bigger and better! As a board, we worked hard to continually raise awareness in the community about the benefits of a strong library system, and the importance of donating to help the library work toward its mission.” The success of our Love Your Library evening has depended on the unwavering support of many, including the continued backing of Suncoast Credit Union, Crystal Automotive, Duke Energy, and the Citrus County Chronicle.

With the curveball that 2020 threw at the world, the Love Your Library evening, originally planned for Friday, February 5 needed to be reimagined. “It has been a year full of changes for our library system, advisory board and Friends boards,” shared CCLS Director Eric Head. “The staff and volunteers have worked hard to continue to offer the services and fulfill the needs of the Citrus County’s residents. The LAB knew that the Love Your Library evening would have to switch gears, but no one knew what that would look like.”

After a few weeks of brainstorming, the idea of the Reading Tree was born. While we’re unable to gather for a large event this year, we will still celebrate Love Your Library, the entire month of February. Donations will be exclusively targeted to expand the book collection at all five branch locations. This month-long celebration of libraries, books and reading began on February 1, and will run through the end of the month.

What is a “Reading Tree” you ask? The CCLS Reading Tree is a visual representation of the collection as it “grows” daily, and how close we are to reaching our goal of 500 new books! Each branch has created a Reading Tree that will have hearts with donors’ names, and each heart equals one new book that will be added to the collection. Not only will the donors be featured on the Reading Trees, the name they designate will be honored with a special book plate on the first page of the donated book. “I can only imagine how excited I would have been as a kid to see my name in the front cover of a book,” said Library Communications Facilitator Taylor Keeran. “Once the books have been added to our online catalog, anyone who donated will be able to search for their name and see “their” book pop-up.”

Donating to the Reading Tree is a pretty simple process. Go to your branch and locate the large, hard to miss Reading Tree. There you will find 3 donation levels to choose from including Youth book ($15), Adult Fiction ($20) and Adult Non-Fiction ($25). Choose your favorite and head to the customer service desk to complete the process. You can donate anonymously, in honor or memory of a loved one, an inspiring teacher or friend, or you can even list yourself! If you would like to donate, but can’t make it to the library, you can still participate! Simply go to and make your contribution online with any major credit card.

After you finish the donation process, the anticipation begins. It will take our team a little while to process all of the donations and get the books purchased. Once all of the items are received and ready, you will be notified via email.  We hope to have all of the books available in the collection by late spring.

In addition to the Reading Tree promotion, the Friends of the Library will also be hosting a Saturday Sidewalk Sale on February 20, from 9-2 at their Village West Plaza location on Gulf to Lake Highway. This sale is one of 6 sales that they will be having on the 3rd Saturday of the month, every month through June. For their February sale, the Friends are going to be marking all fiction books as 50% off. This special promotion includes romances, mysteries, sci-fi, and westerns.

To stay up-to-date on everything that is happening at the library, you can follow the Citrus County Library System on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. If you would like more information about the Reading Tree, please call your local branch or visit

Share this post

Back to Outside the Stacks