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"I'm catching up on 14 years of books that I've missed."

A Sarasota County commissioner for 14 years until her retirement in 2010, Shannon Staub now focuses her passion on bettering our public libraries through the separate, nonprofit Library Foundation for Sarasota County. As past president, and now treasurer, Staub has helped raise $450,000 since 2012 for literacy programs and state-of-the-art technology. “It’s almost selfish,” she says about her community service. “You can’t say enough about the rewards you get back.”


“My mother was active with the League of Women Voters and the Democratic Party. She would drag me out on corners holding up a sign. I got involved with local politics through my work in the 1990s with the Ross Perot campaign. He left a legacy of people thinking they can make a difference individually.”


“I’m chair of the Positive Youth Development Council, which brings together all the area nonprofits that touch youth. They wanted a chair who wasn’t associated with any of their organizations; they kiddingly call me Miss Switzerland. It’s good being around youth; it keeps me young.”


“The Library Foundation started a new children’s literacy campaign last November. We took over [operating the local program of] the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Each child age 0 to 5 who is enrolled gets a book every month in the mail. About 400 local children are enrolled; our goal is 1,000 kids. Our other project is Telepresence, high-level video conferencing technology. It will facilitate things like virtual field trips.” 


“I love mystery thrillers and I’m catching up on 14 years of books that I’ve missed. My closest library is Jacaranda, but I borrow books from any library I happen to be close to. I became a member of every Friends group at every library, and I’ve kept that up. When my [late] husband and I started coming down as snowbirds in 1984, we bought a mobile home in North Port. The North Port library was [then] a two-bedroom house, but boy, did they have the books.”  


“I’m a North Carolina native, and I worked for the North Carolina Employment Security Commission. I was the first EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) officer for the state, 1969-1976. It was an exciting time for women moving up and moving forward.”