The Elsie Quirk Library is, as I always like to say, more than a free bookstore.

We are proud to be an expansive resource for the community’s informational, entertainment, enrichment, educational, creative, and social needs. We have recently placed particular focus on meeting some of the more urgent needs of our patrons, as we all navigate the upheaval and tumultuousness of 2020.

For Sarasota County residents in need of help applying for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, And Economic Security (CARES) Act assistance, a CARES ambassador is available at the Elsie Quirk Library to assist.

Help is available on a walk-in basis during the library’s regular hours. CARES Act individual assistance provides up to $5,000 per household for eligible expenses including rent and mortgage payments, vehicle payments and repairs, utility bills, childcare expenses, workforce assistance, and telecommunications bills.

More information can be found on the Sarasota County website, or by calling or visiting the library.

For those who have been made curious, determined, confused, or inspired by the political frenzy of an election year, check out our October displays and resources exploring the history of voting rights, political figures in their own words, non-partisan voting guides, and more.


As a public library, we are adamantly nonpartisan but we are just as adamant in our promotion of robust participation in democracy, and our enthusiasm for supporting an informed populace.

For Elsie Quirk patrons in search of some help discerning credible information amidst the noisy abundance of media, check out our media literacy display and help yourself to a Confused by the News packet. The library’s purpose is not to tell you what to think, but rather to enthusiastically support you in being a knowledgeable independent thinker.

For members of our community whose needs are immediate and concrete, we have snack bags available daily for youth up to 18 years old. Snack bags are available at the circulation desk, or through our curbside service.

We will also be distributing Care Kits, made up of items such as a toothbrush, soap, Band-Aids, a cloth mask, and other necessities, available for the asking. If you, or someone you know, is in need of a Care Kit, look for Care Kit cards at the Elsie Quirk Library or ask any library staff member.

While we are, indeed, more than a free bookstore, the “free” part is accurate. Our various and sundry services, programs, to-go bags, digital resources, movies, audios, visual assistance tools, public computers, kind words and helpful hints — and, yes, books — are offered to one and all free of charge.

The Elsie Quirk Library is at 100 W. Dearborn St., Englewood. Visit scgov.net for more information.

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