The Friends of the Jacaranda Library was founded in 1992, by Frances T. Bourne. Who is Frances T. Bourne? That was the subject of Lee Buckner’s (Jacaranda’s First Head Librarian) address at the rededication of the Jacaranda Library in 1995, when it was renamed the Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Public Library. Frances T.(T stands for Taplin, her mother’s maiden name) Bourne was a graduate of Bryn Mawr, former archivist at the U.S. State Department and after retiring to Florida in 1976, became an advocate for children’s education and advancing local libraries. She was tough, courageous, tenacious and dedicated to creating the Jacaranda Library, tirelessly working with the county commissioners to insure that they fulfilled the need for a library for residents of East and South Venice.
She founded the FRIENDS of the Jacaranda Public Library in June of 1992, long before the first shovel of dirt was dug. She insisted that the new library would be a separate branch in the county system and not a branch of the Venice Library. The county set aside the monies to construct and provide basic equipment and books. The FRIENDS dedicated themselves to raising $200,000 to provide computers, books, furniture, programming and many other extras that went into literally creating a first class facility from scratch. FRIENDS volunteers, like Dick and Jane Forbush and many others, not only helped raise the funds, but built shelves and other equipment and helped stock the shelves with books in time for the official dedication January 25, 1994.
Frances served as the first President of the FRIENDS Board and the first editor of the FRIENDS newsletter. She also created an endowment fund, the Frances T. Bourne/Jacaranda Library Endowment Fund of the Community Foundation, to insure the continuation of funds to be used for enhancing the library. That is who Frances T. Bourne was . . . the prime force behind the creation of the Jacaranda Public Library and a great lady!