An international best-selling author is coming to Bradenton next week to talk about his experience in law, publishing, philanthropy, fatherhood and more, all to support the Manatee County Library System’s literacy program.
David Baldacci, who has published more than 30 novels, including “Absolute Power” and “The Camel Club,” will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Neel Performing Arts Center at State College of Florida.
“I grew up going to the library,” Baldacci said in an interview with the Bradenton Herald. “Probably one of the reasons why I’m a writer today is because I was a reader then. So much starts at local libraries.”
Supporting local libraries is essential, Baldacci said, as they are versatile assets to communities that often get overlooked.
“Libraries can be used for many different things,” he said. “People can work on resumes, classes are taught there, you can have community events held there, there are so many ways to use the library.
“They are focal points of the community and have multiple purposes, and we can use them to help people.”
Besides being a writer, Baldacci is heavily involved in philanthropy.
He and his wife, Michelle, established the Wish You Well Foundation, which supports family and adult literacy in the United States by promoting the development and expansion of literacy educational programs like the one here in Manatee County.
The library system’s program, called “I’m a Lifelong Learner,” focuses on improving literacy among the county’s youngest readers.
In the program, a Lifelong Learner Campaign coordinator meets families in need to offer outreach programs that “develop literacy skills, adds summer reading programs at public libraries and enriches parental engagement through informational programs and supplementary resources, such as Early Literacy Kits, new technologies and books.”
Proceeds from the evening with Baladacci will directly benefit the initiative.
Past authors who have headlined the annual event include Stephen King, John Grisham and Nicholas Sparks.
During the event, Baldacci said he plans to talk about a mixture of things, while cracking a few jokes along the way.
“I’ve always felt that if you attach important lessons to a bit of humor, people remember it,” he said. “But I’ll (also) talk about personal stories, along with film projects I’m working on and books coming down the pipe.”
Reserved Seating: $100
Unreserved Seating: $75