Mote librarian joins Board of 18-county library consortium

Mote Marine Laboratory’s science librarian, Kay Garsnett, has been elected to the Board of a professional library association whose members serve more than a third of Florida’s population.

Garsnett was recently nominated and confirmed as Special Libraries representative for the Tampa Bay Library Consortium (TBLC) Board of Directors, for a term spanning January 2018 through January 2021.

TBLC members include state colleges, state university system libraries, private academic schools, colleges and universities, public school systems, and public and special libraries. Together these libraries serve over 6.3 million central Floridians in 18 of Florida’s 67 counties.

Of TBLC’s 13 Board members, Garsnett will be the sole representative for special libraries — those housed at independent institutions such as museums, nonprofit science and education institutions, businesses and other non-government, non-academic facilities.

At Mote — an independent, nonprofit, scientific institution dedicated to conservation and sustainable use of the oceans — Garsnett oversees numerous collections of scientific volumes, periodicals and reports, scholarly database accounts and historical archive materials in Mote’s unique library in Sarasota, Florida.

Over more than 35 years, Mote’s Arthur Vining Davis Library and Archives has provided access to scholarly materials to support world-class research and increase the understanding of marine and environmental science. (

Garsnett joined Mote’s staff in 2016, following previous positions as an archivist at John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, a traveling archivist for Montana State Historical Society and a contract archivist at Marian University's School of Liberal Arts, and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo. Garsnett has been an academic librarian since 1992 and a certified archivist since 2012. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Secondary Education, focusing on Social Studies, at the University of Maryland, her Masters of Library and Information Studies at the University of Hawaii, and her Certificate of Advanced Study in Archives & Records Administration at the University of Wisconsin.

“I am excited to serve the Tampa Bay Library Consortium and help libraries increase their ability to share resources,” Garsnett said. “Special libraries, like ours at Mote, often have unique collections in specific areas of focus, and we receive many requests for shared materials. In general, libraries have a tremendous need to share materials, database access and funding support; consortiums like TBLC are important for our future. Membership in TBLC has enhanced the service of Mote’s own library, and with my incoming position on the Board, I’m excited that we’ll be part of the Consortium’s initiatives to support and connect others around the state.”

“The Tampa Bay Library Consortium is excited about Kay Garsnett's joining our Board,” said Charlie Parker, TBLC Executive Director. “Mote is doing incredible work for Florida and our oceans, and through her involvement in that effort, Kay has much to share with her library colleagues!  We're looking forward to learning from Kay so we can help support Mote's endeavors!”

About TBLC
The Tampa Bay Library Consortium, Inc. (TBLC) is a nonprofit Multitype Library Cooperative that assists and empowers over 120 libraries. All types of libraries – public, academic, school and specialized – are members. Since 1979, TBLC has worked with member libraries to provide better, faster service to the residents of central Florida. TBLC member libraries serve the following Florida counties: Citrus, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Manatee, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, and Saint Lucie.