Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Celebrating John F. Germany Public Library, January 13, 2013

Tampa Public Library, Central Library, circa 1999.
The next Library History Roadshow will be a special occasion as we celebrate John Germany's 90th birthday!
  John F. Germany Public Library
900 North Ashley Drive, Tampa, FL
Sunday, January 13, 2013
12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Charles J. Fendig speaking at the
TPL's Central Library dedication, April 21, 1968.

Groundbreaking for the construction of Tampa's main library took place on April 25th, 1965,  Three years later, the John F. Germany Public Library, originally named the "Tampa Public Library - Central Library", was dedicated on April 21st, 1968, becoming a hub for Tampa's community at 900 North Ashley Drive. This new main library replaced the Tampa Free Public Library (aka the 'Carnegie Library') which opened in 1917 on 7th Avenue. The library expanded in 1976 after the four-story annex was added.  Then, in 1999, the library was renamed in honor of local attorney, former judge, civic leader and long-time library supporter, John F. Germany. For more on the history of this library, click here.

In addition to gathering and digitizing your Tampa-Hillsborough library memories at this upcoming Library History Roadshow, we are enthusiastic about the debut of an exhibit in the main entrance foyer and a unique photographic exhibit that will relate the story of this library's beginnings and evolution. 

The Central Library opens following
the dedication ceremony, April 21, 1968.
  We are looking forward to celebrating Mr. Germany's 90th birthday!  At 1:00 p.m., Director of Libraries, Joe Stines, will welcome attendees in the Kotler Gallery area, followed by birthday wishes and cake for Mr. Germany.  Roadshow visitors will also have the opportunity to learn more about Tampa's past library directors and their contributions to the development of the library system and also gain insight on the upcoming centennial celebration of our library system in 2014.

Do you have a distinct memory of coming to the library or want to share how the John F. Germany Public Library has impacted your life?  If so, we encourage you to come and to share your memories!

When the Library History Roadshow visits your local library, you have the opportunity to record an audio or video memory as well as digitize your library photos and memorabilia. 

Questions? Don't hesitate to call 813-273-3652. We look forward to seeing you on January 13th!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Town N' Country Regional Library overflowing with spirit

On Saturday, December 1st, 2012, the Library History Roadshow crew was on hand at the Town N' County Regional Library to digitize patrons' memories.  We were thrilled to be able to record so many video memories from long time patrons and Friends of the Library, who recalled when the bookmobile serviced the area through the 1960s, to various incarnations of the West Gate Library in the 1970s and '80s, temporary locations during rennovations up until the evolution of the current Town N' County Regional Public Library.

Thanks to the Friends of the Town N' County Regional Library, there was a hearty spread of sandwiches, muffins and other treats, as well as live holiday music performed by the Treble Clefs. Check out some photos from the event!

Here are some of the video memories collected during this roadshow!

Below, Joyce Sheets talks about when she moved to the area in the 1990s and frequented the old West Gate Library. She volunteers with the local garden club, caring for the atrium garden, a unique feature of the previous library.  She now is a member of the Friends of the Library and volunteers in the bookshop helping to raise money to enhance programming for the library.

Nicole recalls coming to the library since she was very young and has developed an interest for reading mysteries.

Marilyn Hood, spearheaded the initiave to create, along with the Quilters' Workshop of Tampa Bay, a unique, award-winning literary quilt that now hangs in the foyer of the Town N' County Community Complex. She talks briefly about the how the idea came to be and how they celebrated their award with the library.

Doris Youdal moved to the Town N' Country when she was very young. She remembers using the bookmobile service when it would stop at a shopping strip mall on Hillsborough and Town N' Country Blvd. in the early 1960s.


Blessing Beasley, an active Friend of the Library, has been living in Tampa since the early 1970s. She remembers when the old West Gate library was torn down and the construction of the current facility. She volunteers in the bookstore and recently celebrated her 90th birthday in one of the meeting rooms with lots of friends.


The first time that Louise Foltz came to the Town N' Country library was for Ms Beasley's birthday party.  Now she is a regular every Saturday!

We like to thank everyone who participated and shared their stories! The next roadshow will be at the John F. Germany Public library on January 13, 2013 from 12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.