We were honored by the presence of past library directors' families, as well as retired librarians and other notable citizens that were integral in the creation of public libraries in our city and county. They all had memories to share of the challenges and successes about the formation of this library branch and the evolution of the the Tampa-Hillsborough County Library system as it developed over the years. We collected a variety of library memories to share.
Check out the slideshow, which begins with an images from the 1965 groundbreaking and construction in 1967:
Director of Libraries, Mr. Joe Stines, kicked off the event by welcoming attendees and Mr. Germany had a few thoughts to share with a party crowd, who were eager to listen. After everyone had a slice of birthday cake and folks had a chance to visit with one another, we encouraged attendees to record their library memories.
With anticipation, we recorded Mr. Cecil Beach, Director of Libraries from 1965-1972, who has a life-time repertoire of experience in developing libraries and library services at the public, state and national level.
Architect James Jennewein, who designed the library was in attendance. This is the original model of the Central Branch Library that he designed, courtesy of the City of Tampa Archives.
We were so glad that Leo Meirose, Jr., son of past library director, Leo Meirose, Sr. (1972-1982), came to share his memories of this father's work for the Tampa Public Library system. Leo describes well (below) the challenges his father dealt with during an era when public libraries collections were heatedly contested by censorship. Meirose Sr.'s legacy is known for standing strong for intellectual freedom and free speech, which he was for honored by the Florida Library Association.
Retired Librarian, Bunny Pearce, who also donated a video memory at the Hyde Park Branch roadshow, also had spent time working at the Central Branch library.
|Frank Lakus, creating in 1970.|
|The weaving today, on YA/1-west floor|
|YA, Main Library on 7th Ave. ca. 1964|
We were absolutely thrilled with the turnout of roadshow guests. Many THANKS to the Friends of the John F. Germany Public Library for contributing the refreshments, flowers and balloons -- it really made the event more special for everyone who attended the roadshow festivities.