Monday, July 8, 2013

July 20: Seffner-Mango Branch Library History Roadshow

Seffner-Mango Branch, 2009, 410 N, Kingsway Rd., Seffner, FL
Seffner-Mango Branch Library

July 20, 2013
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

410 N. Kingsway Rd.
Seffner, FL 33584-3602

A look back... 
East Gate Branch, ca. 1980, 2311. Hillsborough Ave.
The Seffner-Mango Branch Library came into being during an evolution of library services in East Tampa neighborhoods.  On November 5th, 1978, Library Director Leo Meirose replaced bookmobile service at the East Gate Shopping Center with the establishment of the East Gate Branch Library at 2311 E. Hillsborough Avenue.  It was strategically positioned near the corner of N. 22nd Street in a highly visible, commercial zone to better serve the East Tampa/College Hill neighborhoods.  After 8 years at this location, the lease was not renewed due to a change in landlords who instead desired a retail business in that location.  The branch closed on December 31, 1985. 

Although it took a few years, under the guidance the newly appointed Director of Libraries, John M. Adams, the library reemerged as the Eastlake Branch Library, located further east at 5701 E. Hillsborough Avenue and 56th Ave. on the lower level of the Eastlake Square Mall. The library opened April 25th and was dedicated April 29, 1988.
Eastlake Branch, ca. 1989, Eastlake Sq. Mall
The branch remained there nearly 10 years before the mall's traffic began to wane due to the rising popularity of the nearby Brandon Town Center. Library circulation dwindled significantly and the branch was forced to close on May 11, 1998. 

By this time, residential development in the Seffner-Mango area had increased significantly, and its community clamored for a library to replace traditional bookmobile service to the area.  
Seffner-Mango Branch Library, ca. 1999

With the closing of the Eastlake Branch Library in 1998 and the opening of the College Hill Branch Library in 1993, (renamed the C. Blythe Andrews, Jr. Public Library in 2010), the opportunity and need for a branch in the Seffner area of the county arose. On December 28th, 1998, the first Seffner-Mango Branch Library opened in a storefront location within the Mango Shopping Center at 11724 E. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. This library was dedicated on March 6, 1999 and operated for 10 years until a new, stand-alone building was constructed and dedicated on January 15, 2009 at 410. Kingsway Rd in Seffner.

Do you have a library memory to share?

Did you ever attend a special program, story time or a computer class at the library? Have you had a positive experience with library staff or accessed information at the library that improved your quality of life? Did you ever use bookmobile service before the library was constructed? Even if you are new to the area and have only just begun to use the library, we want to hear from you!

We invite all Seffner-Mango Branch Library patrons, past and present, to join us at our next Library History Roadshow. Come and share their library memories and memorabilia and help us as we gather and digitize this historic information for the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library archival collection. For more information about Library History Roadshow events please call: 813-273-3652.


January 1, 2014, kicks off the Centennial Celebration of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System at the West Tampa Branch Library.