Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Library History Roadshow Coming to the SouthShore Regional Library, March 8th, 2014

SouthShore Regional Library

Next stop for the Library History Roadshow...

15816 Beth Shields Way
Ruskin, FL 33573
Saturday, March 8
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Contribute to the Library History Archive!

  Calling all fans of the SouthShore Regional Library! Have you attended a memorable program or found a resource that improved your quality of life at the SouthShore Regional Library?  Do you use the art studio or visit the genealogy center?  Perhaps you have encountered a particular staff member that made a helpful impression? If you have photos or a story about the library that you would like to share, please join us Saturday, March 8 when the Library History Roadshow crew will be on site to record your memories!

Bring your photos and memorabilia, or just stop by to record a video memory!  The Roadshow crew will digitize and return your items while you wait.  Items will be added to the ever-expanding SouthShore Regional Library's digital collection!

During the event, a special historic Burgert Brothers photograph exhibit created for the SouthShore Regional Library community will be on display.  These historic photos help to generate discussion and spark memories of Hillsborough County's past.
Tampa Tribune, March 11, 2003

A look back at the history of SouthShore Regional Library:

As the Hillsborough County's southern region developed quickly through the 1990s, a movement rallying for a regional public library began in 1997 by the Apollo Beach, Gibsonton, Wimauma, and south Ruskin communities. At the same time, plans were in the works for a new elementary school on a stretch of land along 19th Avenue that would suit both needs.

In 2000, 16 acres were reserved for the South County Regional Library to be constructed just west of the where the Cypress Creek Elementary School was planned.  A Friends of the South County Regional Library group formed to motivate the initiative as well as generate funds and interest among community members. By 2004, the library's construction project timeline was released to the public. 

The groundbreaking ceremony kicked-off the construction of the 40,000 square-foot library on April 7, 2005. The $10,138,000 facility, constructed by Gould Evans Architects with the aid of a $500,000 public library construction grant from the Florida Department of State Division of Library and Information Services, was officially dedicated November 9, 2006.  

Renamed the SouthShore Regional Library before its opening, the system's 25th branch library boasted the John Crawford Art Education Studio and collection, a genealogy center, a wildlife-themed children's room, 20 computer stations, a bookstore and vending-cafe, meeting rooms and a large community space.  SouthShore Regional library was an innovative addition to the Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System and libraries constructed since have incorporated many of its sophisticated features and amenities, which reflect the community it serves.

Veteran librarian Eloise Hurst became the branch
Mr. James J. Harkins, IV
 manager of the new library and soon after was named the 2007 Library Staff Member of the Year by the Tampa-Hillsborough County Friends of the Library, Inc.

November 16, 2007 marked the dedication of the James J. Harkins Plaza, honoring the efforts of Friend of the Library and Library Board member James J. Harkins, IV.

Join us as we archive the history of the SouthShore Regional Library while celebrating its 8th year serving as a cultural hub for the south county community. Be a part of history!

Bustling College Hill library hoards heaps of history

Tampa Tribune's report on the library's dedication, July 14, 1989
The Roadshow crew was pleased to have members of the Ada T. Payne Friends of the Urban Libraries, current and retired staff and regular patrons attend the C. Blythe Andrews, Jr. Public Library's Library History Roadshow event this past Saturday, February 22nd.

Special items uncovered at the event included: a 1994 edition of the Friends of College Hill Library's cookbook, I Don't Measure that Stuff; a stack of newspaper articles about the library and its renaming; Friends of the Library and staff snapshots; and vintage files on the many programs the library has hosted over the years. 

The library also hosted a panel discussion featuring our local Negro League Baseball Players, Clifford "Quack" Brown and Walter "Dirk" Gibbons, moderated by fan Neil Armstrong.  In addition to talking about playing for the Negro League, the discussion also included the community's historic Belmont Heights Little League, which Cliff Brown had coached, a collection of vintage newspaper clippings about the team, and some of Walter Gibbon's personal baseball photos.  Enjoy some pictures from the event! 

All of these historical treasures are in the process of being added to the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library's Digital Collections as part of the C. Blythe Andrews Library history collection. This ongoing project reflects the history of the library in East Tampa. Thanks to all who came out to participate and to the branch staff for their hospitality!

Letter of support for a library in College Hill from C. Blythe Andrews, 1988
It's never too late to get in contact with the library to schedule a time to record your library memories. Just call 813-273-3652 and ask for the Library History Archives and we'll be happy to make arrangements for you to help us document the history of our libraries.

Join us at our next roadshow stop:  SouthShore Regional Library, March 8th, 10 a.m. -1 p.m.!