Showing posts with label Library History Roadshow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Library History Roadshow. Show all posts

Saturday, November 23, 2013

8/10/2013: Bruton Memorial Library History Roadshow


Bruton Memorial Library
302 W McLendon Street
Plant City, FL  33563

December 7, 2013
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Do you have a Plant City Library memory, photograph or memorabilia to share? 

In preparation for the centennial of the
Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library system, the Library History Roadshow team will be visiting the Bruton Memorial Library on December 7th to digitize library memories for our history archive.   

Record a video or oral memory, or bring in photos or memorabilia to be scanned and returned to you while you wait!

Come see the unique display of historic Burgert Brother's photographs on exhibit, created especially for this event, curated by Librarian David Parsons and join the Friends of the Bruton Memorial Library  in some refreshments as they also share their history library and memorabilia.  

Overview of the library's history

The history of the Bruton Memorial Library spans nearly 96 years.  Like Hillsborough County's public libraries in Ruskin, Brandon, Temple Terrace and Port Tampa City, the Bruton Memorial Library was started by a women's club, specifically, the Plant City Woman's Club. 

December 4, 1960, Tampa Tribune
In 1917, Plant City citizens met with the Carnegie Foundation with the hopes of getting a Carnegie funded library, however, the opportunity passed due to inadequate local interest at the time.  The Woman's Club started operating a library in their club house in 1927 and although the library only consisted of a few shelves of books, members were more than willing to pay a small fee to join. The library was formally opened to the public in 1929 in the building that was previously the Central Grammar School, located on the southwest corner of Baker Street and Wheeler Street in Plant City. 

In 1933, members of the Woman's Club persuaded the city commission to designate the Miller home, an old frame building on the corner of McLendon and Wheeler Streets, as the site of a library. Once they accepted responsibility for renovating the building, they used part of the building as their club meeting house and designated a corner of the building as the Plant City Library where they shelved their collection of roughly 2,000 donated books.

Left to right: Mrs. Fred Stevenson (librarian),
Mrs. James D. Bruton (library board),
Mrs. L. T. Lanford (hospitality chair)
It is unlikely that a library would have existed in Plant City at this time without the determination of this handful of women driven to maintain its presence in their rural city. A notable participant in this process was Mrs. Quintilla Geer Bruton. She not only took an active role in the campaign to secure the building space for the library, but in 1958 spearheaded an initiative to improve library services in Plant City. Through this initiative, she spurred a special election, the result of which created a library tax to fund the building and maintenance of a brand new library facility on that same site. A library board was created and the city hired its first official librarian.

December 5, 1960 marked the dedication of the new Plant City Library building.  The 4,300 square-foot facility was the first of its kind in Florida, constructed of three earthen-toned precast stone panels and one solid glass plate wall. It held approximately 22,000 volumes in air-conditioned comfort.

In 1962, Mrs. Bruton became the Chair of the State Library Board and in 1963, the Plant City Library was awarded the Book-of-the-Month award and recognized as an outstanding small public library. By 1970, an expansion of the library was underway, boosting the library to 9,000 square-feet with a capacity for 40,000 volumes.

In the early 1980s, Bruton fought tirelessly to ensure that a Plant City Library Board would maintain its autonomy in the wake of the city-county library system merger. She played a prominent role in the design of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System's inter-local agreement for the Plant City Public Library in 1984.

After she passed away in 1989, Bruton's husband donated $100,000 to purchase adjacent land so that the library could be expanded once more. In 1990, the library was rededicated in her honor and renamed the Quintilla Geer Bruton Memorial Library.  Construction on the expansion began in 1993 with an additional $200,000 that Mr. Bruton donated. That same year, the library's Friends of the Library organization was incorporated. 

The remodeled library, now 20,000 square-feet, reopened in April of 1994 with its first computerized catalog system. Shortly after the death of Quintilla's husband, Judge James D. Bruton, the name of the library was shortened to Bruton Memorial Library to recognize both of their contributions to its success. 


Bruton, Quintilla Geer. (1985). Six decades of service: A history of the Women's Club of Plant City. Women's Club of Plant City: Plant City, Fla.

Conway, Edward. (Oct. 13, 1969). Plant City Library Expanding. The Tampa Tribune: Tampa, Fla.

Darling, Dave. (Feb. 16, 1989). Plant City to rename library in memory of Quintilla Bruton. Tampa Tribune: Tampa, Fla.

Landers, Stacy (Jan. 7, 1984). Library officials want no part of two proposed bills. The Tampa Tribune: Tampa, Fla.

Sinclair, Ward. (Sept. 27, 1962). Plant citian gets library post. The Tampa Times: Tampa, Fla.

Smith, Claude. (Apr. 22, 1963). Author decries loss of nation's pioneers. The Tampa Tribune: Tampa, Fla.

Walker, Jane. (Dec. 4, 1960). Women play prominent part in establishing city library.  The Tampa Tribune: Tampa, Fla.

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.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Library History Roadshow Visits Thonotosassa Branch Library

Thonotosassa Branch Library, 2013, 10715 Main St.
The Thonotosassa Branch Library is a special place. It was dedicated in 1989 after more than seven years of arduous efforts and patience by its community who demanded that Thonotosassa have its own library.  Well worth a trip down Main Street, the library is an excellent place to experience the tranquility of the area. After attending one of the many different programs offered at the library, the adjacent park is an excellent place for a picnic or to read your latest checked-out book.

Thonotosassa's community is very proud of its historical roots. On June 22nd, the Library History Roadshow team collected the branch's historical files for the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library's Florida History & Genealogy Collection, digitized its collection of Tampa Tribune newspaper clippings for inclusion in the library history archive, and recorded this interview about the library's beginnings with long-time Thonotosassa resident and library staff member, Ron Smith.

Many thanks to library branch manager Annamae Trypus and her staff, Ron Smith and Marti Marshall for their hospitality during our visit.

Thonotosassa Branch Library Seeks Revival of Friends Group

Although the Thonotosassa Branch Library's beginning in 1982 was spearheaded with strong support of the community's Friends of the Library group, the group's activities have waned over the years. The Thonotosassa Branch Library seeks members within their community who desire to strengthen the services and programs that the library offers by re-assembling a Friends of the Thonotosassa Branch Library organization. Participants should share a passionate commitment for a strong library system and would work together to help strengthen library collections and program offerings. Those interested in helping to construct a group to support their community library should contact the Friends of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library, Inc. at 813-273-3616.

Mark your calendars for these up-coming events: 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Come to the Thonotosassa Library History Roadshow!

Thonotosassa Branch circa 1990


Thonotosassa Branch Library

June 22, 2013
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

10715 Main St.
Thonotosassa, FL 33592-2831
A look back... 
After years of library service from the bookmobile, the Thonotosassa Branch Library opened in July 1989, serving the Thonotosassa community and surrounding areas in northeastern Hillsborough County. 

Tampa Tribune photo of construction, 1988
This 8,000 square-foot library facility was the sixteenth branch of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System, created with the close collaboration of the Friends of the Thonotosassa Library*, the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Board, the Board of County Commissioners and Hillsborough County staff. 

It was constructed, furnished and stocked with funding provided by the U.S. Government's Community Development Block Grant program and designed by the architectural firm Fletcher, Valenti & Chillura, Inc. 

Since its opening 24 years ago then it has served patrons living in this rural section of Hillsborough County with convenient access to books, magazines, DVDs, music and recorded books for all ages and interests. It also provides Internet access and a regular schedule of programs, including Story Time for preschoolers, a summer reading program for school-age children, after school homework help for students and computer classes for all ages. 

Do you have a library memory to share?
Tampa Tribune photo, 1989
Did you ever attend a special program, story time or a computer classes 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 just started using the library, we want to hear from  you!

We invite Thonotosassa Branch Library patrons, past and present, to come and share their library memories and memorabilia so that we may digitize them for the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library archival collection. For more information about Library History Roadshow events call: 813-273-3652.

* There currently is no Friends of the Library chapter for the Thonotosassa Branch Library. Anyone interested in helping start a group to support the branch should contact the Friends of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library, Inc. at 273-3616.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Austin Davis Public Library 20th Anniversary Celebrated

Austin Davis Public Library and the Odessa community celebrated their 20th anniversary on May 18, 2013.  Attendees enjoyed a fabulously delicious cake supplied by the Friends of the Austin Davis Library, as well as storytelling, singing and a historical photo exhibit about the Citrus Park-Keystone area and its library history.

The Library History Roadshow crew were on site to digitize the Friends' scrapbooks and photographs and to video-record attendees' library memories for the Tampa-Hillsborough County Library History archival collection. Check out some photos from the event!

Special thanks to the Austin Davis Public Library staff and to the Friends of the Austin Davis Library for their hospitality in accommodating the roadshow team. Thank you also to all who attended and contributed their library memories to be preserved for generations to come!

Below, retired Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library librarian and current President o fthe Friends of the Austin Davis Library,  Virginia Blair gives insight into her experiences as a librarian, the library's early beginnings and its development into a hub of cultural activity for the community.

Odessa native Frances Barksdale, whose family has contributed to the library's Community Tree, recalls this rural area's first library -- the Citrus Park Keystone Library (1979-1993) -- which was located in Fox's Corner shopping center.  Frances knew the Davis family personally and shares her story of how Mrs. Davis's influence was the driving force resulting in a generous donation from W-D Charities, Inc. for the construction of this library in Keystone Park in the early 1990s.

James Ligertwood is a former neighbor of Austin Davis. He relates this fun anecdote; demonstrating the personable nature of Mr. Davis.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this roadshow.  Please mark your calendar for these up-coming events: 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Celebrating 20 Years of the Austin Davis Public Library

Come share your memories of the Austin Davis Public Library!
(Formerly the Citrus Park-Keystone Branch)

Austin Davis Public Library
May 18th, 2013
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The region was first serviced by the bookmobile until June 6, 1977, after library director Leo Meirose recommended to county commissioners that a library branch open at Fox's Corner Shopping Center on Mobley Road in Odessa.  This library was known as the Citrus Park-Keystone Branch Library, known for its quaint, neighborhood feel that catered to its rural community. Do you remember this storefront library?

After nearly 15 years of library service at this location, county commissioners continued to grapple on how to fund a new library building adequate for the rapidly growing region.

 It was not until 1991 that the Friends of the Citrus Park-Keystone Library's rally-cries for a full-service library brought the cause to the attention of M. Austin Davis, co-founder of the famed Winn-Dixie grocery chain. In response, W-D Charities, Inc. donated $1.1 million dollars for the construction of a new, 10,500 square-foot public library for the Citrus Park-Keystone region, which now bears Austin Davis's name. 

The Austin Davis Public Library, located at 17808 Wayne Rd. in Odessa, FL (just east of Gunn Hwy on Wayne Road) was dedicated May 23rd, 1993.  Read more about the library's history here!

Come share your personal history of the Citrus Park-Keystone Branch/Austin Davis Public Library!

The Library History Roadshow invites its community to bring their local library-related photos, memorabilia and memories to digitize for the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library History Archive on May 18th from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. 

There will be cake, compliments of the Friends of the Austin Davis Library, who are celebrating 20 years of the library!  Also, come see a historic Burgert Brothers photographic exhibit tailored just for this event. 

For more information about the Library History Roadshow, please call 813-273-3652.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

National Bookmobile Day 2013

The National Bookmobile Day 2013 was April 17th. To help celebrate the occasion, the Library History Roadshow team followed both the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Bookmobile and Cybermobile along their routes for the day. It was a beautiful day filled with great customer interactions! Check out some photos of the all-day event:

The Bookmobile Roadshow made stops at Acorn Trace Apartments, Rose Lake Estates, and Horizon Bay, while the Cybermobile Roadshow made a single stop at the Cordelia Hunt Community Center. At each location, video and audio recordings of Bookmobile and Cybermobile patrons were captured as they recalled their past experiences on-board the buses and with the mobile library staff, as well as spoke about the reasons that they keep coming back. Some of the people who took part in the Roadshow were newer to the mobile branches but were enthusiastic to share what they already enjoy about the service.

Because the mobile libraries visit several different stops throughout Hillsborough County, future ‘Roadshows’ are being planned at other stops. We encourage you to visit our mobile libraries and see what the buzz is all about!

Link to their schedules: Bookmobile | Cybermobile.

Video and audio memories will be available online starting January 1st, 2014 -- the kick-off of the Centennial Celebration of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library system.

A Brief History of Mobile Library Services in Hillsborough County

During the Depression, Works Projects Administration funds made the first bookmobile service possible.  In 1930, the Tampa Public Library began a "bookcar" service, delivering books to the community as a Traveling Branch. Soon after, it would become known as the Bookmobile.

In the 1950s, the bookmobile was known as the "Traveling Branch" and very popular among its users in neighborhoods like Sulphur Springs, Wellswood, Forest Hills, Ballast Point.

During the 1960s, the bookmobile served as a mobile neighborhood branch while library locations were being built or remodeled while also providing an extension of services to rural areas such as Wimauma, Riverview, Gibsonton, Thonotosassa, Odessa and Town N' Country.

The Cybermobile, a Spanish-language mobile library branch providing free library resources, services, computer classes, and programming throughout Hillsborough County was dedicated on May 11, 2006.  Its purpose is to bridge language and library usage gaps and to develop lifelong library users. Learn more about the Cybermobile.

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.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Next stop: Town 'N Country Regional Library, December 1st!

The Library History Roadshow crew is ready to record your Tampa/Hillsborough County library memories and memoriabilia at the...

Town 'N County Regional Library
December 1st, 2012
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Do you recall when the Town N' Country was serviced by the Bookmobile? 
In January, 1969, the first library opened in the Town N' County region in the West Gate shopping center on the 7000 block of West Hillsborough Avenue.  Do you remember this storefront location?

Soon after, it was evident that the location would be temporary as library patronage exploded.  After a successful community letter writting campaign, the West Gate Branch Library became a reality and the new facility was dedicated at 7606 Paula Drive on April 20th 1975 (below).

Over the next twenty years, the location became an important hub within the community. So, in November, 1995, the branch library was renamed as the West Gate Regional Library to reflect its prominence in the area and its necessity for providing extended hours and services.

10 years later, the need to expand the library was necessary again. Therefore, in 2007, the library was temporarily relocated to a space at the Thompson Center during construction of a new facility (below).

December 3rd, 2008 marks the day that the new 30,000 sq. ft. building opened to the public and was named the Town N' County Regional Library. What were your first impressions of the new library facility?

Whether you recently began using the library or you a long-time patron , we want to hear from you if you have a memory to share about your experience with this regional library!

We are seeking your library memories, memorabilia and photos to gather, which will be recorded/digitized for the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library History Collection.

We look forward to seeing you at the Roadshow on December 1st!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Brandon Library History Explored!

On Saturday, September 15th from 10 am to 3 pm, the Library History Roadshow team had the pleasure of collecting library memorabilia and memories at the Brandon Regional Library.  It was a lovely day out and the event was visited by library patrons of all ages who shared their library memories.  Check out the slide show of the event:

Library experiences touch every patron in different ways throughout their lives as interests and needs develop and change.  For these youth, getting their first library card opened up a new avenues and led them to explore new topics and tales.

Their impressions of visiting the library have already made a positive impact...

...with lasting memories that are priceless! Listen to this girl talk about her experience:

Dwayne tells us what it was like taking the his daughters to get their first library card and how coming to the Brandon library has become a regular family event.

Yvonne also enjoys the regular family excursions to the Brandon Regional Library and she talks about what keeps her coming back again and again.

We were so pleased that retired librarian, Jane Schwamberger visited the roadshow and brought some photos and ephemera from her scrapbook. Jane was the children's librarian in the late 1970s, while the Brandon Library was located on Robertson Drive. We scanned and returned her memorabilia and also offered to record her memories. Here is an image of a childrens' watercolor painting workshop in 1978 (right).
There were some photos contributed from another librarian, who worked at the Brandon Library from the late 1980s/early 1990s.  This Halloween-time staff photo is such an endearing image, demonstrating the enthusiasm and fun that staff have had working at this regional library branch (below).

Although not every who attended the roadshow wanted their memories recorded, we were well received by Brandon patrons, who expressed to us the immensely important role that this public library has held for the community since services became available in 1960s. There was also a Burgert Brother photograph display in the main lobby with selected images of the Brandon region, as well as images from the branch archive collection.

Brandon's growth has been exponential since the library began as a reading room within the Brandon Women's Club, located on Moon Avenue in 1960. Library services have since rapidly grown along with population growth and industrial expansion, quickly becoming one of the largest and busiest branch library within the Hillsborough County Public Library system. 

The next roadshow will be December 1st at the Town 'N County from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.  See you there!