ST. PETE BEACH, January 19, 2014—*The St. Pete Beach Library invites the public to the kickoff for its $700,000 fund-raising campaign to provide a much-needed 3,500-square-foot addition and interior space renovation. Event is Wednesday, January 29, 5:00 to 6:30 pm at the Library, 365 73rd Avenue. Best-selling Tampa author Tim Dorsey will cap the evening with a preview and autograph-signing of his 16th Serge Storms’ book, “Tiger Shrimp Tango.”
Architects from the Harvard-Jolly firm will be on hand with renderings and key information about the project, along with Library Administrator Phyllis Ruscella, City Manager Mike Bonfield, other city officials and library staff. A fund-raising brochure with the renderings will be available, with many naming and other donor opportunities. First major funding for the total $2 million project came from the PPLC (Pinellas Public Library Cooperative), which last February awarded the city a grant for $200,000 in capital improvement funds for the Library Expansion/Renovation project.
Ward Friszolowski of Harvard Jolly, former Mayor and Library Advisory Board Chair, noted that the added space includes an entrance foyer, expanded restrooms and a long desired 75-capacity meeting room that can be divided into two spaces for the Library’s and community’s many programs. Renovation plans for the existing space include such features as a new children’s area with more computers and seating, a new ‘storytime room’ for the younger set, more computers and seating for the public, a more efficient overall layout with a new circulation desk closer to the new main entrance, a better staff working area, a larger Friends’ Bookstore, a better display for new collection materials — books, DVD movies and music CDs, and more storage space overall.
Ruscella added, “The changing needs of patrons drive the necessity for repurposing our existing space and extending the public areas and parking accommodation. Currently, approximately 80% of SPB residents have active library patron accounts, and on average, 100-plus new patron accounts are set up each month. Circulation reached a five-year high in 2012, averaging 16,500 items checked-out monthly. Similar increases have occurred in programming and resultant attendance. Computer usage has reached a plateau, limited by the number of public workstations available.”
The St. Pete Beach Library is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2014, and, dependent on anticipated fund-raising success, the first phase interior renovation project should start before year-end.
The City has set up a separate account for all donations, big or small, designated for the multi-year Library facility expansion/renovation project. To make a contribution, please contact the Library Administrator directly [firstname.lastname@example.org] or stop by the Library to learn more about how your contribution can help the City reach this goal.