West Florida Public Libraries
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West Florida Public Library
Main Entrance on North Spring Street
|Location||239 North Spring Street |
|Access and use|
|Population served||50,000 (city)|
The West Florida Public Library System is an organization of libraries that serve the Pensacola, Florida area, with branch libraries in Escambia County, Florida.
The Library System currently has approximately 360,000 books, 36,000 audio resources, and 14,000 video resources in circulation. In addition to its branch libraries, the Library System operates a mobile library, the "Bookmobile", which visits a number of areas in Escambia County each week.
- Pensacola Public Library — downtown Pensacola. Recently finished new building, which required an address change to 239 North Spring Street.
- Tryon Branch Library — on 1200 Langley Ave.
- Southwest Branch Library —12248 Gulf Beach Hwy, in southwest Pensacola, near Perdido Key
- Westside Branch Library — a small branch approx. 1.5 miles west of the Main Branch
- Century Branch Library — 7991 N. Century Boulevard
- Genealogy Branch Library (Previously location of the Lucia M. Tryon Branch Library) — 5740 N. 9th Ave.
- Molino Branch Library — 6450-A Highway 95A, in the Molino Community Center
In 1885, the Pensacola Library Association organized as a subscription library. The library had 184 members who paid .25/month to use the library. During the years of 1904, 1910, 1911 and 1919, the city made attempts to secure Carnegie funds for a public library, however, because the city failed to provide a site and future support for such a library, it was unable to obtain the funds. The city later allotted 25.00/month and then 50.00/month to the library. Still, the library moved to various locations downtown and, at some point, a bond election failed. In 1933, the subscription library closed and its books were stored in the San Carlos Hotel.
In February 1937, the Pensacola City Council passed an ordinance to establish a free public library and it created a five-member board. In January 1938, Lucia Tryon was hired as librarian to convert Old Christ Church to the city's first public library which opened on February 15, 1938 with 3352 books. Also in 1938, the Shakespeare Club opened a library on Oak St. in Milton Florida. By March 1, 1938, the Pensacola free public library counted 2,375 cardholders. On August 17, 1952, the Alice S. Williams branch was opened to serve the black community and in 1957, a new Pensacola public library opened at Spring and Gregory St. Finally, in 1963, the city of Santa Rosa entered into an inter-local agreement with the city of Pensacola with service to 1800 patrons at the Milton branch library. This was the beginning of the West Florida Regional Library System.
Funding and administration
The Escambia County branches and the Bookmobile are funded primarily by the City of Pensacola and Escambia County. The branches also receive aid supplement funds from the State, as well as federal grant money.
The West Florida Public Library System is administered by the West Florida Public Library Board, which is made up of nine members, three of which are appointed by the Pensacola City Council and the Escambia County Commission.
While several libraries in Santa Rosa County (including the Gulf Breeze, Jay Navarre & Milton branches) used to be a part of the West Florida Regional Library system, they have since parted ways, hence the name change to 'West Florida Public Library'.
- Electronic books: The library provides patrons access to both downloadable eBooks (via OneClickdigital and EBSCO) and eAudioBooks (via OneClickdigital), as well as online access to TumbleBooks.
- Meeting & Study Rooms: The library provides study rooms, on a first come, first served basis. Meeting rooms are also available by application, with two weeks notice requested.
- Book Clubs: Pensacola, Tryon and Molino libraries feature monthly book clubs.
- InterLibrary Loan: The library offers interlibrary loan for books, books on CD and music CDs (items must be at least 6 months old). DVDs may not be interlibrary loaned. Patrons may request 5 items within a 30-day period.
- Career Online High School Program: This program offers adults (19 and older) who have not previously earned a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma.
- Talking Books and Braille: The library is a sub-regional library of the Florida Bureau of Braille and Talking Books Library which provides recorded books and magazines as well as Braille books for patrons with visual or physical disabilities which making reading difficult.
- Computer Use: Currently all branches have computers for cardholders to use. The Main Branch has the most internet terminals, which has been recently upgraded with the completion of the new building. There are now 34 computers. All computers are the same with 17 inch flat screen monitors, all running Windows 7 on a Dell Optiplex 390, with an Intell Core i5. The entire Library is a Wi_Fi hotspot, and you can connect any of your wireless devices if you choose to bring in your own. There is a glassed in computer lab, which is primarily being used for computer classes that are offered each month to help those who need to learn how to use a computer.
- Sprout PCs: The library now has a number of Sprout computers. These computers have 3D imaging programs, with many uses including art, coin identification, music mixing, and piano instruction.
- Faxing and Copying: The library offers faxing and copying at most locations. Fax service is not available at the Genealogy branch.
Categories: County library systems in Florida | Education in Escambia County, Florida | Buildings and structures in Pensacola, Florida | Libraries in Florida | 1885 establishments in Florida
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