Posted January 8, 2019 | 10:38 AM

Library Founding Era Program and Teen Poetry Slam are 240-plus Years in the Making

Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library one of two in Florida to receive grant

Hillsborough County, Fla. (Jan. 8, 2018) - With "Hamilton" mania poised to descend on our area, the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library is taking its own shot at giving American history a modern-day twist.

Revisiting the Founding Era: Dispelling Myths and Misconceptions is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 17 at 1 PM at the SouthShore Regional Library, 15816 Beth Shields Way in Ruskin. The town hall discussion will explore the ways in which American political culture draws on Founding Era myths, and recent scholarship that challenges the way most contemporary Americans understand our constitutional foundations. Led by University of South Florida history professor Philip Levy, the event also features Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society president Rand Scholet, and "I, Eliza Hamilton" author Susan Holloway Scott.

Students in grades 6 through 12 also have until Sunday, Jan. 13 to enter the Revisiting the Founding Era: Poetry Slam Contest. Finalists will compete for cash prizes during a revolutionary showdown at the Robert W. Saunders, Sr., Public Library on Feb. 19. For complete rules and the entry form, visit

The programs are made possible thanks to a recently-awarded grant from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The Institute's Revisiting the Founding Era is a three-year national initiative presented in partnership with the American Library Association and the National Constitution Center, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant provides 100 libraries across the country the opportunity to use historical documents to spark public conversations about the Founding Era's enduring ideas and themes, and how they continue to influence our lives today.

Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library is one of two library systems in Florida to receive the grant. The library system received 10 copies of a reader containing scholarly essays on selected historical documents from the lauded Gilder Lehrman Collection, $1,000 to help implement programs, and additional digital resources, training, and support from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the American Library Association.



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