Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System Wins Statewide 2019 Library of the Year Honors

Stop by one of the 27 libraries on Saturday at 11 a.m. to help celebrate

Link: sound bites from Library Services Director Andrew Breidenbaugh, Broll from libraries

Hillsborough County, Fla. (May 23, 2019) - A lot of Hillsborough County residents know their public libraries are pretty special. The Florida Library Association agrees.

The professional organization that represents academic, public, and school libraries across the state has named the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library system as its 2019 Library of the Year.

If you haven't been to a library in awhile, this Saturday, May 25, is a good time to stop by and see what's new. From 11 a.m. to noon, all 27 branches will celebrate the award by offering light refreshments and commemorative bookmarks.

The Library of the Year award recognizes creative and innovative programming, efforts made to expand and enhance services, and leadership in implementing programs that can be emulated by other libraries.

Among the many notables which gave the nod to Tampa-Hillsborough County libraries:

  • Eliminating overdue fines, which welcomed back approximately 15,000 customers whose accounts had been locked, and increased use of materials and services
  • Internal improvements that saved money and made better use of staff time, allowing the addition of more classes
  • Services that include U.S. passport application acceptance, online high school completion scholarships, recording studios, and "Discovery Pass," offering free admission to local attractions
  • Hillsborough All Access Libraries (HAAL) Pass, which allows all public, charter, virtual, and homeschool students in the county to use their student ID number as a public library card
  • A vast array of free programming and events, including story times for autistic children, programs in Spanish, concerts, LibCon and AfroCon, support for local authors and artists, business skills classes, technology workshops, crafting lessons, and more.
  • The opening of the Arthenia L. Joyner University Area Community Library, which doubles as the Media Center for the adjacent Muller Elementary Magnet School.

The library system's easy-to-use website also received the Florida Library Association's 2019 Library Web Presence award.

To learn more about the many free resources and programs available at Tampa-Hillsborough County public libraries, call (813) 273-3762, or go to


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