County Seeks Feedback For Libraries Future Through Public Meetings

By Tamas Mondovics

Residents have an opportunity to give input on their local public library services, programs, and facilities, thanks to a series of open house-style public meetings scheduled at libraries across Hillsborough County this spring.

Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative (HCPLC) includes the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library with 26 facilities in unincorporated Hillsborough County and the city of Tampa, the Bruton Memorial Library in Plant City, and the Temple Terrace Public Library.

While some of the functions of the neighborhood libraries have morphed to meet the changing times and technology over the years, residents are making good use of the various services and, show no sign of slowing down.

According to the most recent data, the libraries and two bookmobiles host more than 4 million walk-in visits and more than 7 million online visits a year.

HCPLC annually circulates approximately 9.9 million materials ranging from paperbacks and Ebooks, to music and movies, to ukuleles.

Customers may borrow items from any of the libraries in the Cooperative, and return them at any branch. The libraries also offer a wide variety of programs and presentations for all ages.

Hillsborough County Public Library Director Andrew S. Breidenbaugh said that the HCPLC wants feedback from residents as well as to help them get involved in building a future five-year strategic plan for library services.

“The open house meetings provide opportunity to gather public input on topics such as which library services are working well, suggest improvements, facility design and ideas for future partnerships and community-building,” Breidenbaugh said.

“Residents are encouraged to attend any of the open house sessions to participate in the planning process and offer comments,” Breidenbaugh said.

Those that make use of the Bloomingdale Regional Library can attend an open house scheduled at the facility at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico on Tuesday, March 29.

Open house meetings are also scheduled for Tuesday, April 12 at the Seffner-Mango Branch Library at 410 N. Kingsway Rd. in Seffner as well as on Tuesday, April 26 at the SouthShore Regional Library at 15816 Beth Shields Way, in Ruskin. All open houses will take place on Tuesdays from 6-8 p.m.

For more information and for a list of meeting locations, visit hcplc.org.