Staff Report

In December, local authors met up at the Bloomingdale Regional Library at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico for a Meet N’ Greet event. Members of the community were invited to attend and get to know local authors and hear their stories at this free event. Authors who attended included William Valentine, Sam Black, Eugene Hodge, Maria DeVivo, Yael Eylat-Tanaka, Sheryl Y. Battle-Maxwell, Rosane Gibson, Bobby Sherman, Jack Caldwell, along with members of the Bloomingdale Writers Connection.

Local Authors Meet N’ Greet events occur every other month at different libraries throughout Hillsborough County. The first Read Local event took place last June at the SouthShore Regional Library, followed by one at the Riverview Branch library in August and the Lutz Branch Library in October.

The first Read Local author event in 2016 will be held at the Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library in Tampa on Monday, February 15 and will feature local African American authors in honor of Black History Month.   

According to Allie Brazis, the Principal Librarian for the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library, “Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library supports local authors by offering author Meet N’ Greet events and also spotlighting three authors every month on its local author webpage which includes a brief bio, photograph, and a link to their work in the libraries’ collection. The purpose of the local author’s collection is to support and encourage content creation, entrepreneurial achievement, and community prosperity.”

To be eligible to have your work included in the library’s local author collection, authors must reside in the Tampa Bay Area (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, Sarasota, Manatee or Polk County).

There are many benefits to having your work featured in the local author collection such as exposure of your book to voracious readers looking to discover something new, the opportunity to promote your work through participation in local author events, and the ability to network and meet other local authors and share experiences.

Visit http://www.hcplc.org/hcplc/books/localauthors.html to learn more.