One of Riverview’s most treasured residents received an exciting honor last month. The Community Room at the Riverview Library was dedicated to Jim Johnson, who has lived and worked in the area since 1957.
“Mr. Johnson has dedicated his life to the improvement, growth and support of the Riverview community,” said Chely Cantrell, Manager of Library Development for Tampa-Hillsborough County. “Jim has been a reverent backer of the Library for Riverview from the earliest days when the community rallied to have an actual building rather than a bookmobile stop.”
Johnson, who attended Ruskin Elementary and East Bay High schools, moved to Riverview in 1970 and spent 43 years working in the phosphate industry, retiring from The Mosaic Company in 2015 as Public Affairs Coordinator. His long list of accolades include appointment to the Library Board by Board of County Commissioners in 2003, time as president of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce (GRCC), Honorary Mayor of Riverview and Gibsonton and 13 years as chief of the Riverview Volunteer Fire Department.
“It has been estimated that Jim has dedicated tens of thousands of hours to this community and is still continuing to serve,” said Michelle Mosher, GRCC President and owner of SouthShore Insurance Professionals, LLC, who spoke at the community room dedication and proclaimed April 16, 2019 to be Jim Johnson Day.
Jim and his wife Linda are also celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this year.
The 8,000 sq. ft. Riverview Library opened in November of 1979 on Riverview Dr., just west of US Hwy. 301. The one-room location has seen more than 100,000 visitors check out more than 200,000 items and offers community programs, including crafting, STEAM and STEM sessions, sensory story time, early literacy and a monthly cookbook club.
According to Cantrell, growth in the area and the popularity of the library has led Hillsborough County to approve construction of a new library building slated for completion in spring 2020.
“Mr. Johnson has also been instrumental in the development of this location and we will be recognizing the dedication at the new location when we hold the ribbon-cutting for the new building,” said Cantrell.
Riverview Library is located at 10509 Riverview Dr. or call 273-3652. To learn more about the new library location, please visit www.hcplc.org/locations/riverview-replacement.