A new chapter is beginning in the history of the Brandon Regional Library.
The library’s current building, located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., will be replaced with a new facility to be built less than a mile south at the northeast corner of Lumsden Rd. and Woodview Dr., just west of Parsons Ave.
According to Sean McGarvey, Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative’s manager of support services, the current library has served the community well since opening in 1991, but things have changed and a new one is required in order to meet residents’ information needs in the 21st century.
“Over the past 30 years, the community has grown, and its needs have evolved,” said McGarvey, adding that the types of services libraries provide go beyond providing shelves of books to read. “We recognize the community’s need for collaborative spaces and access to more diverse technology resources, and the current location is unable to accommodate this. The proposed new library will offer customers an accessible, modern, 25,000-square-foot facility equipped with meeting room spaces to host technology instruction and library programs. The proposed library will also include an enclosed children’s room and audio-visual studio.”
The replacement library is planned to be a single-story building that will be built on the approximately 7.5-acre piece of land that the county owns. The project is budgeted at $12.5 million and is being paid for with county library taxing district funds. Completion of the new building is expected to be in 2025.
As for appearance, the new library will likely feature a neoclassical red brick building, including classical columns with decorative cornices, according to information published online by the county about the project.
The nature of public libraries has changed since Brandon’s first library was created in 1960, when the Brandon Women’s Club allocated space for 1,000 books in their clubhouse and choices were pretty much paperback or hardcover. The Brandon Branch Library of the Tampa Public Library began operations in a larger facility in 1968 before moving to the Vonderburg Dr. location in 1991. Current activities and resources include access to computers and internet service, videos, 3D printers, writing workshops, story time events of all types and assistive technology to ensure everyone benefits from what the library offers.