This year the library celebrates it’s 85th birthday thanks to the foresight of the ladies of the Women’s Civic Club who opened the first library at the Community House on 2nd Street North with funds from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). For the next several years they held Book Tea Benefits soliciting books from the community to fill shelves and by April 1940, 800 books were in circulation. By 1941, funding from the WPA was questionable, but the women of the Club were resourceful in keeping the library doors open by holding a Street Carnival, and in 1942 began charging adults $1.00 for library services. During the war years, more books were acquired and in 1944, a book sharing agreement was signed with the Clearwater Library. The women continued their vision to grow the library’s collection and maintain the building.
In 1946, Dr. Salem Baranoff, owner of the Safety Harbor Spa, donated two lots on the corner of 2nd St North and 5th Ave North for a new library. This new building opened in 1949. The Club continued to support the library though various fundraising efforts until 1985 when they turned over operations and sold the property to the City of Safety Harbor. In 1994 construction of our current building was completed. It was expanded and remodeled in 2009, and today plans for a second story addition is in progress, with the Library Foundation spearheading fundraising to offset City costs.
Since 1938, your library continues to create community connections. On Saturday, January 21 from 11 am - 3 pm, the library is hosting a Human Library Event where patrons check out human 'Books' for one-on-one conversations that challenge stereotypes and prejudices. On Thursday, January 19 at 7 pm a Jazz, Blues & Beyond concert will be held for great musical entertainment. There is something for all ages at today’s library. Visit SafetyHarborLibrary.com for complete event information and more on Safety Harbor’s fascinating local history. The library is more than just books.