May 22, 2022

Florida: Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library “Changes Mission to Reflect Changing Times”

From the The Tampa Tribune:

Hillsborough County’s 25 libraries are in the process of exchanging book shelves for computer stations and encouraging conversation among users by providing cozy lounging areas and meeting rooms, said Renalda Sells, chief librarian for the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.

And leading the way is the SouthShore Regional Library, 15816 Beth Shields Way, Ruskin, now undergoing design changes to cater to the needs of today’s library user, said Sun City Center resident and 12-year library board member Jim Harkins, who was instrumental in bringing the library to South Shore in 2006.


“It’s become a community information center and a cultural center,” Harkins said. “Instead of making libraries obsolete, technology has made them more relevant than ever to residents across all socio-economic levels.”

The problem is that many people aren’t aware of all of the free services we have available at the library,” said Harkins. “Libraries are more vibrant than ever and we want to get the word out.”

Read the Complete Article
Includes details about the library removing bookshelves to add more seating, a new media lab, and more.

See Also: Btw, Mr. Harkin is correct about users and potential users not be aware of what the library has to offer. The recently released Pew Internet & American Life Project report, How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities told us this as did the 2012 report.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.