Albertson Public Library

Albertson Public Library

Created: October 31, 2013

The Original Building

On February 21, 1922, the City held a bond election, and the vote was 446 for and 155 against a bond issue for certain municipal improvements, including a public library building. Mr. Murray S. King was instructed to prepare plans for the building, which were approved by the Commission on May 12, 1922. The contract was let to Mr. C. C. Hanner, August 30, 1922, for the sum of $73,983 and the building was erected under Mr. King's supervision. The total cost of the building, grounds and equipment was $110,000. On November, 8, 1923, the doors of the Library were opened to the public.

The Albertson Public Library was a fine, limestone building with four tall Greek Doric columns topped with a carving of draped Grecian figures. Eleven broad white steps led up to the entrance, and a long low wall along Central Avenue was covered with trailing lantana. Just inside the tall doors, a large skylight in the rotunda added to the natural light admitted through large windows reaching almost to the ceiling. If you stood directly under the dome, you could see the head librarian--first Miss Brumbaugh, then Miss Wendel--in her little office on the balcony over the first floor.

Glass floors in the stacks were designed to let the light penetrate from one floor to another, but they also created "shocking" situations when static electricity sparked the woolen-clothed patrons in cool winters. The heating plan was not installed until 1938, and in later years the building leaked terribly in heavy rains.

There was a separate Children's Room in the Albertson from the very beginning, and story hours and vacation reading clubs were held regularly. A garden and entrance to the Children's Department on the Rosalind Avenue side were added in 1935 as a result of a gift from Miss Annetta O'B. Walker of Portland, Maine.

Sorosis donated all suitable books from their library to swell the original collection of 12,000 to more than 15,000 and then the City purchased books so that the Library began with a collection of 21,000 volumes.

In November 1943, the community celebrated the Silver Anniversary of the Public Library in Orlando and a booklet was created to commemorate the event. It outlines the history of how the library came to be, the library board through the years and facts and figures on the library's holdings, circulation and borrowers in 1943. Peruse the 1943 booklet.

By 1959 the library was deemed totally inadequate to meet the needs of staff and residents. Read the Jaycee report.

Orlando , FL
United States

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