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50th Anniversary Celebration

Saturday, March 11, 2006

See below to link to photos and anecdotes from Library patrons.

The public celebrated the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library System’s 50th Anniversary on Saturday, March 11, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Main Library and E. Peck Greene Park. West Park Avenue, between Bronough Street and Duval Street, was closed for the morning.

Speakers at Anniversary Celebration

The Leon County Board of County Commissioners kicked off the anniversary event with a ceremony that included remarks from Commissioners Tony Grippa, Jane Sauls, and Cliff Thaell. County Administrator Parwez Alam, Library Director Helen Moeller, and Shelly Griffin, President of the Friends of the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library System, completed the roster of speakers. The County Commissioners also unveiled a commemorative plaque that will be displayed in the Main Library for years to come.

Caillou, Sister Bear and Leona...A celebration in E. Peck Greene Park was held immediately after the ceremony. PBS characters “Leona”, from Between the Lions; “Sister Bear” from The Berenstain Bears; and “Calliou” from the program of the same name,  were on hand to meet children, sign autographs, and encourage reading. Activities included storytelling in the gazebo, face painting, and a bookmark craft for kids. The Leon High School Steel Drum Band, “Lion Steel”, a local jazz ensemble, and the Maui Oli’ Oli’ hula dancers provided entertainment. Kids clamored to meet Leon County Emergency Medical Services’ robotic mascot, “Leon the Lifesaver”, who  was promoting safety. Literacy Volunteers of Leon County, VolunteerLEON, and the Friends of the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library System displayed information and recruited new participants and supporters. Visitors toured the Bookmobile, collected handouts about library resources and services, and library staff registered new patrons.

Along with the plaque, citizens could “check out” a library display consisting of pictures and stories about the library through the years. The series of photographic posters are on display at all branches through the end of March.

Refreshments were served and special library card holders to commemorate this golden anniversary were distributed. The card holders continue to be available at the circulation desks at all library locations.

Photos were taken by the Library's own Edna Spann and can be viewed here; and see photos here by Rebeka Gipson-King with the Leon County Public Information Office.

You can make history by sharing your favorite library stories and memories that will be shared on-line and in a commemorative book. Read some of the stories already submitted by visiting Library Memories. Please e-mail your memories to Debra Sears at SearsD@LeonCountyFL.gov.