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Beach Beacon
St. Pete Beach Library raising funds
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ST. PETE BEACH – The St. Pete Beach Library plans a kickoff for its $700,000 fund-raising campaign to provide a much-needed 3,500-square-foot addition and interior space renovation.

The event is Wednesday, Jan. 29, 5 to 6:30 p.m., at the Library, 365 73rd Ave. Best-selling Tampa author Tim Dorsey will preview his 16th Serge Storms book, “Tiger Shrimp Tango.”

Architects from the Harvard-Jolly firm will be on hand with renderings and key information about the project, along with Library Administrator Phyllis Ruscella, City Manager Mike Bonfield, other city officials and library staff. A fund-raising brochure with the renderings will be available, with many naming and other donor opportunities. First major funding for the total $2 million project came from the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative, which last February awarded the city a grant for $200,000.

Ward Friszolowski of Harvard Jolly, a former mayor and Library Advisory Board chair, noted that the added space includes an entrance foyer, expanded restrooms and a long desired 75-capacity meeting room that can be divided into two spaces for the library’s and community’s many programs.

Renovation plans for the existing space include such features as a new children's area with more computers and seating, a new “storytime room” for the younger set, more computers and seating for the public, a more efficient overall layout with a new circulation desk closer to the new main entrance, a better staff working area, a larger Friends' Bookstore, a better display for new collection materials – books, DVD movies and music CDs, and more storage space.

The St. Pete Beach Library is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2014, and, dependent on anticipated fund-raising success, the first phase interior renovation project should start before year-end.

The City has set up a separate account for all donations, big or small, designated for the multi-year Library facility expansion/renovation project. To make a contribution, contact the library administrator directly at p.ruscella@stpetebeach.org or stop by the library.
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