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Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library
Gallery - New Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library
About the New Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library
The new Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library is now open. The new building was designed by Harvard Jolly.
This location provides Internet access through library computers and WiFi connectivity. Public meeting space is available and an after-hours book drop is located at the front of the building. The branch is located just north of the historic Union Train Station near downtown Tampa.
The Saunders Library receives support from the Ada T. Payne Friends of the Urban Libraries, active supporters and advocates for the library. Proceeds from their fundraising efforts directly benefit this branch, the West Tampa Branch Library and the C. Blythe Andrews, Jr. Public Library. Book stores run by the Friends are located in all three locations.
The Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Library Foundation raises funds that support educational, African American research and cultural activities at the Saunders Library and within the Tampa community.
The original library opened in 1933 and was named the Ybor City Branch Library. Its home was a storefront facility at 1729 East Broadway donated by the local Italian American Club. The new building at 1505 North Nebraska Avenue was dedicated in January of 1969. On November 5, 2003, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners voted to rename the Ybor City Branch Library to honor Robert W. Saunders, Sr., civil rights activist and former NAACP Field Director.
A bronze bust sculpted of Mr. Saunders by artist Brian R. Owens is on display in the lobby. Along the entrance wall a stone mural entitled "Symbols of Mankind" was created by local artist Joe Testa Secca to reflect the diversity of the community and the knowledge found within the walls of the building.