LeRoy Collins Library celebrates 25th anniversary

Courtesy of Amari Thomas

The LeRoy Collins Library celebrated its 25th anniversary this Saturday.

The event served as recognition of importance of county libraries and the honoring of the Leon County Government opening its first library, which paved the way for the opening of its six other branches.

The Library opened in February of 1991 and has seen over 14 million visitors and has checked out over 23 million materials, which is not limited to just books.

Community members were able to come out and enjoy an open house of the library with tours, memorabilia, displays, scavenger hunts, storytime and musical entertainment throughout the day.

Commissioner Bill Procter spoke during the proclamation and remarks ceremony for the library reminding the community that the LeRoy Collins library is more than just a library.

“Many people have found refuge and comfort in a place to be when it’s cold, a place to come and feel okay if only for a little while. That’s not a part of what we think of libraries as, but this has been a safe haven and to the extent that sociologically it represents that,” Procter said.  

County commissioners John Dailey and MaryAnn Lindley were also in attendance with Proctor.

Cay Hohmeister, who moved to Tallahassee the year after the library was opened and now is the director of the library, explained what the special occasion was about and the mission the library continues to display.

“Well 25 years this month, the library was opened to the public. It was a huge effort on the part of Leon County citizens and library lovers to get a big downtown library building like this one. Our mission is to establish a love of reading and a life of learning, so we hope that we do that every day for the people,” Hohmeister said.

Spectator and former public services manager for the library Linda McCarthy, said she came out to celebrate the library’s 25th anniversary as well as to reminisce on her years being apart of the library’s working staff.

“I remember when we had our grand opening 25 years ago, it was so exciting. We had four governors come to our event so that was exciting and I’m just thrilled to be here. I worked here for about 15 years. I came to work for the library about a year before they really started work on this and getting it together, so I saw it from very beginning of planning stages and I‘ve worked to help make the move over here. I worked on planning how many shelves we needed and those kinds of little details, so it was very exciting at the time,” McCarthy said.

The grand opening of the library was celebrated February 22-24 of 1991 and on September 17, 1993 it was renamed to honor the former governor LeRoy Collins.

For more information about the LeRoy Collins library visit cms.leoncountyfl.gov/Library