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Lutz Branch Library
About the Lutz Branch Library
Lutz is a geographical area in northern Hillsborough County. The name Lutz comes from W.P. Lutz, a young engineer from West Virginia, who built a saw mill in the area and later connected two railroad lines at what became known as "Lutz Junction." The commercial heart of Lutz lies at the intersection of U.S. Highway 41 and Sunset Lane. The library, a medium sized branch of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System, is just under ½ mile north of that intersection, at the corner of Highway 41 and Lutz-Lake Fern Road.
The Lutz Branch Library has 12,000 square feet and includes a computer lab, a large community room and a small meeting room. The Reading Room is dedicated to Helen Swisshelm. Mrs. Swisshelm was a member of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Library Board from 1990 to 2005 and was its Chairwoman from 1992-1993. She was the Founder of the Friends of the Lutz Library and its President from 2000 to 2007. Mrs. Swisshelm's long and unwavering commitment to the Lutz Branch Library has been commemorated with her framed portrait near the main entrance inside the library.
Friends of the Library
The Friends of the Lutz Branch Library sponsors many of the programs at the Lutz Branch Library, especially the performers for children during the Summer Library Program. They have a bookstore in the library, The Book Depot, which is accessible whenever the library is open, and they have a big annual book sale every June. The beautiful landscaping around the library is an on-going Friends project.
Library service began with a bookmobile stop at the community center in 1961. In the late 1960s the library guild of the Lutz-Land O'Lakes Women's Club set up a temporary library in a wood frame building on U.S. Highway 41. One thousand volumes on home-made bookcases were available to the public. Volunteers staffed the building twenty hours per week.
The present building opened in April of 1970. It accommodated about 50,000 volumes, a meeting room, a public reading room, work area, and was 7,000 square feet. On July 29, 2003 construction began on a 5,000 square foot addition to the building along with a complete renovation and the project was completed on June 1, 2004. A small but dynamic Lutz History Collection reflects the community's history and pride. The library has three histories of Lutz and a collection of the Lutz "Fourth of July Celebration and Field Day" booklets from 1947 to 1969
On March 9, 2007, the Lutz Branch library was honored to have a double dedication ceremony for its public arts sculpture as well as the naming of the Helen Swisshelm Reading Room. The sculpture, by artist Charles Sharrod Partin, is on the exterior of the building by the front entrance and is made of kiln-fired maroon bricks. It celebrates the railroading heritage of the Lutz Community and more information about the sculpture can be found here.