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Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library

1505 Nebraska Ave.
Tampa, FL 33602-2849
813-273-3652
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Temporarily Closed for New Building Construction

We encourage you to visit any of the following nearby neighborhood libraries for full service while the new Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library is being built. Thank you for your patience and flexibility during this time, we look forward to seeing you at the locations listed below:


For more details, please visit the county building project webpage.

About the Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library

Overview

The Robert W. Saunders Library was designed by Architect Russell Minardi and features a lovely stone mural along the entrance wall entitled "Symbols of Mankind." Local artist Joe Testa Secca created the mural to reflect the diversity of the community and the knowledge found within the walls of the building. This magnificent piece of local artwork was restored and re-dedicated by the Friends of the Hillsborough County Library in 1995.

This location provides Internet access through library computers and WiFi connectivity. Public meeting space is available in the Dr. Walter Lee Smith Community Room 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.

Friends of the Library

Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library is supported by the Ada T. Payne Friends of the Urban Libraries, which also includes the C. Blythe Andrews, Sr. Library and the West Tampa Branch Library.

History

The library opened at 1729 East Broadway in 1933 and named the Ybor City Branch Library even though it was located one block outside of Ybor City boundaries. Its home was a storefront facility donated by the local Italian American Club. The collection was aimed primarily at the Spanish-speaking community and the library was open on a part time basis.

Construction of a new building at 1505 North Nebraska Avenue was planned as part of the 1968 Model Cities Maryland Avenue Urban Renewal project. It 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.Groundbreaking for a walkway to connect the Saunders library and Booker T. Washington Elementary School was held in May 2009 and opened for use by the students in September of the same year.

Library Art

A bronze bust sculpted of Mr. Saunders by artist Brian R. Owens is on display in the reading room area of the library.

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