I might have explained to a few people why I moved to Lakeland. As true with so many stories, it was for a woman. Specifically, my wife accepted a position as USF-Lakeland’s first librarian. As a matter of fact, she recently opened USF Lakeland’s first library. The university had previously housed their collection in the PCC library.
I’ve been relatively quiet on the subject while USF prepared their own announcement. That happened today, when Thomas Hagerty published, An Uncommon Experience.
The library is open at the USF/PCC campus on Bartow Rd. You can’t miss it, it’s the big room full of books with the friendly staff. (Yes, I’m biased, but I’m also correct.)
But, it’s not USF Lakeland’s last library. The staff is already preparing for an eventual move to a larger facility on the new campus…
“The biggest challenge is having enough space to hold everything I’d like to acquire,” says Lavallée-Welch. “It’s very important to start the library now and build our collection as we prepare for our new campus. USF Lakeland is growing quickly, and the campus needs a library to match.”
I appreciate the hard work she does to help the library meet the needs of the students, staff, and visiting public. She promises to make it grow into something very special…
“I also see a space where people can get the help and information they need from start to finish of a project, individually or as a group,” she says. “A place, for example, where they can access the software to practice and make a presentation. I also imagine a place to relax, socialize, create relationships and gain knowledge. A place to have meetings and to hear guest speakers. A place to inform and entertain.”
Photo of Catherine Lavallee-Welch and USF Lakeland student Kristen Dailey at the Library Dedication. CC by Chuck Welch