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Education > Gainesville Public
Public Library, 1968-1991
In 1903 a group of Gainesville women organized a literary society, starting the town's first library. This evolved into the Gainesville Public Library, later the Santa Fe Regional Library, and, in 1986, the Alachua County Library District. The library did not have its own home until 1918 when a new Carnegie library building was opened at 419 East University Avenue. That building was replaced on the same site by a new, more spacious building in 1956. The next building, shown in this picture, was across the street at 222 East University Avenue. This was replaced by a 78,000 sq. ft. building which opened in 1991 at 401 East University Avenue, basically on the site of the 1918 Carnegie building. The first branch libraries opened in 1959 and the first bookmobile was dedicated the same year. By 1997 there were nine branches in addition to Headquarters. The library in this photograph, located at 222 East University Avenue, opened for business on December 9, 1968, and served as the library for 22 years. When the 1991 building opened, this building was taken over by city offices. The area with the pond is now the Martin Luther King Memorial Garden, and it is beautifully landscaped with a sculpture of playing children.
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