4902 West Commerce Street
Tampa, Florida 33616-2704 813.204.2627 http://www.hcplc.org/hcplc/locations/ptm/ 813.273.3652
A westbound route on tree-lined Interbay Boulevard and then southbound on West Shore Boulevard will lead you to the imposing marble building in the curve of Commerce Street – home of the Port Tampa City Library. It is a local treasure housing a wealth of information and services for all of Port Tampa City and neighboring communities, city of Tampa, and Hillsborough County.
Built in 1926 by James G. Yeats as the First Bank of Port Tampa City, it was robbed, closed, renamed the Commerce Bank Building, repurposed numerous times and served, among many things, as a medical facility, flight school, and grocery store until a fire damaged its interior. The doors were locked; it was sold and resold several times but sat empty for more than 40 years.
In 1951 the Port Tampa City Woman’s Club (PTCWC) established the first Port Tampa City Library in the former Calumet Club with approximately 300 donated books. Port Tampa City was annexed in 1961 and the library became a branch of the Tampa Public Library System. A year later, the PTCWC succeeded in designating the former Port Tampa City Administration building as the new location for the library. It was the slowly deteriorating home of the library for 36 years.
When a condemnation sticker was attached to the front door of the long-abandoned bank building, the PTCWC and the newly formed Civic Association of Port Tampa City (CAPT) pledged to save the building and dedicate it as the new site of the Port Tampa City branch library. It took only three years of lobbying the Library Board of Directors and state and local governmental agencies, plus staging CAPT and PTCWC fundraisers, and two years of restoration and renovation to make the pledge a reality. June 14, 1998, Flag Day and the centennial of troops departing from Port Tampa to Cuba for the Spanish-American War, the old bank building became the new home of the Port Tampa City Library.
Walk through the bronze front doors and you will discover a blend of historic architecture and modern amenities, more than 16,000 printed volumes along with an eBook library, and formal elements that are conducive to leisure reading.
You can comfortably read the daily newspaper, browse current magazines, research reference volumes, log onto the Internet, get online help with your homework, play games on the web, browse the virtual Burgert Brothers photographic collection, explore online tutorials, and learn to use a computer. Employment and career assistance is available on the library website and in books.
Librarians can assist you with computer software and searches by subject, title or author. The staff will check availability of the second floor rooms – including the James G. Yeats Room – that are reserved for meetings, training, and classes by community groups such as CAPT-Civic Association of Port Tampa City, Port Tampa City Woman’s Club, and governmental organizations.
With your library card, you can check out books, DVD’s, CD’s, audiobooks, and previous editions of magazines. If the item you want to check out is not available, you can reserve it and have it shipped to our Port Tampa City branch from another county library.
Additionally, our Library stocks free copies of information that may include hurricane guides, pet spaying and neutering, clean water, literacy programs, voter registration, tax forms, and library programs. Another free service is the ability to fax to 813 and toll-free area codes.
Patrons also include infants and toddlers enjoying the large collection of hard books in the Ellen H. Green* Reading Room and participating in the Story Time program. Daycare centers use our Library to introduce youngsters to illustrated reading and listening. The Library periodically hosts educational and entertainment programs in conjunction with West Shore Elementary School and the city of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department. Many of these programs are funded by proceeds from the Friends of the Port Tampa City Library (FOL) bookstore sales.
Port Tampa City Library hours: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Wednesdays noon – 8:00 PM, closed Sundays, Mondays and national holidays. Check it out! http://www.hcplc.org/hcpls/locations/ptm/ and on Facebook as Port Tampa City Library.
More information on the history of Port Tampa City and our Library is included in the book Port Tampa City – A History of Change, in the reference section of the Port Tampa City Library.
*Link to the library system oral history program Hillsborough Remembers Ellen Green: http://digitalcollections.hcplc.org/cdm/search/collection/p15391qs/searchterm/ellen%20green/field/subjec/mode/all/conn/and/order/nosort
Port Tampa City Library upcoming programs include:
Holiday Closings All Day: November 10 & 11 Veteran’s Day, November 23 & 24 Thanksgiving. Early closing days: November 20, 21 and 22 Library closes at 6:00 PM.
November 17, Friday, 3:00 – 5:00 PM – Movies at the Library: A Dog’s Purpose. A dog looks to discover his purpose in life over the course of several lifetimes and owners. Funded by the Friends of the Port Tampa City Library.
Thursdays, 4:30 – 4:50 PM – Toddler Time – Stories, fingerplays, songs and interactive activities make up this fun 20-minute program that highlights early literacy skills and encourages reading readiness. For children ages 18-36 months and their caregivers.. No Toddler Time on Nov. 23 (holiday closing).
Fourth Saturday, 3:00 – 5:00 PM – Port Tampa City Library Quilters & Crafters – Port Tampa City Library Quilters & Crafters will be meeting every fourth Saturday of the month. Come for a fun and informal meet-up with other crafty people. Bring pieces to work on, share tips and tricks, and enjoy the company of other crafters. All skill levels welcome. Dates: Nov. 25, Dec. 23.
Walk-In Tech Help – 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, 10:30 – 11:30 AM. Drop in any time during this one-hour open lab for quick training in computer basics, tablets, smartphones, e-books, e-readers, and more.
Link for more information on Port Tampa Library programs: http://www.hcplc.org/hcplc/locations/ptm/ For more information on Tampa-Hillsborough Library programs, log onto: http://hcplc.evanced.info/signup/eventcalendar.aspx?&lib=23
Book Store – Friends of the PTC Library (FOL) operates a Book Store with on-going sales of used books and other library media, has assembled a photographic and artifact display on Port Tampa’s history, and through book store sales sponsors programs for children and adults in the James G. Yeats Meeting Room and the Port Tampa City Recreation Center. Fundraising includes sales of Port Tampa City Library tote bags as well as “Treasures”, a 108-page pictorial perpetual calendar, and notecards – both feature historic Burgert Brothers photographs.
In case you missed it:
On Saturday, May 13th, Barnes & Noble, in a partnership with the T-HCPL, sponsored a Bookfair. Percentage of sales was donated to the Friends of the Port Tampa City Library (FOL) for adult & children’s programs (see listing above of programs).
The Friends of the Library (FOL*) organizations of the three South Tampa libraries teamed up to offer a giant multi-branch book sale on April 22, 2017. Sale included children’s books, picture books, fiction, romance, mystery, classics, hardcovers, paperbacks, magazines, DVDs, CDs, book totes and more. All proceeds benefit adult and youth programs at each library. If you missed it, all three of these libraries have a Bookstore that is open for sales during regular hours:
- Port Tampa City Library (http://www.hcplc.org/hcplc/locations/ptm/)
- Charles J. Fendig Library (http://www.hcplc.org/hcplc/locations/fen/)
- Jan Kaminis Platt Library (http://www.hcplc.org/hcplc/locations/jpl)
*Love Your Library – become a Friend! FOL is a group of volunteers committed to offering a variety of services by our neighborhood library. To become a FOL (Friends of the Library) of the Port Tampa City Library drop a note with your contact information in the FOL lock box on the first floor. Becoming a member of the Friends of the PTC Library does not require a membership fee – membership is FREE! Donating your time and ideas are the most valuable contributions. Learn more about the FOL: https://foltampa.org/