Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gulfport library offers new reading garden

GULFPORT — With apologies to Virginia Woolf: Local book lovers now have a garden of their own.

Related News/Archive

Designed by Gulfport landscape architect Christopher "Toffer" Ross, the Gulfport Public Library's Reading Garden encompasses 1,500 square feet just outside the library's large bay window. It includes brightly colored tables and chairs and a large live oak that provides optimum shade in the summer. Once the landscaping is complete, the library's outdoor extension will feature 12 types of plants and flowers native to Florida. Ross, who is also chairwoman of the city's historic preservation committee, thinks outdoor spaces are the next hot topic for libraries.

"Libraries are having to redefine themselves in this age of electronic literacy, and part of that redefinition involves adding multiuse outdoor space,'' she said. "Gulfport's Reading Garden is on the cutting edge of that shift. Gardens such as ours offer a contemplative space where anyone can take their laptop, a book or any electronic device and enjoy the shade of an old oak tree. City libraries have always been places where people gather. Now, Gulfport has a natural place for the community to gather."

Ross has overseen the project since its inception less than a year ago, and has never known a public works project to move so quickly through the process.

"Everyone who we've had to deal with has been incredibly supportive," said Ross, who has donated her design and project management services to the library.

The $25,000 necessary to pay for the garden's construction came from the library's reserve fund, comprised of memorials and donations made to the city and designated for the library, according to city Administrator David Mather.

The Reading Garden is the realization of a long-held dream for the Gulfport Library's Circle of Friends. The organization, whose mission is to enhance the library's services and encourage support for literacy, is chaired by Phyllis Plotnick, who predicts the community will fall in love with the library's new outdoor space.

"There is no more beautiful spot in Gulfport to sit and read a book than in this garden," she said during the recent soft opening. "Everyone in Gulfport can enjoy this beautiful space. It's a perfect extension to our library."

Gulfport library offers new reading garden 04/27/13 [Last modified: Friday, April 26, 2013 5:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. There's a bar in Tampa where you can roller skate and eat sushi

    Food & Dining

    Roller skating, it's not just for kids birthday parties and the 1970s anymore.

    The exterior of Pattinis features this mural by Art Aliens! [Pattinis South Tampa via Facebook]
  2. At 'American Idol' auditions in Orlando, there are life lessons in line

    Music & Concerts

    LAKE BUENA VISTA — From her spot across the lawn, Sasha Orihuela studies her son.

    Jeremy Joshua Dorsey reacts after past American Idol contestants walk by ahead of his audition at the Disney Springs in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday, August 17, 2017. 

Hundreds of people showed up for the first auditions for ABC's reboot of 'American Idol'. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
  3. Lockdown: Florida's 97,000 prison inmates confined through weekend

    State Roundup

    All of Florida's 97,000 state prison inmates are on lockdown — and will remain confined to their dorms at least through the weekend — in response to unspecified threats about possible uprisings, officials from the Florida Department of Corrections confirmed Thursday.

    Blackwater River Correctional Facility. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  4. Kevin Cash: 'We've got to turn it around. ... Time is of the essence'

    Blogs

    The question to manager Kevin Cash was about a rematch with the Mariners this weekend at the Trop, but he made clear this afternoon that with his Rays losing nine of their last 12 that they have to treat every game as essential.

    "We've got to start playing good baseball games whether we match up well against that team or not," Kevin Cash said.
  5. Should kindergartners be encouraged to conform to peer pressure? One Pasco school suggests so

    Blogs

    A Pasco County elementary school came under fire on social media Thursday for its new behavior expectation charts that suggest conforming to peer pressure is positive, and that running in school is anarchy.

    Deer Park Elementary School has posted this chart of student expectations. Some parents have complained about its terms, such as the suggestion that conforming to peer pressure is positive.