• Last modified 30 days ago (Feb. 22, 2018)


New Tampa foundation kicks off first project

Staff writer

Tampa’s popular “Little Free Library” will soon have a bigger, more robust brother of sorts, as a library building is being built mere feet away.

David Mueller, board member for Tampa Community Foundation, said an unsightly empty space where the structure is being built is in the location a notable past resident used to operate a business.

“We’ve had an anonymous contribution and we are naming the library the Paul Gooding Memorial Library,” Mueller said. “He was a longtime mayor of Tampa and this space was his shoe repair and produce store. All the farmers had chickens and would bring in their eggs.”

Mueller said the library will be used by young and old alike. The foundation wants to form partnerships with other libraries in the area and provide lending of electronic books.

“The location we’re at, it’s 25 miles to the nearest library,” Mueller said.

The foundation, formed in December, is off to a running start. It has also launched a scholarship program to support local high school graduates pursuing college or vocational education. So far, the project has collected $40,000 in cash and another $25,000 in pledges.

With a population of 100, Tampa is a small community to have a foundation, but that doesn’t discourage foundation members. The foundation operates under the umbrella of Marion Advancement Campaign, a 501(c)(3)

“It’s something the community’s been wanting to do for decades,” Mueller said. “It just felt the time was right and it needed to be done.”

Mueller said the purpose of the foundation is to provide opportunities for young families to put down roots in Tampa and keep the young families already there.

Doing so means developing community features so families don’t have to drive to other communities for amenities.

Last modified Feb. 22, 2018