Hugh Embry Branch Library, 14215 Fourth St., in Dade City, reopened to the public on May 30, after a two-year hiatus, for renovations.
Patrons were eager to begin using the updated library, which encountered some delays during its upgrade due to COVID and supply issues.
The library now features new furnishings, lighting, computer, printers and even faster broadband.
It was cleared of its contents in early to mid-2021, to set the stage for the $2 million renovation.
It was the first time the branch had been renovated since 1991, when it was expanded under a $10 million bond referendum that Pasco County voters passed in 1986 to improve public library services and build new parks countywide.
Founded in 1904, the Hugh Embry Library is the oldest in Pasco County. Its namesake, the then 25-year-old Embry, had exhausted books he could borrow from friends. He raised $50 to start a library and called it the Shakespeare Club. He chose books and ran the library out of his family home until his death from tuberculosis in 1907.
The Pasco Library Association was established to manage the library, and aided by The Dade City Woman’s Club. In 1927, the woman’s club began loaning books to the general population for free, out of a room in the Herbert Massey Building. Within a month of its opening, the library had attracted 440 registered borrowers.
For years, the library was unincorporated, though it continued to grow. It wasn’t until 1952 that Dade City gave property across the street from City Hall for a library building, and in 1953, the City took over responsibility for the library.
It would take another 10 years before the library finally moved to its current location.
After the Pasco County Library Cooperative was founded in 1980, it began operating and maintaining the Hugh Embry Branch under a no-cost lease. In 1988, the Dade City Commission sold the library to Pasco County for $150,000.
Additionally, Pasco County Libraries is reaching out to the public to complete its 2023 Customer Satisfaction Survey. The survey can be taken at any Pasco County branch or online at bit.ly/423cTMH until July 22.
Published June 07, 2022