Ocala Carnegie Library

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For other Carnegie Libraries, see Carnegie library (disambiguation)
Carnegie Public Library Ocala, Florida 1916

The Ocala Carnegie Library opened in 1916 on Ocklawaha Avenue in Ocala, Florida.[1] It was one of 10 Florida Carnegie libraries to receive grants awarded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York from 1901 to 1917.[2] Steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie provided funding for more than 3,000 Carnegie libraries in the United States, Canada, and Europe.[3]

Constructed in the Spanish Mission architectural style with a red-clay tile roof, Ocala's first public library was a short distance from what is today the Silver Springs Nature Theme Park.[1] Although the Carnegie library was Ocala's first permanent, physical public library, the city's library collection began in 1886.[4] Originally a subscription library, its members paid one dollar for a two-year membership.[4] In 1890, The Women's Library Association assumed responsibility for a public library collection, temporarily housed in the Hotel Ocala.[4] The Ocala Free Public Library officially began as a circulating collection in 1914 even though the Carnegie library did not open until 1916.[4] Louise Gamsby was appointed librarian in 1916 and served in that capacity until her retirement in 1951; after retirement, Gamsby continued to serve as a library consultant for many years.[4] The Carnegie Library was demolished in 1968 to make way for a larger, more modern library facility.[5]


  1. ^ a b Cook, David (January 20, 1991). "Library Opened Chapter in Ocala's History". Ocala Star-Banner. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Jones, Theodore (1997). Carnegie Libraries Across America. New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0471144223. 
  3. ^ Bobinski, George (1969). Carnegie Libraries: Their History and Impact on American Public Library Development. American Library Association. ISBN 0-8389-0022-4. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Sheppard, Frances (April 8, 1962). "Ocala Library Celebrates Its 76th Anniversary This Week". Ocala Star-Banner. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Ocala's New Library". Ocala Star-Banner. May 19, 1967. Retrieved 22 April 2013.