As pointed out in an earlier posting, the direct local government support for arts and humanities programs (historical and genealogical resources) are in jeopardy due to shrinking revenue sources.
Those interested in saving the Polk County facility have made the situation known. There was even a TV spot on channel 13 about it. But more importantly people have let their elected officials know their concerns (this seems to work at a grassroots level). Remember a few years ago Gov. Bush planned to dismember the State Archives and Library, that required a much larger citizen effort.
From: Joe Spann
Subject: Polk County Historical Library & Museum - UPDATE
To: "'Joe Spann'"
Date: Tuesday, July 22, 2008, 9:06 AM
Tuesday - 22 July 2008
Library & Museum Supporters:
Over 160 of you have now e-mailed the County Commissioners, showing your
support for the continued preservation of history in Polk County. An
unknown number have telephoned or written letters of support.
There is some good news regarding a temporary solution. Yesterday, in the
first Budget Workshop the County Commission unanimously supported putting
the Historical Library & Museum back in the budget. This means we will
likely be funded next year.
No decision was made concerning the source of funding. The budget surplus
and the Historical Trust Fund were both mentioned as possibilities. The
final version of the budget is not likely to be completed until sometime in
late August or early September and there will be several additional budget
In yesterday's meeting County Commissioner Jack Myers took the lead in the
search for a more permanent solution. He suggested that the possibility of
creating an endowment be explored. Specifically, this might entail placing
one-time funds into the Historical Trust Fund in sufficient amounts that the
Historical Library & Museum could operate off the interest. County staff
will be working with this idea.
Both Tom Muir and I thank you for your vital actions over the past two
weeks. We are now looking at the possibility of a more positive outcome in
the immediate future.
Joe Spann - Library Manager
Polk County Historical & Genealogical Library
100 East Main Street
Bartow, Florida 33830-4629
Member - Association of Professional Genealogists
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." Benjamin
On the hand these historical and genealogical facilities are often near empty of people. These facilities have hard copies of documents and books that are not ONLINE. I found microfilms, family histories, DAR volumes, Bible records, and more that are not available in the Tampa Library and not online.
Driving directions are online. And if you haven't visited the Quintilla Geer Burton Archive in Plant City, check it out too (it isn't as great, but a good resource.)