The Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library, with 26 locations and two mobile libraries, serves Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa.
In collaboration with the public libraries of Temple Terrace and Plant City, THPL provides access to materials, technology, and services that contribute to strong individual education and career achievement, culminating in a vital 21st century local economy as well as a healthy, inclusive community.
The Library supports STEM education initiatives and the growing maker movement with innovative hands-on learning experiences and collaborative spaces. Through the Library’s maker initiative, The Hive, communities can learn, make, and create with access to unique tools and resources, as well as classes and events. Learning about 3D printing, coding, and robotics at the library is a service that fits alongside story time and book discussions. By providing access to emerging technology and supporting makers of all ages, the Library enhances the digital literacy of the community and opens new doors to discovery and learning.
Recording Studios are available at the John F. Germany Public Library and the SouthShore Regional Library. From songs to podcasts, music videos to commercials, the library provides the hardware and software for anyone to create a pitch-perfect audio or video project. Use of studio space is free for library card holders, and the library offers studio orientations and workshops on audio and video editing.
Robotics are a great way to introduce all ages to STEM concepts like engineering and coding. The Library leads several youth programs each month, to develop an early interest, and strongly supports local robotics programs like FIRST, providing space for teams to practice and outreach opportunities to help team members develop their leadership qualities.
Sewing classes are among the most popular Hive classes led throughout the library system. Visitors to The Hive at the John F. Germany Public Library can use a sewing machine to work on their own projects. Sewing classes and open labs are held across many branches, bringing in diverse audiences, across generations, who learn the basics or create projects – everything from simple bags to elaborate cosplay outfits.
Entrepreneurs are a vital part of the innovation ecosystem, and the Library provides a variety of tools to help small business owners and start-ups exercise their creativity and develop innovative ideas. Valuable resources to assist in business-related research, workshops on a variety of topics, and technology instruction courses are available at many locations, to take ideas to the next level. Mobile workers can take advantage of free high-speed WiFiat all locations, as well as collaborative workstations with whiteboards, SMART Boards, and projector systems.
Libraries are the perfect public platform for the innovation ecosystem. Along with offering traditional services, like access to books and information, the library features robust digital and online resources including eBooks, streaming audio and video, and free access to high-priced databases, accessible anywhere 24/7. Library buildings are also changing to reflect changes in use. Through The Hive and a variety of quality programs, foot traffic continues to grow, as the public increasingly attends unique events and classes and uses public meeting spaces.
Discover The Hive @ THPL and visit your local library – you may be surprised at what you find!