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GREATER NORTH MIAMI HISTORIAN

Winter Edition (late) - Volume V Number 3 - March 2003

PRESIDENT SCOTT GALVIN * VICE-PRESIDENT GLENN O'HEARN * TREASURER BILL VALENTINE * SECRETARY MIJ SEZZIN BOARD OF DIRECTORS
JACKIE BIGGANE, SETH BRAMSON, RICHARD BURR, BLAIR CONNER, INEZ COUCH,  GWEN FERNANDEZ, RICK FERRER, CAROL HELENE, TYRONE HILL, JOE LEONARD, TAD MOZYNSKI, JOYCE MUMFORD, BURNHAM NEILL, JANE QUINN, JOAN QUINN, MACY SEZZIN, PENNY VALENTINE, ROSIE VOYCE EDITOR-BLAIR CONNER * RESEARCH GLENN O'HEARN AND JACKIE BIGGANE


THE E. MAY AVIL LIBRARY CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF PUBLIC SERVICE
SATURDAY MAY 24th, 5 to 9 PM

The first library services to area residents were offered in 1932, when the Biscayne Park women's' club established a library in the city hall of the town of North Miami. Club member E. May Avil, who eventually served 37 years as City Clerk for the Town of North Miami, was put in charge of overseeing the library operation.

World War II brought about the close of the library as unessential to the war effort. However, the North Miami Community Library was reopened in September 1945, in larger quarters at the City Hall and again under the supervision of E. May Avil. Funding came largely from donations and membership fees.

E. May Avil

In 1948 the Biscayne Park women's club turned the library over to the Town of North Miami with Mayor Ed Taigman accepting. A referendun held in 1949, established a free public library under provisions of the Florida Statues, setting up a library fund and a library board to administer the operation. Twin sisters, Mrs. Edla Lunden and Mrs. Alma Anderson, were appointed librarian and assistant librarian respectively. The first library board appointees were Mr. Ed Constance, Mr. Sam Segal Jr., Mr. D.W. Robbins, Mrs. Sally Taigman, and Mrs. Edna Forbes.

In 1952, the Town Council deeded the present site to the library board. A $54,000 Air- conditioned Building was constructed in 1953. With equipment and furnishings the total investment was $70,000.

Mrs. Lunden and Mrs. Anderson retired in 1955 and the first professional librarian, Miss Phyllis Gray who served until 1959, replaced them.

Mrs. Julia Warmer accepted the position at that time and direted the library's growth for 19 years, retiring in 1978.The library grew steadily under Miss Wanner's guidance both in size and service. Primary to her accomplishments was the completion in 1964, of an addition, which doubled the size of the 1953 building. In answer to a growing number of young families a branch was operated on the city's west side from 1957-1967.

In 1970 Miss E. May Avil was recognized for her years of service to the city and for her interest in the growth and well being of the library, when the City Council voted unanimously to rename the building to be known as the E. May Avil North Miami Public Library.

Upon Miss Wanner's retirement, Miss Gloria Zavish was promoted ftom assistant director to director. Services and programs have grown to include; a books by mail home bound service, the development of audio and video collections, the establishment of a literacy library and training site, and the addition of special print collections such as stage and studio, Bicentennial of the Constitution, and parenting books. Again the library doubled in size with the construction and furnishings of a 1.3 million dollar addition, which was completed in 1991. Work continues to introduce new information technology and automated library procedures into the library. In fiscal year 1994, the city appropriated funds for retrospective conversion, the first phase of the library's automation project. In subsequent years, financial support for this particular effort continued culminating in a request for proposals for an Integrated Online Library System in July 1997. In August 1997 a grant was secured from the State Library to provide Internet Access to the Public.

FOOD FROM AROUND THE WORLD - MUSIC - ENTERTAIENWNT - PUPPET SHOW - DANCERS
WHERE? AT THE LIBRARY! - WHEN? SAT MAY 24th! - NE 132 STREET ON NE 8th AVENUE

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