The Miami-Dade Public Library System (MDPLS) is marking a major milestone — 50 years of serving the community. The yearlong golden anniversary celebration began on Nov. 1, 2021, 50 years to the day the MDPLS was established.
“For 50 years, the Miami-Dade Public Library System has enriched and inspired our diverse community,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Our public libraries play an integral role in the growth and wellbeing of our community, helping families and residents thrive by providing equitable access to information and resources for everyone. Our community truly has a library system that makes us all proud. I salute the Libraries team for 50 wonderful years and look forward to the next 50.”
Public libraries have a long, rich history in the community. What began as a small reading room in Lemon City in 1894, soon followed by the Cocoanut Grove Reading Room in 1895, evolved into library branches such as Allapattah, Edison Center, Lemon City, Coconut Grove and Little River, that were eventually brought together to form the City of Miami Public Library System in 1942. On Nov. 1, 1971, the Miami-Dade Public Library System was established as a Department of Miami-Dade County, merging with the City of Miami Public Libraries to create a network of public libraries throughout a growing Miami-Dade County and its municipalities.
“Libraries in Miami-Dade County have continued to evolve through the decades due to the support of our residents and partner organizations, the customer service and ingenuity of our employees and elected officials who continue to understand the value of libraries in our community,” said Ray Baker, Library director. “We look forward to celebrating this milestone with everyone.”
The MDPLS’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebration will include special programs, author events, activities and exhibitions, such as the “Libraries are Timeless” exhibit at Main Library in Downtown Miami showcasing the library’s history, and a commemorative gold library card available to the public.
The public is invited to follow the MDPLS on social media and share their library stories using the hashtag #MDPLS50. They also can share their stories online at www.mdpls.org/library-story.
For more information about the MDPLS’s 50th anniversary, visit www.mdpls.org/50years.