Winter Park Library will encourage guests to put down the reading material and turn up the volume on Saturday, Feb. 11, during the Love, Your Library Gala at Winter Park Library and Events Center, 1052 W. Morse Blvd. The event will be the second gala hosted by the library since moving into its new location.
Festivities will begin at 7 p.m. and feature a dine-around experience by Arthur’s Catering, speakeasy bar, silent auction with packages from select Winter Park retailers, and live music by The Buzzcatz. But the party is planned with a larger purpose in mind.
In 2022, Winter Park Library noted a 30% increase in active card holders from the previous year, and a 110% increase in visits. More than 430,000 materials were borrowed and 1,700 classes and events were offered. According to Interim Director Melissa Schneider, providing services requires funding strategies.
“Winter Park Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and must raise a substantial amount of its funding through donations,” she told the32789. “The event theme reflects how valuable the library’s patrons are to its success.”
Presented by AdventHealth and Peacock Ford, Love, Your Library proceeds will benefit library operations and help provide classes and materials that many residents have come to rely on.
“We’re still the neighborhood library, but that idea has changed,” said Schneider. “We loan out tablets and laptops, the recording studio hosts podcasts, and last year we welcomed more than 33,000 attendees to our events and classes.”
Some of Winter Park Library’s state-of-the-art offerings include:
- A 100+ seat theatre
- Flex workspaces and a business center
- Recording studio
- Computer lab and makerspace with 3D printers
- Temperature-controlled archive conservation room
“The word ‘library’ can still make people think of old buildings and outdated card catalogues, but consider the generational difference in the word ‘phone,’” Frog CEO and Winter Park Library Board member Michael Voll told the32789. “Both changed faster than people’s perceptions – and they both offer a lot more technology than they used to.”
Winter Park Library is offering a selection of Love, Your Library event packages and sponsorship opportunities; go to winterparklibrary.org/gala for details, event information and tickets.