The Power of Libraries

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In 2017, Hurricane Irma damaged artifacts at the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum in St. Pete Beach.

This event, in combination with a conference session on digitizing efforts by the Digital Public Library of America, inspired the St. Pete Beach Public Library and University of South Florida Honors College to begin a collaborative effort to digitize the museum’s collection. 

In two semesters, students have digitized 14 oral histories and over 150 artifacts for the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum. The collection is accessible online at the Library’s website through the Pinellas Memory Project.

In coming semesters, USF students will continue this collaboration, as well as expand their digitizing efforts to other county historical sites.

For this collaborative effort, the St. Pete Beach Public Library has won a 2019 Power of Libraries award from Sirsi Dynix, the company that supplies our online card catalog.

Here’s a short video about the award.