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Albertson Public Library

The Original Building

On February 21, 1922, the City held a bond election, and the vote was 446 for and 155 against a bond issue for certain municipal improvements, including a public library building. Mr. Murray S. King was instructed to prepare plans for the building, which were approved by the Commission on May 12, 1922. The contract was let to Mr. C. C. Hanner, August 30, 1922, for the sum of $73,983 and the building was erected under Mr. King’s supervision. The total cost of the building, grounds and equipment was $110,000. On November, 8, 1923, the doors of the Library were opened to the public.

The Albertson Public Library was a fine, limestone building with four tall Greek Doric columns topped with a carving of draped Grecian figures. Eleven broad white steps led up to the entrance, and a long low wall along Central Avenue was covered with trailing lantana. Just inside the tall doors, a large skylight in the rotunda added to the natural light admitted through large windows reaching almost to the ceiling. If you stood directly under the dome, you could see the head librarian–first Miss Brumbaugh, then Miss Wendel–in her little office on the balcony over the first floor.

Glass floors in the stacks were designed to let the light penetrate from one floor to another, but they also created “shocking” situations when static electricity sparked the woolen-clothed patrons in cool winters. The heating plan was not installed until 1938, and in later years the building leaked terribly in heavy rains.

There was a separate Children’s Room in the Albertson from the very beginning, and story hours and vacation reading clubs were held regularly. A garden and entrance to the Children’s Department on the Rosalind Avenue side were added in 1935 as a result of a gift from Miss Annetta O’B. Walker of Portland, Maine.

Sorosis donated all suitable books from their library to swell the original collection of 12,000 to more than 15,000 and then the City purchased books so that the Library began with a collection of 21,000 volumes.

In November 1943, the community celebrated the Silver Anniversary of the Public Library in Orlando and a booklet was created to commemorate the event. It outlines the history of how the library came to be, the library board through the years and facts and figures on the library’s holdings, circulation and borrowers in 1943. Peruse the 1943 booklet.

By 1959 the library was deemed totally inadequate to meet the needs of staff and residents. Read the Jaycee report.

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Albertson Library Interior 001
Interior photograph from the Albertson Public Library.
Albertson Library Interior 002
Interior photograph from the Albertson Public Library.
Albertson Library
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Albertson Library
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Albertson Library
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Albertson Library
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Albertson Library
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Albertson Library Interior 003
Interior photograph from the Albertson Public Library.
Albertson Library Interior 004
Interior photograph from the Albertson Public Library.
Albertson Library Interior 005
Interior photograph from the Albertson Public Library.
Albertson Library Interior 006
Interior photograph of the Albertson Public Library.
Albertson Library
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Albertson Library Interior 008
Interior photograph from the Albertson Public Library.
Silver Anniversary Cover
Cover from the program for Albertson Public Library 25th anniversary in November 1948. Peruse the entire program and read the history of the...
Albertson Public Library - Orlando Public Library
This is an original painting by James Stoll and is part of the Orlando Remembered display case located  on the 4th floor...
Clara Wendel Plaque
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Reading Area - Albertson Public Library
Patron shown in the reading area at the Albertson Public Lbirary.
Albertson Public Library - Customers At Card Catalog
Customers using the card catalog at the old Albertson Public Library.
Lobby - Albertson Public Library
Lobby in the Albertson Public Library.
Card Catalog - Albertson Public Library
Card catalogs in the old Albertson Public Library.
Captain Charles L. Albertson Dies
Mentioned: Captain Charles L. Albertson, Charles Albertson, Florida Sanitarium, Albertson Public Library, Mrs. Lillian Albertson, Lake Jennie Jewell.
Telephone Reference Service - Albertson Public Library - 1949
Telephone Reference Service - Albertson Public Library. This article published in a December 1949 issue of the Orlando Morning Sentinel by George...
Albertson Public Library Bookmobile in action
Newspaper photograph showing children and the bookmobile in a country setting publsihed in the Orlando Sentinel on June 1, 1950, 2nd section. Caption:...
Clara Wendel - Albertson Public Library
Informational sheet on Clara Wendell and the Albertson Public Library.
Clara E. Wendel - Librarian
Photograph of Clara Wendel, second librarian/director of the Albertson Public Library.
50th Anniversary - Orlando Public Library - Clara Elizabeth Wendel
Clara Elizabeth Wendel photograph from the 50th Anniversary of the Orlando Public Library publication.
Technical Services Department
The Technical Service Department of the Orange County Library System was located in an annex at 453 North Orange Avenue between Alexander...
Captain Charles L. Albertson circa 1905
Photograph of Charles L. Albertson published in the January 19, 1906 edition of The Waverly Free Press.
Albertson Public Library - Front exterior circa 1960
Albertson Public Library - Front exterior circa 1960. From the private collection of Tim Orwick.
Portrait of Charles L. Albertson
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Orlando Brief - Page 20 - Albertson Public Library

 Page 20 of the Orlando Brief includes photos of the Albertson Public Library and the Orlando Municipal Auditorium (Bob Carr Auditorium). The auditorium is hardly recognizable if you see it today as a facade was added to the front of the building that altered the entrance area many years ago.


Albertson Public Library Silver Anniversary - 1948

Booklet of the Albertson Public Library Silver Anniversary


Albertson Public Library - 1963

Staff Play about the move of the Albertson Public Library (1963) to the New Orlando Public Library (1966)


Albertson Public Library - Letter from Children's Author Lois Lenski - 1944

Albertson Public Library - Letter from Children's Author Lois Lenski - 1944


Albertson Library Rules

Rules of the newly opened Albertson Public Library


Albertson Public Library - Letter from City of Orlando

Letter from City of Orlando thanking Albertson Public Library for helping with Haloween festivities.


Albertson Public Library - letter from FLA

Albertson Public Library letter from FLA


Albertson Public Library - letter from Hamilton Holt of Rollins College

Albertson Public Library - letter from Hamilton Holt of Rollins College


Albertson Public Library - Invitation to Melvil Dewey's 80th Birthday Celebration

Albertson Public Library - Invitation to Melvil Dewey's 80th Birthday Celebration


Albertson Public Library - Letter from Melvil Dewey - March 29, 1928

Albertson Public Library - Letter from Melvil Dewey - March 29, 1928


Albertson Public Library - Rollins College Letter

Albertson Public Library - Rollins College Letter


Albertson Public Library - Rollins College Letter - Novemer 30, 1931

Albertson Public Library - Rollins College Letter - Novemer 30, 1931


Albertson Public Library - Orlando Evening Star Article

Albertson Public Library - Orlando Evening Star Article - March 11, 1953:
Clara Wendel, Wintson Henderson, Walter Reed


Albertson Public Library - Orlando Evening Star Article - February 10, 1953

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, February 10, 1953, Wintson Henderson, Mrs. Kenneth Rogers, Donald Walker, Rev. Louie Blackwell


Albertson Public Library - Orlando Evening Star Article - February 8, 1953

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, February 8, 1953


Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, January 16, 1953

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, January 16, 1953


Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, April 25, 1953

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, April 25, 1953, Dr. George Crisler, T. A. Corbett, Winston Henderson


Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, April 25, 1953

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, April 25, 1953, Dr. George Crisler, T. A. Corbett, Winston Henderson


Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, October 19, 1953

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, October 19, 1953, Intellectual Freedom, Censorship


Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, October 20, 1953, Intellectual Freedom, Censorship

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, October 20, 1953, Intellectual Freedom, Censorship


Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, April 1, 1954, Manly Duckworth, Pianist

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, April 1, 1954, Manly Duckworth, Pianist


Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, January 1954, Eddie Yost, L . A. "Jimmy" Bryant, Edward Kirkland, Lydia Parent

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, January 1954, Eddie Yost, L . A. "Jimmy" Bryant, Edward Kirkland, Lydia Parent


Albertson Public Library - Orlando Evening Star Article, David Flick, Mrs. Floyd H. Bruton, Clara Wendel

Albertson Public Library - Orlando Evening Star Article, David Flick, Mrs. Floyd H. Bruton, Clara Wendel


Albertson Public Library - Orlando Evening Star Article, Clara Wendel

Albertson Public Library - Orlando Evening Star Article, Clara Wendel


Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, May 19, 1954, Mrs. Leter Harris, Mrs. Thompson Stevens, Mrs. Leland Giddens, Miss Clara Wendel, Mrs. Morton Bertin

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, May 19, 1954, Mrs. Leter Harris, Mrs. Thompson Stevens, Mrs. Leland Giddens, Miss Clara Wendel, Mrs. Morton Bertin


Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, December 1953, Clara Wendel, Dorothy Glenn Lane, Dr. Norman Miller

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, December 1953, Clara Wendel, Dorothy Glenn Lane, Dr. Norman Miller


Albertson Public Library, Orlando Sentinel, November 30, 1954, Library Held "Inadequate", Clara Wendel

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Sentinel, November 30, 1954, Library Held "Inadequate", Clara Wendel


Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, March 13, 1953

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, March 13, 1953


Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, January 17, 1953

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, January 17, 1953


Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, January 11, 1954, Florence Bethea, Jewel Garvin, Paul A.T. Noon, Dr. Louis Shores, William S. Frieze, Dr. Rembert W. Patrick

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, January 11, 1954, Florence Bethea, Jewel Garvin, Paul A.T. Noon, Dr. Louis Shores, William S. Frieze, Dr. Rembert W. Patrick


Orlando Public Library Expansion 1986 Booklet
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50th Anniversary - Orlando Public Library - Souvenir Booklet
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Waverly Free Press - Albertson Library - Waverly, N.Y.

The Albertson Library (Waverly, NY) is featured on the entire front page of the Waverly Free Press. The Press takes the reader room by room listing most of the titles on the shelves in the Library located in one of Captain Albertson's homes.  This is historical for our own Orlando Public Library as these are most likely some of  the works that were part of the collection donated by Captain Albertson  to create the Albertson Public Library in Orlando.


Public Library Silver Anniversary

This commemorative booklet was created in celebration of the Silver Anniversary of the opening of the establishment of the Albertson Public Library in Orlando. The booklet lists the Board of Directors, Librarian and staff and presents the history of the library from its beginnings with the Sorosis Club of Orlando. 

To peruse the booklet, click the link above.


Jaycee Report on Library Conditions

Have you ever wondered why we tore down the beautiful traditional Albertson Public Library and built the current structure? Many folks have and many folks ask. Read this report completed by the Jaycees in January 1959 and you'll understand why it was a necessity!

The committee that studied the library was composed of John Barber, John Peake and S. Victor Tipton, and they enumerated 13 issues that made the library unfit for staff and residents. Number 10 caught my attention:

"There is grossly inadequate space for the some 40 clerical and staff workers to carry on their work. For example, four attempt to work at desks in a room 8 by 12 feet which includes also book shelves and filing cabinets. Desks have to be placed in almost every corner of the building. Some are protruding into aisles necessarily used by patrons. There are only eight small lockers for the 40 odd workers." 

Peruse the entire report.


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