Listen as Orange County Library System storyteller Crystal Sullivan interviews librarian Alice Grace about the history of the Washington Park Library on January 25, 2011.
LISTEN (2:55) Alice Grace
The Orange County Library System and the Shiloh Baptist Church celebrated the history of the former Booker T. Washington Library on December 30, 2001. A commemorative bronze plaque was unveiled at the previous site of the Library at 528 West Jackson Street. The building now houses the T. C. Collier Center, which belongs to the Church.
The Booker T. Washington Branch of the Albertson Public Library served residents of the west Orlando community. the Library was opened in June 1924 in what had been the rectory of St. John’s Episcopal Church at 107 South Terry Street.
The City of Orlando constructed the new BTW Library building on West Jackson Street. It opened to the public in August 1954. The library continued to serve the community until 1984 when it was incorporated into the Washington Park Library in the Lila Mitchell Community Center on Raleigh Street.
The City of Orlando owned the building until 1994 when the Church purchased it. The Church renamed the building the T.C. Collier Center in 1995.
ABOVE: Mrs. Eddie T. Jackson, Orange County Library System’s first African American Librarian.
Explore the Images and Documents below under Attachments. Click on the first image to begin the slide show.
Long time OCLS librarian Alice Grace shares history of the Orange County Library System in the African American community.
Orlando Morning Star Article - Booker T. Washington Branch Library
Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, January 1954, Eddie Yost, L . A. "Jimmy" Bryant, Edward Kirkland, Lydia Parent
Orlando Evening Star, Booker T. Washington Branch Library, April 21, 1954, Contract Signed, New Building
Mrs. Jackson was a librarian in Orlando from1924 until she retired in 1946. Orlando's first black librarian, born March 25, 1902; died October 26, 1979.