St. Pete's main library to be renamed after former President Obama in dedication on Friday

The St. Petersburg Main Library is getting a new name.

Back in 2018, city officials said the building will be renamed the President Barack Obama Main Library. Three years later, it will be dedicated this Friday as part of the city's Black History Month celebrations, and to honor the country's first African American president.

"Highlighting Barack Obama's extraordinary story and history-making presidency in this way will inspire generations of young people," Mayor Rick Kriseman said in a statement. "I believe the President Barack Obama Main Library will not only complement city buildings bearing the name of local trailblazers, but will serve as an example to other cities."

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A dedication ceremony will take place Friday, Feb. 26 at 11 a.m., with the installation of a sign bearing the library's new name. It's the first step of the planned $6 million in renovations for the 55-year-old building, located at 3745 9th Avenue North.

"Penny for Pinellas" sales tax revenue funded the renovations, which will include reconfiguration of interior spaces, an upgraded rear patio and outdoor gathering space, more parking spaces, ADA-compliant restrooms and HVAC improvements.

The main library will be temporarily closed for renovations beginning Thursday, April 1, 2021. The renovations are expected to be completed by late 2022 to early 2023.

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Library patrons will be able to return items checked out from the main library at other St. Pete library system locations, and will be encouraged to visit those other buildings while work is done to the main library.

"Our main library has always been an exciting hub for learning in our city," Kriseman said. "It is made all the better by honoring President Obama."