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Faces Behind the Places series
Posted September 28, 2017 | 4:30 PM

Faces behind the Places

Greatest Achievement: John F. Germany Public Library

In this occasional series we explore namesakes of some of the county's well-known buildings, parks, and roads.

Who was John F. Germany? Germany, 1923-2015, was a Hillsborough County circuit judge, founding partner of the Holland & Knight law firm, and avid civic leader. Among other endeavors, he helped conceive the University of South Florida in the mid-1950s. Raised in Plant City, he served in World War II and graduated from Harvard Law School before returning to Hillsborough County.

Why name a library for him? Germany loved to read, and encouraged others to do so. As chairman of the Friends of the Library in the 1960s, he looked for funding when Tampa outgrew its 1917 Carnegie library. Under his guidance, the Ashley Street library opened in 1968. Germany once called the Main Library on Ashley Street his greatest achievement. The city named it for him in 1999.

About the John F. Germany Public Library: The 140,000-square-foot library at 900 N. Ashley Drive is the flagship of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library system. Along with books, music, videos, and audio books, the downtown Tampa library provides research tools and history collections. There are computer labs, meeting rooms, and a full slate of fun and educational programs for all ages.

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