History of Springfield Public Library
The Springfield Public Library opened its doors for library service on February 6, 1978, at 408 School Avenue as a branch of the Northwest Regional Library System. Ann Robbins was the branch manager. The library contained 5,000 books with a small reference section, magazines, and a few reading tables.
The building, renovated for the Library, was previously home to the Fire Department, Springfield Baptist Church, and Springfield City Hall. Later the library would share the building with the Health Department.
In the early 1980’s, as costs escalated and funding was unable to keep up, the Library System reorganized. The Springfield Library continued operating as a branch of the Northwest Regional Library System, but employees and operating expenses which previously were funded through the Library System were paid directly by City of Springfield. In 1985, Ann Robbins returned to Bay County Public Library, and the City of Springfield hired Zelda Harrell and Jean Butler to manage the library. Costs continued to rise and the Library System required more funding to support Library expenses. On February 16, 1992 the Springfield City Commission voted to leave the Library System. The Springfield Library became a city library.
Several years later the Springfield Library rejoined the Library System, but the staff remained city employees. Zelda Harrell and Jean Butler retired in the spring of 1996. The City of Springfield hired Frances Wittkopf, who had been the librarian at the Lynn Haven library for twenty-two years, as Branch Manager.
When the Bay County Health Department moved out of the building in 1998, Springfield City officials voted to expand the Library from 2,000 to 5,000 square feet for an investment of $10,000. Everyone was invited to celebrate the Library's expansion and remodeling on April 7, 1999.
Through cooperation with the Bay County Public Library System, the Springfield Library has come a long way since 1978. Besides offering six public Internet computers which stay in almost constant use, the Library also has wireless Internet access for laptop computer users. The Library continues to provide library services and resources for all ages including popular reading materials, DVD's, books on CD's, and children's programming.
Submitted by: The Library Staff