Gary Nager Editorial

As indicated on page 8 of our current issue (in a story that will be be posted tomorrow), the New Tampa Regional Library (NTRL) on Cross Creek Blvd. is celebrating its 25th anniversary as one of the true jewels of the New Tampa community. The library officially opened to the public on May 4, 1997.

And, I’m more than proud to say, only one publication has covered every story about NTRL since not only the beginning, but also since the plans for the library were first announced more than two years earlier.

Plus, even though I didn’t write all of the stories about the NTRL myself throughout the years, I have been the proud owner and editor of that publication and have been the person responsible for editing every word of every one of those stories.

Our first story about the library was a small news item (to the left), from our June 1994 issue — almost three years before the library opened — about a 5K “Fun Run” whose $800 in proceeds would benefit the Friends of the Library, even though the library itself would not be approved by the Hillsborough County Library System and the County Commission until more than a year later.

We also were the first news medium to announce that the bidding process to build the 25,000-sq.-ft. regional library on 3.6 acres of land donated by Markbrough Florida (the developer of Hunter’s Green) in Aug. 1995, when the expected completion date for the NTRL was announced as the fall of 1996.

In fact, we published no fewer than a dozen articles about the library between that first 5K Fun Run news item and the actual ribbon cutting and opening of the library to the public in May of 1997 (see below).

Unfortunately, we have no electronic records of those early years (I believe the first electronic versions of our issues weren’t kept until about 2002, but even those were saved on hard drives that are no longer compatible with any computer program still in use today), so the pictures of the news stories shown on this page are actual iPhone camera pics of the print issues where those stories appeared.

If anyone knows someone interested in creating electronic archives (and a directory) of all of our issues since April of 1994 on our behalf, it’s a service I would gladly pay for, so I can avoid having to take fuzzy pics of our issues for future historic pieces.

Please email me at if you or someone you know would be interested in providing this service.  

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