Centennial Year Schedule

More than half of our Centennial year is over already. We hope you’ve enjoyed our author events and book sale. This is what the Friends are offering for the rest of the year. Our emphasis this year is on local history.

An Evening with an author to be announced (local historian)
Monday, October 5, 2015

An Evening with Bruce Stephenson
Author and Professor of Environmental Studies at Rollins College
Monday, November 16, 2015

Centennial Panel (“Pioneer Panel”)
Saturday, December 5, 2015

First Night Celebration
Thursday, December 31, 2015


The St. Petersburg Library is hosting this event:
Centennial Party
Tuesday, December 1, 2015

photo from splibraries.org

photo from splibraries.org

Leave a comment

Filed under An Evening With...Literary Events, Special Events

Request for Your Library Memories

As part of our Centennial year celebrations, we want to hear the thoughts and memories of people who have used the Mirror Lake Library in years past. If you have memories to share, you are invited to speak at our Centennial Panel (Pioneer Panel) on Saturday, December 5, 2015. If you are interested, or know someone else who would make a good panelist, please contact us at friendsofmirrorlakelibrary@gmail.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Miscellaneous, Special Events

Reflections Book Club at Mirror Lake Community Library

The St. Petersburg Library System has created a new book club at Mirror Lake Community Library, held on the 3rd Saturday of each month at 2:00 p.m.

The first two books were
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (June 20)
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (July 18)

The next two books are
The Professor and the Madman By Simon Winchester (August 15)
Wild by Cheryl Strayed (September 19)

“Interested in discussing popular books on a variety of topics? Join our new book club! Pick up a reserved copy of this month’s selection at the circulation desk. Copies will be available one month prior to the meeting date. Reflections meets on the 3rd Saturday of each month Beginning June 20 at 2:00 pm In the Community Room at Mirror Lake Community Library 280 5th St. N.”

professor       wild

Leave a comment

Filed under Library Support, Miscellaneous

Meeting minutes for May 6, 2015

The May 6, 2015 FRIENDS of MIRROR LAKE LIBRARY (FMLL) was deemed a workshop, as a quorum was not present.

Those in attendance Wayne Finley, Linda Sagese and Diane Drutowski agreed to briefly discuss the upcoming book sale (June 6th) and share thoughts about upcoming potential and scheduled events.

It was agreed by those present that a Friends Fest in the Fall be postponed to a future date.

No votes were taken.

The workshop was adjourned at 6:50 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Linda S. Sagese

Leave a comment

Filed under Membership Info

Laura Kepner and Warren Firschein

Join us Monday, July 13, at the Mirror Lake Library for An Evening with Laura Kepner and Warren Firschein, who wrote the book “A Brief History of Safety Harbor, Florida.”

Walt Belcher from the Tampa Tribune wrote:

Back when the town of Safety Harbor had only a few hundred residents and its famous spa was closed during the summers, things got so slow that weeds would grow on Main Street.

Today, nearly 17,000 people live within the 5-square-mile city limits and there are nearly two dozen places to eat and drink in the 10-block business district.

But Safety Harbor still has a small-town feel.

Often seen by visitors as a quaint retreat on the shores of Upper Tampa Bay, the city used to promote itself as “a hidden gem” and “the best kept secret in Florida.”

“Now it’s not such a secret, and they don’t want people to think it’s a secret,” says Laura Kepner, who co-authored the recently published “A Brief History of Safety Harbor, Florida” (History Press, $21.99).

The book recounts how the town grew from a small settlement in the citrus groves to an interesting city with its own personality and a health spa with a rich history.

Why write a book about a little town that is surrounded by larger burgs like Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater?

The book was commissioned by History Press, a niche publishing company in Charleston, S.C., that specializes in historical paperbacks about small towns, places or businesses with specific histories. Since 2004, the company has produced more than 2,000 titles.


Firschein says what fascinates him is the varied and layered history. The city has survived fires, hurricanes, boom and bust periods, and even bankruptcy during the Great Depression.

Their book begins with the Tocobaga Indians, who settled in the area more than a thousand years ago and left a massive mound in what is now Philippe Park, named after plantation owner Odet Philippe, who introduced citrus trees to the area.

And there is the legend of explorer Hernando de Soto who, in the 1500s, discovered the natural mineral springs that bubble up near the shore. Of course, the Indians had discovered it first. According to local (but unproven) lore, de Soto thought he may have found the fountain of youth Ponce de Leon was searching for, so de Soto named them “Espiritu Santo Springs” (where the healing waters flow).

Much of the history of Safety Harbor is tied to the springs that now flow under and through the Safety Harbor Spa and Resort. The book relates that by the 1890s the area was known as Green Springs, and people were making pilgrimages to bathe in and drink from the springs.


Firechein and Kepner say they found much material in archived copies of the town’s weekly newspaper, which started publishing in 1915. They also interviewed many of the city’s oldest residents, including 98-year-old Goldie Banks, who came to the city with her family when she was 5.

“My favorite line from her is that she was told by her mother than she was so little, she could be put in a jar,” Kepner says. “She was so tiny, her family worried she wouldn’t survive, and they came here for the mineral water at the spa.

“We have some good accounts from people who have seen a lot of change.”


The Friends of Mirror Lake Library's photo.

Leave a comment

Filed under An Evening With...Literary Events

July 13 event


Leave a comment

Filed under An Evening With...Literary Events

An Evening With Warren Firschein and Laura Kepner – July 13, 2015

Authors of “A Brief History of Safety Harbor”

According to legend, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto arrived on the shores of Safety Harbor in 1539 believing that he had discovered the fabled Fountain of Youth. For centuries, the area’s natural mineral springs had hosted the Tocobaga people and would later attract early pioneers to west-central Florida. The natural mineral springs drew visitors to bathe in their restorative waters, and in the twentieth century, they were eventually transformed into the world-famous Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, enjoyed by wealthy socialites and professional athletes for decades. Today, the city is best known for its abundance of festivals and the collection of artists, writers, poets and musicians who call it their home–an oasis of calm within bustling Pinellas County. Join authors Warren Firschein and Laura Kepner as they detail the vibrant history of scenic Safety Harbor.

Our author event will be held on the second floor of the Mirror Lake Library, 280 5th Street North, downtown St. Petersburg. Seating will be available at 5 pm. The talk starts at 5:30 pm.


Leave a comment

Filed under An Evening With...Literary Events