Lee County Library System Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Dunbar-Jupiter Hammon Public Library

Join in a community celebration for the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Dunbar-Jupiter Hammon Public Library from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the library, 3095 Blount St., Fort Myers, FL 33916.

The Lee Board of County Commissioners and the Lee County Library System plan an all-ages extravaganza is planned to commemorate five decades of library service at the Dunbar-Jupiter Hammon Public Library. The free celebration will feature live entertainment by Karlus Trapp, a video game truck, whimsical balloon sculptures by Too Tall Torrie, face painting, food options from the Dawg Pound food truck and ice cream treats, courtesy of the Lee County Sheriff’s Department. Programming will pause briefly at 1:30 p.m. for comments from officials.

Opened in April 1974, the library is named after Jupiter Hammon, the first published African American author, and Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first widely acclaimed U.S. African American poet. The Dunbar-Jupiter Hammon Public Library owes its beginnings to community leaders such as Loretha Griffin, Charlotte Sapp, Mary Rice, Forestine Ward and Lovie Wells Sr. as well as county librarian Fayetta Storm.

Mary Rice, the inaugural library manager, dedicated more than 20 years to the library before retiring in 1995. The Dunbar-Jupiter Hammon Public Library has the area’s largest collection of African American literature and materials, named in honor of Mary Rice and her years of dedication to her community and the library system.

“We are honored to serve the Dunbar community and celebrate those who championed the establishment of this library,” Library Director Mindi Simon said. “We look forward to many more years of library service in the community.”

For more information about the library and celebration, visit www.leelibrary.net or click here. To receive updates from Lee County Government, sign up for the newsletter here: www.leegov.com/resources/newsletters. Follow Lee County Government on Facebook, www.facebook.com/leecountyflbocc.

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