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Lakeland Introduces Library Concept at Kelly Recreation Complex - Kelly Branch Library to Open September 18th - City News Blog

LAKELAND, FL (August 8, 2023) | The City of Lakeland’s eLibrary South located at Lake Miriam Square (4740 South Florida Avenue) will close Saturday, September 2, 2023. 

“We thank Publix Supermarkets for supporting the eLibrary concept at Lake Miriam for the past 16 years but as our lease expired, staff started exploring different locations and concepts,” said Bob Donahay, Director of Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts. “Many years ago, I was approached by a football player who spent some time in the NFL. This person asked me what we were doing at our recreation centers for kids that don’t play sports.  Recreation facilities typically focus on athletics but there is a large segment of the population that we can also reach by including library services.”

Conveniently located inside the Kelly Recreation Complex at 404 Imperial Boulevard, the Kelly Branch Library will be Lakeland’s newest small public library branch. At this location, library users can browse and borrow from collections of popular library materials for children and adults, get a library card, pick up requested items in self-serve book lockers, and return materials borrowed from any Lakeland public library. Business services available at the Kelly Branch Library include public WIFI access, technology assistance, printing, faxing, and scanning services. Chromebooks can also be checked out for use within the facility. 

Donahay said, “We are really excited to explore this new concept and I owe it to staff for thinking outside the box. I know Clearwater Beach has something similar but as far as I know, we will be one of the first, if not the first public facility in the state of Florida with recreation, swimming, and library services on one campus.”


  • The eLibrary South Lakeland will close at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 2, 2023.
  • After September 2, 2023, eLibrary customers can return materials at the book return inside Kelly Recreation Complex or use either the Main Library or the Larry R. Jackson Branch Library.
  • After September 2, 2023, eLibrary users can choose to pick up any reserves/holds at the automated book lockers inside the Kelly Recreation Complex.
  • The Kelly Branch Library is scheduled to open Monday, September 18, 2023.

The Kelly Branch Library will be open Monday through Friday and will be closed on weekends.  Hours of operation are 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Friday. Please visit www.lakelandgov.net/departments/library/locations-hours for a complete listing of locations and hours for City of Lakeland library services.




Kevin Cook
Director of Communications
City of Lakeland

About Lakeland

The City of Lakeland was incorporated in January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida.  With a current population of over 100,000 Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years.  With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor.  The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 115 years ago. 

For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please visit www.lakelandgov.net.  Citizens are also invited to follow the City on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Snapchat and Nextdoor.  Citizens can find the City of Lakeland on these social media platforms by searching lakelandgov. 



For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please explore LakelandGov.net.
Citizens are also invited to follow the City on social media.