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Historians, Florida authors and library staff are presenting these programs and events to highlight 500 years of Florida history, heritage and development. These Viva Florida 500 programs focus on the Sunshine State's people, past and future while celebrating the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de León's arrival.
Step in to your library to learn more about the Spanish and Hispanic contributions deeply woven into the historic tapestry of Florida’s diverse heritage. These programs showcase Florida's Spanish Colonial history and the different cultures including Native Americans that helped shape Florida and contributed to its diverse heritage.
Programs for adults –
Tempting Reads Book Club hosts Florida Authors at Newberry Branch
The public is invited to join any of these discussions featuring visiting authors.
May 22, 6 p.m. J.T. Glisson
June 26, 5:30 p.m. Mary Anna Evans
Author Visits: J.T. Glisson
As a young boy, J.T. Glisson was a neighbor to Florida’s famous author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Come hear about his adventures, his two books, The Creek and Guardian Angel 911, and his memories of growing up near Rawlings in Cross Creek.
June 1, 2 p.m. at Millhopper Branch
June 8, 2 p.m. at Hawthorne Branch
Sept. 15, 2 p.m. at High Springs Branch
Author Visits: Mary Anna Evans
Award-winning writer Mary Anna Evans will discuss her Faye Longchamp series, which includes Artifacts (2003), Relics (2005), Effigies (2006), Findings (2008), Floodgates (2009), Strangers (2010) and Plunder (2012). This mystery series featuring Florida history, archaeology, and intrigue continues with Evans' newest release, Ritual, (2013). Meet Evans in person at one of these libraries:
June 22, 10 a.m. at Millhopper Branch
June 22, 1 p.m. at High Springs Branch
June 26, 5:30 p.m. at Newberry Branch for a discussion with its Tempting Reads Book Club
June 26, 7 p.m. at Archer Branch
Florida’s Modern History, Environmental Politics & Megatrends
Aug. 3, 2 p.m. at Tower Road Branch
Historians Dr. David Colburn, author of Florida Megatrends: Critical Issues in Florida and Dr. Steven Noll, author of Ditch of Dreams: the Cross Florida Barge Canal and the struggle for Florida's future will discuss Florida’s modern history including the state’s fragile eco-system, environmental concerns, demographics, race, politics, megatrends and Florida’s future.
NASA Expert Peter Chitko: The History of Space
Aug. 7, 3 p.m. at Headquarters & 6 p.m. at Newberry Branch Zoom to the Moon, Mars, the stars and beyond with NASA expert Peter Chitko! Discover Florida’s rich history of space travel. Learn about the Mars rovers, the International Space Station, Curiosity and more. Hear about the latest launches from Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. The focus of his talk with be on the Apollo Moon Program of which Florida was an indispensable part.
Juan Ponce de León and more!
Sept. 7, 2 p.m. at Headquarters
Dr. William Marquardt will speak on Ponce de León’s 1513 and 1521 contacts with the Calusa Indians of Southwest Florida, the only documented contact that describes interactions with Native Floridian Indian people, and Dr. James Cusick will talk about his latest volume on the voyages of Juan Ponce de León, and P.K. Yonge Library’s major new digital project. Also, Author Harvey E. Oyer III will discuss his children’s book, The Last Calusa, one in a series called The Adventures of Charlie Pierce.
Visualizing The Yearling
Aug. 22, 6:30 p.m. at High Springs
Sept. 11, 6 p.m. at Tower Road Branch
Sept. 14, 10 a.m. at Millhopper Branch
Sept. 14, 2 p.m. at Hawthorne Branch
Sept. 15, 3 p.m. at Headquarters
Celebrate the 75th anniversary of Marjorie Kinnan Rawling's book The Yearling with Anne Pierce, a board member of the Friends of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Farm and Society. Our mental images of the setting and characters portrayed in The Yearling are informed by the text of the book, our experience with the setting, as well as the visuals provided by the illustrations and the movie. In this talk these images will be shown with connections between them illuminated.
Youth Programs and Events -
- Early Spanish Explorers, Ponce de León and Hernando de Soto
April 16, 3:30 p.m.
- Native Peoples of Florida, the Timucua, Calusa and Seminoles
June 18, 3:30 p.m.
- Florida Wildlife with Emphasis on Endangered Species
Aug. 20, 3:30 p.m.
- Viva Florida 500 Time Capsule Ceremony at the Family Literacy Festival on Oct. 12, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
The whole family is invited to participate.
- Florida’s Waters, Beaches, Rivers, Lakes and Springs
Oct. 15, 3:30 p.m.
- Puppetry 101
May 15, 3 p.m.
Puppetry 101 is a fun class about Florida’s pirates, Spanish galleons, and lost treasures.
- Art in Archer: Portraits of Osceola and Chief Micanopy
July 31, 3 p.m.
George Catlin was an American painter most famous for his portraits of great Native American Indian war leaders such as Osceola, one of Florida’s most famous Seminole Indians. Art teacher Linda Tiffany will instruct how to make portraits and tell about Osceola, Chief Micanopy (painted by Charles Bird King) and Florida history.
The Adventures of Charlie Pierce
Sept. 7, 11 a.m., Millhopper Branch
Florida’s own award-winning children’s writer, Harvey E. Oyer III, will be on hand to discuss the true stories behind his three-book series about The Adventures of Charlie Pierce - The American Jungle, The Last Egret, and The Last Calusa. Don’t miss this award-winning series based on the diaries and true adventures of a young boy, Charlie Pierce!
Alachua County Library District kicked off its Viva Florida 500 schedulewith a presentation by Dr. Michael Gannon. His program on March 23, at 2 p.m. at Headquarters, highlighted the history of Juan Ponce de León’s landing 500 years ago, the naming of La Florida, and historical details about Florida’s ties to Spain. The Library District was pleased and honored that Dr. Gannon, a Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Florida, historian, knight and author of four books including Florida: A Short History, was its featured speaker for its kick off for this year-long, statewide celebration.
updated May 14, 2013