|Monday||10 a.m. - 6 p.m.|
|Tuesday||10 a.m. - 6 p.m.|
|Wednesday||10 a.m. - 6 p.m.|
|Thursday||10 a.m. - 6 p.m.|
|Friday||10 a.m. - 6 p.m.|
|Saturday||10 a.m. - 5 p.m.|
|Sunday||12 p.m. - 5 p.m.|
Quiet Reading Room
|Ross Woodbridge||Alachua Branch Manager|
|Phillis Filer||Public Services Administrator - Westside Branches|
Learn more about the Alachua Branch
After local 8th grade teacher Margaret Harris and a group of students petitioned for a library, the city commission established a library board. The Alachua Branch, located today at 14913 NW 140 St., Alachua, FL 32615, began in 1981 as a volunteer library housed in a donated single-wide trailer on land next to the former Alachua City Hall. The trailer officially opened on February 19, 1982. Around the same time, the local Alachua Friends of the Library group was formed and has supported the branch ever since. In its current form, the Alachua Branch is unique in that it is the only library branch with a drive-thru window and a learning center.
By citizen demand, in April 1987, the library became part of the Alachua County Library District and relocated to a renovated convenience store. By 1998, it was clear that the demand for services needed a larger building. A new building was constructed on the same site where the trailer had previously been. As usage again exceeded the size, the branch was renovated in 2008 to 15,000 square feet.
At the opening of the expanded and updated branch, former Library Director Sol Hirsch advised that a town hall style meeting had been conducted with members of the community to ensure that the new building met the needs of the community. Patrons shared that the emphasis should be on children and education, while still being a destination for the community. The entrance to the children’s area features a castle designed by local company, ThemeWorks, Inc. Also in the children’s area is a beautiful mural of a rainbow painted by local artist, Barbara Maness. Together, the castle and the rainbow delight every child who visits the Alachua Branch Library. The current manager, Ross Woodbridge, shared that, today, “The branch continues to strive to be a place where community matters and people can participate, connect, and discover.”
The branch has 24 internet computers, four early learning computers, a Quiet Reading Room, a drive-up window, a Learning Center, and a robust, well-cared for collection of materials to meet diverse community interests. Our Learning Center was created and stocked with laptops thanks to donations from Dollar General, the Alachua County Library District Foundation, and the Alachua Chamber of Commerce.
The branch enjoys being a part of the Alachua community by participating in annual events such as Scarecrow Row, the Christmas Parade, and the Fall festival. The branch has previously been a part of the Farmer’s Market and is very proud to be a part of City of Alachua Community Remembrance Project. Additionally, the branch enjoys longstanding partnerships with local schools, daycares, and the local Friends of the Library group.
The branch is proud of the variety of programs offered each year. In partnership with the Alachua Friends of the Library group, the branch hosts a yearly African American Read In. It worked with local therapy dogs and caregivers to host Read with a Dog for over five years. Dogs aren’t the only animal visitors the branch has had. To name a few, the branch has also had a horse, miniature pony, snakes, and has even been home to a well-loved chameleon and two very sweet frogs. The Homeschool Art Group and sewing classes were so popular that they spread to other branches in the Library District. The branch also has a unique 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program in Alachua. A child can sign up, have a flag made and receive a sticker on their flag for every 100 books read. The flag is displayed in the children’s area serving as a proud achievement every time they visit the library. As a bonus, they also can track the number of books read with connect the dots coloring sheets.
The Alachua Branch is thankful to be a part of a community that greatly desired its establishment. The staff is dedicated to meeting the needs of their patrons where they are at. As the branch manager for over 10 years, Ross Woodbridge shared a final thought, “The library is an essential part of the good life community in Alachua by providing free and open access to meet a variety of informational and entertainment needs. Our diverse and vibrant community is welcomed and appreciated by staff at the branch.” The doors are open and ready to welcome you to the Alachua Branch!