About Us

Gulfport Public Library
5501 28th Ave S
Gulfport, Florida 33707
Email: libraryinfo@mygulfport.us

Circulation Desk: (727) 893-1074
Reference Desk: (727) 893-1073
Children’s Department: (727) 893-1134
Fax Number: (727) 344-6386

David Mather, Library Director
DMCA Designated Agent
Office: 727-893-1025

 Library Mission Statement:

The primary purpose of the Gulfport Public Library is to provide materials, information and services to meet the educational, recreational, cultural, and social needs of our diverse community, to support lifelong learning and to enhance services through the sharing of resources with the larger library community.

Our goal is to help people enrich their experiences, expand their cultural horizons, improve their literacy, and improve themselves with family, friends, community and career. We accomplish this by:

  • Making available to all residents, by convenient and free access, a wide variety of expertly selected library materials and resources for the public’s educational and informational needs.
  • Promoting the enjoyment of reading and books, literacy, lifelong learning, citizenship and the appreciation of the world’s cultural achievements.
  • Giving every person the opportunity for involvement, enrichment, inspiration and entertainment.

The Library affirms that an informed and involved community is a better community. By providing opportunities for citizens to contribute their time, talents and ideas, as well as by providing access to information and knowledge, the public library greatly contributes to the maintenance and strengthening of our Constitutional rights and freedoms.

All citizens are encouraged to use and enjoy the services and resources of the public library. As a traditional and proven component of the best of a community’s learning and educational systems, the public library enriches the lives of the people it serves and it contributes significantly to their quality of life.

2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

2018 GLBTRT Newlen-Symons Award

Gulfport Public Library received the 2018 GLBTRT Newlen-Symons Award for Excellence in Serving the GLBT Community.

Library Policies

Child Policy

Gulfport Public Library
Policy Title: Unattended Child
Effective Date: May 2014


The Gulfport Public Library is dedicated to providing a welcoming, educational, and safe environment for customers of all ages. Parents, guardians, and caregivers are responsible for the safety, behavior, and supervision of their children at all times in the library and on library property, whether or not they are with the child. When children are left alone they may become frightened or anxious. If they wander through the building they may encounter hazards such as stairs, doors, furniture or electrical equipment. They may also become bored and restless and could disturb the enjoyment and work of others The safety of children left alone in a library building is a serious concern of the library staff. However, the library is a public facility, and staff may not be able to monitor all aspects of patron behavior. Libraries cannot guarantee that a child will be safe in the Library or on library property. The Library does not act in loco parentis.

Statement of Policy:

It is strongly recommended that children be accompanied in the library by a parent, guardian, or assigned caregiver. Staff is not able to provide childcare or babysitting. An exception would be children attending a story time or library program without a parent, guardian or caregiver in the room. However, the parent, guardian or caregiver must remain in the library building and join the child at the end of the program or when summoned by a library staff member to care for the child.

Parents/guardians and caregivers should be aware of library opening and closing times and make suitable arrangements to meet and/or transport their children. In the event that a child is left after library hours and no one can be contacted to provide transportation within fifteen (15) minutes, the staff will call the appropriate law enforcement agency for assistance. Staff will not transport children home or to any other destination under any circumstances.

Violation of Policy:

Library staff cannot be responsible for children who are unattended or who are demonstrating inappropriate behavior. If a child’s behavior does not conform to the library’s Patron Conduct Policy, or results in a safety issue, the child may be asked to leave the library, a parent may be notified, and/or law enforcement may be called for assistance. Complaints by other library patrons of misbehavior or disturbance by a child, or the need for a staff member to repeatedly approach the child and/or parent, guardian or caregiver about a child’s behavior, may be grounds to ask the child, and anyone accompanying the child, to leave the library immediately.

LGBTQ Special Collection Donation Policy

Gulfport Public Library

LGBTQ Special Collection Donation

Policy Philosophy

As a special collection, we encourage members of the community to invest in our LGBTQ Resource Center by giving both material and monetary donations. We recognize that those who contribute to a special collection often feel sentimental attachment to the specific materials they may donate or request. With this in mind, we ask that you please consider the following guidelines when donating to the collection and thank you for your generosity and understanding.


Gift materials and bequests of private collections are accepted with the understanding that their inclusion in the collection, sale or disposal is subject to the needs of the special collection and become the property of the Gulfport Public Library. As such, they are subject to the same criteria and are evaluated on the same basis as purchased materials and may be added to the library’s collection, donated to the Circle of Friends’ book sale to benefit the library or disposed of at the discretion of the library, LGBTQ Collection Committee Member or designee.

Please understand that due to physical limitations and adherence to our collection development policy we will not accept gifts or bequests which have specific stipulations attached. The library cannot appraise the value of materials received as gifts for estate evaluation or tax deduction; however, book donations will be acknowledged with a standardized form for tax purposes if requested.

Recommendations for acquisitions are welcomed from all members of the library’s community. The staff and LGBTQ Collection Committee evaluate these suggestions according to the criteria an guidelines set forth in the collection development policy. Library materials may be added to the collection in memory or in honor of a specified individual or group by making a monetary donation to the Circle of Friends. A special bookplate will be attached to the item if desired by the donor.

If you would like your monetary donation to expressly serve the LGBTQ Resource Center and Special Collection please stipulate your request whenever possible by noting your preference on the memo line of the check or a note attached to a cash donation.

Confidentiality Policy

Policy Title: Confidentiality of Library Records

Effective Date: September 1, 2013


As the choice of books and other library materials, along with the use of the informational resources of the library is a personal and private endeavor on the part of each individual patron, adult, or child, the library shall make every effort to see that information about that persons choices remain confidential. To make full and effective use of library resources, people must be confident that others will not become aware of what books they read, the materials they use, the questions they ask. Such a possibility would inhibit free usage of the library and is contrary to the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement, and the freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Statement of Policy

It is the intent of the Gulfport Public Library to protect the privacy of those who use the Library. The Library collects and maintains only the minimum number of records necessary for maintaining operations. In accordance with Florida State Statute 257.261, the Gulfport Public Library shall not disclose any record or other information that identifies a user of library services as requesting or obtaining specific materials or services or as otherwise using the Library. Library user records may be disclosed only in the following circumstances:

  • In accordance with a proper judicial order. If a court order, search warrant or subpoena is issued. Before complying, the library will consult the City Attorney to assure the document is in proper form.
  • For the purpose of collecting fines or recovering overdue books, documents, films, or other items or materials owned or otherwise belonging to the library only, the library may disclose information to
    • The library patron named in the records
    • In the case of a library patron less than 14 years of age, the parent or guardian of that patron named in the records
    • Any entity that collects fines on behalf ofthe library
    • Municipal or county law enforcementofficials
    • Judicial officials Any person who violates the Statute commits a misdemeanor of the second degree.

US Patriot Act of 2001

Library users should be aware that the USA Patriot Act of 2001 increases the authority of federal investigative agencies to compel the disclosure of personal information through use of orders duly issued by a federal court of lawful jurisdiction. Under provisions of the act, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and law enforcement officials may seek court orders for library records for investigations relevant to national security or terrorism. Libraries or librarians served with these orders may not disclose, under penalty of law, the existence of the orders or the fact that records were produced as a result of the orders. Library users cannot be told their records were given to law enforcement agencies or that they were the subjects of FBIinvestigations.

Donation Policy

Gulfport Public Library Donation Policy

The Gulfport Public Library encourages the interest and involvement of the community and accepts donations that support and further the mission, goals, and objectives of the library. The library is an active resource for the community and we encourage our patrons to donate gently used materials to the library. Library staff will process the materials and research whether or not they are appropriate for the collection. All materials not added to the library collection are given to the Circle of Friends of the Library to sell in the Circle Bookshop, donate to another organization, or discard them. 100% of the proceeds of those sales are used toward library programming, material purchases, and other needs of the library.

Therefore, the library has established the following guidelines on accepted donations.

The library accepts new or gently used: 

  • Hardcover and paperback books
  • DVDs, CDs and audiobooks
  • Weekly magazines that are less than 2 months old
  • Monthly magazines that are less than one year old
  • Textbooks that have been published within the last 4 years

The library cannot accept the following donated items:

  • Torn, damaged or moldy materials
  • VHS or audio cassettes
  • Encyclopedias
  • Newspapers

The library will accept donated materials during normal business hours. If you have a large donation, please call and schedule an appointment when there will be staff or volunteers available to assist you.

All donated materials become the property of the Gulfport Public Library. The library cannot appraise the value of donated materials; however, the library is able to provide a standardized receipt for tax purposes upon request. We thank you for your support of the library.

EGovernment Service Policy

Policy Title: E-Government Service Assistance Policy

Effective Date: July 2013

Definition and Scope of Services

E-Government represents the delivery of services traditionally provided by the Federal Government, the State of Florida and local government via electronic means. We can help you with your E-Government needs in many ways:

  • Using library computers;
  • Finding information about government programs and services, jobs, education, and other government transactions;
  • Locating websites with applications and forms;
  • Providing limited assistance in completing applications and forms;
  • Obtaining free email accounts; and
  • Printing copies of transactions.


The Gulfport Public Library computers used to obtain E-Government services will not retain records of any personal information, no “cookies” are kept, temporary and Internet files are removed, and the Internet cache is cleared at the end of each user’s session. The Gulfport Public  library and the library staff will not collect any personal information.

Patrons are advised to keep documents containing personal information secure and private. Patrons should be aware and careful when providing personal information using library computers,  completely exiting websites and closing the web browser when finished. Patrons are urged to collect all of their documents from around the computer and printer.

Limits and Disclaimer:

Gulfport Public Library staff members are not permitted to give legal, financial, or medical advice and are not case workers. Library staff cannot advise patrons as to the identification of forms or actions needed to obtain government services. Gulfport Public Library staff members can assist patrons in finding E-Government materials that pertain to a specific subject in order to enable patrons to make informed decisions. Library staff cannot submit forms for patrons.

The Gulfport Public Library is not responsible for the content found on other government agencies’ websites, for any failure in transmission of online applications or forms to other government agencies, or for accurate submission of forms or information. The Gulfport Public Library takes measures to secure our network, but cannot guarantee against all security intrusions. The Gulfport Public Library cannot guarantee that other government agencies receive forms or information submitted from library computers or act on them appropriately. No agreement or contract is created between the patron and the library staff or the library.

Exhibit Waiver Form

Thank you for sharing your exhibit with the people of Gulfport and Pinellas County by placing it in the Gulfport Library. We want you to understand the following conditions:

All displays and exhibits are subject to prior assessment and recommendation by an advisory committee of professional Library staff and/or Friends of the Library, and to existing laws, ordinances, regulations and official policies. The decision by the Library, as an official unit of the City of Gulfport, to accept or reject any or all items is final.

All items placed on exhibit in the Library shall be done so at the owner’s risk. The Library cannot provide insurance coverage for exhibit items. No special security is provided for artwork. Therefore, the Library assumes no responsibility for the preservation, protection, or possible damage or theft of any item displayed or exhibited.

Most exhibits will be displayed for two to three weeks. The library reserves the right to extend or shorten this period, where deemed necessary. Items not removed after the agreed closing date of the exhibit will be stored at the owner’s risk at the Library for no more than two weeks. Under the supervision of a designated library staff person, each exhibitor is responsible for the installation and dismantling of the exhibit as scheduled. If staff must dismantle an exhibit after the scheduled removal date, the Library will not be responsible for any damage. Exhibitors are asked to install and dismantle their work at the Library’s convenience, and are responsible for providing their own supplies, including tools, labels and signs, for installation/dismantling.

No price tags of any kind are permitted on displays or artwork, and no price lists may be distributed at the Library or other City property. No sales or fundraising may take place on Library property. Exhibitors may display their names, telephone numbers, and the titles of works on the individual works and/or on a combined list. The Library can refer inquiries to the artist/owner or a designated representative. However, the Library cannot function as an agent for any person whose works are displayed. Works displayed must remain on display until the end of the agreed-upon exhibit period, and may not be purchased or sold either on or outside of Library property, while they are on still on display at the Library,


I understand and agree to the policy and conditions regarding the placing of my display in the Library. I agree to comply with all rules, regulations, ordinances, laws or orders of the City of Gulfport, Florida (“City”), and its authorized representatives, while using Library exhibit space. I further agree to hold the City harmless and indemnify the City against any claim, loss, demand, damages, cause of action or liability, including attorneys fees incurred by the City as a result thereof, through all trial and appellate court proceedings, in any way arising out of or related to my use of City property as specified in the Library Policy on Exhibits and Displays.

I understand and agree to the policy and conditions regarding the placing of my display in the Library. I agree to comply with all rules, regulations, ordinances, laws or orders of the City of Gulfport, Florida (“City”), and its authorized representatives, while using Library exhibit space. I further agree to hold the City harmless and indemnify the City against any claim, loss, demand, damages, cause of action or liability, including attorneys fees incurred by the City as a result thereof, through all trial and appellate court proceedings, in any way arising out of or related to my use of City property as specified in the Library Policy on Exhibits and Displays


Internet Use Agreement

Use of Library computers assumes patron agreement with the following terms. Failure to comply with this agreement may result in revocation of computer use privileges.

1. I will not attempt to modify or gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to others.

2. I will not seek unauthorized access to any other computer system or damage or alter software components of any network or database.

3. I will observe the copyright law for print and electronic materials.

4. I will not make any changes to the setup or configuration of the software or hardware.

5. I will not bring in any application software to use on the library’s computers, or attempt to download or save any files or applications to the library computers’ hard disk.

6. I will pay the established rate for each page I print out.

7. I will allow a library staff member to check for viruses on any diskette I bring in before using it.

Use of the Internet:

1. I will not use the Internet for illegal or unethical purposes.

2. I will not send, receive, display or print sexually explicit or pornographic text or graphics, or any other content which may be reasonably construed as obscene.

3. I will not send, receive, display or print text or graphics which may be reasonably construed as inappropriate for reading, listening or viewing by minor children.

The Gulfport Public Library has established rules of conduct and other policies and procedures in order to protect the rights of all users to a safe, tranquil and pleasant environment conducive to reading and learning. Ultimately, however, it is the responsibility of the parent or guardian, and not the Library, to determine what his or her own child may view, read or otherwise access on the Internet.

Gulfport Library Meeting Room Policy

Gulfport Public Library
Meeting Room Policy and Procedures

The Frances Purdy Friends Room (“the meeting room”) is the Library’s large multi-purpose meeting room. Use of the meeting room is intended primarily for programs presented by library staff, Circle of Friends of the Library, LGBTQ Resource Center, and other City of Gulfport Departments. When not in use by the aforementioned entities, the room will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for programs or meetings of a cultural or educational nature of interest to the general public. The meeting room is not intended for private social gatherings, entertainment, commercial sales, business solicitations, fundraising, partisan political, unbalanced presentation of controversial matters, and issues that may result in the violation of any local, state, federal law or ordinance.

Reservations and Applications

Use of the meeting room may be requested by completing and signing a rental agreement form provided by the Library Director or delegate. (See Frances Purdy Friends Room: Use Request / Rental Agreement, attached to this document). Reservations may be made up to 90 days in advance. Please reserve the room 30 days prior to your event to ensure availability.

The meeting room is not intended for individual or small private groups (e.g., for tutoring, testing, etc.) or for client counseling, support groups, planning, training, etc. Please refer to our Use of Study Room Policy for use of this nature.

Use of the room for regularly scheduled (e.g., weekly, monthly) functions by a qualified group may be reserved on a quarterly basis (3 months of meetings). However, the group must apply/reapply every three months to ensure the room is still available.

We request that any group wishing to use the meeting room have a primary and a secondary contact. If the leadership or contact information of a group changes before the 3 month term of use is up, we will still honor the contract for the remainder of the term, however; we ask that the new leadership or main contact of the group contact library staff before the next meeting takes place so that we may update our records.

Please note regardless of an ongoing or onetime event the first occurrence must be held within 90 days of request.

Reservations may be made by telephone or in person. A reservation will be considered tentative until the signed application is received. The application form must be signed and received by the Library within 48 business hours of the initial application. If 48 hours pass, a final attempt by library staff will be made to make arrangements for signatures. If no signature is given by the end of 1 business day from final contact, the reservation will be canceled.

Groups must notify the Library of any cancellation at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. Habitual violation of this term (more than twice in a calendar year), by a specific group who violated the terms may have their meeting room privileges revoked for a period of 1 calendar year.

General Rules and Regulations

Programs or other meetings held in the Friends Room should be free and open to the public at large. No group may charge admission to a meeting held in the Library, solicit or collect a “free will” offering, or present for sale any item which is conditional for attendance at the meeting or program. Sales or other commercial transactions may not be solicited or take place on Library property, nor may memberships or payment of dues be solicited in the Library without the written consent of the City of Gulfport, the Library Director or delegate.

No individual will be excluded because of race, nationality, age, sex, handicap, or because of social, religious, or political affiliation. All groups must adhere to Chapter 26 of the City of Gulfport’s Civil Rights or Human Rights Ordinance.

Community groups may advertise, at their own discretion, however; no group may use the Library or City logo on their advertisement. No group may represent the library in any way as having endorsed or promoted the specific program. Library staff may attend or observe any meeting or any program at any time. The name, address, and/or phone number of the library may not be used as the address or headquarters of any group. The Library reserves the right to pre-empt any meeting when necessary, due to unforeseen circumstances.

No food or beverages are permitted in the meeting room without the approval of the Library Director or delegate. No alcohol will be permitted on the premises without the express permission of the City Manager or designee. If permission to serve light refreshments is granted, it is the responsibility of the individual or group to collect and dispose of trash in appropriate containers and to leave the meeting room, as well as the kitchenette if used, in a clean and sanitary condition. Individuals or groups will be held liable for custodial maintenance or repair if the facilities, furniture and/or equipment are found to be damaged or soiled to a degree requiring exceptional services.

Users must not tamper with, attempt to modify, or otherwise change any electrical, plumbing or heating/air conditioning equipment or settings in the Library. Groups failing to comply with these provisions will be given notice that a second offense may result in denial of their future use of the room.

A Library staff member will operate any Library-owned equipment requested (e.g., television, audio/visual projector, sound system). The Library is not responsible for providing meeting-related equipment or supplies such as coffee pots, cups, extension cords, paper or pencils. Storage space cannot be allotted for non-Library equipment, utensils or supplies to be left at the facility between meetings. Any group that leaves materials behind will be contacted and asked to remove the materials within 48 business hours. If arrangements are not made to pick up the materials they may be donated, recycled, or thrown away.

Doors must be kept closed while the meeting or program is underway to ensure efficient use of the heating and cooling system and to contain noise.


For the purposes of this policy, the Circle of Friends of the Gulfport Public Library, The Gulfport Library LGBTQ Resource Center, all City of Gulfport departments, and all duly constituted City of Gulfport advisory boards may be exempted from any or all of these conditions.

The fact that a group is permitted to meet at the Gulfport Public Library does not in any way constitute an endorsement of the group’s policies or beliefs.

For the purposes of groups/community organizations who reserve the meeting room, we will display the reservation on our public calendar online, not as “promotion” or “endorsement” of the program, but as notification to the public and other groups that the room is reserved on a specific date/time. The library does not include promotion of community programs and non-library events in print or social media outlets. For this reason, we do not post non-library or community events on the library Facebook page. We are also unable to publish events from other Facebook pages or co-host events with other Facebook pages.

In the event that circumstances arise which are not covered by this document, the decisions of the Library Director or delegate are binding.

By moving on to the next page you acknowledge that you have read and accepted the terms of the preceding policy.

If applying in person please initial each page.
rev 6/10/2021

Currently, all room applications are available at the library.  Call 727-893-1074 for information or stop by the library.

Library Study Room

Addendum: Library Study Room

The room can be used on a “first come, first serve” basis and is meant to be used by any member of the public. Only library employees or city staff may reserve the study room and are exempt from the “first come, first serve” restriction. The following regulations are in effect while using the study room:

  • Use of the study room must be granted by a librarian or the circulation manager.
  • The study room is available to the public on a “first come, first served” basis.
  • The study room may be used for up to 2 hours per day provided no one else is waiting to use the room.
  • A study room cannot be used as a group or individual’s primary place of meeting.
  • The City of Gulfport is not responsible for accidents, injury, loss or damage to the private property of the individual or organization using the room.
  • The study room is intended for quiet use.
  • The room is not soundproof; discussions should take place at quiet conversational levels. For their own protection, users should limit conversation of a private or confidential nature as privacy cannot be guaranteed.
  • Laptops, personal computers, cell phones and other electronic devices may be used in the study room, provided the volume controls on such devices are adjusted so as not to disturb others in the Library
  • Individuals or groups who are noisy or unruly will be asked to leave.

rev 06/10/2021DM