Lynn Haven Public Library
901 Ohio Avenue
The Lynn Haven Public Library was Bay County's first library, beginning in 1911 when fourteen Lynn Haven women donated one book and three magazines and met in various homes and buildings as the Lynn Haven Literary Club. Their collection grew to 500 volumes by 1915, and in 1922 the McMullin family donated the site at 9th Street and Ohio Avenue. This donation included a building and $1000.00 for improvements and furnishings. It became known as the McMullin Library.
The Literary Club inaugurated a story-telling hour each Saturday afternoon for children age twelve and under. They also began a program in 1923 to make books and magazines available to prisoners in the county jail. The club promoted the City of Lynn Haven through the printing of brochures and pamphlets that were distributed to northern cities. Many social organizations benefitted from their efforts.
In 1925 the Literary Club joined the Federation of Women's Clubs but continued to sponsor the McMullin Library. As the Lynn Haven Woman's Club, it provided for building maintenance and expense, made several improvements and purchased many books. Supporters of the library attended an annual "Book Day" where they enjoyed iced tea while collecting books and monetary gifts.
McMullin Library became a part of the Northwest Regional Library System in 1961. But as Lynn Haven continued to flourish, a more modern, larger building was required. Eventually the McMullin Library was moved to 9th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue where it served as a meeting place for clubs and organizations. A new North Bay Branch Library, dedicated on November 1, 1970, measured over 3,000 square feet, better serving the needs of a growing community of readers.
The library underwent a major expansion in the mid-1980's to improve service and make room for over 11,000 volumes. A successful fund drive and matching grant from the State of Florida resulted in an addition of more than 5,000 square feet, bringing the total structure to over 8,200 square feet. Grand opening for the newly renovated library took place December 14, 1988.
Northwest Regional Library System experienced a shortage of funds in 1990 and the City of Lynn Haven assumed total financial responsibility for the library. The name was changed to Lynn Haven Public Library to honor the City's commitment.
Lynn Haven Public Library entered the information technology age with one Internet accessible public computer in the early 1990's. Circulation and cataloging became automated in 1996. A grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 1999 provided four more computers for patron use.
Today the library maintains print and audio collections of more than 25,000 items. An emphasis on current and popular titles, in addition to classics, promotes a love of reading for everyone from toddlers to senior adults.