Page Turn Episode 045

Hello and welcome to Episode Forty Five of Page Turn: the Largo Public Library Podcast. I’m your host, Hannah!

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The English Language Transcript can be found below

But as always we start with Reader’s Advisory!

The Reader’s Advisory for Episode Forty Five is My Summer of You by Nagisa Furuya. If you like the sound of My Summer of You you should also check out: I Hear a Sunspot Limit by Yuki Fumino, How Do We Relationship? by Tamifull, and Love*Com by Aya Nakahara.

No bonus segment this week as My Summer of You has not been added to any lists!!

Happy Reading Everyone

Today’s Library Tidbit is all about the City of Largo’s plans for a new city hall.
The City of Largo has been working towards a new city hall for a few years now. You may have even answered the community survey in 2020. A lot of thought and planning has gone into the new building, both behind the reasons why the City is building a new one and also how the new building will be designed and what functionality it will have.

The current and soon to be old city hall was built in 1973 and was built to the codes and work standards of the time. Not only have building codes upgraded significantly since 1973 but our work culture has also changed drastically. One of the City’s major concerns with the current and soon to be old city hall is that it is not up to hurricane or flood codes. It’s been pure luck that it has not suffered any major damage in a storm.

If the City decided to stay in the current and soon to be old city hall it was estimated to cost anywhere between $10-15 million dollars. This would bring the building up to code and also repair the A/C, heating, electrical, and plumbing problems the current building experiences. The cost of building a new building, parking garage, and retail spaces all together is estimated at $58 million dollars.

This is a significant difference, however, not only is the current soon to be old city hall in need of major repairs and in danger from hurricanes, it does not meet the needs of the City. The current building was originally built for a financial services organization and not as a city hall.

The new city hall will allow the City flexibility in work and meeting spaces and will have a built in ability to grow as needed, something the current soon to be old building lacks. The current soon to be old building is also sorely lacking in accessibility, something that is a priority in the planning of the new city hall. The City cannot truly meet the needs of the public unless the public can access the City.

Once the new city hall is finished the plot of land the current and soon to be old city hall is on, along with the parking lot, will be torn down and the plot sold to a private, probably residential developer. This not only will allow to more housing in Largo, but will also help to offset some of the costs of building the new city hall.

The current Police Department and Emergency Operations Center will be staying where they are on Highland behind the plot of land the current and soon to be old city hall stands on.
The new city hall is being designed and built by the firm ASD/SKY. I will link to their website here if you are interested in some of their projects, but most notable for our area this is the firm that built the new St. Pete pier. ASD/SKY was chosen not only for their modern and clean designs, but also because as a firm they are dedicated to sustainable and inclusive building practices.

To build the new city hall the City of Largo has purchased several plots of land on the 400 block of West Bay Dr. The City targeted this area for the new city hall as part of the City’s commitment to developing or revitalizing downtown Largo. The City has a vision for downtown Largo as a destination place for the public.

As such the new city hall will be a mixed-use building with open green spaces for the public to use as well as retail or restaurant locations available in the same building as city hall. The City came to the decision for the new city hall to be a mixed-use building after research into developing a community that was safe for everyone, sustainable for everyone, and that all of our residents could be proud of.

The new city hall will focus on having a lot of green spaces and utilize as much natural light as possible. In addition to having green spaces, not just outside the building, but also inside, the landscaping will also use Florida native plants to make sure that the City is being environmentally responsible. The City is also planning on adding an array of solar panels to the roof of the new city hall as part of the City’s dedication to sustainable practices.

The new city hall will focus on having collaborative work spaces, with rooms for private work or phone calls when needed. The City wants to focus on having flexible working environments and spaces that promote remote work as well as collaborative work. The City is also dedicated to digitizing files and having less need for physical file storage. The new city hall will also have several meeting rooms of varying sizes to meet the needs of all types of work or meetings with the public.

In addition the new city hall will have break rooms on every floor, larger meeting spaces and terraces for group celebrations, spaces for nursing parents, spaces for meditation or prayer, gender neutral bathrooms, and a fitness room for staff use.

In addition to the city hall building the City is also building a parking garage. This will be next to the new city hall, with a green terrace in-between the two structures. The parking garage will be for City use during business hours but the plan is that during the evening and over the weekend this parking garage will be turned into a public use facility.

The ground breaking for this project is due early this year and the building is planned on being finished and open by the end of 2023! To keep up to date with this project you can sign up for email updates here or by emailing or by calling 727-587-6740 ext 7630!

Check out the design video here to get an idea of what the new city hall will look like!

And now it’s time for Book Traveler, with Victor:
Welcome to a new edition of Book Traveler. My name is Victor and I am a librarian at the Largo Public Library. I am going to talk about a novel that we have in the Spanish collection, Simón, by Miqui Otero.

Synopsis: This book is about Simon’s life. Simon opens his eyes in a bar, between two families who do not talk to each other. He grows up looking for his cousin, the one who promised him ‘a life of a novel and disappeared. He learns what friendship is with Estela. He rehearses in luxury restaurants the recipes he learned in the bar. He pretends to be a hero on yachts and billiards. He is forced to walk forward on journeys and run away. He falls in love too much and badly. He soon realizes that heroes do not exist, fortunes are for something, and the ladies do not intend to be rescued. Simon. That one day it comes back. He returns to start again, this time for real, the novel of his life. Miqui Otero is crowned with one of the most moving and authentic novels of recent times. A novel full of places and people to return to.

Opinion: This was a book I really liked because we can find some of our own history in Simon’s story. In the novel we see the story of Simon from childhood to adulthood and how he tries to survive in this world by dint of disappointment.

The novel begins with the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona when Simon loses his cousin Rico, who was his best friend and rooftop companion. From here the memory of his cousin is evident in all of Simon’s experiences. The novel unfolds over three decades and shows the process of personal growth of the characters. This extensive historical journey makes us reflect on how the political, historical and social events that occur in our environment affect us personally and at what point determine or influence our personality. The book is long for the story that it tells but it is still a very good read.

Outro: It’s all for today. Until the next edition of Book Traveler. Goodbye.

Stay safe everyone out there! Check out our programming page here for our upcoming events!

For everyone interested our intro music is by Break the Bans and the outro music is by Jahzzar, both artists can be found on Free Music Archive.