Barbara S. Ponce,Â Pinellas Park library director, will retire on March 31 after nearlyÂ 30 years with the City of Pinellas Park.
She received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Florida in June 1974, and her Masters Degree in Library Science from the University of South Florida in 1983. After beginning as a cataloger, she moved on to reference librarian in October 1978, assistant library director in 1983 and library director in December 1985.
In July 1999, Barbara was promoted to community activities administrator-library director. She heads up a department consisting of the library, parks & recreation, and media/public events. Barbara has contributed greatly to the tremendous growth of Pinellas Park. As library director, she ushered in an era of automation and streamlined many of the tasks that make the handling of more than 120,000 books, tapes, DVDs and other items more efficient, providing patrons with excellent service.
Her sense of style is evident all over town, from assisting in the design of the new library building to selecting carpet, tiles, wall colors and signage for the renovations to City Hall, Park Station and the Performing Arts Center. City projects under her department included the Broderick Recreation Center, the addition of 20 acres of new park land, the development of the equestrian park area and dog park at Freedom Lake to name a few.
She has overseen the growth in special events at the England Brothers Band Shell and, most recently, the transformation of the former Crosspointe Baptist Church into the Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center.
Barbara is a second generation native of Florida, born and raised in Jacksonville. Barbara is married to Pat Ponce (50 years last October). Barbara and Pat have three grown sons: Patrick, Michael and Buddy. Barbara and Pat reside in St. Petersburg.
Barbara’s knowledge, experience, and positive outlook will be missed by the members of the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative and the community she served. We wish her all the best in her retirement.