On the second floor of the downtown West Florida Public Library, a small room in the corner of the building contains an impressively curated collection of jazz-related material.
More than 800 CDs, corresponding sheet music, biographies, reference guides and movies line the walls of the room — a collection of donated items valued at $19,000.
Black-and-white photographs of Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington hang behind the CD player console and computer to the left.
The idea for a jazz room inside the library came about in the early 80s, shortly after the Jazz Society of Pensacola was formed. The problem with the old library set up, was the organization of the materials — the few jazz items the library had were houses separately from one another. Jazz books were with the rest of the music books, and the CDs were mixed in with the other CD genres. The library and the newly formed Jazz Society set a goal to house all the jazz material in one spot, while incorporating a listening area for the tapes and CDs.
The new room has a glass door that can be closed, providing a place to listen to the music without disturbing the people reading and researching at the tables scattered throughout the second floor.
More info here.