Steve Gluckman loved preserving historic houses, and he loved the Seminole Heights Branch Library. So it seems fitting to create a special collections room named for him, filled with books about old houses in the, scheduled to open in 2013.
The Friends of the Seminole Heights Library plan to do just that in honor of Gluckman, a former Friends member, archeologist, University of South Florida professor, Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association member, and neighborhood activist. Gluckman died at age 70 in Dec. 2007 after collapsing at a Hampton Terrace dessert party.
As reported in this TBO.com story, for several years Gluckman raised funds for the library's summer children's programs by helping to run book sales. He also lobbied to have "Heights" added to the library's former Seminole Branch Library name, and for the new library that will soon take shape.
"He was an enormous advocate of the free library system," said Pat Benjamin, president of the Friends of the Seminole Heights Library. "He believed in the library, and in historic presevation."
OSHNA president and Friends treasurer Evan St. Ives said, "I worked with Gluckman on the book sales for 17 years." After Gluckman's death, St. Ives proposed naming the library after Gluckman. "But the more I thought about it, the more I decided it wasn't a good idea," said St. Ives, who worried that Gluckman would lack name recognition for the library. It could be argued that Gluckman, whose austere and idiosyncratic ways were detailed in this 2007 Tampa Bay Times article
So after some reconsideration, "We decided a special collections room would be the best way to memorialize Steve," said St. Ives. He said the room would stock books about historic homes and related subject matter.
Friends president Benjamin added that while the memorial's details haven't been finalized, touches like Stickley-style furniture and hardwood floors have been suggested.
Funds for the Gluckman memorial room have been donated by private individuals, according to St. Ives. OSHNA member Greg Barnhill said that money from OSHNA's recent has also been added to the cause.