Library Reopening Still Unknown


The Fort Myers Beach Library suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Ian and as of today, according to Operations Manager Elizabeth Rhodes, it’s unclear when the facility will reopen again.

Roofers are finishing their work, painters have completed interior work and have moved to the outside. The gates have been replaced and flooring is coming in by the end of this month. The interior doors have been installed and they are now waiting for front doors.

The biggest hold up now is the elevator. The elevator company is still waiting on parts.

We did a library walkaround with Elizabeth on May 27th. You can watch that video HERE.


  1. Repurpose the library as the new town hall. Use those “tax” dollars for the library as a tax cut to the towns people who have suffered enough. Save the town money and time rebuilding a new town hall. Sell the town hall property to pay back the loans taken out. Seems like this is a good way to get back up and running.

  2. Never could figure out why we expanded the old library. It was always empty and often to appear as though the shelves were full the books were turned FACE OUT to fill shelfs. Additionally, much of the construction drive funding came from Library fund itself, having overcharged folks in prior years and stashing the excess. Following Ian, a library is the least of our worries not to mention that Tourists do not spent thousands of vacation dollars to come to our library. Bottom line, as a few residents have suggested, given the extent and cost of rebuilding our Island, consider downsizing and repurpose the building to new Town Hall.

  3. Lets be fiscally responsible & use the library to house FMB city service & township business. The use of the library is down because technology is in our hands. I understand the library was a project that started in 1954. But I bought on the island when the new one was built & even then thought that the $8M seemed like a lot when technology was getting stronger & stronger.

  4. Since 2009, in the USA, library visits have declined 21%. On Ft. Myers Beach I imagine that pre-Ian usage of the library pretty much reflected the national average. Post-Ian demand for a local public library, I suspect, will be minimal. Lakes Library is only 15 minutes away and is very nice.
    In my opinion, FMB should no longer fund a library. It made little since before Ian and we should take advantage post-Ian to do downsizing that should have been done regardless of the storm.


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