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St. Petersburg library renamed for ex-President Barack Obama

By Sara Shayanian
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St. Petersburg library renamed for ex-President Barack Obama
St. Petersburg's main library was renamed after President Barack Obama. Photo courtesy oc StPeteFL/Twitter

Feb. 20 (UPI) -- City officials in St. Petersburg, Fla., announced that the city's main library would be renamed after former President Barack Obama.

Mayor Rick Kriseman announced on President's Day that the library would be receiving a $6 million renovation and would be renamed after the ex-president.

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"We felt the most appropriate thing to name after President Barack Obama was a library, where books are read, ideas are exchanged, research is conducted, and where forums and lectures can take place," Kriseman said on Twitter.

"That's what I'm really the most excited about, what's going to happen inside this library, with materials that focus not only on President Obama, but all of our presidents, and so much more."

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The city announced that the library would be renamed to honor Obama as other local governments and school districts have done elsewhere in the United States.

Talks of renaming the library began in spring 2017 when the city said Kriseman "convened community leaders in order to receive feedback on the renaming of St. Petersburg's Main Library, and the enhancement of the library's programming to include an emphasis on presidential history, civics, and the contributions of the President and Mrs. Michelle Obama."

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Kriseman added that the library's renaming -- which coincided with both President's Day and Black History Month -- was a way to pay tribute to the nation's first African-American president, "a man who served honorably for two terms and has already been ranked by historians as one of our better presidents."

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The announcement comes as Obama was ranked within the top ten U.S. presidents in terms of presidential greatness, according to a survey released by Boise State University.

The 2018 survey covered all presidents from George Washington to Donald Trump. Obama occupies the eighth spot, behind Dwight D. Eisenhower and ahead of Ronald Reagan. Current President Donald Trump took the last spot.

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