Director William S. Frieze, Jr.

Director of Library Services
Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library
1947 - 1965


William S. Frieze, Jr. was born in Concord, North Carolina on November 25, 1914 to William S. Frieze, Sr. and Buelah Frieze and his childhood was spent in Concord, NC. He attended Davidson College where he worked as a student library assistant on campus and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 1937. While employed as a cataloger, he earned a Bachelor of Library Science degree from Columbia University in 1941. After serving in World War II as a corporal in the United States Army with the Special Training Unit, Mr. Frieze completed graduate work in Chicago during the summer of 1946. That fall, Mr. Frieze was hired as the assistant administrator for Tampa Public Library. A year later he took the helm as Library Director following the death of Tampa Public Library's first director, Helen Virginia Stelle.

During his tenure as director, library service was expanded with the opening of the Peninsular Branch, Port Tampa Branch and North Tampa Branch and with the purchase of additional bookmobiles for stops at Ballast Point, Palma Ceia, Sulphur Springs, Wellswood, and Forest Hills. In 1956, an important partnership with the Tampa Art Institute was formed. Mr. Frieze wrote the first proposal for a new main library to replace the aging 7th Avenue Library. In 1965 Mr. Frieze cut the ribbon on the opening day for the newly rebuilt Seminole Heights Branch and participated in the groundbreaking for the construction of the new Central Library at 900 North Ashley Drive in downtown Tampa.

In addition to expanding library services across a large county, he was active with the Florida Library Association and served as its president from 1954 to 1955. After a new director was hired in 1965, Mr. Frieze continued to work for the city until his retirement. Thereafter, he was a committed member of the Hyde Park Presbyterian Church, serving as Deacon, Elder, and Clerk of the Session. William Frieze passed away April 12, 2002 at home in Tampa at the age 87.