Broward County Library

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Broward County Library System
Broward County Library Logo.jpg
Country United States
Type Public Library
Established 1974
Location Broward County, Florida
Branches 40
Access and use
Circulation 9 million
Other information
Director Skye Patrick
Phone number 954-357-7444 - Main Library
Website Official Site

The Broward County Library is the ninth largest library system in the United States, and its multiple locations have been referred to as some of the best libraries in South Florida.[1] "The system contains 40 branch locations, which host ten million visitors, and circulates nine million items annually."[2] "There is a Main Library in downtown Fort Lauderdale, five regional libraries (two are located on Broward College campuses), and a host of branches and reading centers throughout the community."[3] "The Broward County Library has more than one million library card holders who can choose from over three million library materials for public use."[4] "Card holders have access to The Broward County Library's entire collection, with the option of picking up and returning materials at any Broward County Library location." [5]

General History & Highlights[edit]

The Broward County Library was established in 1974 as the result of a campaign by a Library Study Committee which included Library Activists and The League of Women Voters. [6] The system began issuing borrower cards on June 17 of 1974 for 270,000 items in four branches. Over the following three decades, many of the municipalities in Broward County elected to join the county library system. These included Lauderdale Lakes, Coral Springs, Miramar, Lauderhill, Hallandale, Dania Beach, Margate, Sunrise, Deerfield Beach, North Lauderdale, and Pompano Beach.

The Broward County Library was named "Library of the Year" in 1996 by Library Journal and Gale Research. Upon this event, the library operates on a budget in excess of $60 million, holds more than three million items, and has over 10 million visitors a year.

Ongoing construction, including that funded by a $139.9 million bond issue approved by voters in 1999, has yielded the current total of 40 branch libraries and the eight-story Main Library in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The Main Library houses a Patent and Trademark Depository, the Florida Center for the Book, the Bienes Museum of the Modern Book, and Gallery Six, and a public fine arts exhibition center.


On February 1, 2007, Broward County Library opened the first green building in Broward County -- the new South Regional/BC Library.This building makes this no ordinary library, "the structure’s engineers adhered to a rigorous set of environmental standards which include energy efficiency and water conservation".[7] Another unique feature of the library is that it "serves as Broward Colleges' principal research facility, while also meeting the specific needs of Broward County's local seniors, adults, teens and children."[8] "When opened, the library became one of the first joint-use facilities in Florida and the nation".[9]

The year 2014 commemorates the Broward County Library's 40th year of operation. The library hopes to continue in its mission to " provide convenient access to a full range of innovative and cost-effective services that satisfy the changing needs of the people of Broward County for information, education and recreation".[10]

African-American Research Library and Cultural Center[edit]

African-American Research Library and Cultural Center

In 2002, Broward County Library opened the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. "Samuel F. Morrison, a former director of the Broward County Library was inspired to build this library after a visit to the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History (a special library of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library)."[11] The 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) facility has a 300-seat auditorium, 5,000-square-foot art gallery, and Small Business Resource Center.[12] Since its opening, the Center has become an integral part of the community, displaying over 38 major exhibits and offering 184 cultural programs to over 895,000 customers.[13]

The African American Research Library's Special Collections houses over one million items, including rare books, artifacts, artwork, manuscripts, and reference materials focusing on the history and culture of people of African, African-American and Caribbean descent.[14]

The Special Collections at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center contain the "The Dorothy Parker Wesley Collection, The Sixto Compano Collection, The Alex Haley Collection, The Coretta Scott King Award Books Collection, and The Daniel Johnson Collection."[15]

"The Daniel Johnson Collection is a major acquisition, it contains items which represent the writings of authors dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present."[16]

In 2012, the African American Research Library and Cultural Center commemorated 10 years of the Ashley Bryan Art series.[17] Dr.Henrietta M. Smith, Professor Emerita at the University of South Florida, School of Information, worked with Bryan to establish a children’s book author and illustrator art series. "The series began with Ashley Bryan submitting eight original art pieces to the library to serve as core of the art collection."[18] It became "a children's book author and illustrator series which has brought Coretta Scott King-Award winning authors and illustrators whose work reflected African culture to the library".[19] "The Ashley Bryan Art series has had a long-lasting cultural effect upon the community bringing children and families into the library and engaging youth with children’s book art and illustrations."[20]

Broward County Library Without Walls[edit]

Broward County Library Without Walls.gif

Broward County Library in recent years has become "BCL WoW," which stands for "Broward County Library Without Walls".[21] The Library re-branded itself to include the use of technology to promote library services.[22] The makeover allows the Broward County Library to "lead the way, telling their customers what's new and what's coming, and not the other way around."[23]


Branches/Campuses[edit]

Click on links to find directions from Google Maps, telephone numbers, hours, and bus routes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Best Libraries in South Florida". CBS Miami. March 28, 2013. 
  2. ^ "About Us". Broward County Library. 
  3. ^ "About Us". Broward County Library. 
  4. ^ "About Us". Broward County Library. 
  5. ^ "About Us". Broward County Library. 
  6. ^ "Our History". Broward County Library. 
  7. ^ "BCC South Regional Library". DeRose Design Consultants. 2014. 
  8. ^ "Broward County South Regional/Broward College Library". Harvard Jolly Architecture. 2013. 
  9. ^ "Broward County South Regional/Broward College Library". Harvard Jolly Architecture. 2013. 
  10. ^ "About Us". Broward County Library. 
  11. ^ "Story of AARLCC". Broward County Library. 
  12. ^ "About the Special Collections". Broward County Library. 
  13. ^ "Story of AARLCC". Broward County Library. 
  14. ^ "About the Special Collections". Broward County Library. 
  15. ^ Smith, H. M. (2002). "The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center of the Broward County Library: Building Bridges and Beyond". Reference & User Services Quarterly 42 (1): 21–25. 
  16. ^ Smith, H. M. (2002). "The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center of the Broward County Library: Building Bridges and Beyond". Reference & User Services Quarterly 42 (1): 21–25. 
  17. ^ Gómez, E. (2012). "Broward County Library Celebrates Ten Years of the Ashley Bryan Art Series". Children & Libraries: The Journal Of The Association For Library Service To Children 10 (1): 18–19. 
  18. ^ Gómez, E. (2012). "Broward County Library Celebrates Ten Years of the Ashley Bryan Art Series". Children & Libraries: The Journal Of The Association For Library Service To Children 10 (1): 18–19. 
  19. ^ Gómez, E. (2012). "Broward County Library Celebrates Ten Years of the Ashley Bryan Art Series". Children & Libraries: The Journal Of The Association For Library Service To Children 10 (1): 18–19. 
  20. ^ Gómez, E. (2012). "Broward County Library Celebrates Ten Years of the Ashley Bryan Art Series". Children & Libraries: The Journal Of The Association For Library Service To Children 10 (1): 18–19. 
  21. ^ Grubb, S. (March 15, 2014). "Change Agents: Librarian Without Walls". Library Journal 139 (5): 31. 
  22. ^ Grubb, S. (March 15, 2014). "Change Agents: Librarian Without Walls". Library Journal 139 (5): 31. 
  23. ^ Grubb, S. (March 15, 2014). "Change Agents: Librarian Without Walls". Library Journal 139 (5): 31. 

External links[edit]