Broward County Library

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Broward County Library System
Broward County Library Logo.jpg
Country United States
Type Public Library
Established

1974

Since opening in 1974, the Broward County Library system has grown from two city libraries with a $1.3 million operating budget to 38 county libraries with a $60 million budget. Today, Broward County Library has a combined catalog of more than 3 million books, videos, cassettes, CDs, DVDs and CD-ROMs, a computerized information system with access to the Internet and specialized databases of information, and a comprehensive

array of programs and services.
Location Broward County, Florida
Branches 38
Collection
Size 3 million combined catalog
Access and use
Circulation 10.5 million
Population served 1,784,715
Other information
Director Laura Connors, Interim Director
Website Official Site

The Broward County Library is the ninth largest library system in Florida by square footage, and its multiple locations have been referred to as some of the best libraries in South Florida.[1] "The system contains 38 branch locations, which host over eight million visitors, and circulate over 10.5 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." [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 38 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 South Regional/BC Library.An innovative library building, "the structure’s engineers adhered to a rigorous set of environmental standards which include energy efficiency and water conservation".[7] A 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]

In mid-2010, the library upgraded its library automated system to new software and hardware platforms, a system that handles over fifty million transactions annually. The system manages and controls the 3.5 million item database, over 1 million library card accounts and millions of circulation transactions, including capturing reserves and automated communication with patrons. The library also migrated its web page software to a new platform with a new format in early 2011. With over 3,000 desk top computers for public and staff already in use, the library has completed the installation of wireless capabilities in all libraries. Through grant funding, laptops for customer use were acquired; a commitment from the Broward Public Library Foundation purchased e-book units for public use. Since 2011 Broward County Library has significantly expanded its offering of digital books with nearly 13,000 volumes and 9,800 unique titles currently available, including juvenile and young adult in all genres. Downloadable digital offerings books are compatible with most computers and portable devices with the exception of the Kindle, which is proprietary to Amazon.[10]

Skye Patrick was the Director of Broward County Libraries Division from April 29, 2013 until February 9, 2016. She previously served as Assistant Director at the Queens Public Library, where she managed 20 branch locations in that system.[11] Under her leadership, Broward County Libraries Division won three 2015 Florida Library Association Awards for: Library of the Year, the Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award for Teen Programming, and the Libraries Mean Business Award.

The year 2014 commemorated the Broward County Library's 40th year of operation. The library continued to pursue 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".[12] During 2014, Broward County Libraries coordinated and produced a system-wide campaign, "Broward County Libraries Mean Business!" The purpose was to create programming to assist small business and entrepreneurial enterprises as well as raise awareness of the many business-related resources offered by the library. It was launched in conjunction with Broward County Mayor Barara Sharief's 2014 leadership theme, "Broward Means Business."[13]

In 2015, Broward County Libraries Division received eight national Awards of Excellence from the National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO) for information projects that exhibit expertise in communications. The competition honors a variety of projects that include public relations campaigns, brochures and publications, articles and press releases, videos and internet/electronic innovations. This year, Broward County has won a total of 28 awards, more than any other locality in the country.[14]

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)."[15] 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.[16] 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.[17]

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.[18]

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."[19]

"The Daniel Johnson Collection is a major acquisition with work dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present."[20]

In 2012, the African American Research Library and Cultural Center commemorated 10 years of the Ashley Bryan Art series.[21] 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."[22] 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".[23] "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."[24]

One of the hugely successful programs offered at this branch includes the Destination Friday events to celebrate different cultures through dance, music, and traditional foods. Previous destination themes have included Jamaica, Hawaii, Argentina, Bahamas, etc. Destination Friday events are after-hours events, and have seen over 300 participants at a single event.

Dania Beach Branch Library[edit]

The Dania Beach Branch Library opened on Saturday, April 9, 2011. Named for long-time library advocate Paul DeMaio, the new Dania Beach Paul DeMaio Branch Library is located at 1 Park Avenue East, in Dania Beach next to City Hall. The library is 10,000 square feet in size and houses a collection of over 40,000 library materials for public use. Along with a Group Study Room and space for the local chapter of the Friends of the Library, the building has a multi-purpose room that can seat 75 people. There are 24 public Internet access computers for adults and children and the entire facility has wireless access to the Internet. The building was funded by the City of Dania Beach and Broward County. An adjacent parking garage was funded by the City. The new library is visited by approximately 2,400 library customers weekly. Broward County is responsible for the operational costs of the building. The City is responsible for the exterior of the building including the maintenance of the parking facility. The building is LEED certified for energy efficiency.[25]

Broward County Library Without Walls[edit]

On November 8, 2011, Broward County Library became "BCL WoW," which stands for "Broward County Library Without Walls".[26] The Library re-branded itself to include the use of technology to promote library services.[27] The library's objective is to "lead the way, telling their customers what's new and what's coming, and not the other way around."[28] Among other features, the WoW mobile app offers a virtual library card.

Digital Services[edit]

The Broward County Library system offers multiple digital services for its patrons. Along with the traditional paper copies of books and magazines, Broward County also offers access to eBooks and Audio books suitable for download to patrons’ electronic devices. The library also offers a BCL Wow (Broward County Library Without Walls) Mobile App for Apple and Android devices, which allows patrons to search the catalog, place holds, and renew items on their phones. The app also includes features such as linked branch locations, reader's advisory lists based on individual preferences, and links to the library's Facebook and Twitter pages. Digital download classes are offered continuously to encourage use.

Broward County Library system's large and varied collection of music CDs is supplemented with free music downloads. Unlike the eBooks, which revert to the library, music downloads are available to the patrons permanently with a limit of six songs per week. This music program also has a downloadable app administered by the Freegal Music Service and not the Broward County Library system itself.

Creation Station[edit]

The Creation Station at the Main Library represents the democratization of design, engineering, fabrication and education for all residents of Broward County.The Main Library Creation Station makerspace is a community center with tools that enable individuals to design, prototype and make 3D items.[29] Currently the Creation Station is only at the Main Library however, the Library Division will be creating additional Creation Station's at additional branches. Other Creation Stations will be different and provide their own unique inventive opportunities.[30] Creation Station facilities include 3D design and printing, gadget lab, audio/video production, electronic kits, arts and crafts, specialized computer programs.

Branches/Campuses[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Best Libraries in South Florida". CBS Miami. March 28, 2013. 
  2. ^ "About Since its inception in 1974, the Broward County Library system has grown from two city libraries with a $1.3 million operating budget to 38 county libraries with a $60 million budget. Today, Broward County Library has a combined catalog of more than 2.8 million books, videos, cassettes, CDs, DVDs and CD-ROMs, a computerized information system with access to the Internet and specialized databases of information, and a comprehensive array of programs and services.Us". Broward County Library.  line feed character in |title= at position 115 (help)
  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. ^ Broward County Library. "Our History". www.broward.org/library. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "About Us". 
  12. ^ "About Us". Broward County Library. 
  13. ^ http://www.flalib.org/awards_documents/2015/2015%20FLA%20Awards.pdf
  14. ^ https://webapps.broward.org/newsrelease/AdminDisplayMessages.aspx?intMessageId=7087
  15. ^ "Story of AARLCC". Broward County Library. 
  16. ^ "About the Special Collections". Broward County Library. 
  17. ^ "Story of AARLCC". Broward County Library. 
  18. ^ "About the Special Collections". Broward County Library. 
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^ Gómez, E. (2012). "Broward County Library Celebrates Ten Years of the Ashley Bryan Art Series". Children & Libraries 10 (1): 18–19. 
  22. ^ Gómez, E. (2012). "Broward County Library Celebrates Ten Years of the Ashley Bryan Art Series". Children & Libraries 10 (1): 18–19. 
  23. ^ Gómez, E. (2012). "Broward County Library Celebrates Ten Years of the Ashley Bryan Art Series". Children & Libraries 10 (1): 18–19. 
  24. ^ Gómez, E. (2012). "Broward County Library Celebrates Ten Years of the Ashley Bryan Art Series". Children & Libraries 10 (1): 18–19. 
  25. ^ Broward County Library. "Our History". www.broward.org/library. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  26. ^ Grubb, S. (March 15, 2014). "Change Agents: Librarian Without Walls". Library Journal 139 (5): 31. 
  27. ^ Grubb, S. (March 15, 2014). "Change Agents: Librarian Without Walls". Library Journal 139 (5): 31. 
  28. ^ Grubb, S. (March 15, 2014). "Change Agents: Librarian Without Walls". Library Journal 139 (5): 31. 
  29. ^ http://broward.us/2014/03/11/the-creation-station-sneak-peek-300-pm-to-700-pm/
  30. ^ http://www.broward.org/library/creationstation/Pages/Default.aspx

External links[edit]