Palm Beach County Library System
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|Reference to legal mandate||1967|
|Location||Palm Beach County, Florida|
|Access and use|
|Circulation||9 million (2012)|
|Director||Doug Crane |
The Palm Beach County Library System is the public library system of Palm Beach County, Florida. It has its headquarters in the Main Library located in an unincorporated area near West Palm Beach, the county seat. The system was established in 1967 and serves Palm Beach County through the Main Library and 17 branch libraries. Unlike neighboring library systems in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, most municipalities in Palm Beach County continue to operate their own libraries, thus pushing most county system libraries to western suburban communities. Instead a cooperative system model is in place to allow interoperation between county and municipal libraries.
The Palm Beach County Library System provides a number of services to area patrons. The Adult Literacy Project provides those learning English as a second language with free, informal conversation sessions. Project members encourage community participation in the program, including educational materials, sponsors, tutors, and student workshops and cultural events. The Palm Beach County Library System provides on- and off-site story time service to local child centers, as well as workshops to assist teachers in storytelling technique. The libraries within the Palm Beach County library system also offer a large amount of socializing, educational and craft programs for children and teen of various ages. These programs are meant to reach out to the community, offer socializing and opportunities for individuals to discover new interests in a safe environment. These activities cover a large array of subjects such as Dungeons and Dragons, Teen Trivia, Anime classes and discussion groups, Teen Gaming, Poetry and Harry Potter classes. The education based programs are meant to also offer new skills, tutoring opportunities and understand safety skills. They also offer many online and technology related classes for everyone from children to adults. All of the classes are focused towards specific age groups.  Adults are also offered an array of programs for socializing, education and entertaining. These classes focus on subjects such as practice of the English language, Stress, Meditation, Yoga, crochet, poetry, music, and movie viewing. Some of these classes are focused on professional tasks such as taxes, resume updates, new computer skills, online learning and medicare.  Each class is designed to meet the needs of local citizens within their area. Palm Beach County is large and there are many libraries with different demographics they serve so each one chooses the necessary programs to meet their patrons needs. The library also offers Books-By-Mail, Deaf Resource Center, and Talking Books services to those in special populations. Book Club in a Bag is another service offered which facilitates the selection of titles (English and Spanish) for local book club meetings. Multiple copies of the title and discussion notes are included, making it simple to start and maintain a book club. The Palm Beach County Library System also will help solve the problem of figuring out what to read next. Through their "What to read next" page, a patron can access a variety of different websites and blogs, such as NoveList Plus, Library Reads, LibraryThing, and Goodreads, which will supply them with the information needed to find their new book. The library system also offers a Speakers Bureau, where library staff will visit civic organizations, homeowners associations, and volunteer groups to give presentations on the services and opportunities available at the library. Each library offers many different forms of media such as books, comic, dvds, cds, magazines, newspapers digital ebooks, audio books and many other options. Physical media items can be requested from neighboring libraries and then delivered at a later date for pick up. Electronic and digital items can have located and downloaded from associated programs such as OverDrive and hoopla. These library items have the ability to be downloaded onto the patron's personal electronic devices for a preset amount of time. When their download has expired it will delete from their device.
The library system has seventeen branches located throughout Palm Beach County:
- Main Library in West Palm Beach
- Acreage Branch in Loxahatchee
- Belle Glade Branch in Belle Glade
- Clarence E. Anthony Branch in South Bay
- Gardens Branch (formerly North County Regional) in Palm Beach Gardens
- Glades Road Branch in Boca Raton
- Greenacres Branch in Greenacres
- Hagen Ranch Road Branch in Delray Beach
- Jupiter Branch in Jupiter
- Lantana Road Branch in Lantana
- Loula V. York Branch in Pahokee
- Okeechobee Boulevard Branch in West Palm Beach
- Royal Palm Beach Branch in Royal Palm Beach
- Tequesta Branch in Tequesta
- Wellington Branch in Wellington
- West Boca Branch in Boca Raton
- West Boynton Branch in Boynton Beach
The Palm Beach County Bookmobile offers a selection of over 3,000 books that include adult and children's fiction and non fiction, regular and large-print. Bookmobile staff help patrons find books onboard as well as helping out with any research questions. The Bookmobile makes several stops a week around various locations in Palm Beach County.
The Palm Beach County Library System takes a large percentage of its funding, roughly 85.2% as of 2016, from ad valorem property taxes collected by the county. This renders it less dependent upon outside grants (2.3% of funding as of 2016).
Palm Beach County Library Association
The Palm Beach County Library Association (PBCLA) is a professional organization that advocates for and supports libraries, librarians, and the advancement of each. The organization hosts a variety of events and fundraisers. They support professional development of librarians and library science students by providing Professional Development Awards. Membership is not exclusive; it is open to students, librarians at all levels and areas, and supporters of libraries.
Friends of the Library
The Friends of the Palm Beach County Library System is a non-profit organization, acting in support of Palm Beach County Library System missions. The Friends of the Palm Beach County Library seeks to provide assistance to staff and patrons by funding a variety of programs and educational activities. The Friends of the Library also funds an annual scholarship award named for founding Friends member, Ingrid A. Eckler. Ingrid A Eckler Scholarships assist Palm Beach County Library System staff pursuing educations in Library and Information Science.
- "About Palm Beach County Library System". Palm Beach County Library System.
- "Palm Beach County Library System". Palm Beach County Library System. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
- "Main Library". Palm Beach County Library System. Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
- Eckler, Ingrid. "Palm Beach County Library System - Part 1". University of South Florida Scholar Commons. University of South Florida. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
- "Get a Library Card". Palm Beach County Library System.
- "Adult Literacy Project". Palm Beach County Library System. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Child Care Centers". Palm Beach County Library System. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Palm Beach County Library System Info". Palm Beach County Library System. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Book Club in a Bag". Palm Beach County Library System. Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
- "Our Branches". Palm Beach County Library System. Palm Beach County, FL. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
- "Bookmobile". Palm Beach County Library System. Palm County Board of County Commissioners. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
- "2017 Budget Book" (PDF). Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners. Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
- "About: Palm Beach County Library Association". Palm Beach County Library Association. Palm Beach County Library Association. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
- Eckler, Ingrid. "Palm Beach County Library System - Part 1". Digital Collection - Florida Studies Center Publications. USF Scholar Commons. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
- "Friends of the Palm Beach Public Library System". Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties. Community Foundation. Retrieved 22 November 2016.