As we gear up to celebrate 40 years of Broward County Libraries, we will feature one free library service each week to WoW you with. Join in the celebration by spreading the word about these and the many other valuable BCL services. Week #40: Broward County Libraries Celebrates its 40th Anniversary Track Forty Years of Fantastic with BCL’s Online Timeline Libraries are more than just buildings and books. Libraries are community, education, advancement and encouragement. For 40 years, Broward County Library has provided free access to information, education and enrichment to everyone. Track the progress with the Library’s official online timeline and see how your library has grown! From a handful of city libraries that banded together in Broward in the early 1970s to the ninth-largest library system in the country, Broward County Libraries has grown from four locations to 40 and now serves approximately nine million people annually.
Week #39: Movie Time @ Broward County Library Movie buffs, film fanatics and anyone who likes free can find new blockbusters as well as classic movies, kid’s favorites, foreign language films, documentaries and more at Broward County Libraries. Save big by checking out DVDs instead of renting or purchasing them; Broward County Library has thousands of movie titles for all age groups and interests. Sign up for the BCL’s Wowbrary newsletter for weekly updates on the Library’s latest DVDS. You must have a Broward County Library card to borrow DVDs; limit 10 loans per card at one time.
Week #38: Wags & Tales Children from ages 5 to 12 can read to a pet therapy dog! Wags & Tales is designed to improve literacy skills and give children a unique way to practice reading. By providing a non-critical listener, Wags & Tales helps children build confidence in their reading, particularly for those who find it difficult or embarrassing to read out loud. Each child can read a story one-on-one to a friendly and gentle dog from the Humane Society's Pet Facilitated Therapy program. All of the dogs are certified for animal-assisted therapy. The programs vary in frequency and length of reading sessions, as well as the number of children who participate. Check our online calendar for Wags & Tales dates/times at your closest Broward County Library location.
Week #37: Free After-School @ Your Library Program Children from ages 6 to 12 years old can join Broward County Library’s free After-school@ Your Library program, which meets Mondays through Thursdays from 2 to 5:30 p.m. for free tutoring, homework help, reading practice and enrichment, computer skills and character development. Parents must first visit one of the libraries below to register their children in the program. Children will be required to attend regularly. After-School @ Your Library is funded by the Children’s Services Council of Broward County in partnership with Broward County Library.
Week #36: Interlibrary Loan Services Broward County Library cardholders can borrow resources and materials from other libraries free of charge through the library’s Interlibrary Loan Services. Books, CDs, DVDs, newspaper and periodical articles, microfilm and musical scores can be ordered from libraries located all over the United States. Make Interlibrary Loan Requests online or call 954-357-7442.
Week #35: Taking Care of Business at Broward County Libraries Broward County Libraries offer a range of services that provide business assistance and support, many of them free or at a nominal cost. Most of our library locations provide the following:
Fax Services: Cost is $1 per page; double-sided extra. Currently, only outgoing, domestic fax service is available.
Public-Use Computers: Create documents, use the Internet for research, write business correspondence – the computers are free to use to Broward County Library cardholders and residents.
Meeting Rooms: Many Broward County Libraries have meeting rooms that are available to the public for rent. Whether you’re holding a formal board meeting or a casual brainstorming session, Broward County Library can accommodate your group.
Printing/Copying: Using one of our computers and need documents printed? Need to make copies for an upcoming meeting or presentation? For just $.15 per page (black and white; color $1), get as many laser-printed copies a necessary.
Week #34: Free Citizenship Preparation Classes
Free citizenship preparation classes are offered at 13 Broward County Libraries. The classes cover all aspects of the U.S. citizenship exam and include self-paced question and answer practices and drills. Learn about citizenship eligibility, fees and special cases. In the last year alone, the classes have assisted more than 100 students in becoming citizens. This program is available at the following Broward County Libraries: Davie/Cooper City Library; Hallandale Beach Library; Hollywood Library; Jan Moran Collier City Learning Library; Margate Catharine Young Library; Miramar Library; Northwest Branch Library; South Regional/Broward College Library; Southwest Regional Library; Sunrise Dan Pearl Library; Tamarac Library; West Regional Library and Weston Library. Please contact libraries for times, dates and details.
Week #33: Courtesy Microfiche Searches
Periodicals offers the free service of looking up and providing obituaries and articles from local newspapers and sending them anywhere in the country or internationally? Let Broward County Libraries help you obtain the records you need at firstname.lastname@example.org/library.
Week #32: Weekly Updates
Want weekly updates on library events, news and services? Subscribe to Broward County Library’s eConnections Spotlight eNewsletter and you’ll get the latest info sent right to your inbox. Each week’s newsletter has a new theme, new event listings and lists of books, DVDs and CDs related to the topic. Email email@example.com to subscribe. You can also visit eConnections Spotlight to read this week’s edition or catch up on archived issues.
Week #31: BCL WOW – Broward County Library Without Walls Mobile App
Broward County Library’s mobile app allows you to access your library account, search the catalog, place holds, find events and programs, locate your nearest library and more. The app is free to download and it’s the best way to bring Broward County Library with you wherever you go! The BCL WoW – Broward County Library Without Walls Mobile App is available for Android™, Apple® and other smart phones.
Week #30: Explore Your Family Tree for Free with Ancestry Find your family roots using Ancestry Library Edition (Broward County Library’s free version of Ancestry.com). Search from billions of records from around the world including birth, death, immigration, marriage, military and the U.S. Census. Enter the names and birthdates of your relatives to get started on a journey into your ancestry. Free service available only on public-use computers located at African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, Main Library, Northwest Regional Library and Southwest Regional Library.
Week #29: NASA Moon Rock on Display at the Main Library See a genuine piece of moon rock on display at Broward County Main Library. Donated by Susan Eisele Black, the wife of the late Apollo 7 astronaut Donn F. Eisele, the lunar sample is on permanent view on the 6th floor, which is open to the public during Main Library’s regular hours. The rock was awarded through NASA's Ambassador of Exploration Award Program. Apollo astronauts, on missions that took place between 1968 and 1972, were each given a portion of the 842 pounds of moon rock collected during the moon landings.
Week #28: Sunday Hours – Get Your Library Fix 7 Days a Week! Broward County Libraries Division now has eight library locations that are open on Sundays! Check out books, DVDs and other materials, work on research or homework, use a free public computer seven days a week with Broward County Libraries!
Week #27: Your Savings: Library Check-Out Receipts Now Show How Much You Save Broward County Library customers can now find out how much money is saved by getting books, movies, music and more from your library instead of buying them. Broward County Library now provides customers with a “Return on Investment” (ROI) feature on their check-out receipt that displays the cost of the items being checked out. Now customers can see for themselves what a great value it is to borrow materials from the library instead of purchasing them.
Week #26: Access the Complete ChiltonLibrary for Free!
Week #25: Broward County Library’s eSuggestion BoxHave an idea on how Broward County Library can improve its services? Let us know! Go online and visit our eSuggestion Box and give us your opinion on how we can better serve our community. Share your thoughts with us on everything and anything. Want a book, CD, audiobook or DVD, and we don’t have it? Tell us how to improve our collections so we offer the best materials and resources to our customers!
Week #24: Download Broward County Library’s Own eBook!
Top 100 Artifacts: The Special Collections of Broward County Library is a free downloadable book available online from Broward County Library. This eBook spotlights some of the Library’s most unique and exciting items from the three Special Collections area – the Bienes Museum of the Modern Book, the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center and the Broward County Historical Commission. Staff and curators created this amazing list, which includes treasures from the famed shipwreck the Atocha, African masks, rare first edition books and even an 11,000-year-old mammoth tooth! Visit our online Digital Collections page to download Top 100 Artifacts: The Special Collections of Broward County Library.
Week #23: Learn to Download Music, Books & Magazines at Free Summer Classes!
Beginning in June, 11 Broward Library locations will host free workshops and classes in digitally downloading free hit music, bestselling eBooks and favorite magazines. Bring your own eReader or visit a technology “petting zoo” for hands-on experience on one of the library’s eReaders. Participating libraries include the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center; Jan Moran Collier City Learning Library; Imperial Point Library; Main Library; Margate Catharine Young Library; North Regional/Broward College Library; Northwest Regional Library; Pompano Beach Library; South Regional/Broward College Library; Southwest Regional Library; and Tyrone Bryant Library. Check the Adult Summer Reading Groundbreaking Technology Classes for details, times and dates.
Week #22: Gamer’s Paradise!
Broward County Library has over 2,000 video games in its collection including games for PlayStation 2 and 3, Wii, Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles. Search the catalogs online (for game availability information only) or visit the select library locations below to browse and check out games. Video games may be requested from these libraries – Hallandale Beach Library, Margate Catharine Young Library, Miramar Branch Library & Education Center and Young at Art Museum/Broward County Library – for you to pick up at your local branch by calling with the title and console type, but they can’t be put on hold online, renewed or rechecked out. Video games can be checked out for seven days each, with a limit of two games per library card.
Week #21: Bienes Museum of the Modern Book: Where Art Meets Literature
Broward County Library’s Bienes Museum of the Modern Book: The Dianne & Michael Bienes Special Collections and Rare Book Library, located on the sixth floor of Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, is a state-of-the-art facility where rare books and special collections are housed, preserved, and shared in conjunction with a space for related lectures, programs, and exhibitions. See the latest Florida Artists’ Book Prize Competition winner, the unique, interactive book Uluhaimalama: Legacies of Lili’uokalani: Music and Mana’o of Hawai’i’s Last Queen by Alison Milham, which will be on display at the Museum until June 14, 2013. The Museum is free and open to the public. Call 954-357-8692 or 954-357-8243 for information or to make an appointment to visit.
Week #20: The Past Comes Alive at the Broward County Historical Commission
Take a trip through time at the Broward County Historical Commission, located at the historic West Side Grade School, 301 Harmon (S.W. 13th) Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. The Commission was created in 1972 to preserve all types of items related to the history of Broward County including books, maps, journals, photographs and artifacts. Get acquainted with the Broward County Historical Commission at its annual Broward County Heritage Celebration to be held Thursday, May 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Commission. This year’s theme is “See It, Save It, Celebrate It!” with architect and historian Thorn Grafton as the guest speaker. Four historic preservation awards will be presented and refreshments will be served. The Celebration is free and open to the public; please RSVP to 954-357-5553.
Week #19: Free Assistance for Small Businesses
Starting a new business is tough, but the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center’s (AARLCC) Small Business Resource Center is here to help with free resources and materials. Learn about business plans, small business databases, marketing, finance and more. Browse through resources such as business videos and local business directories. The Center is located on the second floor of AARLCC and is open Monday and Wednesday from 12 to 8 p.m. and Tuesday, Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 954-357-6227 for more information.
Week #18: Broward’s Eco-Library - Little Green Library
Get focused on the environment at the Little Green Library and Environmental Learning Center, located at 1033 N.W. 6th St., Suite 102 in Fort Lauderdale. The Little Green Library is a public library and interactive learning center focused on green building, technologies for energy efficiency, urban farming and other sustainable initiatives that can lead to a more efficient and self-sufficient lifestyle. All books and materials are related to those topics, and there’s also a small commuter lab with access to “green” digital resources. Call 954-712-0441 for more information.
Take free, quick online language classes from Broward County on your own time and your own pace. Byki is a powerful language learning system that uses flashcards to teach you a set of words or phrases in any language from Afrikaans to Zulu Lock in foreign words and phrases in your long-term memory so you can recall them perfectly and remember them forever. The Library also offers the Byki Community Edition for mobile devices including Android and Apple. Learn a Language is another online learning portal that provides instruction in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Week #16: Free Online Classes
Learn all you want, wherever you want, with Broward County Library’s online Universal Class. Universal Class is a free educational service that allows Broward County Library cardholders to take no-cost, unlimited, non-credit courses for business or leisure. Select from 500 diverse classes and learn at your own pace. There’s everything from ABC’s of Algebra to Yoga 101 to Advanced Dog Training. Each class features a real instructor with expertise in the subject matter to help guide your progress. Get started now and open up a world of free educational resources.
Week #15: Calling All Inventors!
Have a great idea? Main Library in downtown Fort Lauderdale is an officially designated Federal Documents Repository, State of Florida Depository Library and a Patents and Trademark Resource Center. Specially trained staff is available to help with your patent search. Ask about special events for adult and young inventors.
Week #14: Have a Question? Ask a Librarian!
Broward County Library has the answers to your questions, whether you’re at your library, on the phone or online. Broward County Library’s online Ask A Librarian service lets you email or live chat with a trained reference librarian who can find the facts and resources you need – for free! You can also text your question to 321-285-6959 for quick answers from an expert - a Florida Librarian. Enter bcl as the first three characters of the text, then type your question. You should receive a reply within minutes! Text Assistance is available Sunday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 midnight and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., EST.
Week #13: Free Public Computers
Go online, check your email, apply for a job – do all of that and more for free at one of Broward County Library’s public-use computers. The library provides more than 2,000 in-library computers for the public, many of them in designated computer labs where customers can take free computer classes. More than two million customers sign up to use library computers each year. For your convenience, free public access computers are available at most library locations.
Week #12: CardStar®Broward County Library customers can now check out library materials with their smart phones. Manage your library card and other cards in your wallet with the free CardStar® app. Use CardStar® to access your cards with a single touch from the CardStar® home screen. Download formats include Apple®, Android™ and BlackBerry®.
Week #8: Free Events All Year Round
Events and exhibits are part of the library experience at all of our branches. Come in and see what’s happening and what’s on display. Libraries countywide exhibit unusual collections, holiday displays, historical artifacts and the work of artists in all media and host programs and events for all ages and interests. Interested in what’s on display now? Want to know what’s happening at a library near you? Visit Broward County Library’s Events page and find out.
Week #7: Dial-A-StoryStory time on speed dial? Younger children can hear a mix of contemporary tales and timeless folk and fairy tales that change every two weeks. Dial-A-Story is free, professionally recorded and available 24/7 to anyone calling 954-357-7777. Give us a ring and we’ll tell you a yarn!
Week #6: SAT and ACT PrepFree SAT and ACT prep? How cool is that? Affordable College Solutions coaches college-bound high school students in a four-part test preparation series sponsored by the Broward Public Library Foundation. Sessions are in-person and include practice tests and follow-up score report sessions. All materials are free, too!
Week #5: Wowbrary! The latest book, film and music releases are available free at Broward County Library as soon as they are released. Get the inside track on the newest hot items when you sign up for Wowbrary, a weekly newsletter with the newest books, movies, and music available to put on hold or checkout.
Week #4: Free Downloadable Music
Music lovers, rejoice! You can use your Broward County Library card to access thousands of free songs from Sony Music’s catalog. Choose from genres including pop, rock, classical, R&B, hip-hop, holiday sounds, global music and more. Get five free downloads each week – they are yours to keep and they never expire.
Week #3: Volunteer and Be an LVP! Volunteer your time and talent at Broward County Libraries At Broward County Libraries, a Library Volunteer Person (LVP) is a VIP! Volunteers can make a difference, make friends and be an important part of the library. Teens can earn valuable community service and work experience; adults and seniors are needed as Friends members and for special programs. Volunteer @ your library for a one-day event or on a regular basis.
Week #2: Free eReadersBorrow an eReader – for free! Customers can borrow an eReader free of charge from library branches countywide. If you’ve never used an eReader, learn with a Broward County Library employee in a 15-minute tutorial before check out. Each eReader to borrow comes pre-loaded with great titles. Try one out – it’s free!
Week #1: Wi-Fi Access Did you know Broward County Libraries are free Wi-Fi hot spots? Visit your library and use a computer to check email or access the Internet from your laptop and mobile device. Find a convenient library location using the map of libraries.