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BCL WoW – Broward County Library’s New Mobile App- Now Available and Receiving Stellar User Ratings!

BCL WoW – the reviews are in and customers love it!

The new, free mobile app from Broward County Library is garnering raves from our customers, earning 5 stars (out of 5) in the Apple App Store and 4.5 (out of 5) in the Google Android Market. Convenient, easy and fast, BCL WoW is changing library service forever by allowing you to access BCL’s features and services when you want, where you want.   

  • Out of town and have books or DVDs due back at the library? No problem! Renew materials quickly and easily on your mobile phone with the BCL WoW app.
  • Traveling around Broward County and want to find the nearest library? Use the BCL WoW app to automatically find the nearest Broward County Library location including address and phone number.
  • At a restaurant when a friend suggests a great book or DVD? Reserve a copy easily with your phone and pick it up at the BCL location of your choice.
  • On campus and need to find resources fast through BCL’s catalog? Searching is quick and simple with the BCL WoW mobile app.
  • Want to find a free concert, children’s program or exhibit? The app makes it easy to find upcoming Broward County Library events and exhibits arranged by category.
  • Need a great book or DVD suggestion? BCL WoW has built-in “recommend lists” for several genres.

BCL WoW App screen shots 

Customer Reviews: What Users Are Saying About BCL WoW:

“The BCL WoW app is super! Broward County Library is the best! So excited to have this app!”
“It’s easy to navigate and I love that you can put books on hold via this app. Awesome!”

Signing Savvy - Your Sign Language Resource (For Libraries)Signing Savvy, an ASL Sign Language Video Dictionary, Now Available to Broward County Library Customers

Signing Savvy, a free online sign language dictionary, is now available to Broward County Library customers. With your Broward County A guy gesturing with his right hand, speaking the word "Trustee"Library card, you can access this valuable online resource that will help you learn and remember American Sign Language (ASL).

Signing Savvy contains several thousand high-resolution videos of American Sign Language signs, finger-spelled words and other common signs used within the U.S. and Canada. It also includes the ability to view large sign videos, build your own word lists, share lists with others, create virtual flash cards and quizzes, print signs, build sign phrases and more. More...

Business woman receiving documents from receptionist.Broward County Library locations offer faxing and other business services
Affordable and reliable faxing, printing and copying services are now available at your library. For just a dollar per page, you can send a fax anywhere in the country from one of Broward County Library’s many locations. While you’re there, check out the library’s other available business services. More…

Little Green Library logoOfficial Grand Opening of Little Green Library on Monday, April 23!
The Little Green Library, a special library focused entirely on residential green building, urban farming, recycling and other aspects of sustainable living, will host its grand opening on April 23 in conjunction with Earth Day (April 22). Little Green LibraryLocated at 1033 N.W. 6th Street in Fort Lauderdale, the library will be open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will showcase a variety of green building techniques that can be practiced in one’s home. Built in partnership with the Housing Authority of Fort Lauderdale, the facility itself features a number of “green” features such as eco-friendly insulation, urban gardens, recycled countertops and work stations and energy-efficient LED lights. Note: The Little Green Library provides limited library service and does not have public-use computers and materials from other libraries cannot be returned to this location. For more information about the Little Green Library, call 954-712-0441.

CardStar® app on an iPhone 

CardStar® app iconCardStar®
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.

Young at Art Museum/Broward County Library
Photo by Robin Hill

New Young At Art Museum and Broward County Library Celebrates Grand Opening on May 5! 

Unique Museum/Library Complex Offers Arts Education, Enrichment and Entertainment

The new Young At Art Museum and Broward County Library will celebrate its grand opening at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 5 at its new facility, located at 751 S.W. 121 Ave., Davie, FL 33325. The sleek, modern 55,000 square-foot LEED-certified building will house both a free, public Broward County Library and the Young At Art Museum, an innovative children’s arts education complex. This unique partnership provides children and families with a spectacular, family-friendly facility that provides enrichment, education and entertainment – all in one location. While there is an admission charge to the Young At Art Museum, there is no charge to enter the Broward County Library. More...

BCL WoWGet More from the BCL WoW App! Now you can do even MORE with the BCL WoW mobile app! When you search the catalog from the BCL WoW app, you can now find results for eBooks and see all the eBooks and audiobooks currently available from Overdrive. Either download or place a hold on them, right from the BCL WoW app!

You can also now find “BookLook” on the BCL WoW app. See an item at a bookstore or in a friend’s collection that you like? Scan the ISBN code of any item (book, DVD, CD, etc.) and the app will tell you whether BCL owns a copy. If it does, you can place a hold right from the app. If you haven’t downloaded the BCL WoW app to your mobile device yet, download it here.

Lady dancing to music holding her iPod.Weekly Freegal Downloads Increase
Freegal Music, a service offered by Broward County Library that lets you download hit music for free, has increased the number of weekly customer downloads from three to five. Freegal Music gives you access to hundreds of thousands of songs in the Sony Music catalog. Downloads are in MP3 format and will work with any MP3 player including iPod. Songs can be loaded into iTunes, and it works on both PCs and Macs. More...

The Bienes Museum Catalogs of James A. Findlay eBook cover (cropped)Broward County Library Publishes Its First eBook
The Bienes Museum Catalogs of James A. Findlay, the first eBook  created in-house at Broward County Library, is now available in EPUB eBook format for iPad, NOOK, Sony Reader and in Kindle eBook or as an EPUB eBook on your computer with Adobe Digital Editions. The new eBook is a survey of the approximately 30 printed publications that librarian and curator James Findlay and his staff prepared to accompany Bienes Museum exhibitions. Findlay, who passed away in 2010, was responsible for organizing and curating exhibitions from the Bienes Museum’s own collections, which special collections totaling more than 15,000 items, including rare books, artifacts, manuscripts, and reference materials.

Freegal musicGet Music on the Go with New Freegal Mobile App
Freegal Music, a service offered by Broward County Library that lets you download hit music for free, has launched a new mobile app for Apple and Android devices.

Customers can now search for and download their five Freegal songs each week directly from their mobile device. Choose from hit songs from today’s hottest artists as well as favorites in all musical genres. Get great, free music to go! More...

New Wowbrary Weekly Email Features the Newest Books, Movies and Music from Broward County Library
Wowbrary makes it easy to find out about Broward County Library’s newest items! Sign up for WoWbrary and receive a free weekly email that showcases the latest arrivals to the library. Learn about new bestsellers, DVDs, CDs, cookbooks, mysteries, biographies, children’s books and more.

No matter what combination of genres you enjoy, Wowbrary keeps you informed with one email a week that will appear in your mailbox every Wednesday morning. Browse what’s new and then click to put your choices on hold. With WoWbrary, you’ll never miss out on what’s new at Broward County Library. More...

Broward County Library Wins National Association of Counties (NACo) 2012 Achievement Award for BCL WoW – Broward County Library Without Walls
National Association of Counties (NACo) (logo)BCL WoW – Broward County Library Without Walls,
an innovative concept that provides customers with easy, fast and convenient access to the library’s electronic services and resources anytime and anywhere, won a 2012 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The non-competitive awards program recognizes innovative county government programs, with awards given in 21 different categories including children and youth, criminal justice, information technology, libraries, health and more.

BCL WoW brings the library’s electronic services together in one place at the Broward County Library web page, as well as providing a free mobile app that delivers Broward County Library services seamlessly to anyone with a smart phone. Broward County Library launched this project in October 2011 with a marketing campaign that led to a major increase in web traffic for the site. Over the next few months, the site saw an average 85% increase in traffic each month. The re-branding positively impacted the success of the December 2011 debut of the BCL WoW mobile app and continues to increase web traffic and statistics for Broward County Library.

Century Plaza Branch Library Named for Extraordinary Volunteer Leon Slatin
Leon Slatin holding award next to his wife and a "Century Plaza/Leon Slatin Branch Library" sign.By Resolution by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners on June 26, Leon Slatin, longtime volunteer and advocate for the Century Plaza Branch Library in Deerfield Beach, was honored by the Commissioners by including his name in the branch library name. This library will now be known as the Century Plaza Leon Slatin Branch Library. Mr. Slatin volunteered over 30,000 hours of service over many years, often working four or five days a week. He processed over 380,000 reserved books for public library customers, often calling them on the phone himself. He was also a strong advocate for the Century Plaza Branch, working towards expansion of the library in space, adding more public use computers, expanding services to youth and increasing popular titles. Mr. Slatin also served on the Library Advisory Board for almost seventeen years. The Broward County Library is fortunate to have caring citizens like Leon Slatin who volunteer their time and energy to make the library and its services the best possible. More...Broward County Library Now Offers More eReaders to Loan at More Locations Countywide eReader Check-Out Program Expands to 13 Libraries

Broward County Library Now Offers More eReaders to Loan at More Locations Countywide

eReaders displayed with a stack of books.eReader Check-Out Program Expands to 13 Libraries
Broward County Library has added five more libraries – African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, Century Plaza Branch, Imperial Point Branch, Pembroke Pines/Walter C. Young Resource Center and Stirling Road Branch – to the list of locations where customers can borrow a free eReader. There are now a total of 168 eReaders available for check out at 13 different Broward County Library locations countywide. More...

New BCL WoW Library Cards
This month, Broward County Library unveiled the new “BCL WoW” design library card – just in time for National Library Card Sign-up Month!

The New BCL WoW Library CardsBright and colorful, the new design features the distinctive “BCL WoW – Broward County Library Without Walls” sunburst design. Your library card is your all access pass to free music, movies, books, eBooks and BCL’s new free mobile app, also called “BCL WoW.” Apply for your new card online or in person at any Broward County Library location. As always, the card is free to anyone who lives, works or goes to school in Broward County. Already have a Broward County Library card but fancy the new design? A replacement card for current library customers is just $1.50. You will be assigned a new card number with your new card. If you have lost your old card or it is showing signs of wear, now is the perfect time to get a shiny new replacement card.

Broward County Library’s New Customer-Friendly Welcome BrochureBroward County Library’s New Welcome Brochure
September marks the debut of BCL’s new customer-friendly welcome brochure, a full-color printed piece distributed to each new Broward County Library customer when they apply for a library card. The 12-page brochure includes general information on library policies including safety and check-out procedures, as well as fun ideas for getting the most out of your library card. Apply for the new BCL WoW library card and pick up your new “Welcome” brochure today! 
The History of Broward County eBook coverHistory of Broward County eBook Published
Broward County Library has published a second eBook, The History of Broward County, a historic account of the creation and growth of Broward County. Written as one of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Writers’ Project publications by Francis Miner, a Miami-based editor, the publication includes “An Automobile Tour of Broward County,” excerpted from the WPA book Florida: A Guide to the Southernmost State. The manuscript is housed at the Bienes Museum of the Modern Book at Broward County Main Library along with many other WPA books and artifacts.

Guy making a payment using a credit card on a computer.Pay Your Fees and Fines with Credit Cards
Broward County Library customers now have the option of paying their fees and fines online with a credit card. Using the My Account feature on the home page, customers can log in and pay using a VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and even debit cards. Online payments are immediately posted to accounts and there are numerous security layers in place to ensure safe and accurate transactions. Credit cards can only be accepted online (not at library circulation desks) and there is a $2 convenience fee.

Young at Art Museum/Broward County Library
Photo by Robin Hill

Young At Art Museum/Broward County Library Wins Two Awards from U.S. Green Building Council
The Young At Art Museum/Broward County Library, an innovative and energy-efficient children's arts education complex and public library, was recognized with two prestigious awards at this year's U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) South Florida Chapter’s Gala Verde: The 2012 LEEDership and Green Awards program, held on September 15.

The building won both the “Outstanding LEED for New Construction - Public” and the “Outstanding LEED for New Construction - Overall” categories for 2012. The USGBC South Florida Chapter's GalaVerde celebration recognizes and honors outstanding projects, inspirational businesses, dedicated individuals and instrumental chapter members who are creating a more sustainable environment in our South Florida community.

The awards acknowledge Young At Art Museum/Broward County Library's dedication to providing a "green" building that utilizes a wide range of sustainable features which save energy while providing a welcoming place for children and families. The Young At Art Museum/Broward County Library is one of only three children’s museums in the United States and the first and only museum in Florida (children’s or otherwise) to obtain LEED Gold Certification.

Top 100 Artifacts: The Special Collections of Broward County Library coverTop 100 Artifacts eBook Published
Broward County Libraries Division has published a new eBook, Top 100 Artifacts: The Special Collections of Broward County Library. The Special Collections staff of Broward County Library’s three unique collection areas – the Bienes Museum of the Modern Book, the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center and the Broward County Historical Commission created a list of BCL’s top 100 artifacts, and it includes some rare and wonderful items. See treasures from the famed shipwreck the Atocha, masks and instruments from Africa and even an 11,000 year-old wooly mammoth tooth. This free, downloadable eBook can be found in BCL's Digital Collections.
Downloadable formats: EPUB eBook (iPad, smart phone, NOOK, Sony Reader); Kindle Book

View EPUB eBooks on your computer with Adobe Digital Editions.

Cyber-Commons Open at Main Library
Cyber-Commons computersThe new Cyber-Commons, located on the first floor of the Main Library, recently opened due to the high demand for public-use computers. Spacious and convenient, Cyber-Commons provides library customers with 56 public computers and two scanners and printers, bringing the total number of public-use computers at Main to 120. The addition of the Cyber-Commons allows customers to increase the number of computer sessions to three per day, per customer instead of just two and significantly decreases the wait time for computers.

NooksNew OverDrive eBook App for NOOK Users
NOOK® Tablet users can now get great free reads from Broward County Library, any place and any time. Broward County Library customers can now access the OverDrive Media Console NOOK® App and download free eBooks directly to their NOOK® Tablet. Now available for NOOK HD, NOOK HD +, NOOK Tablet™ and NOOK Color™, the mobile app allows users to download free eBooks, including the hottest titles and today’s bestsellers, directly to their NOOK® Tablet.

Highlights of 2012

During the past six years, the Broward County Libraries Division has endured ongoing budget reductions and a significant loss of positions, but our adaptive, highly efficient library staff continues to deliver state-of-the art services to thousands of library users every day, earning a 92% customer satisfaction rating in its 2012 public service evaluation.

During the last fiscal year, our numbers have continued to rise:

  • Young at Art Museum/Broward County Library8.7 million users entered one of our libraries.
  • Over 500,000 attended a library program or used a meeting room.
  • 10.5 million library items were checked.
  • Over 87,000 new library cards were issued.
  • Tens of thousands of books and music titles were downloaded from the library’s web pages.
  • Over 75,000 volunteer hours were contributed.
  • Little Green LibraryThe new 55,000 sq. ft. Young At Art/Broward County Library opened last May and “Cyber-Commons,” Main Library’s second computer lab, opened in October.
  • Two “micro-libraries” opened – the Little Green Library on Sistrunk Boulevard (NW 6th Street), named for its special collections related to sustainable and “green” living, opened in partnership with the Fort Lauderdale Housing Authority and the Foster Park Community Center Micro-Library opened in cooperation with the City of Hallandale Beach.

Other memorable highlights of the year include:

  • The BCL WoW (Broward County Library Without Walls) rebranding campaign bookmarks and postcardThe BCL WoW (Broward County Library Without Walls) rebranding campaign was launched. Our mobile app, extensive online reference and real-time one-on-one services for customer use and an expanded number of titles available for downloading was announced and enhanced throughout 2012.
  • QR Code technology was used, linking library services and materials to customers directly via smart phones.
  • eReaders are now available at many libraries throughout Broward County thanks to the Broward Public Library Foundation and the Friends of the Library.
  • Broward County Library Free Books QR Code advertisement on Fort Lauderdale International Airport electonic displayThe Foundation and the Friends support the programs and collections of the library, contributing a tremendous amount of time and donating hundreds of thousands of dollars for library collections, programs and equipment.
  • The library published three eBooks and the volunteer program was expanded and improved. 
  • The library also added online credit card payments for library fines.
  • Non-County publicly funded or private grants allowed the library to provide literacy improvement programs. The library continued its After-School @ Your Library program at 11 libraries, funded by the Children’s Services Council of Broward County. The State of Florida provided funds for eight adult and youth literacy and jobs programs and the City of Sunrise, the Ann Jacobs Trust and the Jim Moran Foundation provided three other programs.
  • The Libraries Division received five awards from the National Association of County Information Officers, the “Best Web Site Award” from the Florida Library Association and the “2012 Achievement Award” from the National Association of Counties for the library’s “BCL WoW – Broward County Library Without Walls” program.

Library Director Bob Cannon will be retiring in January 2013. During his tenure, he saw both rapid growth in facilities, services and technological advancements, but at the same time, severe and continuing financial and personnel reductions. He says in summary, “These past years have truly been a challenging time for the staff, policy makers, administrators and the public alike. The Broward County Library continues to innovate, pursue and meet the information technology changes of the future, as well as meet library customer service needs well beyond expectations.”

View a brief slide show of some of the 2012’s activities and programs.