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:
- 8.7 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.
- The 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, 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 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 andthe Friends of the Library.
- The 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 forlibrary 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, from the National Association of Counties, the “2012 Achievement Award” 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.”