2015 was another year of innovation, creativity and community engagement for
Broward County Library with a continued mission to provide above-and-beyond
service to customers.
for teens and adults. Participants
learned the art of writing and performing poetry at these free workshops, and then competed in a system-wide poetry slam held at the
Also in March: Broward County Library hosted a special two-day visit from bestselling author Kate DiCamillo, author of the award-winning Because of
Winn-Dixie and other favorites. Camillo, the 2015 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, was honored with a reception at Main Library that was
presented by the Florida Center for the Book the first day and then a free book talk/signing and Q&A session at Northwest Regional Library that attracted more
than 250 book lovers.
The annual The Children's BookFest was held at the
African-American Research Library and Cultural Center. The free festival
featured New York Times bestselling author/poet Nikki Grimes, award-winning "artistrator"
E.B. Lewis along with children’s shows, storytellers, arts and crafts and a free
In celebration of National Library Week, BCL launched a grassroots
“Unlimited Possibilities at @ your library” campaign that enlisted the help of
the community in spreading the word about the almost limitless resources and
services the library provides. Customers were encouraged to download and print a
free “Unlimited Possibilities” poster from the library’s website and post them
anywhere and everywhere to raise awareness of all of the free, unlimited
possibilities available at Broward County Library!
Broward County Library received three prestigious awards from the
Florida Library Association (FLA), including Florida's 2015 Library of the Year.
BCL also won the Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award for Teen Programming
for its "Show Us Your Bookface" contest/exhibition and FLA's Libraries Mean
Business Award for its "Broward County Libraries Mean Business!" campaign. In
celebration of the Library of the Year award, Broward County Library issued a
special, limited edition library card commemorating the honor.
More accolades for Broward County Library poured in, as five Broward
County Libraries Division programs/events were named as 2015 "Innovations
Initiatives" by the Urban Library Council (ULC). ULC's annual Innovations
Initiative showcases new ways of thinking and working that high-performing
libraries implement to benefit people and communities. BCL’s five “Innovation
Initiatives” were Destination Fridays "Show Us Your Bookface" Contest & Exhibit
(Civic and Community Engagement); Broward County Library Creation Station
(Customer Experience); Broward County Libraries Mean Business! Campaign
(Economic and Workforce Development) and African-American Research Library and
Cultural Center (AARLCC) Animatronic Exhibit featuring AARLCC Founder Samuel
Morrison (Positioning the Library).
Broward County Libraries Division'sCreation Station also received a 2015 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo), which recognizes innovation in county government programs.
Also in June: The annual Summer R.E.A.D.ing (Reading, Exploration, Art, Discovery) Program began with three great themes: Children: Every Hero Has a Story; Teens: Unmask!; and Adults: Escape the
Ordinary. All ages were invited to read for fun prizes and to participate in
great, free events held at library locations countywide. As part of the Summer
R.E.A.D.ing (Reading, Exploration, Art, Discovery) Program, BCL launched the
“Read Down Your Fines” program. This let children and teens ages 0-17 read down
their fines with "BCL WoW Bucks" earned by reading at the library. Each BCL WoW
Buck could be used to pay overdue fines for books and young people could get
credit for reading by themselves, reading to/with younger children or by being
read to by a parent/caregiver.
The Library’s new Early Learning program also started in June, with a series
of 10 free "Hot Food Hot Topics/Fresh Food Fresh Ideas" events hosted by Broward
County Library in partnership with the Broward County Public Schools Office of
Parent Engagement and the United Way's Reading Pals. At each event, parents and
caregivers learned effective reading strategies, discovered the secrets to
creating healthy meals on a budget, and learned about community resources to
help them become their child's first teacher. The events also featured door
prizes, fun activities, healthy food samplings and a free book for each
The Early Learning program was launched in conjunction with a new “I’m a BCL
WoW Kid” campaign designed to raise awareness of the many free resources and
series designed to help parents and caregivers get their child involved in early
Broward County Libraries Division receives eight national Awards of
Excellence from the National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO)
for information projects that exhibited expertise in communications. The winners
were The Big Read - To Kill a Mockingbird brochure; the Summer R.E.A.D.ing
Program logo; an photo of the Ethnotricity Dancers performing at AARLCC; the
2014 Adult Summer R.E.A.D.ing Guide; a poster for the teen event/contest “Bookface”;
the WoW Update newsletter; the Connections newsletter; and the Youth Services
In mid-July, AARLCC hosted their South Florida Book Festival. This year’s
event featured an all-star collection of New York Times bestselling authors, a
Pulitzer Prize-winning author, an Oprah Winfrey Book Club Selection author and
others, including award-winning journalist and talk show host Tavis Smiley.
BCL receives a heart-warming letter from Leonardo V., a young boy in Bolivia. Leonardo was the recipient of a prosthetic hand that was created by the
Creation Station in partnership with Nova Southeastern University’s Occupational
Therapy Department and the e-NABLE Project. His hand was one of five made at
Broward County Library’s Creation Station that were created using a free,
open-source template provided by the e-NABLE Project. The usable plastic hands
were created for less than $4 and were assembled by students from Nova
Southeastern University’s Occupational Therapy Department.
Two new freestanding kiosks that allow library customers to
download titles from BCL's digital collection are located at the Broward County
Judicial Complex and the Broward County Governmental Center in downtown Fort
Lauderdale. Using the kiosk’s Media Console, customers could now browse the top
100 most popular library eBook and eAudiobook titles, eBook titles recently
added to BCL's collection, titles for children and teens, and collections of
titles by subject or language and then download them to their tablet, phone or
other reading device.
In September, BCL also hosted its first "Broward Reads to Succeed: Early
Literacy Conference" on September 17th from 8:30AM to 1PM at Lauderdale Lakes
Library/Educational Center. The conference focused on ensuring that children are
ready to learn to read before kindergarten and was open to the public.
BCL also celebrated Maker’s Month in September with free, fun events for the
whole family. Crafters, creators, innovators and inventors were invited to visit
Broward County Library to attend a range of DIY and maker’s events. The
highlight of Maker’s Month was a free, all-day S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology,
electronics, arts and mathematics) Festival held on Saturday, September 26 at
the Main Library in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The Festival featured libraries
from all over South Florida as well as a host of fun, free activities for all
ages including science, technology, electronics, arts and mathematics programs,
a robot demonstration by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and art and design
BCL unveils its new, redesigned website, Broward.org/Library. The
revised site now offers more features and a new responsive design that makes it
fully functional on any device including desktop computers, tablets or smart
Also in October: North Regional/Broward College Library receives a
competitive grant from the American Library Association (ALA) to host the “Great
Stories Club,” a reading and discussion program designed for at-risk teens.
In celebration of the spooky spirit of Halloween, Main Library hosted its
first interactive “Mystery at Main: The Case of the Prosperous Patron,” a
crime-solving adventure that challenged the approximately 50 participants to
explore Main Library collecting clues, narrow down suspects and ultimately
cracking the case.
Broward County Libraries (BCL) received two honors from the 2015 MarCom International Awards for Marketing and Communications Professionals.
Libraries won a Gold Award for the branding campaign of the Creation Station and
received an Honorable Mention for the Broward County Libraries Mean Business
campaign. The MarCom Awards is a creative competition for any individual or
company involved in the concept, writing and design of print, visual, audio and
web materials and programs. Entries come from corporate marketing and
communication departments, advertising agencies, public relations firms, design
shops, production companies and freelancers.
It’s a wrap: BCL ended the year on-the-go by wrapping existing library delivery trucks with colorful designs that promoted Creation Station, free library downloads and more.
Broward County Libraries then finished up great year with a great party! Held at Main Library, the Holiday Celebration and grand
finale of the re-launch year of the Broward County Main Library featured food,
entertainment, arts and crafts and events for all ages.
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