The Friends of the South Regional/Broward College Library was formed in 1978, three years after the merger of the collections of the Broward County Library South and Broward Community College libraries as a response to a demand for the delivery of library programs to a growing customer base. Except for a one-year hiatus, the group has worked closely with the library management to ensure that the facility is able to serve the community effectively and efficiently. The South Regional/Broward College Library is the County’s first joint-use public-college facility. The library serves the southeast communities of Broward County - Pembroke Pines, Miramar, West Hollywood, and areas of North Dade County, as well as the faculty, students, and staff of Broward College’s Judson A. Samuels south campus. The community is ethnically diverse with emerging populations from Asia, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Within this service area, there are thirteen elementary schools, four middle schools and two high schools, all within a five-mile radius of the library. Several large private schools and many daycare centers, including the Broward College Child Development Center also add to the demand for a well-equipped facility.
On February 1, 2007, the new 70,000 square foot, two-story, LEED certified library building had its grand opening. The building was part of the $139.9 million dollar bond issue project that was approved by Broward County voters on March 9, 1999. It has a gift shop that is managed by the Friends of the Library. It stocks and sells fine jewelry at very reasonable prices. Patrons can enjoy coffee, tea and other tasty treats and snacks as they use the facilities. The gift shop is a major income-source used by the Friends to support library programs. Another important fund-raiser is the quarterly book sales, which are held over a weekend.
The Friends group has continued to ensure that the quality programs presented by the library are mounted for the benefit of its customers. These programs include the Adult Summer Reading program, the annual Kwanzaa celebrations, the Tech Fest, the annual Anancy Festival, Culture in the Pines, Caribbean reading festivals and documentaries as well as computer training programs. The kid-friendly programming includes, the Annual Summer Reading Program, SAT Prep, movies and gaming programs, puppet shows and story-time for toddlers.
The library has been able to replace furniture and equipment through funding received from the Friends. In addition, as advocates of libraries, the Friends lobby government to continue its support of the institution. The Friends are the banner-bearers of the philosophy that “libraries will get you through times of no money, better than money will get you through times of no libraries.” As such, the group sends library staff to conferences and other events hosted by the American Library Association.
The Friends of the South Regional/Broward College Library continue to recruit volunteers and to host appreciation events for those who give of their time to help to bring these services to the community. The Board meets once per month to review its outreach efforts and to plan ongoing events. Go to Facebook and Like, Friends of the South Regional/Broward College Library and become a Friend, call 954-201-8829 or come to the library for an application, everyone is welcome.
Remember: Good Friends make Great Libraries!