2013 Highlights: Year of the Neighbor
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eConnections Spotlight  

Skye Patrick, Director of Broward County Libraries DivisionThroughout 2013, the award-winning Broward County Libraries (BCL) Division made great strides in providing cultural, educational and recreational opportunities for all residents of Broward County. From launching new technology and electronic resources to providing essential community services, great events for all ages and more, BCL continued its quest for excellence.
Founded in 1974, Broward County Library has welcomed 10 million visitors and has a circulation of nine million items annually. Since its inception almost 40 years ago, BCL has provided and supported literacy training, Youth Service programs and electronic access to 2013 brought a host of new services and resources for our customers.
In April 2013, Broward County welcomed Skye Patrick as the new Director of Broward County Libraries Division, bringing with her a wealth of experience in library management. Most recently, she served as Assistant Director at the Queens Public Library, where she managed 20 branch locations in that system. As director of Libraries Division, Patrick is responsible for the overall management and implementation of library services, including staffing and the development and administration of the Division’s budget.
Ms. Patrick’s professional experience also includes working as a youth services librarian, a branch manager and a web services designer for San Francisco Public Library, as well as her work as Assistant Director of Queens Public Library. She is a member of the American Library Association and the Public Library Association. Previous accomplishments include planning and overseeing library renovations, creating staff training for customer service, collection development and policy and procedure at Queens Public Library as well as creating a content management system for San Francisco Public Library. She has also volunteered with the Sandy Relief Action/Libraries Without Borders, handing out much-needed supplies to victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Ms. Patrick earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Northern Michigan University and her master’s degree in library and information sciences from the University of Pittsburgh.
In making the announcement, Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry said, “Ms. Patrick brings with her a wide range of experience in many facets of library administration and management, including electronic services, programming, community outreach, training and budgeting. I look forward to working with her as a member of our management team.”
With new leadership and vision, Broward County Libraries continues in its mission to innovate, create and motivate!
Here are some highlights of 2013:
Volunteer Program: Connect, Impact Broward and Broward County Libraries partnered to present several free workshops encouraging volunteering among area Baby Boomers. Additionally, partnerships were formed with local colleges to provide internships; the Teen Volunteer Program and Teen Advisory Boards provides an excellent opportunity for young people to make new friends, have a good time, and fulfill school requirements.
Free Income Tax Preparation Help: During tax season, Hispanic Unity, AARP Tax-Aide program and the Internal Revenue Service offer free tax preparation services at Broward County Libraries. Taxpayers with low and moderate income, with special focus on those 60 and older, are eligible for help with tax-related issues. The program is offered at a range of locations that include some of the county’s most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, providing a necessary service to the community’s underserved.  

Computer classFree computer classes offered at the library in conjunction with “Internet Essentials”
Internet Essentials: Broward Public Library Foundation partnered with Comcast, Broward County Public Schools and the Urban League to close the digital divide for-lower income families by providing discounted rates on home Internet service and personal computers. With support from local government, business and community organizations, Internet Essentials helps level the playing field for all citizens of Broward County. Broward County Library also offered free computer classes in conjunction with the program. Three children enjoying lunch.
The library, with help of community partnerships, provided free meals and snacks for children and teens during summer.
Free Summer Meals at the Library: Participating Broward County Libraries Division locations, in conjunction with Sisters for Abundant Living, provided free lunch and afternoon snacks for children ages 18 and under during the summer. The meals were made possible by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Summer BreakSpot program. This program provided a vital service in the community by uniting state and county resources.
Online Resources RedesignedOnline Resources Gets A Makeover: Broward County Libraries’ Online Resources page was redesigned and launched in December 2013. The new, streamlined page is an online resource hub that makes it easier for customers to find both the everyday and academic research tools they need by choosing from a handful of categories. Whether you need to look up a phone number, need help writing a résumé or want to read an archived magazine or newspaper article, the newly redesigned Online Resources page puts everything in one, easy-to-navigate place. O, Oprah Magazine shown on an iPad.
Broward County Library now offers free downloadable digital magazines.
Zinio Digital Magazine Newsstand launched in February 2013; Broward County Libraries now offers more than 300 free, downloadable digital magazines including foreign language titles via Zinio Digital Magazine Newsstand.
Adults learning computer skills.Free computer programming classes were featured during “The Hour of Code” initiative.
The Hour of Code, celebrated December 9-15, 2013 for Computer Science Education Week, encouraged students of all ages to explore computer coding and consider a career in computer science. Throughout the week, nine BCL locations held events and computer classes for all ages that cover the basics of computer coding and programming.
Digital Download Classes: Libraries began offering how-to classes on downloading free books, music, magazines and movies from the library. Launched in Summer 2013 to support the rise in popularity of eReaders and tablets, the classes were continued because of their popularity. Customers also check out free eReaders are available for loan at various library locations.
Expansion of BCL WoW: BCL WoW – Broward County Without Walls expanded by adding music videos (accessed from Freegal, Zinio) and IndieFlix.  IndieFlix
IndieFlix lets library customers stream and watch films and TV shows.
IndieFlix: Broward County Libraries launched IndieFlix, a free service that lets customers stream and watch award-winning independent films, television shows, shorts and documentaries at no cost. Launched in Fall 2013, IndieFlix gives customers unlimited access to thousands of streaming film festival hits including the best of Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca and more.
Viva Florida 500Viva Florida 500: Broward County Libraries presented a wide variety of events in celebration of the State of Florida’s Viva Florida 500 celebration. Viva Florida 500 is a statewide initiative led by the Florida Department of State, under the leadership of Governor Rick Scott, to highlight the 500 years of historic people, places and events in present-day Florida since the arrival of Juan Ponce de León 1513. 
The Great Days of Rail Travel on the Florida East Coast highlighted “America’s Most Exciting Railroad.”
The Great Days of Rail Travel on the Florida East Coast, an exhibition and program series highlighting the history of passenger train service by the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC), was held at the Broward County Libraries Bienes Museum of the Modern Book as the finale for Viva Florida 500.
The exhibit opened in November and will be on display until March 31, 2014.  Images, brochures, booklets and other memorabilia from the golden days of rail passenger service bring the past alive and showcase what is referred to today as "America's most exciting railroad." 
South Florida Book FestivalSouth Florida Book Festival was held at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, the South Florida Book Festival hosted national best-selling African-American writers. It was sponsored by the Urban League of Broward County, the Friends of the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center and Whole Foods Market. This partnership resulted in a free educational and cultural literary event for the community.  
“Community Matters @ Your Library”National Library Week, celebrated April 14-20, with the year’s theme of “Community Matters @ Your Library,” brought attention to the library as a place where its customers read, learn, play and become inspired. Events included open house events at several libraries, community concerts, the South Florida Author’s Showcase and the Children’s Day of the Book Festival.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services held a Special Naturalization Ceremony at the Main Library in celebration of National Library Week on Monday, April 15, 2013. A total of 50 individuals from 15 countries took the Oath of Allegiance and became new citizens of the United States of America.Bestselling children’s author Walter Dean Myers
Bestselling children’s author Walter Dean Myers.
The Conference on Children’s Literature and Ashley Bryan Art Series was chosen as an official stop on Walter Dean Myers National Ambassador for Children’s Literature tour April 25, 26 and 27, 2013. Together, the Conferences, which were free, open to the public and held at Main Library and the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, brought in over 2,300 attendees. 
Possum and mouse sharing each others stories about the book they're readingChildren and teens dug into reading during this Florida Library Youth Program.
Summer Reading Program (Adults) and FLYP (Florida Library Youth Program): “Groundbreaking Reads” (adults) and “Dig Into Reading” (children) were the themes for this year’s successful Summer Reading Program. Approximately 20,000 children and teens registered for the 2013 Summer Florida Library Youth Program, which encourages reading by offering prizes and incentives. Libraries Division also hosts fun, free events in the summer for all ages. This year, 52,621 children and teens and 3,639 adults attended a Summer Reading Program event. Additionally, 1,098 participants registered for the Adult Summer Reading Program this year.

Lady reading a green bookThe Florida Center for the Book sponsored a contest and the Florida Book Awards in 2013.

The Florida Center for the Book (FCOB) co-sponsored The Annual Florida Book Awards in conjunction with the Florida State University, the State Library and Archives of Florida, the Florida Historical Society, the Florida Humanities Council, the Florida Literary Arts Coalition and the Florida Library Association. The Florida Center for the Book also participated in the December 2013 “Letters about Literature” writing contest where 919 students submitted entries.

  • American Express Charitable Foundation awarded a $25,000 grant for BCL’s PrimeTime project
  • Urban Land Institute Southeast Florida/Caribbean's 2013 Vision Award - Young At Art Museum/Broward County Library
  • Urban Libraries Council 2013 Innovations: Customer Experience - QR Quest
  • National Association of Counties (NACo) 2013 Achievement Award - Young At Art Museum/Broward County Library
  • Seven ( National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO) Awards
    - Best of Class - Top 100 Artifacts of Broward County E-Book
    - Excellence - Connections Newsletter
    - Excellence - Broward County Library “Welcome” Brochure
    - Superior - Fabulous 40's Event at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center
    - Meritorious - BCL WOW Bus Terminal QR Code Sign
    - Meritorious - Library Volunteer Ad
    - Meritorious - Web Banner for Weekly WOW
  • The League of Women Voters of Broward County presented Broward County Libraries Division with their League of Women Voters of Broward County Good Government Award for 2013 in April 2013. The Libraries Division is cited for its support of the 2012 election cycle by hosting 32 Informed Voter workshops across the County. Libraries distributed QR code cards that allowed patrons to verify their voter registration status by means of their smart phones, coordinated the distribution of 70,000 copies (50,000 in English and 20,000 in Spanish) of the nonpartisan 2012 Florida Elections and Voter Guide throughout the System.
  • Florida Department of State, Division of Library and Information Services awarded BCL an LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) grant ($192,463.00) for the CareerConnect: Education and Job Center at 8 libraries
  • Florida Department of State, Bureau of Historic Preservation award BCL a Historic Preservation Small Matching Grant ($50,000) for the Broward County Historic Sites Survey – Phase 1
  • Jim Moran Foundation approved a second year of funding ($38,001.00) for the Literacy Help Center (Success Central) project at the Jan Moran Collier City Learning Library

We wish you a happy holiday and a joyous new year!