With a new director at the helm and a host of new projects and initiatives,
we celebrated 12 great months of success and innovation in 2017!
Jan Moran Collier City Learning Library expands its operating hours
opening on Saturdays from 10AM to 6PM, one of 20 library locations that have
increased service hours or days since June 2016.
The 2017 NEA Big Read, a community-wide reading project, explored the novel
The Namesake by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, with a
full calendar of events including book and film discussions, lectures, writing
and visual arts workshops, Indian cultural programs and other fun,
We welcome Kelvin Watson, our new library director. Prior to coming to
Broward, Kelvin was the Chief Operating Officer, Senior Vice President for
Queens Library in New York City, which serves 2.3 million people and circulates
among the highest numbers of books and other library materials in the country.
Watson is credited with innovative community outreach to establishments whose
clientele have not been active patrons of the library such as community centers,
hospitals and jails. His background in addressing the digital divide helped
library customers understand how to use technology and realize how these tools
can impact their lives.
The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center’s amazing exhibit,
The Harlem Renaissance - The Great Expression, opens. This large-scale exhibit
celebrates the creativity and cultural impact of the Harlem Renaissance with
museum-style displays, a motion sensor avatar experience and a virtual reality
trip through the Harlem Renaissance with the aid of an Oculus Rift headset.
Pembroke Pines Library/Walter C. Young Resource Center increases its service
days by opening on Saturdays.
The Annual Conference on Children’s Literature and
Ashley Bryan Art Series at
Main Library celebrates its 30th and 15th anniversaries, respectively. Guest
speakers for this milestone year include award-winning, New York Times
bestselling children’s book author Laura Vaccaro Seeger and award-wining
children’s book illustrator Brian Pinkney.
In celebration of National Library Week (April 9-15), we
create a new public awareness campaign that asks our customers – What's Your
WOW? We encourage customers to let us know via social media or email how we’ve
have transformed them or improved their life in some way.
Learning Program kicks off with the theme of “Build a Better World.” The
community is invited to enjoy exciting activities, register for our learning
program and meet reading and learning goals to win fun prizes.
The Coffee and Conversation with a
Librarian program which is held at
Main Library is recognized by the National Association of Counties for Achievement and was chosen as one of the Country's top 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work. Coffee and Conversation is a weekly program that builds
bridges with the homeless community. It offers an opportunity for persons
experiencing homelessness and other customers to informally meet with a
librarian and social service providers to discuss topics or concerns over a cup
of coffee. Plans are also made to expand this program in 2018 to other libraries
Stirling Road Library begins opening on Sundays. We now have eight library
locations open seven days a week.
Connect Hotspot Program, an innovative initiative that provides 450 free
WiFi hotspots to local veterans, active military members and their dependents.
The free hotspots provide unlimited access to T-Mobile's 4G LTE network and
increase access to information and technology for their users.
Business begins hosting free networking socials on the third Tuesday of the
month that bring together entrepreneurs, industry professionals and small
The South Florida Book Festival at the
African-American Research Library and Cultural Center celebrates "Book Life"
with an exciting line-up of authors, journalists, speakers and presenters. This
three-day event features writing and natural hair-care workshops, book signings
and presentations, cooking demos by celebrity chefs, panel discussions, guest
speakers and more.
Active Learning Center (ALC) opens. The ALC is a free, educationally-rich
children's play space that provides developmentally appropriate play activities
to promote school readiness. Designed to look like a seaside village, it
provides children up to age five the opportunity to cook and clean in the
playhouse, shop at miniature stores, play on a boat in a Big Blue Ocean, cuddle
sea animals in Baby Bay, ride a train downtown, perform shows on a stage and
explore countless bins of books and building and play materials.
BCLfit: Broward County Library Wellness Resource
Centers, a new family health and wellness initiative, open at the
African-American Research Library & Cultural Center and North Lauderdale Saraniero Branch Library. BCLfit offers free weekly appointments with a
nutritionist, fitness instructor and fitness trainer. The program also includes
fitness equipment such as pedometers, fitness trackers, jump ropes and Frisbees
that participants can check out from either BCLFit location.
African-American Research Library and Cultural Center is selected to serve
as one of two pilot sites in a three-year study called Project BUILD (Building
Using an Interactive Learning Design). The Space Science Institute's National
Center for Interactive Learning, the University of Virginia and the American
Society of Civil Engineers were awarded a $1.1 million-dollar grant. This grant
provides funding to develop and implement programs that helps engage students in
the fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). This
includes meetings between families, librarians and engineers as well as a series
of engineering-related children’s events.
Library staff lend a helping hand before, during and
after Hurricane Irma. They manage and support emergency evacuation shelters,
work at the County Call Center, hand out ice and water to the public, help
customers connect with FEMA, lend tablets and mobile internet hotspots and
reopen libraries as quickly as possible.
Broward County Libraries Director Kelvin Watson wins the
Demco/ALA Black Caucus Award for Excellence in Librarianship. The award
recognizes significant accomplishments that promote the status of African
American librarians in the profession, or the development and implementation of
resources and services for the African American community.
We partner with Broward County Public Schools to provide
all public school students with a new
BCL Digital Direct Library Card. Students can now use their student ID
number as their digital card and access a world of free educational resources
including free online, live tutoring and test preparation.
Customers can now check out the GoChip, a small, rechargeable device, the size of a
mini-flashlight, loaded with a full season of binge-worthy TV shows including
Breaking Bad, Outlander, The Shield and more. Content is beamed to personal
devices without an Internet connection and up to eight people can watch
different episodes on eight different devices simultaneously. We are the first
library in Florida, the first in the Southeast and one of the first 12 libraries
nationwide currently offering the GoChip to customers.
A collaboration with Broward County Transit
allows bus riders to download free music from Broward County Library.
Riders can use their Broward County Library card to access the library’s
collection of millions of free songs, download them their phones or other
devices and keep them forever
Meet Super Fan Philip Abrams
Philip Abrams is not a man to be idle at any age…even at 95-plus-years-old!
Ask any of his awestruck customers at
Weston Library, where he has volunteered for the last decade.
Over the course of his long and healthy life, Philip Abrams has always looked
for a way to be of service to others. Daughter Carolyn Krimer describes him as
“just a very good man.” As a youth, he graduated from Massachusetts College of
Pharmacy and took that expertise to the front in World War II, serving in an
Army medical unit at the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. Attached to the 7th Army
Division, Abrams was awarded a bronze star for his willingness to do whatever
was needed during that epic encounter.
After his military service, Abrams owned a pharmacy in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, outside Harvard Square, where he served customers and trained
pharmacy students from around the world until he retired to Florida. When his
wife of 60 years passed away, Philip Abrams went in search another type of
connection, becoming a
Weston Library volunteer.
As someone who has always been a reader and loves books, working at the
Friends Bookstore at his local branch seemed a perfect fit. On Tuesdays and
Saturdays, Abrams can be found at the bookstore making change, suggesting titles
and keeping the shelves stocked. His own reading material these days runs to
fiction titles for pleasure, much of which he reads on his Kindle. He also
enjoys reading articles from The Economist and The Wall Street Journal, which he
discusses with his son every morning.
His daughter Carolyn considers her dad’s time volunteering at the library to
be “a very important aspect of being mentally well” and staying sharp. Abrams is
self-sufficient, drives himself around town and enjoys a close family
connection, which includes dining with his daughter’s family for lunch and
dinner – which he sometimes makes himself. He is the proud patriarch of his
extended family, with five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, including
his great-granddaughter, who is studying to be a physician’s assistant at his
His prescription for a great life? Walking every morning, serving country and
community, reading and staying engaged as a
Broward County Library Friends volunteer!
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Beginning January 1st,
Jan Moran Collier City Learning Library will be open from 1 to 9PM on
Broward County Library branches with regularly scheduled Sunday hours will
close at 6PM on Sunday, December 24th and remain closed through Monday, December
25th. For New Year's Day, those Broward County Libraries with regularly
scheduled Sunday hours will close at 6PM on Sunday, December 31st and remain
closed through Monday, January 1, 2018. The NSU-Alvin Sherman Library will be
open on Sunday, December 24th and Sunday, December 31st from 7:30AM until 8PM;
they are closed Monday, December 25th and Monday, January 1, 2018. Customers can
visit the County Library's
download the Libraries' free mobile app,
to search the online catalog, place holds, and renew selected materials.
Save These Dates...
(click image to enlarge)
Art Spot: Can you name the library branch where this public art is located?
The entrance to the branch is spanned by two free-form mosaics
depicting leaves, vines and tomatoes, one a nod to the city’s
agricultural history as “The Tomato Capital of the World,” the other a
representation of local mangroves. The children’s area displays three
arresting mosaics, portraying characters of fables from many cultures.
The tales of Aesop, Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, Mother Goose and
Native American legend are shown against a colorful, geometric
Come back next week for the answer!
The answer to last week's Art Spot, Grus Pacifica by Harry Reese, is located at...
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