BCL eNews
BCL eNews

May the Fourth Be with You

Celebrate Star Wars Day with fun, free events at your library.

Contests, Challenges & Fun Celebrations

  • May 1-4 - Name Generator: Create your own unique Star Wars name, during library hours, Pembroke Pines Library
  • May 4 - Star Wars Trivia Game, ages 6-12, 7:30AM-4PM, South Regional/Broward College Library
  • May 4 - Board and Video Game Celebration, 2-3PM, Riverland Library
  • May 4-31 - Trivia Challenge: Play to win prizes, Pembroke Pines Library
  • May 5 - “Revenge of the Fifth” Celebration: Watch The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, Rogue One and more (PG-13); costume contests; Jedi training; Star Wars arts and crafts; Battlefront II teen video game tournament, 11AM-5PM, Main Library

Movie Screenings 

Special Events for Children & Teens

Children's BookFest - Stories and Books Come to Life

kids in a groupFree fun for the family at the 2018 Children's BookFest! Watch top-notch shows and performances, grab a free book, get hands-on with a make-it-and-take-it craft and more. This year's BookFest will be held Saturday, May 19th from 10AM-3:30PM at Northwest Regional Library in Coral Springs. The festival is free and open to the public.

This year the Children's BookFest will be in celebration of World Day for Cultural Diversity, held annually on May 21, a United Nations–sanctioned international holiday that promotes diversity issues and dialogue. It's also the system-wide kick-off event for the library's 2018 Summer Learning Program so festivalgoers can find out how they can read, learn and win prizes all summer long!

​ Events at the Children's BookFest include:

  • Fushu Daiko Taiko Japanese Drummers
  • Coral Springs Chinese Cultural Association Lion Dance Team
  • Super Science Explorers Lab
  • Arts & Craft Table Face Painting
  • Free Book Giveaway – the first 1,000 children can pick up a FREE book, courtesy of the Joe DiMaggio's Children's Hospital

Children's BookFest is presented by and funded through the Broward Public Library Foundation with Jo DiMaggio Children's Hospital as a presenting sponsor.  The Children’s BookFest is supported by Broward Family Life Magazine. For more information, please call 954-357-7336.

Jewish-American Heritage Monthdad and daughter

  • May 9 - Never Again: Hitler and the Holocaust, speaker, 4-5:30PM, Pompano Beach Library
  • May 14 - Actor/Director Avi Hoffman and his mother, Miriam Hoffman, will discuss her memoir, A Breed Apart: Reflections of a Young Refugee, 1:30-2:30PM, Century Plaza/Leon Slatin Library
  • May 14 - Jewish and American Considerations in the Aftermath of the Parkland Tragedy, 5:45-7:45PM, Weston Library
  • May 15 - Let’s Talk About Books: Dinner at the Center of the Earth by Nathan Englander, 10:30-11:30AM, Southwest Regional Library
  • May 21 - Genealogy Club: Highlighting Jewish genealogy/introduction to genealogy, 2-3PM, Main Library
  • May 22 - The Great Jewish-American Novel, presented by Caren Schnur Neile, Ph.D., 1:30-3PM, Main Library
  • May 22 - I’ll Have What She’s Having: Presentation on the history of the Jewish deli and its delicious foods, 2-3PM, Tamarac Library
  • May 29 - Jews and Jazz: Celebrate Jewish contributions to American music, presented by author Richie Gerber, 1-2:30PM, Main Library
  • May 29 - Movie: Rhapsody in Blue: The Story of George Gershwin, 2:30-4:30PM, Main Library

illustration of a calendar

Save These Dates...

  • May 4 - LitLIVE! Free Authors Panel Discussion, 6-8PM, to be held at four Broward County Barnes & Noble locations, visit BPLFoundation.org for details.
  • June 15 - Afro-Caribbean Weekend Fest: Celebrate Afro-Caribbean culture and cuisine along with an interactive storytelling experience, 6-8PM,  Foster Park Community Center Micro-Library
  • June 16 - Afro-Caribbean Weekend Fest: Storytelling Contest and Music Fest featuring a story slam, steel drum and junkanoo bands, food trucks and more, 2-6PM, Hallandale Beach Library
  • June 16 - Juneteenth Blues and Sweet Potato Pie Festival: Live music, games, food, and fun, presented by Northwest Branch Library, 11AM-5PM, Apollo Park, 1580 NW 3rd Ave., Pompano Beach, FL 33060 (adjacent to library).
  • July 20, 21 - South Florida Book Festival: A weekend of authors, presentations, cooking demos and more, call 954-357-6282 or visit Bookfest.Broward.org for details, held at African-American Research Library and Cultural Center

Libraries Director Kelvin Watson Elected to Public Library Association’s Board of Directors

BCL Director Kelvin WatsonBroward County Libraries Division Director Kelvin Watson has been elected as one of two new directors-at-large of the Public Libraries Association (PLA). His three-year term will begin immediately after the American Library Association’s 2018 Annual Conference, which takes place in New Orleans from June 21-26, 2018.

“It is an honor to have been selected by my peers to serve as one of the PLA’s directors-at-large,” says Watson. “I’m looking forward to working within the PLA to further explore ways to expand the reach of libraries in the communities they serve and to broaden access to the vast educational, technological and recreational resources and services public libraries provide.”

Watson was named Director of Broward County Libraries Division in February 2017. Since then he has led ambitious and innovative initiatives that have made the Library a force in bridging the community’s digital divide and strengthened the Library’s connection to the communities it serves.  

Throughout his career he has remained active and involved in professional associations and, in addition to recent election to the PLA Board of Directors, is currently the immediate past President of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Watson is a frequent speaker and panelist at conferences and the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2017 DEMCO/ALA Black Caucus Award for Excellence in Librarianship. He has worked tirelessly to evolve the library’s role in the community as “the inviter of the uninvited.”

Watson is one of six PLA directors-at-large serving on the PLA Board of Directors, and the first director-at-large from Broward County.

The PLA, which is headquartered in Chicago, is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 9,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders.

Meet Your Community Engagement Team

community engagement team(Click photo to enlarge/view names)

“I’m passionate about the power of libraries and all that they offer the community,” says Roslyn Dean, the Libraries’ new Community Engagement (CE) Manager. “Libraries are not only a source of information, but they can be a place of first experiences and adventures through books. A place of innovation through broad access to technology. A place of entertainment through programs and events. A place of social engagement and connections through conversations over coffee. A place of educational growth and professional enhancement through access to multiple online resources.”  

To find out more about Roslyn (Roz) and her Community Engagement Team, read on. And be sure to introduce yourself when you see them at an event – they’d love to meet you!  

Roslyn Dean • As the Community Engagement Manager, I’m responsible for managing the division-wide programming, outreach and volunteer operations, which include Learning Services, Volunteers, Youth Services Administration, Adult Services Administration, Advantage Marketing and Community Liaison sections. I’m enthusiastic about the limitless possibilities of the library and the greatness that it exposes us to.    

Jenna SmithAs the Community Engagement Liaison, you can find me out promoting BCL everywhere. I worked for 24 years in HR and Communication and I am also a Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer. I love that BCL is continually offering new services, resources, events, and programs, such as GoChip, Instant eCard, Born in Broward, and the first Chalk Lit Fest, to name a few.   

Alexis SanabriaFor me, as the CE Secretary, the best part of CE is seeing the impact on a community one person at a time. Seeing one of our programs help a young Cuban boy who was struggling to understand the school system here touched my heart as a child of immigrant parents. While I have not yet lived outside the US, I did reside in the remote desert town of Twentynine Palms, California, and enjoyed exploring the old and abandoned part of Route 66.  

Michael BryantWhat I enjoy about being Adult Services Coordinator is bringing free, high-quality programs to customers that make a positive impact on their lives. A great example of that are the veterans programs that I manage, like the Veterans Connect Hot Spot program. I also help to coordinate the technology classes for adult services. When I’m away from work, you can find me bike riding.  

Susan MiddletonI am a Librarian, Senior and manage the summer meal program Break Spot, the summer Foster Grandparent program, TutorMate and City of Sunrise Afterschool@YourLibrary programs. What motivates me is watching BCL help people achieve their dreams and life goals. A personal goal for me is to travel to Europe again and spend another two months backpacking. 

Vonda Ward BryantAs the Learning Services Coordinator, I am responsible for all BCL literacy programs and services. I have the best job in the world because every day I get the opportunity to help someone reach his or her learning goals. I still get chill bumps when I hear about a student reaching their literacy goal and cry at every Career Online High School graduation ceremony. I am a native of Broward County and the old Pompano Beach branch was my neighborhood library.  

Nancy MurrayAs Youth Services Special Events Coordinator, my team and I coordinate The Conference on Children’s Literature, the Children’s BookFest, the Summer Learning Program, the StoryBook Festival, Discovering Your Way, and much more. Diversity and a global perspective come naturally to me since my father was career Air Force, my mother is from Okinawa, I was born in the Philippines, lived in Taiwan and all around the United States. At the age of 20, I moved to Japan for six months and climbed Mount Fuji.

Andra MentoreAs the Library Services Coordinator, I manage the Libraries Volunteer program, Advantage Marketing program and serve as Libraries liaison for the 35 Friends of the Broward County Library Chapter groups. I know we are doing a great job when I see CE deepening the Library’s connection in our diverse communities. An example of this is the upcoming Afro Caribbean Weekend Fest, an event that I am involved with. On a personal note, I enjoy driving fast cars.   

Kimberly WhiteAs the Youth Services Coordinator, I oversee the many programs and events for children and families that BCL does, as well as outside partnerships that work on behalf of school children, such as the Your ID Is Your Key, to use a student ID as a BCL access card. I am most passionate about providing quality programs that are vital to a community. Every community is unique: many years ago, I found myself living and working near the Grand Canyon, which I walked from rim to rim.  

Gloria Allen-SickelsmithAs Youth Services Assistant Special Events Coordinator, I love creating large, system-wide events and programs such as Discovering Your Way and SAT/ACT classes. I previously worked as a chemist for 13 years, which did not afford the pleasure of directly seeing my work touch others. Nothing is as gratifying as the expression on a child’s face when handed a book to own or meeting their favorite character in the Fantasy Forest at StoryBook Festival.

For more information about Community Engagement, email: communityengagement@broward.org

This Just In


At the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) EVERY month is Black History Month. Find out about fun and fascinating cultural and educational events happening year-round. Subscribe to our weekly AARLCC eNews.

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