As long as there is curiosity, need for contact and community
Nothing will replace libraries
nor will they be obsolete
Our people in Broward are passionate about their library system because we give them what they need and want
Our newspaper interviewed the director of the Broward Public Library System, Allison Grubbs, to learn more about this institution and review all the programs and services they offer in the community through all their branches.
In the United States, unlike other countries, there has always been strong public support for public libraries, especially here in Broward. Why is this, and is there any concern that it may one day subside?
The love for libraries will never fade, at least as long as there is curiosity, the need for contact and community, the desire to excel or the desire to explore and understand the world. Libraries are the only institution that responds to all human needs, so they will never become obsolete.
The people of Broward are passionate about their library system. I attribute much of that to a wonderful staff that adapts to the public. We provide what people need and want, and it's all free.
In the past, the Broward County Library System has received accolades as the best in the country. Can you explain the elements that help your well-regarded national reputation?
This institution was named the 2015 and 2020 Library of the Year by the Florida Library Association and has earned many other top honors. We build our reputation on service, excellence and innovation. We are leaders in bringing technology to libraries and to people. To give you just one example, one part of our award-winning Welcome Home program for non-English speakers used cloud-based voice-activated technology for multilingual translation.
Is there a plan to return to pre-pandemic days and hours of library operation or can we expect “temporary” hours to continue for some time into the future?
Starting April 24, the Broward County Library increased hours at 17 locations to expand our weekend service. Four more libraries will be open on Sundays and about 13 branches will be open on Saturdays, for a total of 25 libraries that now offer Saturday hours.
The increase in weekend hours is a response to requests from the public. We want people to use their neighborhood libraries with maximum ease and enjoyment.
Can you provide a step-by-step tutorial that explains the process of how interested people can access all the various materials and services that the online library offers? What are the various resources that can be used? (Note: I would like this information so I can include it in future editions of our publication.)
Our staff is a walking tutorial, they are friendly and happy to help. To learn, just ask.
BCL also has many videos youtube.com/broward countylibrary that are available 24/7. We also have face-to-face and online classes. More information is available at Broward.org/Library/Events
There are thousands of public libraries, K-12 school libraries, and college libraries scattered throughout the county. What percentage of publishers' income comes from sales to these entities?
Among US publishers, revenue was approximately $26 billion in 2021. Libraries, in my estimation, accounted for 7% of total revenue, based on the following sources:
Libraries are the only institution that responds to all human needs
How and When Do Libraries Buy | Savvy Writers & e-Books online
AAP StatShot Annual Report: Book Publishing Revenues Up Slightly to $25.93 Billion in 2019 - AAP (publishers.org)
I understand that publishers try to impose some kind of limitation on how much a particular title can be accessed online. What are these limitations, if any, and how do you control the use of such materials?
The limitations of e-books are determined by the publishers and providers. We work with multiple providers and each one has its own system. These are the types of limitations found on digital content: One-Copy/One-User: 24-month expiration; Single Copy/Single User: 26 circulations and Single Copy/Single User: 52 circulations or 24 months, whichever comes first. We do not control the time limit or payment limitations; the seller does.
The most recent US Census data indicates that 31 percent of Broward's population is Hispanic or Latino, the vast majority of whom speak Spanish at home. One of the things we try to accomplish with our publication is to preserve the heritage of our beautiful Spanish language, the first European language spoken in Florida, with roots dating back to the 16th century. What are some of the efforts made by the library system to provide material in Spanish to interested users?
BCL has countless resources in Spanish and the amount of material is HUGE. We are always adding to our general and Spanish collections. New additions can be viewed in the free weekly Wowbrary email on the BCL website or found under "New and Popular Titles" in the Quick Links section. We recently added 41 new titles in Spanish for children and adults.
In addition to a vast collection of printed and audio material in Spanish, BCL offers free 1:1 tutoring in Spanish through our Brainfuse online resource for children and adults. There are many programs, classes, and events for babies, children, teens, and adults in the Spanish language.
Are there ways to use libraries that most people don't know about?
The public does not know how much awaits them here, and everything is free.
People are amazed when they learn what we review in addition to books, CDs, and DVDs. They don't know we have video games or about our Gear to Go program, found on the library's website, which includes fitness equipment, robotic devices, Snap Circuits, LEGO Mindstorms, digital tablets, Playaway Launchpad learning tablets, reading, musical instruments, MERGE cubes... and much more. Our next service enhancement, starting shortly, is checking hotspots for free home Wi-Fi