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BCL WOW!

March 2014, such a transitioning time in the calendar year in so many ways. The Lenten Season begins with Ash Wednesday on March 5th.   By the time most of you will view this column, we will have already performed on March 9th the semi-annual task of adjusting our timepieces an hour forward to begin Daylight Saving Time.  Later in month on March 20th, the Vernal Equinox occurs, ushering in the proverbial First Day of Spring.

Speaking of transitions, I thought I would share with you a short profile on a major front-line County Commission service agency – your Broward County Library System. Founded in 1974, the award-winning Broward County Libraries Division is the ninth largest library system in the nation by population served.  The System’s 40 locations have more than 3.4 million items and 2,000 computers for public use, and offers hundreds of events and programs to meet the needs of Broward County's diverse communities. Broward County Libraries Division continues its strong emphasis on literacy, after-school programs and electronic access. The Web site, Broward.org/Library provides information about library activities, links to online catalogs, and databases. 

Customers can also visit BCL WoW - Broward County Library Without Walls – for free eBooks, music, audiobooks, apps and more. Customers may also follow Libraries on Facebook and Twitter. Libraries Division also administers the services, programs, collections and exhibits of the Broward County Historical Commission.

Broward County Libraries have traditionally helped the community bridge the digital divide by providing free internet service, public-access computers and access to expensive software such as Photoshop. Free classes in a variety of computer programs, as well as in general computer literacy, downloading materials and courses for seniors, teens and speakers of Spanish, are available in most library locations.

In that vein and just several weeks ago, the Division launched the first of several Creation Stations, a makerspace and gadget lab, at the Main Library, located at 100 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, 954-357-7444. The Main Library Creation Station makerspace is a community center with tools that enable individuals to design, prototype and make 3D items. Makerspaces often include tools and equipment too expensive or specialized for most people to own.

Broward County Libraries Division is also planning Creation Station portals at most Broward County Library location. As more Creation Stations open, updates will be posted on Broward.org/Library/CreationStation.

I hope this gives you a window on the County’s latest 21st Century technology outreach for the benefit of the general public.  As always, if you would like to discuss a matter with me, please contact the office at 954-357-7006 or send me an e-mail at sgunzburger@broward.org

P.S. – Almost forgot - To All Those Who Celebrate – Happy Saint Patrick’s Day !!