As we gear up to celebrate 40 years of Broward County Libraries, we will feature one free library service each week to WoW you with. Join in the celebration by spreading the word about these and the many other valuable BCL services.
Week #21: Bienes Museum of the Modern Book: Where Art Meets Literature
Broward County Library’s Bienes Museum of the Modern Book: The Dianne & Michael Bienes Special Collections and Rare Book Library, located on the sixth floor of Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, is a state-of-the-art facility where rare books and special collections are housed, preserved, and shared in conjunction with a space for related lectures, programs, and exhibitions. See the latest Florida Artists’ Book Prize Competition winner, the unique, interactive book Uluhaimalama: Legacies of Lili’uokalani: Music and Mana’o of Hawai’i’s Last Queen by Alison Milham, which will be on display at the Museum until June 14, 2013. The Museum is free and open to the public. Call 954-357-8692 or 954-357-8243 for information or to make an appointment to visit.
Week #20: The Past Comes Alive at the Broward County Historical Commission
Take a trip through time at the Broward County Historical Commission, located at the historic West Side Grade School, 301 Harmon (S.W. 13th) Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. The Commission was created in 1972 to preserve all types of items related to the history of Broward County including books, maps, journals, photographs and artifacts. Get acquainted with the Broward County Historical Commission at its annual Broward County Heritage Celebration to be held Thursday, May 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Commission. This year’s theme is “See It, Save It, Celebrate It!” with architect and historian Thorn Grafton as the guest speaker. Four historic preservation awards will be presented and refreshments will be served. The Celebration is free and open to the public; please RSVP to 954-357-5553.
Week #19: Free Assistance for Small Businesses
Starting a new business is tough, but the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center’s (AARLCC) Small Business Resource Center is here to help with free resources and materials. Learn about business plans, small business databases, marketing, finance and more. Browse through resources such as business videos and local business directories. The Center is located on the second floor of AARLCC and is open Monday and Wednesday from 12 to 8 p.m. and Tuesday, Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 954-357-6227 for more information.
Week #18: Broward’s Eco-Library - Little Green Library and Environmental Learning Center
Get focused on the environment at the Little Green Library and Environmental Learning Center, located at 1033 N.W. 6th St., Suite 102 in Fort Lauderdale. The Little Green Library is a public library and interactive learning center focused on green building, technologies for energy efficiency, urban farming and other sustainable initiatives that can lead to a more efficient and self-sufficient lifestyle. All books and materials are related to those topics, and there’s also a small commuter lab with access to “green” digital resources. Call 954-712-0441 for more information.
Week #17: Learn a Language Online
Take free, quick online language classes from Broward County on your own time and your own pace. Byki is a powerful language learning system that uses flashcards to teach you a set of words or phrases in any language from Afrikaans to Zulu Lock in foreign words and phrases in your long-term memory so you can recall them perfectly and remember them forever. The Library also offers the Byki Community Edition for mobile devices including Android and Apple. Learn a Language is another online learning portal that provides instruction in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Week #16: Free Online Classes
Learn all you want, wherever you want, with Broward County Library’s online Universal Class. Universal Class is a free educational service that allows Broward County Library cardholders to take no-cost, unlimited, non-credit courses for business or leisure. Select from 500 diverse classes and learn at your own pace. There’s everything from ABC’s of Algebra to Yoga 101 to Advanced Dog Training. Each class features a real instructor with expertise in the subject matter to help guide your progress. Get started now and open up a world of free educational resources.
Week #15: Calling All Inventors!
Have a great idea? Main Library in downtown Fort Lauderdale is an officially designated Federal Documents Repository, State of Florida Depository Library and a Patents and Trademark Resource Center. Specially trained staff is available to help with your patent search. Ask about special events for adult and young inventors.
Week #14: Have a Question? Ask a Librarian!
Broward County Library has the answers to your questions, whether you’re at your library, on the phone or online. Broward County Library’s online Ask A Librarian service lets you email or live chat with a trained reference librarian who can find the facts and resources you need – for free! You can also text your question to 321-285-6959 for quick answers from an expert - a Florida Librarian. Enter bcl as the first three characters of the text, then type your question. You should receive a reply within minutes! Text Assistance is available Sunday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 midnight and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., EST.
Week #13: Free Public Computers
Go online, check your email, apply for a job – do all of that and more for free at one of Broward County Library’s public-use computers. The library provides more than 2,000 in-library computers for the public, many of them in designated computer labs where customers can take free computer classes. More than two million customers sign up to use library computers each year. For your convenience, free public access computers are available at most library locations.
Week #12: CardStar®
Broward County Library customers can now check out library materials with
their smart phones. Manage your library card and other cards in your wallet
with the free CardStar® app. Use CardStar® to access your cards with a
single touch from the CardStar® home screen. Download formats include
Apple®, Android™ and BlackBerry®.
Week #11: Free Online Tutoring and Job Coaching
Need help with school or in your job search? Broward eTutor provides free tutoring and skills-building for K-12, college and adult learners with a Broward County Library card. Get live assistance daily from 2 to 4 p.m. in writing, math, foreign language, science, social studies as well as preparation for the SAT, ACT and GED tests. Broward eTutor also offers 24/7 access to skills assessments and sample tests. Job seekers can get free job coaching including help with résumés, cover letters and interview skills as well as find job resources and get help with the GED and the U.S. citizenship test.
Week #10: Like or Follow? Stay Connected to Your Library with Facebook and Twitter
It’s easy to stay connected to Broward County Library with social media. Find your favorite library on Facebook and Twitter and keep up with all the great things going on at Broward County Library!
Week #9: Free Magazines Online - Anyplace and Anytime
Broward County Libraries now offers more than 300 digital magazines for free via Zinio Digital Magazine Newsstand. This exciting new service allows readers to view popular magazines or download them to any computer or mobile device. Enjoy the latest issue of a favorite magazine and even subscribe to them to get magazines monthly. Magazines are not checked out and there are no subscription limits so there is never a need to place a hold or wait to read any magazines. Read the magazines you want, when you want. See the exact features, photos and even ads as well as online extras such as audio, video and live links.
Week #8: Free Events All Year Round
Events and exhibits are part of the library experience at all of our branches. Come in and see what’s happening and what’s on display. Libraries countywide exhibit unusual collections, holiday displays, historical artifacts and the work of artists in all media and host programs and events for all ages and interests. Interested in what’s on display now? Want to know what’s happening at a library near you? Visit Broward County Library’s Events page and find out.
Week #7: Dial-A-Story
Story time on speed dial? Younger children can hear a mix of contemporary tales and timeless folk and fairy tales that change every two weeks. Dial-A-Story is free, professionally recorded and available 24/7 to anyone calling 954-357-7777. Give us a ring and we’ll tell you a yarn!
Week #6: SAT and ACT Prep
Free SAT and ACT prep? How cool is that? Affordable College Solutions coaches college-bound high school students in a four-part test preparation series sponsored by the Broward Public Library Foundation. Sessions are in-person and include practice tests and follow-up score report sessions. All materials are free, too!
Week #5: Wowbrary!
The latest book, film and music releases are available free at Broward County Library as soon as they are released. Get the inside track on the newest hot items when you sign up for Wowbrary, a weekly newsletter with the newest books, movies, and music available to put on hold or checkout.
Week #4: Free Downloadable Music
Download five free songs a week from Broward County Libraries
Music lovers, rejoice! You can use your Broward County Library card to access thousands of free songs from Sony Music’s catalog. Choose from genres including pop, rock, classical, R&B, hip-hop, holiday sounds, global music and more. Get five free downloads each week – they are yours to keep and they never expire.
Week #3: Volunteer and Be an LVP!
Volunteer your time and talent at Broward County Libraries
At Broward County Libraries, a Library Volunteer Person (LVP) is a VIP! Volunteers can make a difference, make friends and be an important part of the library. Teens can earn valuable community service and work experience; adults and seniors are needed as Friends members and for special programs. Volunteer @ your library for a one-day event or on a regular basis.
Week #2: Free eReaders
Borrow an eReader – for free!
Customers can borrow an eReader free of charge from library branches countywide. If you’ve never used an eReader, learn with a Broward County Library employee in a 15-minute tutorial before check out. Each eReader to borrow comes pre-loaded with great titles. Try one out – it’s free!
Week #1: Wi-Fi Access
Did you know Broward County Libraries are free Wi-Fi hot spots?
Visit your library and use a computer to check email or access the Internet from your laptop and mobile device. Find a convenient library location using the map of libraries.