Palm Beach County Library System-Civic and Community Engagement- Top Innovator 2015



The Palm Beach County Library System, FL was honored with the Urban Library Council Top innovator Award in Civic and Community Engagement for the program:

  • Embedded Librarians in County Government


Library staff working in eight county departments provided a valuable boost to research capacity while building stronger internal department connections, enhancing job satisfaction, raising awareness of library capacity, and building a commitment to civic engagement. The Embedded Librarians in County Government matched library staff research expertise with department needs to complete projects that supported community priorities.

“As an integral part of county government, the library system with all of its resources and talented staff is providing expert research services to assist county departments in improving the quality of life for all county residents. The Embedded Librarians project is an opportunity for the library to expand beyond our walls to where research is most needed.” —Doug Crane, Director, Palm Beach County Library System


see Urban Library Council 2015 Top Innovators Showcase.

January 25, 2016 at 2:05 am Leave a comment

A Public Sphere Framework and Research Agenda for the Public Library Sector.

Widdersheim, M. M. (2015). Governance, Legitimation, Commons: A Public Sphere Framework and Research Agenda for the Public Library Sector. Libri: International Journal of Libraries & Information Services, 65(4), 237-245.

Public libraries continually struggle to define their social value, and economic or educational rationales are commonly submitted to this end. In contrast to these approaches, public sphere theory emphasizes the political and social justice aspects of public libraries. Existing library literature has established strong associations between public sphere theory and public libraries, and a tentative model of the public sphere in public libraries has been developed. It is not yet clear, however, how a public sphere model of public libraries might benefit the profession. This paper therefore explains how a conceptual model of the public sphere in public libraries can serve as a potential framework and research agenda for the public library sector. A model of the public sphere in public libraries contains three main arenas of discourse: governance, legitimation, and commons. Each of the arenas represents values that are central to public librarianship. Practitioners and scholars in the public library sector can use the public sphere model to orient research and practice. This paper explains each arena in detail and discusses the model’s relevance as a philosophy and research agenda.


January 5, 2016 at 12:19 pm Leave a comment

What Libraries Offer to Communities Pursuing Revitalization: IMLS

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation was cited as a potential library partner in A Place at the Table: Participating in Community Building ALA, 2000, pp. 8-9.

and today a new IMLS LISC  report, Museums, Libraries and Comprehensive Initiatives: A First Look at Emerging Experience,  includes, “What Museums and Libraries Offer to Communities Pursuing Revitalization”.

Museums and libraries play important and traditional societal roles that alone justify their long-standing community support. But as museum and library leaderships increasingly have embraced broader conceptions of these roles, they have been brought more explicitly into the community revitalization frame. One job of this paper is to help community leaders understand just how helpful these institutions can be to them.Museums and libraries play important and traditional societal roles that alone justify their long-standing community support. But as museum and library leaderships increasingly have embraced broader conceptions of these roles, they have been brought more explicitly into the community revitalization frame. One job of this paper is to help community leaders understand just how helpful these institutions can be to them..

The full report (PDF) is available on the IMLS website and through LISC’s Institute for Comprehensive Community Development.

November 9, 2015 at 5:05 pm Leave a comment

Back to the Future with RQ-Reference and Adult Services Division Journal

Two wayward issues of RUSA’s journal Reference Quarterly (RQ) appear twice in Back to the Future (1985), apparently placed there by set director Hal Gausman. They appear on the bedboard bookcase of Marty McFly and can be seen there at the beginning and the end of the film as the camera pans in on Michael J. Fox.

October 21, 2015 at 7:11 pm Leave a comment

Libraries Transform

Libraries Transform seeks to shift the mindset that “libraries are obsolete or nice to have” to “libraries are essential” and to change the perception that “libraries are just quiet places to do research, find a book and read” to “libraries are centers of their communities: places to learn, create and share, with the help of library staf and the resources they provide.” Through the Libraries Transform campaign, ALA will increase awareness of libraries’ vibrancy and vitality through active local grassroots programs, a national social and traditional media campaign and strategic alliances with corporations, media entities and other organizations. Sari Feldman will introduce the campaign at the June 30, 2015 Inaugural Brunch in San Francisco during the 2015 ALA Annual Conference. Attendees at the brunch will receive a set of postcards with “Because” statements and a sample window cling. This three-year campaign will ofcially launch to the profession and the public in fall of 2015. Goal Libraries Transform is designed to increase public awareness of the value, impact, and services provided by libraries and library professionals of all types. It is designed to showcase how:

• libraries transform both communities and the lives of individuals • libraries continue to transform to meet rapidly changing 21st century needs and • library professionals continue to transform to meet the evolving needs of the communities in which they serve.

October 17, 2015 at 2:47 am Leave a comment

Community Engagement Specialist-Position Opening

The Hernando County (Florida) Public Library System has an opening for a full-time Community Engagement Specialist. The Community Engagement Specialist develops and maintains collaborative outreach programs and community partnerships that increase awareness of library services in the community. This position is responsible for promoting and creating positive public awareness of library services through educational programs, presentations, social media, email campaigns, print advertising, special events, and community outreach. This position may involve producing publications for internal and external audiences including newsletters, speeches, articles, event listings, brochures, press releases, and other materials. The Community Engagement Specialist is responsible for the Library’s social media strategy and all social media engagement.



  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, public relations, journalism, or other closely related field required.
  • Two (2) years of professional experience in public relations and/or marketing.
  • Experience handling social media for an organization or business and knowledge of social media trends.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office Suite and other publishing and design software.
  • Demonstrated writing ability and verbal communication skills.
  • Must have exceptional interpersonal skills to work with library partners, the public, and library staff.
  • Must possess and maintain a valid Florida Driver’s License and be insurable by current insurance carrier.

If you meet these qualifications and have a positive attitude, superior customer service skills, and exceptional communication skills, please apply to join our innovative library team!

How to Apply:

All applicants must complete the board of county commissioner’s on-line employment application located atWWW.HERNANDOCOUNTY.US/HR.

To apply for this position, please submit a cover letter, employment application, salary requirements and college transcript(s).  Copies/unofficial transcripts showing degree awarded, must be attached to your employment application. All degrees must be awarded by an accredited educational institution. If selected, official transcripts should be sent directly from the College/University to Human Resources

September 25, 2015 at 12:43 pm Leave a comment

Heart of the Community Extravaganza-Lee County, Fort Myers


Southwest Florida, Sept. 18, 2015–On Oct. 16 Southwest Airlines , Lee County and City of Fort Myers officials will unveil the Heart of the Community placemaking grant enhancements to the Cornog Plaza on the campus of the Fort Myers Regional Library during a news conference at 2 p.m. The news conference kicks off the Heart of the Community Extravaganza, which will include a costume swap, Scary-oke Sing-off, treat bag craft, a stilt walker, balloon-tying and sweet treats provided by Southwest Airlines. Festivities wind down at 5 p.m. Costumes and blankets or lawn chairs are suggested. The Cornog Plaza is located at 2450 First Street in Fort Myers.


Families can go green this Halloween by swapping their gently used Halloween costumes and accessories! Beginning Oct. 1 costume donations will be accepted at Library Administration, 2345 Union Street in Fort Myers. A token will be exchanged for each donated costume or accessory. Those with a swap token will be invited to “shop” first during the Extravaganza Oct. 16 from 2-3 p.m.  Those without a token may start shopping at 3 p.m. and all unclaimed costumes will be donated.  The Scary-oke Sing-off is Karaoke in not-so-scary costumes and begins at 3 p.m. The costumes and performances will be a frighteningly good time.


“We are excited to share these amenities with the public,” says Sheldon Kaye, Lee County Library System Director. The amenities are just part of Southwest Airlines’ Heart of the Community enhancements. The programming will occur throughout the year.


Southwest Airlines provided a $50,000 grant to the Lee County Library System to transform the Cornog Plaza into an interactive space through a combination of expanded amenities and family-oriented programs. The Library System worked with the community to determine a clear vision and programming platform for the space. New amenities provided by the grant include: oyster canopy, giant bean bags chairs, rocking chairs, colorful tables and chairs, large market umbrellas and game carts..[b1]  Additional funds will be spent on programming and an interactive piece for children.


Placemaking is an emerging movement with environmentalist roots that positions public spaces as engines for urban development, serving as catalysts for building sustainable, healthy, inclusive and economically viable neighborhoods. For more than 40 years, Southwest’s lead partner Project for Public Spaces (PPS) has refined the participatory Placemaking process.




Media Contact: Kristy Kilfoyle, Program Coordinator

Lee County Library System

239.533. 4808, kkilfoyle@leegov.comr by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.



Project for Public Spaces is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Its pioneering Placemaking approach helps citizens transform their public spaces into vital places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation and serve common needs. PPS was founded in 1975 to apply and expand on the work of William (Holly) Whyte, the author of The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. Since then, the organization has completed projects in over 3000 communities in 43 countries and all 50 U.S. states and are the premier center for best practices, information and resources on Placemaking. and




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September 18, 2015 at 2:14 pm Leave a comment

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