Tuesday, July 21, 2009

JPL and ACLD in the News

Jacksonville area residents and surrounding counties found the Main Library at their doorsteps on July 1. The Jacksonville Public Library is featured throughout the 2009 AT&T phonebook publications, including the front cover of the White Pages, inside back cover of the Yellow Pages and in the beginning of the Attractions section of the Community Information Pages of the 2009 Jacksonville Beaches, FL directory.

Each year, a theme is selected and an accompanying photo of a community resource that serves as an anchor to its residents. The library was selected to represent this year’s education theme. The visibility gained through the distribution and use of the phone book sheds light on the value of community resources such as the library. The monetary value of the advertisement exceeds more than $100,000 dollars. The Library Foundation will provide visibility of AT&T during the Foundation’s annual fundraising events including the annual literary festival, Much Ado About Books.


The Department of Children and Families (DCF), The Partnership for Strong Families (PSF), the Alachua County Library District (ACLD) and Casey Family Programs officially celebrated the opening of “The Library Partnership- A Neighborhood Resource Center” Wednesday, July 8th.

The grand opening caps off a year of planning by representatives from many community agencies. DCF Circuit Administrator Ester Tibbs says, “The well being of our community really depends on whether families have opportunities to provide a better future for their children. That’s what this center is about – creating those opportunities for parents and their children do well.”

The Library Partnership is a concept unique to Gainesville, with the public library working in close collaboration with social service agencies to create a new kind of resource for families in northeast Gainesville. It is the only such partnership in the state.

In addition to the services provided by outside organizations, the library will also offer homework help in the fall and plans to add GED and literacy classes to its services. The library will be a critical partner in helping people access vital eGovernment services and information. The computer resources available at the library provide onsite assistance with accessing necessary online forms and applications used by many of the organizations providing services at the center, which removes the barrier of additional transportation and time.

According to ACLD Director Sol Hirsh, “Public libraries have relevant services to benefit persons in every role throughout a community. Often, the challenge for libraries is the delivery of those services. This collaboration brings public libraries to the place where social service referrals are being made. This is the ultimate form of outreach.”

This project is based on research showing the negative impact of foster care on children when they become adults. The goal is to keep children with their families and to help those families succeed by providing a safe place where people can seek help in their own neighborhood. It is hoped that this innovative approach will mobilize the community to support both the families in need and the agencies assisting them.

This project would not be possible without the contributions of many community organizations:

  • The Alachua County Library District received $93,300 in funding from an LSTA (Library Services and Technology) grant—federal funding that is administered by the state. Using this, ACLD was able to purchase a collection of about 13,000 items for the library.
  • The ACLD Friends of the Library provided a total of 704 books, 269 hardback and 435 paperbacks– all in like-new condition. The total estimated cost for purchasing these titles would have been over $11,000.
  • The ACLD Foundation donated $15,000 to assist in the purchasing of materials for the Library’s Snuggle Up Center, to support the United Way Success by 6 campaign.
  • The Department of Children and Families will fund the operation of the Resource Center with the assistance of Casey Family Programs.


These two items are in the latest FLA News Digest. If you can read the news digest, you are an FLA member. If not, join the fun!

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