The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center of the Broward County Library: Building Bridges and beyond. (Community Building)

By McCook, Kathleen de la Pena | Reference & User Services Quarterly, Fall 2002 | Go to article overview

The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center of the Broward County Library: Building Bridges and beyond. (Community Building)


McCook, Kathleen de la Pena, Reference & User Services Quarterly


It is not often that it can be said about a brand new edifice that it is already replete with history--but such is the case in Florida with the Broward County Library System's new African-American Research and Cultural Center, which opened October 26, 2002, built in the heart of the predominantly African-American area of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (1)

This modern building is located in the northwest section of Fort Lauderdale, surrounded by a beautifully manicured park, in an area undergoing urban revitalization. The architectural design is the creation of PAWA Complex, International, the largest African-American-owned architectural and engineering firm in Florida.

Cecil Hayes is responsible for the interior design of the building. Hayes, a native Floridian, was raised in and still lives in the Fort Lauderdale area and has the distinction of being listed among the top 100 in the prestigious Architectural Digest, the first African-American to be so honored. (2) Gary Moore, recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Design for Transportation National Award, is the artistic designer. Broward County Library Director Samuel F. Morrison notes that more than 50 percent of the construction contracts were overseen by African-American corporations--an economic employment boost for the community. Each of these elements is a span in the "bridge."

Methods of funding for the African-American Research and Cultural Center also speak to community involvement. The Links donated $50,000 in memory of Kathleen Cooper Wright, a Link and Broward County School Board member, who died in 1985. Wright was the first Black person to serve on the Broward County School Board and the first Black woman elected to a Florida School Board.

The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a $600,000 challenge grant in 1997; this was matched with contributions from Dianne and Michael Bienes, the Sun-Sentinel, Blockbuster Entertainment Group, Elliott and Eleanor Goldstein of SIRS, Republic Industries, and the Huizenga Family Foundation. Additional challenge grants came from the Kresge Foundation ($500,000) and the Publix Charities ($250,000). In addition to philanthropic gifts and elegant fund-raising galas, other plans, including a heritage walk composed of dedicated bricks, put the opportunity to donate within reach of "the man in the street." Especially supportive were the Friends of the Von D. Mizell Library. Each donation is recorded with care and appreciation.

The sources of the invaluable contents of many of the collections that will be made available in the Research Center attest to the historical significance of this building.

Historical Background

There is history involved even in the selection of the site for the African-American Research and Cultural Center as reported by Morrison. (3) Morrison has been an integral part of the Broward Library system since 1974 when he served as assistant director. In 1978 a bond issue was placed on the ballot, which included in its provisos the construction of several new libraries. Politically, the library sites were promised for those areas where voting records showed a majority of voters would go to the polls. From this bond issue no libraries were built in the predominantly Black areas. Morrison accepted the reality of this event, but as he states, "I was troubled and left with a nagging feeling of discomfort." The Von D. Mizell Library, the first in the Black area, was a former city of Fort Lauderdale library housed in rented space. Three other small libraries were built in Black communities with federal dollars. The Mizell Library was named for Von Delaney Mizell, a physician and civil rights activist who helped found the Broward County NAACP chapter. (4)

Morrison left Broward County in 1987 to serve as chief librarian of the Chicago Public Library System. Upon his return to Broward County in 1990 he made a personal commitment to "build a library in the African-American area, with county funds. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center of the Broward County Library: Building Bridges and beyond. (Community Building)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.