Magazine article American Libraries

Broward School Libraries Win After-Hours Service

Magazine article American Libraries

Broward School Libraries Win After-Hours Service

Article excerpt

Nine elementary-, middle-, and high-school media centers in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area are staying open after classes to take advantage of extended hours authorized by the Florida legislature.

A February grant of $58,343 to Broward County media centers provides youngsters - and often their families - a place to read magazines, listen to stories, surf the Net, join clubs, listen to speakers, and participate in dozens of other projects that are often only possible at a distant public library. Barbara Correll, coordinator of media services for the Broward School District, said to American Libraries, "Information power! We've finally caught up with it, and we're the fifth-largest fully accredited school district in the nation."

She attributed the success of the county's appeal for extended hours to the lobbying efforts of the Florida Association for Media and Education (FAME) and to school librarians taking a proactive stand by attending town hall meetings and advocating for libraries.

For example, Nancy Jackson, media specialist at one of the chosen sites, Western High School, has been espousing the need for extended hours for school libraries since 1993. She said that this year was the first time approval came with money attached: The state funded $500,000 for competitive grants throughout Florida, offering selected districts up to $60,000. She reported the nine Broward County winners came from a pool of 37 applicants.

Kay Gordy, media specialist at Miramar Elementary School, located in a Fort Lauderdale working-class suburb, said her library was "open from 3 to 7 Monday and Thursday for our students and their families. …

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