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Photo of City Librarian Rita Hamilton holding up the Phoenix Public Library cardState of the Library

Phoenix Public Library (PPL) a system of libraries comprised of central Phoenix’s flagship, Burton Barr Central Library (BBCL) and 16 branch locations, provides greater Phoenix communities and individuals an essential support system with one of the greatest empowerment gifts of all:  free access to trustworthy information. A reliable entrée to knowledge platforms, cultural experiences, career and college readiness, entrepreneurial expertise and resources that champion lifelong learning for all, throughout every stage of life…and all accompanied with the personalized expertise of a librarian, is what communities throughout greater Phoenix find at Phoenix Public Library. Circulating over 10 million library items a year provides the foundation of Phoenix Public Library’s service delivery and enables the library system to offer more than 1,000 life-changing and entertaining services, programs and workshops for kids, teens, families and adults every month. 

Read through the highlights as presented by Rita Hamilton, Phoenix Public Library City Librarian.


2019

 

Phoenix Public Library is looking forward to a very busy year of continuing to serve our communities. Our focus is to offer resources, programs, and dedicated staff providing our customers and visitors a safe and welcoming library experience in which to explore, learn, satisfy a curiosity, grow or simply a space in which to reflect.

We are committed to providing free access to information, ideas, education and lifelong pursuit of knowledge. During 2019 Phoenix Public Library supported:

 

·       Over 10 million check outs of physical and digital books;

·       Almost 4 million visits to one of our 17 locations a year;

·       Over 60 thousand visits a day to phoenixpubliclibrary.org;

·       300,000 attendees to library programs including: early literacy Storytimes, Tools for School, Kindergarten Bootcamp, STEM programs such as Little Bytes, Builders Clubs and Robotics;  personalized college application guidance; entrepreneurs connecting with local and small business resources; adults learning or practicing a new language, discovering a love for art, or diving in to the rich history of Arizona…these are just a sampling of the enriching and engaging programs we bring to our community members throughout the year.

But our biggest accomplishment was eliminating overdue fines in November of 2019.  We are especially proud of making this significant change in policy and becoming a “fine free” library system, eliminating our practice of charging fines on overdue materials and forgiving all existing overdue fines. This change increased access and removed a significant barrier for over 100,000 cardholders with blocked library accounts due to overdue fines. 

And happily, many customers have returned to the Library.  In addition, we have issued 12,000 new Phoenix Public Library cards since then!   Fall of 2019 also saw Phoenix Public Library customers able to now visit any one of our 17 locations on a Sunday with the restoration of Sunday operating hours at Acacia, Agave, Desert Broom and Desert Sage libraries.

 

I am very proud to lead the dedicated, professional and passionate Phoenix Public Library staff as we strive to do our part in building stronger communities. Plan to visit us regularly, whether you are looking to increase young children’s school readiness skills, connect with science and art programs, explore higher education resources, develop or broaden career/employment options, start a business, or enjoy an enriching program, Phoenix Public Library is a place where you belong and we look forward seeing you throughout 2020!

 

Rita Hamilton

Phoenix City Librarian

 

 

2018

 

I hope that you and yours have had a joyous holiday season and best wishes for a meaningful 2019. Phoenix Public Library is grateful to hold a place in your life…with busy schedules, full days, and so much choice to hold your attention…the support you give your local library is made that much more valuable and we appreciate you. You know you can count on our 17 locations and website to support your checking out over 12 million items and welcoming over 3 million visits a year; and at the same time your library offers more. We are part of building a community; a place where anyone may walk in and find possibilities, inspiration and personalized support to pursue life improving knowledge and opportunities. In the spirit of reflecting on the year we are about to complete I would love to share with you a sampling of how Phoenix Public Library serves our communities paired with what is anticipated for the year to come.

Job Help – Family or friend looking for work? Need to brush up on a few skills? Don’t know where to start? Phoenix Public Library offers a wide spectrum of workforce programs, workshops, recruitments, and drop-in sessions. We offer resources that help over 10,000 looking to learn how to interview better, update a resume, or increase those job skills. And in the past year, Phoenix Public Library launched what has now become a regular significant service: partnering with Arizona@Work and workforce organizations helping re-entry and second chance citizens overcome their obstacles to finding employment. Multiple branches have held workshops, job fairs, and access to “Dress for Success”, St. Joseph the Worker, and Native Health in Harmony mobile units as part of half and full day events.

College Depot at Phoenix Public Library is a free, full-service college access center located on the 2nd Floor of Burton Barr Central Library.  providing individuals and families access to college planning advisors assisting in admissions, financial aid, and scholarships. In 2018 college access advisors supported more than 3,000 with personalized college planning services from career and degree assessments, ACT/SAT test result interpretation and creating college plans through completion of admissions and financial aid applications and finding scholarship opportunities. 2018 also saw College Depot’s “Career Online High School” graduate 31 adults with an accredited high school diploma.

hive @ central, located on the 2nd Floor of Burton Barr Central Library, is a free expertise, networking, and space resource for entrepreneurs, small business owners, artists, anyone wanting to bring new business ideas to fruition and in turn strengthen Phoenix’s local economy. hive @ central’s signature program is offered in both English and Spanish:  Business Roadmap/Mapa para su negocio and in 2018 the 75 attendees completing the series were part of launching 32 businesses. Look for hive @ central programing coming to additional Phoenix Public Library locations in 2019!

The Great Children’s Book Collection, originally launched at Burton Barr Central Library as part of the June re-opening expansion of services, expanded to 14 additional PPL locations in December. The collection, a wide selection of librarian-picked classic children’s books, includes modern and vintage titles. Each branch’s collection is a tailored selection for their customers, and is meant to help parents and children discover a love of reading.

Phoenix Public Library’s Seed Library saw significant growth in 2018, expanding to a now total of 12 PPL locations. Seed Library customers learn a new skill, get in touch with heritage, provide food for the table, or plant container gardens with flowers while checking out an average of 1,000 seeds a month.

Kids’ Café, Snack Pacs, Summer Lunch Programs and Food For Fines – Thanks to these programs, children in our libraries enjoyed almost 20,000 nutritional meals. Our annual Food For Fines (held in April) provided St. Mary’s Food Bank and Dessert Mission Food Bank with almost 24,000 pounds of food.

It Is All About the Books – We will always love and be about books, and we were very pleased that two book related ventures this past year had a great response. During 2018’s Summer Reading Program we held our first ever One Book One Phoenix. Octavia Butler’s “Parable of the Sower”, selected by library staff and cardholders, circulated almost 4,000 times and we saw a significant boost in Ms. Butler’s other titles. In November we held our first Just Read Local Author Fair with almost 500 people coming out to meet and talk with a wide variety of local talent, featuring children’s, teen, adult fiction, and nonfiction works from Arizona authors. 

Early Literacy – And who would we be if we weren’t helping children learn to read? This year’s Summer Reading Program had almost 24,000 Phoenicians of all ages read more than 13 million minutes. More than 20,000 children and adults attended special summer reading programs, such as theater performances of Treasure Island, magic shows, Didgeridoo and Taiko drum concerts, science and reptile programs, and summer camps. And some more fun related to kids developing a love of reading? Therapy dogs love to listen to stories! Our “Sit, Stay, Read!” program offers young and emerging readers a pressure-free set of ears to practice reading skills and in 2018 almost 1,500 reading sessions were held.

 

In 2019 you can look forward to:

eAudiobook lending time is extended on Overdrive! There’s nothing worse than getting to the climax of a book, not being able to finish in the set amount of time, and then needing to wait another couple of weeks to get the title again. Coming in January, eAudiobooks on Overdrive will be available for a 3 week lending period instead of 2. 

Strategic Plan 2019-2022 – Phoenix Public Library began a formal Strategic Plan process in 2012 and we are in full swing with the next installation for 2019-2022. Hearing from you is highly valued by us, we wanted to be sure to offer one more opportunity to complete our survey and let us know how you are and want to be using Phoenix Public Library.

Phoenix Public Library Going the Distance – we are excited to celebrate our locations reaching years of service mile markers in 2019; carrying on the tradition of being open to all and providing service to our communities:  Acacia (50 years), Agave (10 years), Saguaro (55 years), Yucca (50 years). Whether you are seeking a trusted source of information, homework-help for your teenager, guidance on the best children’s book, personalized assistance in completing college or a business application, a lively book club, help with how to download a book or connect to music and movie streaming from our website…we are here to help you explore, achieve and improve.

 

 

2017

 

Dear Phoenix Public Library Customer –

 

Happy 2018 to you and yours! 2017 was a bit of an adventurous year for Phoenix Public Library, to say the least. We are ready for a new year and new accomplishments, and along with my wishes to you for a rewarding 2018 as we close out this first week, I am very pleased to share some of our anticipated accomplishments with you.

One accomplishment in particular that I am very excited to announce is that our temporary central Phoenix location, “Phoenix Public Library @ Park Central” is now officially open. Located at Park Central (3110 N. Central Ave.) you will find a wide range of library services such as: over 50,000 items from Burton Barr's Collection available for checkout (books, movies, music, magazines, etc. for adults, children and teens), public access computers, Early Literacy, family and teen programing, free wifi, and Culture Passes. “Phoenix Public Library @ Park Central” is almost 30,000 square feet, with easy access to the light rail, spacious and free parking, and a nearby coffee shop and restaurants. We are holding a special Open House with refreshments and family friendly drop-in programs on Saturday, January 13, the festivities kicking off at 10:00 a.m. We would love to see you in our new and temporary central Phoenix location!

We are very proud of the CodePHX partnership program Phoenix Public Library launched with Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department. With crucial support from PhoenixIDA, Arizona Community Foundation, Phoenix City Council, CodePhx provides coding, robotics, and 3D modeling classes for youth ages 4 to 17. Throughout late summer and the fall of 2017, CodePHX really took off and has served over 1,000 children at multiple Phoenix Public Library and Phoenix Parks and Recreation locations citywide. Later this year, we will be expanding the program even further to additional locations, check out a CodePHX program near you!

 

And finally, your Phoenix Public Library is available to you 24/7 through phoenixpubliclibrary.org. Participate in our monthly online book club “Just Read”; check out “Kanopy” Phoenix Public Library’s newest on demand video streaming service; or “thumb through” thousands of different online magazines and newspapers.



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