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Broward County Library’s Response to COVID-19: Using Data to Make a Difference

Broward County, FL
Program Year: 2021

When the COVID-19 crisis closed the buildings of Broward County Library (BCL) to the public in March 2020, BCL responded immediately by going virtual and transitioning into a fully online “branch” providing outstanding customer service when the community needed it the most. By expanding digital resources, offering online programs and enhancing customer communications through a targeted marketing campaign, BCL was able to quickly, successfully adapt to a virtual model that ensured customers received seamless and efficient library services. A surge of new digital card registrations, a rise in usage of the Library’s e-resources, a dramatic increase in views of BCL’s on-demand library programming on its YouTube channel as well as positive media coverage of BCL’s efforts during the COVID-109 crisis were proof that the library was more than up for this challenge. Additionally, during the closure, Broward County Library earned the titles of the Florida Library Association (FLA) 2020 Florida “Library of Year, the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2020 “Library of the Future,” the ALA’s Reference and also received ALA’s Reference User Services Association Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award. Additionally, three key promotional elements used in the project received honors in the 2020 AVA Digital Awards.

Ms. Catherine H McElrath
Publication Specialist, Libraries Division