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Broward County welcomes new director of libraries division

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Skye Patrick

Broward County welcomes new director of libraries division

Skye Patrick Broward County Public Libraries new director.

By Marie Carrie

Email: mcarrie305@gmail.com

The Broward County Public Libraries (BCPL) Division has a new Director! Skye Patrick assumed the position on April 29, 2013. She is the first woman to head the BCPL system.

Patrick hails from New York City. She is a former Assistant Director of the Queens Public Library. Prior to that, she served as a branch manager, youth services librarian and web services manager for San Francisco Public Library. In her words, “I’ve worked many areas of the floor, including children’s, teens, and adult reference. I promoted into management and progressively made my way to a Director’s position, bringing me to Broward County.”

As a child who moved frequently, she was always drawn to the sanctuary and consistency of the library. Her career in library science actually began as a page in her high school library. A page is responsible for running errands and various tasks that help the library run smoothly.

Following high school, Pa-trick completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Northern Michigan University and the University of Pittsburgh respectively.

She is a member of several professional organizations such as ALA, PLA, SEFLIN and volunteers her time with groups such as Libraries Without Borders.

One of the things that attracted Patrick to South Florida, (other than the obvious beautiful weather) was the immense cultural diversity present in our metropolis.

Coming from somewhere as diverse as the Big Apple, it was important to her to be rooted in an environment that celebrated the richness of our American culture.

     MC:              Did the fact that we have an African-American Research Library and Culture Center (AARLCC) interest you and pull you to-wards accepting the position with BCPL?

     SP:  When you start looking for jobs and you start thinking about where you want to be in the world beyond the job, you look at the environment. You look and see what kind of resources are available to you or whatever community you live in or exist in. I was really excited that AARLC was here. It’s one of four in the nation or at least to this degree.

     MC: I don’t think many people are aware that there is a huge, thriving multicultural active community here in Fort Lauderdale.

     SP: And I think some of that is marketing, branding, being more out front and center and I am speaking from a northerner’s perspective. So it’s difficult to relay that message of a bustling community. So that was a big part of my decision-making process. To try and understand what was going on down here in South Florida and how could I participate in an informed way.

     MC:   What can be done to get that marketing out there? For example, AARLC is a jewel sitting right on Sistrunk.

     SP:   AARLCC stands as a cornerstone of its community and Broward County. By more promotion and branding, we could be MORE recognizable and prestigious. We will do even more work around public awareness and promoting the library’s services, so that it expands outward. One way is, we should consider doing more social events like the South Florida Book Festival that was held July 26-27th. One of the things we want to implement at AARLCC specifically is the First Friday’s model. It’s something that happened in New York City a lot, where research locations and/or museums would have a social event that’s open to the public that’s more geared towards adults. Like that 7-10 p.m. time frame where they have DJ’s, adult beverages and open the collection to the public. There are light snacks and in certain parts of the museum they have different kinds of performances and showcase the collections. We have several kinds of ar-chives here at Broward County Library, so if we had a monthly event where we could showcase some of the things we have, I think we could further our reach. With a program like First Fridays, I’m hoping to focus in on that 30/40’s something where you may only utilize the library due to your kids. 

     MC:  What do you hope to accomplish in your new position as Director of BCPL ?

     SP:     My biggest goal is to get the libraries to their next step of innovation. Meet the needs of the people and the County. Anything you touch, you want to do it well enough that you leave it in a better and brighter place.

     MC:   What do you want our readers to know about you?

SP:     I am here to learn this community. To learn what it needs and then hopefully supplement those needs through the library.

The Westside Gazette would like to take this time to warmly welcome Ms. Patrick to her new position and to our community. We look forward to all of the wonderful things she has planned for the Broward County Public Library System.

 

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    About The Author

    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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