Miami-Dade Public Library System

Libraries
2:32 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Using Hip Hop To Bring South Floridians Into The Library

Samira Rojas shows off her poem about pollution at the Hip Hop Shakespeare Workshop.
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

By setting a few soliloquies from Hamlet to a beat, Oscar Fuentes - also know as the Biscayne Poet - showed that the poetry in rap songs is not all that different from Shakespeare.

It was part of the Hip Hop Shakespeare workshop at the Arcola Lakes branch library in Liberty City. 

“Shakespeare has always been like a highbrow of literature and the language,” Fuentes says, “and today you have amazing writers, amazing hip-hop writers that are not given the credit they deserve as intellectuals.”

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Politics
11:18 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Miami-Dade County Commission Approves $54 Million For Public Libraries

The new budget allows Miami-Dade County's 49 libraries to stay open, extend hours of operation and invest in new books and materials.
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

The Miami-Dade County commission voted eight-to-four to approve a $54 million budget for the county's public libraries Thursday night.

Terry Murphy, board member with Friends of the Library, says it was an 81-percent increase from what Mayor Carlos Gimenez first proposed in July.

"This is a real symbolic victory that says when the community speaks out and says what the priorities are, the county commission listens," he said. "This was a tremendous victory for the people of Dade County tonight."

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Libraries
5:10 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Some Libraries In Miami-Dade May Open Every Day

Some Miami-Dade libraries may be open all days of the week in the fall.
Credit Creative Commons

Several of the biggest libraries in Miami-Dade may stay open seven days a week in October.

The interim director of the libraries has released a tentative library schedule based on what county budget commissioners tentatively passed in June. It gives the libraries almost 53 million, more than last year.

The extra money will allow the five largest branches to add Sunday service, meaning they’ll be open every day of the week.

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Technology
6:44 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

How A Library Program Is Helping A Miami Gardens Teen Become A Neuroscientist

Favour Nkwocha, right, works on the computer with Marlon Moore, the YouMedia project coordinator.
Credit William Rolle / YouMedia Miami

Over the past few months, we've been covering the efforts of Miami-Dade library supporters to keep libraries fully funded. Advocates say libraries are more than just books -- they're major learning centers. One popular library program is YouMedia Miami where teenagers learn about technologies like coding, graphic design and music production.

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Money
3:16 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

How Will Libraries Fare In Gimenez's Budget?

Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user Phillip Pessar

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is slated to reveal his proposal for next year’s budget tomorrow and lots of eyes are on how much he will allocate for county libraries.

John Quick, president of Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Libraries, has fought cuts in library hours and personnel as the county is forced to dip into reserves to keep them afloat.

 

For Quick, $64 million is the magic number.

 

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MDPLS Contest
6:21 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Teens Can Find Time To Rhyme During National Poetry Month

Brian Colleary of the Miami-Dade Public Library System and 2013 poetry contest winner James Lachterman at the WLRN Studios.
Credit Kelley Mitchell

It was the Everglades that brought out the poet in Coral Gables High School student James Lachterman.

And in under 20 lines of rhyme, the then 15-year-old was able to capture a prize in the Miami-Dade Public Library System’s contest for teen poets.

And now, with April and National Poetry Month upon us again, the search is on for the next winners. Young adults from the ages of 12-19 are eligible, with a valid library card, of course.

This year’s theme is technology.

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Books
6:27 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Literary Youth: Collection Highlights The Work Of Teenage Writers

Dylan's story, Alaska, in the book published by the Miami-Dade Public Library. Listen to him read from his story, above.
Richard Etienne

Dylan Etienne was in Publix with his mom when a random woman came up and asked if he likes to write. "Yeahhhh," he said, in a tone that indicated he really, really does. You gotta listen to the audio to hear him in his own words.

The woman in the store handed him a flyer for the Miami-Dade Public Library's young adult writers-in-residence program. 

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News
3:18 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Book Sale To Benefit Miami-Dade Libraries Starts Wednesday

Miami-Dade County's main library branch is holding a book sale on Wednesday, Dec. 11.
Credit Miami-Dade County Public Library System

Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library will host a book sale Dec. 11 through Dec. 14 at the Main Library branch at 101 West Flagler St.

Thousands of donated books, CDs and DVDs will be for sale. Guests are invited to "go green" and bring reusable bags to carry their books.

This summer, Miami-Dade libraries faced budget cuts which threatened to close down dozens of branches across the county.

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Politics
5:05 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Who's Saving Miami-Dade Libraries? These Guys

Library staffers and supporters urged Miami-Dade County commissioners to fund the libraries at a September budget hearing.
Credit MARICE COHN BAND / Miami Herald Staff

A special task force charged with figuring out how to fund and run Miami-Dade County’s libraries officially started work Oct. 30.

Even though a grassroots campaign to save county libraries from massive funding cuts prevailed this September, county commissioners exhausted their reserve fund in the process.

That means the county’s library budget faces a projected $21-million short fall next year.

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The Florida Roundup
9:00 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Is Florida Back To Work Yet?

Florida's economy is recovering, and Governor Rick Scott says "conservative pro-growth policies" are the reason.
Credit Flickr

Touting his job-creation record, Governor Rick Scott says it’s time to cut taxes. But with questions about both the state's unemployment rate and education spending being lower than before the Great Recession, Democrats say the Governor’s priorities are off. 

In Miami-Dade, an active social media campaign and vocal supporters at town halls have saved public libraries from budget cuts - for now - after the county commission decided to raid its reserves. So was Mayor Carlos Gimenez wrong to declare that the "age of libraries was probably ending?"  

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Libraries
7:52 am
Wed September 11, 2013

How Miami-Dade Commission Plans To Fund Libraries Without Raising Taxes

Librarians protested against closures and layoffs at a series of budget town hall meetings leading up the commission vote.
Credit Arianna Prothero/WLRN

After an 8 1/2-hour public hearing, Miami-Dade County commissioners found a way to keep its library system essentially intact early Wednesday morning while also not raising taxes.

In July, commissioners voted to hold the line on taxes, but that meant laying off firefighters, abandoning plans for a no-kill animal shelter and cutting hours, services and jobs from the library system. In the weeks that followed, all three became hot issues, but it was the libraries that dominated Tuesday night's public hearing. Librarian Jennifer Lopez said patrons would be devastated.

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Public Services
1:34 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Miami-Dade School District May Ease Impact Of Library Closings

Credit Save the Miami-Dade Public Libraries / Facebook

Hoping to soften the blow of expected library closings due to county budget cuts, the Miami-Dade School Board may open some of the district’s facilities after hours to fill at least part of the coming void.

Some 14 Miami-Dade libraries are slated to close as County Mayor Carlos Gimenez grapples with tight finances.

The issue has been among the most scrutinized aspects of Gimenez’s 2014 budget proposal, which won’t be set until September.

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Public Services
8:47 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Saves Three Ambulances Slated For Elimination

Members of Miam-Dade Firefighters Union Local 1403 gathered at the Miami Lakes fire station on July 23, 2013 to protest proposed cuts.
Credit Marice Cohn Band / Miami Herald Staff

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who on Tuesday will hold the first in a series of town hall meetings about next year’s budget, says three county fire-rescue ambulances that were slated to be eliminated for cost savings have been saved.

The Fire Department still faces a $15 million budget deficit, so some firefighters are still likely to get pink slips, the mayor said. But the number could be about half of the 149 positions originally projected for elimination to plug the hole.

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Public Services
6:00 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Can This Social Media Campaign Save More Miami-Dade Public Libraries?

Demonstrators during last Saturday's library rally near the Concord branch.
Credit Mercy / Facebook/ Save the Miami-Dade Public Libraries
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Public Services
2:02 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Six Of 22 Miami-Dade Libraries Could Be Saved From Chopping Block

Miami-Dade library supporters rally against potential budget cuts that threaten to close down 22 branches on Saturday, July 27, 2013, outside the Concord Branch Library.
Credit Alex M Sanchez / Miami Herald Staff

An updated plan for cuts to the Miami-Dade County budget would keep open six of 22 public libraries initially slated for closure.

The tentative change would save the Culmer, Lakes of the Meadows, Lemon City, Little River, Opa-locka and Shenandoah branch libraries, bringing the total number of library closures to 16.

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