Libraries lead their communities and transform lives

During National Library Week, April 8-14, Alachua County Library District joins libraries nationwide to celebrate the National Library Week: Libraries Lead Misty Copelandmany ways libraries lead their communities with the transformative services, programs and expertise they offer. This annual celebration aims to highlight the life-changing work of libraries, librarians and library workers. Libraries are more than places to borrow books or study, they’re also creative and engaging community centers where people can collaborate using new technologies, develop their skills and explore their passions.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the first National Library Week celebration, sponsored in 1958. Celebrations include Tuesday, April 10: National Library Workers Day and Wednesday, April 11: National Bookmobile Day. Misty Copeland, author of several bestselling books including Ballerina Body, serves as 2018 National Library Week Honorary Chair. Copeland is the first African American principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre. Her leadership inspires young people to pursue their dreams regardless of the challenges they encounter.

Check out some of the transformative programs available during this week and beyond:
Sensory Storytime: This special Storytime was created in cooperation with University of Florida’s Center for Autism Related Disorders (CARD) to introduce children to the library and rhythms of Storytime in a gentle, fun and enriching manner. Sensory Storytimes are Tuesdays in April at 10 a.m. at Tower Road Branch, 3020 SW 75 Street, Monday, April 9, 11 a.m. at High Springs Branch, 23779 W US Highway 27, High Springs, and Saturday, April 21, 11 a.m. at Headquarters Library, 401 E University Avenue.

Read with a Dog:  Children may read a book with certified therapy dog to help them build their confidence and improve their reading skills. Certified therapy dogs visit six different branch libraries throughout the month.

LEGOspace at Tower Road BranchMAKERspace: Four MAKERspace programs are available at different libraries – LEGOspace, TWEENspace, MAKERSPACE with Gainesville Cosplay Community, poetry and coding programs offer opportunities to learn new skills, build projects, learn coding and share knowledge.

Re-Entry Conference and Job and Resource Fair bridge to successRe-Entry Conference: This conference April 9-12, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., at Library Partnership, 1130 NE 16 Avenue, is designed to help adults with criminal backgrounds obtain, maintain or improve their employment or start a small business. Trained experts will assist participants in creating email accounts and resumes, offer tips on job searching, interviewing and starting a small business as well as provide educational opportunities. The conference is designed to prepare participants for the Re-Entry Job and Resource Fair 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 24, at Headquarters Library.

Get Money Smart at your library with financial learning programs all month long.Money Smart Week

Clothing Closet: Families and individuals can find clothing to help fulfill their needs including adult, children's and job-interview clothing. The closet is open on 2 to 4 p.m. on Mondays and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays at Library Partnership.

UF Mobile Outreach Clinic: Free primary healthcare consultations and treatment is provided in a mobile clinic sponsored by the University of Florida College of Medicine, for all ages, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays at Library Partnership Branch and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays at Headquarters Library.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Classes: Basic and intermediate level ESOL classes are available for adults who want to learn English. Classes focus on all domains of language learning: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Materials are provided. For more information visit or contact Theresa Sterling, Literacy Coordinator, at or (352) 334-3929.

Online resource is available free to library cardholders. offers access to online learning with more than 3,000 courses and 130,000 videos. Courses cover a variety of topics including business, design, webpage development and multimedia skills and software such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite and open source applications. These courses can help individuals pursue personal and professional goals. Courses are delivered by expert instructors, feature searchable transcripts and provide certificates of completion. On Wednesday, April 25, 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. at Headquarters Library, watch a video and learn more about budgeting, managing debt and more.

Pictured on blog: Library Director Shaney T. Livingston and ACLD Governing Board Chair Ken Cornell with Library Appreciation Week April 8-14, 2018 Proclamation