Viva Florida 500 Celebrations Continue at Broward County Libraries
Commemorate Florida's 500th anniversary with fun and informative events

Viva Florida 500 logo.

DATE: February 20, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Catherine McElrath, Libraries Division
PHONE: 954-357-7402

During 2013, Broward County Libraries will celebrate Viva Florida 500, an initiative launched by the Florida State Department and its partners. Viva Florida 500 commemorates Florida’s 500th anniversary. This statewide, year-long event salutes the state’s rich heritage and diverse cultural history as well as its exploration by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon.

Ponce de Leon’s discovery of Florida ushered in a new historical era that brought people of many nationalities together, all of them helping to shape the future of Florida and the United States. With them came many cultures that grew and thrived in Florida. Viva Florida 500 celebrates those cultures’ impact on the history of Florida. Celebrate Viva Florida 500 with these fun and informative events from Broward County Libraries.

Viva Florida Events for March and April 2013
March 27 – ArcheoTourist Destinations in Southeast Florida,
lecture by Michele Williams, director of the Southeastern Region of Florida Public Archaeology Network at Florida Atlantic University, 2 p.m., Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 (954-357-7444)
April 4 – Stories of Florida – Con Sabor! Presented by Carrie-Sue Ayvar, Flowing seamlessly between Spanish and English, Carrie Sue Ayvar chooses from her large repertoire of personal, historical and traditional Florida tales to connect the people and cultures of Florida, con un poquito de sabor Latino - with a little bit of Latino flavor! from 10 to 11 a.m., Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.Reservations required, please call 954-357-7443 or email bmiller@browardlibrary.orgProgram supported by the Florida Humanities Council with funding from the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs.
April 17 – Florida's Amazing History and Why You Should Care, by author Eliot Kleinberg
6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
A whirlwind tour of 500 years of Florida history. Books by the speaker will be available for sale.

Viva Florida Displays and Exhibit
Florida Heritage: Early Black and Spanish History in celebration of Viva Florida 500, 
Northwest Regional Library (Exhibit supported by the Florida Humanities Council); Florida History Display, Pembroke Pines Library; National Registry of Historic Places, South Regional/Broward College Library; Florida Public Archaeology Exhibit, West Regional Library.

Another great way to celebrate Florida's history is with Broward County Library's free eBook, Top 100 Artifacts: The Special Collections of Broward County Library, which showcases local artifacts from the Special Collections of Broward County Library’s three unique collection areas – the Bienes Museum of the Modern Book, the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center and the Broward County Historical Commission. The book includes some rare and wonderful items such as treasures from the famed shipwreck the Atocha, historical items from Broward County and more.

You can also enjoy the local history of Broward County by taking a self-guided tour using the Broward County Historical Commission's Must-See Historical Sites of Broward County, which is currently available online at the Commission's website. For total immersion in local history, visit the Historical Commission, 301 (S.W. 13) Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312 (954-357-5553.

The award-winning Broward County Libraries Division, founded in 1974, is the ninth largest library system in the nation by population served and one of the busiest, with more than 9 million walk-in customers visiting its 40 locations annually. The library has more than 3.4 million items and 2,000 computers for public use and offers hundreds of events and programs to meet the needs of the Broward County's diverse community. The library continues its strong emphasis on literacy, after-school programs and electronic access. In addition to our comprehensive web site,, which provides information about library activities, links to online catalogs, reference information and databases, customers can visit BCL WoW – Broward County Library Without Walls – for free eBooks, music, audiobooks, apps and more. Customers may also follow Libraries on Facebook and Twitter. Libraries Division also administers the services, programs, collections and exhibits of the Historical Commission.

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