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Broward County Libraries' Innovation Recognized by Urban Libraries Council
  
- BCLFit Wellness Centers earns one of 10 national honors -
  

BROWARD COUNTY, FL – The Urban Libraries Council (ULC) announced  Broward County Libraries as one of 10 Top Innovators during the 2018 ULC Annual Forum on September 5th-7th in Baltimore, Maryland. A panel of expert judges selected BCLFit Wellness Centers from 220 submissions in 10 categories that demonstrate the value and impact of public library service. Broward County Libraries won in the category of Health, Safety and Sustainability.

BCLFit Wellness Centers are designed to nurture a healthy lifestyle for 200 families living near two library branches located in food deserts. Broward County Library launched the BCL Fit Wellness Centers pilot program to combat cultural, physical and economic barriers that prevent families' access to healthy, nutritional choices and active lifestyles. The grant-funded program included free appointments with fitness instructors and nutritionists. Benchmarks were noted and progress plans developed. The libraries hosted free workout classes and provided free workout equipment such as pedometers, fitness trackers, jump ropes and Frisbees that participants could check out. Individuals reported significant outcomes from their connection to BCLFit including weight loss and meeting/exceeding weekly activity goals. 

"Libraries today must move beyond customer expectations, and the BCLFit Wellness Center pilot program is an example of that," says Broward County Libraries Director Kelvin Watson. "Libraries are committed to the overall health and well being of our customers and our community.  We're demonstrating that by providing access to the tools and resources that can assist in achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle." 

The 2018 Top Innovators and Honorable Mentions were announced during a special Innovations Celebration on September 6th in Baltimore, MD. Award winners were recognized for their innovative programs, services and operating practices. All 2018 ULC Innovations can be viewed at UrbanLibraries.org.

“Today’s public libraries are bold and pioneering community leaders that play many roles, from educational institutions to technology centers and entrepreneurial hubs,” said Urban Libraries Council President and CEO Susan Benton. “I congratulate Broward County Libraries for illustrating a persistent commitment to realizing a groundbreaking initiative that has transformed their community.

About Broward County Libraries Division
Broward County Libraries Divisionnamed 2015 Library of the Year by the Florida Library Association, was founded in 1974 and is the largest library system in Florida by square footage and one of the busiest, with more than 7.5 million walk-in customers visiting its 38 locations annually. Broward County Libraries Division provides convenient access to a full range of innovative and cost-effective services that satisfy the changing needs of the people of Broward County for information, education and recreation. Visit our website, Broward.org/Library, or follow Libraries on Facebook and Twitter.

DATE: September 12, 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: Catherine McElrath
Libraries Division 
EMAILcmcelrath@gmail.com
PHONE:954-357-7402