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Broward County Library (BCL) Named a Memory Lab Network Project Partner
  
- BCL is one of only seven in the country awarded funding and support for community history project -
  
DATE: February 6, 2018
MEDIA CONTACT
: Catherine McElrath
Broward County Libraries Division
EMAIL: cmcelrath@Broward.org
PHONE: 954-357-7402

BROWARD COUNTY, FL - Broward County Library (BCL) will soon play an integral part in digitizing and preserving our community's history as one of seven public libraries named by DC Public Library (DCPL), in partnership with the Public Library Association (PLA), as a Memory Lab Network partner library.

The Memory Lab Network is a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded by the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences to the DC Public Library and the Public Library Association. Under the grant, Broward County Library will receive training, mentoring and funding to create digitization stations and educational programs for personal digital archiving. The grant also creates an open community of libraries that support, advise and expand on their digital preservation programs.

In today's digital world, communities risk massive loss of vernacular history and culture unless the public is equipped to preserve their digital memories. Public libraries such as Broward County Library are trusted providers of digital literacy and local history programs. As such, they are able to provide open access to the digital skills and tools necessary for communities to document and preserve their own histories. The Memory Lab Network grant will allow members of the community the opportunity to preserve their memories at the library so that the memories become a permanent part of local history. 

In April, ambassadors from Broward County Library and other Memory Lab Network partner libraries will attend a five-day intensive digital preservation "boot camp" training in Washington, DC,  to learn from experts at the Library of Congress and DCPL. The libraries will then spend one year creating personal archiving stations and programs for their communities following the DCPL model. More details regarding Broward County Library's Memory Lab Network facilities will be available later this year.

"We are honored to be a part of this prestigious initiative, which will play such a vital role in preserving the rich, multicultural history of Broward County and its citizens," says Kelvin Watson, Broward County Library Director. "As a community gathering place and catalyst for learning and engagement, Broward County Library is uniquely qualified to provide the space, equipment and staff needed for such an important community project."  

An open call for Memory Lab Network partners received 35 applications. Partner libraries were selected based on interest, commitment, community need and system location, size and population served. The seven partner libraries and DCPL will form the foundation of the Memory Lab Network, an open community of libraries with digital preservation programs that can support, advise and build on each other's innovations and challenges.

About Broward County Libraries Division 
Broward County Libraries Division, named 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.