Alachua County Library District (ACLD) practices a "patron driven" approach to improving and expanding services to fulfill the needs of Alachua County's diverse population. More than
57 percent of the 253,451 residents has an active library card. ACLD operates a Headquarters Library in downtown Gainesville, 11 branches (two of which operate family resource centers serving as one-stop locations to provide additional social services), an eBranch (website and online services), two bookmobiles and library services to the inmates of the Alachua County Jail. ACLD was created in 1986 by voter referendum, as an independent special taxing district, as the sole provider of public library services in Alachua County.
ACLD's mission is "a key to building a better community by creating opportunities to participate, connect and discover."
By sharing best practices, finding innovative solutions and building creative collaborations with more than 300 agencies and organizations ACLD has increased its programs and services as well as program attendance. In the last three years, the number of programs presented by the Library District has increased from 4,139 to 6,617 and the attendance has jumped from 91,665 to 143,986.
Recent success stories include ACLD's Cone Park Branch. This new 10,000 sq. ft. facility added additional space for programs, study, quiet reading, teens and children; and collaboration with Partnership for Strong Families (PSF) to provide needed social services. After one full year of operation, circulation has more than doubled and there's been a 27 percent increase in visits.
ACLD doubled the size of Library Partnership: A Neighborhood Resource Center. This successful model of expanded service under one roof is a collaboration with ACLD, Florida Department of Children and Families, Partnership for Strong Families, the Casey Family Program and approximately 30 social service agencies working through PSF.
ACLD is proud of its increase in programs and services and its collaborations that strengthen civic engagement, increase access to opportunities, and promote library awareness.