County library system to host Black History Month events

Palm Beach County’s library system will host a series of events in February to celebrate Black History Month.

The events will include musical performances and discussions of books, film and history.

A kickoff event, scheduled to be held at 1 p.m. on February 4 at the main library at 3650 Summit Blvd. in West Palm Beach, will include performances by the Bak Middle School of the Arts Step Team. Jazz saxophonist Shenole Latimer will lead an exploration of jazz, which will be followed by a discussion of the music of the civil rights movement led by Naima Johnston Bush.

Other events will be held at various branch locations throughout the county. More information on those events and on how to register for them can be found here.





Palm Beach County libraries chief: 4.6mm visitors last year

042910 met library 3.jpgDon’t tell Palm Beach County library people no one uses the library any more.

The county’s library system saw more than 4.6 million visitors on the 2015-2016 budget year, county commissioners heard Tuesday in an update at a workshop.


“I’m happy to report our library system is thriving. Our libraries are being used in record numbers,” Director Doug Crane told commissioners.

But all that love means added pressure on the library system, formed in 1969 with one branch in Tequesta and a bookmobile, Crane said. He said the system needs to grow. It already has a spot in mind around the Canyon Town Center west of Boynton Beach. And, Crane said, it’s looking to expand in central and northern Palm Beach County.

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Pot, the president’s plane and development projects on PBC agenda

Several hot-topic items are on Palm Beach County’s to-do list this week, including discussions about how to deal with Air Force One flights into Palm Beach International Airport, a new zoning framework for western portions of the county and whether to move forward with a one-year moratorium on zoning applications for medical marijuana dispensaries and treatment centers.

On Tuesday, commissioners are expected to get a presentation from Airports Director Bruce Pelly on how to deal with flight restrictions stemming from future arrivals of Air Force One, which will be bringing President Donald Trump to his part-time home at Mar-a-Lago.

The airport discussion is scheduled to be held at 2 p.m. at the Weisman Governmental Center at 301 N. Olive Ave. in West Palm Beach. It is the third item on Tuesday’s agenda, following a 9:30 a.m. discussion of youth services in the county and an 11 a.m. overview of the county’s library system.

During a zoning meeting that begins Thursday at the Weisman Governmental Center at 9:30 a.m., commissioners will consider whether to move forward with a new zoning framework that would accommodate large development projects proposed for western portions of the county.

Commissioners will also consider a one-year moratorium on zoning applications for medical marijuana dispensaries and treatment centers in unincorporated parts of the county.

If given preliminary approved on Thursday, both the new zoning framework and the moratorium would be up for final approval on February 23.

President Obama arrives on Air Force One at Treasure Coast International Airport and Business Park in Ft. Pierce on June 3, 2016.  He will be spending the weekend playing golf at Palm City's Floridian National Golf Club, which straddles the line between St. Lucie and Martin counties.  (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
(Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)



Bonlarron to offer his two cents on one-cent sales tax hike

Politicians conduct listening tours. Over the next month, Assistant Palm Beach County Administrator Todd Bonlarron is heading up a talking tour.

Bonlarron, tapped by County Administrator Verdenia Baker to lead the county’s effort to educate voters on the proposed sales tax increase, is coming to a library near you.

He won’t just be talking sales tax, though. A flier from the county’s library system notes that Bonlarron will discuss ballot initiatives dealing with the homestead tax exemption, solar power and medical marijuana.

State law forbids Bonlarron or any other county official from making overt political arguments, but there is no law against telling voters how the county plans to spend its portion of the roughly $2.7 billion the sales tax increase is expected to generate over the next 10 years.

Bonlarron is scheduled to hit two library branches on Thursday – the Jupiter Branch at 2 p.m. and The Acreage branch at 6:30 p.m. He’ll be at the Lantana Road branch at 3 p.m. on Friday, and he’ll resume the tour on Wednesday with a 1 p.m. stop at the West Boynton Branch.

Voters are encouraged to pre-register and can visit the system’s web site to find out when Bonlarron is scheduled to visit a branch in their area.



Palm Beach County launches new bookmobile!

(Courtesy PBC Library System)
(Courtesy PBC Library System)

UPDATE: The bookmobile is here! The bookmobile is here! Here’s a picture to prove it.

The Palm Beach County Library System launched its new bookmobile Thursday with an event at its main library, at 3650 Summit Boulevard, in West Palm Beach. The event included refreshments and tours of the bookmobile.

Friends of the Palm Beach County Library System, using an anonymous $245,000 donation made in November 2014, ordered a custom-built “bookmobile” that will be “wrapped” in a graphic design similar to the one done a few years ago to the current, 10-year-old bookmobile.

That bus nearly is on its last legs, library system director Douglas Crane told county commissioners in a memo for their Jan. 26 meeting. The library said it might keep the old bus as a second bookmobile, or a backup, or just for special events.

The bookmobile schedules 40 stops a month, primarily serving people who live more than three miles from a branch library. It has about 5,000 cardholders and circulated nearly 50,000 items last year, the library said.