Story Time at WFPL

Mission Statement

The mission of the West Florida Public Libraries is to act as the community’s independent learning center for residents of all ages who live in Escambia County. The library strives to meet the informational, recreational and educational needs of the community by providing free access to reading, audio-visual materials and serving as an information portal offering public computing, database and internet access technology. Our libraries serve all of Escambia County by providing free and open access to information and enrich, empower and inform citizens by providing educational and recreational resources and experiences for citizens. Programming and resources support school readiness, lifelong learning, research and development, and help improve quality of life for local residents.

Batman Day at the Pensacola Library
Summer Reading Club at Mess Hall

FY 2015-2016 Accomplishments

  • West Florida Public Libraries introduced its mascot, Whooo the Owl. Whooo has since been on many adventures, enjoyed community and library events and discovered the many services that West Florida Public Libraries offer.
  • The libraries hosted a total of 751 events, including story times, lectures, concerts, themed days and other events, attracting 33,720 residents of Escambia County. Some notable events were a beekeeper workshop at the Molino Branch Library with more than 100 people in attendance, Star Wars Day and Batman Day at the Pensacola Library, both of which reported over 500 people in attendance, and Museum on Main Street at the Molino Branch Library, a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service that attracted 679 attendees.
  • Summer Reading Club participation increased by more than 7 percent over last year, with 2,326 Escambia County youth ages 17 and under participating. Of those, 120 participants reported reading more than 50 hours over the course of the summer. More than 6,300 Escambia County parents and children attended Summer Reading Club programs ranging from Pensacola Mess Hall to Animal Tales to a performance of "The Wizard of Oz" for children.
  • West Florida Public Libraries partnered with Escambia County Fire Rescue to award six Summer Reading Club participants fire truck rides to school, followed by fire prevention and safety presentations for their classes. This unique partnership has expanded awareness of both summer reading and fire safety in Escambia County.
  • Library staff taught 124 computer classes to the public over the year, including classes for the newly-added Hewlitt-Packard 3-D Sprout computers. They recorded attendance of 448 Escambia County residents who learned both basic computer skills and new computer programs. Additionally, library computers and Wi-Fi connections were used in 156,232 sessions.
  • West Florida Public Libraries added 18,779 new items to branch collections, coming to a grand total of 291,172 books, DVDs, CDs, graphic novels, e-books and other materials available for checkout to Escambia County residents.
  • More than 80 adult and teen volunteers donated 6,161 hours organizing West Florida Public Libraries and making them more accessible for all Escambia County residents.
  • Westside Branch Library’s Loopy Loomers group knitted 40 Twiddlemuffs in five months for the Council on Aging of West Florida, Emerald Gardens Assisted Living Facility and the Center for Pediatric Rehabilitation.
  • The seven branches of West Florida Public Libraries reported a total of 636,671 visits, with Escambia County residents checking out items 799,987 times over the year. This includes 22,262 talking books that were checked out by Escambia County residents whose low vision, blindness or physical disability makes it difficult to read regular books.
  • 11,192 Escambia County residents signed up for new library cards, with many joining for the special edition Whooo library card that premiered during September 2016 for National Library Card Sign Up Month.
  • Library staff answered 58,544 questions ranging from, “Where is the bathroom?” to “What do I do if I am experiencing sudden blindness?” to “Can you look up Donald Trump?” and “What is Twitter?” They also answered over 22,000 phone calls.
  • Meeting rooms at the libraries were utilized for non-library, community events 2,259 times, with an attendance of more than 21,000 people.
  • West Florida Public Libraries’ phone-in story service, Touch Tone Tales, received 39,016 call-ins.
  • Friends of West Florida Public Library made multiple donations throughout the year, including $500 gift cards for each library to use for programming supplies and a $15,000 donation for Youth and Summer Reading Club expenses raised from their book sale events.
  • Friends of the Southwest Branch Library made a $3,400 donation for Southwest Branch Library’s “Reading is Fun” Program.


Events hosted across all library locations


Youth participated in the Summer Reading Club


Sessions on library computers and Wi-Fi connections