Goldy B. Locks and the Three Singing Bears

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.

Harley Quinn Day
Solar Eclipse Event

FY 2016-2017 Accomplishments

  • West Florida Public Libraries added 16,620 new physical items to branch collections, coming to a grand total of 371,077 books, DVDs, CDs, graphic novels, e-books and other materials available for checkout.
  • Adult and teen volunteers donated 5,475 hours organizing West Florida Public Libraries and making them more accessible for all Escambia County residents. 
  • The seven branches of West Florida Public Libraries reported a total of 682,081 visits, an increase from the previous year's total of 636,671 visits. Escambia County residents checked out items 798,959 times over the year. Expansion of our e-books collection accounted of 68,722 checkouts. This includes 25,732 talking books, up from the previous year's total of 22,262. Talking books are beneficial for library users whose low vision, blindness, or physical disability makes it difficult to read regular books. 
  • 10,096 Escambia County residents signed up for new library cards, with many joining for the special edition Teen Titan Library Card that premiered during September 2017 for National Library Card Sign-up Month. 
  • 41,623 Special Edition Library Cards were issued to Escambia County students. West Florida Public Libraries and the Escambia County School District teamed up to ensure every student in Escambia County received a special edition library card. The cards were issued to all K-12 Escambia County School District students, and homeschooled children registered with the district have a limit of three books or audiobooks at a time with unlimited access to online resources like e-books and research databases.
  • West Florida Public Libraries launched a new website in July. The revamped site was created to provide a user-friendly experience that makes it easier than ever for citizens, businesses and visitors to access information about the library system from their computer, tablet or mobile phone. From June 5 to Sept. 30, there have been 390,077 page views and 217,904 unique page views.
  • Library staff answered 83,268 questions (all modes of interaction; email, phone, etc.) ranging from “Where is the bathroom?” to “What do I do if I am experiencing sudden blindness?” and “What is Twitter?” 27,841 of those questions were asked through phone calls.
  • Meeting rooms at the libraries were utilized for non-library, community events 1,343 times with an attendance of more than 48,685 people. 
  • West Florida Public Libraries logo was redesigned. The new logo is an illustration of a great horned owl with book pages as the “horns” or tufts of feathers.
  • Friends of West Florida Public Library made a donation of $15,000. 
  • West Florida Public Libraries had a total of 858 events throughout all seven branches, including story times, lectures, concerts, themed days and other events, with a total of 23,259 in attendance. The following are some of WFPL’s extra-ordinary events that took place:

    • Library staff taught 187 computer classes to the public over the year. They recorded attendance of 724, significantly higher than the previous year's total of 448. Through the classes, attendees learned both basic computer skills and new computer programs. Additionally, library computers and Wi-Fi connections were used in 157,416 sessions.
    • Bouncy Baby Story Time began at the Pensacola Library in October. Since then, there have been 38 bouncy baby story time sessions with 641 attendees.
    • In the month of December, the Pensacola Library celebrated Star Wars Day with a total of 245 people attending.
    • During the month of February, Pensacola Opera performed Goldy B. Locks and the Three Singing Bears at four libraries with 307 attendees.
    • West Florida Public Libraries attended an outreach event at Pensacon: Pensacola Comic Con 2017 and Earth Day at Bayview Park, speaking with 486 attendees.
    • West Florida Public Libraries partnered with Escambia County Fire Rescue to award six Summer Reading Club participants firetruck 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. Summer reading club 2017 ran from May 30 to July 31 for children and newborns up age 17. The total number of signups for Summer Reading Club was 3,390 over last year’s 2,320. More than 100 prizes, including a camera, kindle, books, bicycles, tool sets, and firetruck rides were given out. To be eligible for the firetruck rides, participants had to report reading at least 50 hours and be between 6 and 11 years hold; 72 participants met that criteria. West Florida Public Libraries drew for six firetruck rides.
    • The 2017 Summer Reading Program offered an Adult Reading Club for the first time. The challenge drew 336 participants, who had a chance to win prizes including bicycles and Kindle® Paperwhites.
    • STEAM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics; began providing programming in March 2017. STEAM offered 99 programs and had an attendance of 3,696.
    • STEAM at Pensacola Library hosted two solar eclipse events in August. On Aug. 19, special guest speaker Dr. Wayne Wooten from Pensacola State College presented the how and whys of the solar eclipse, and children were able to make crafts. The library had 1,231 people come through the doors that day. On Aug. 21 the library’s solar eclipse telescope was set up to allow patrons to have a safe viewing of the total solar eclipse, drawing 747 participants to the event. Between the two events, West Florida Public Libraries and the Friends of WFPL gave away 950 pairs of free solar viewing glasses provided by the National Science Foundation.
    • Harley Quinn took over Batman Day, and the Pensacola Library had a door count of 459 attendees. The event consisted of a children’s craft area and several comic book-related activities. 



Books, DVDs, CDs, graphic novels, e-books and other materials available for checkout


Questions answered by staff


Special Edition Library Cards were issued to Escambia County