Happy New Year!
2014 is upon us, and the San Antonio Public Library is looking forward to a year of exciting opportunities at our 26 locations across San Antonio that will further enhance your library experience. As we reflect on 2013, it is easy to see that the Library is more than a place to read, or research and study, it is a place where library users can also learn about any subject they are interested in, search for jobs, listen to and participate in engaging discussions about a host of subjects.
2013 was a successful year for the Library. It was a year that included significant enhancements and expansion of resources, including:
• increased wi-fi capabilities at our branch libraries and at our newest technology center at the Central Library, Connect at Central.
• the creation of a partnership with the Office of the City Clerk to offer both Vital and Immunization Records at four branch locations.
• the opening of the San Antonio Public Library Portal at the Briscoe Western Art Museum; a space within the museum that links visitors with rich resources, collections, and digital programming.
• the unveiling of the Marie Swartz Art Resource Center, located on the second floor of the Central Library. A partnership with the Southwest School of Art, the Center allows the Central Library to serve as the Library of Record for the School’s new Bachelor of Fine Art degree program.
• the execution of extreme makeovers of Brook Hollow, Forest Hills, Guerra, Johnston, and Thousand Oaks branch libraries which resulted in more attractive and user-friendly spaces for our patrons.
In addition, we are very excited to join Mayor Julián Castro and our partners at the City’s Economic Development Department as we open, Café Commerce in 2014. A small business resource on the first floor of the Central Library, Café Commerce will be a one-stop clearinghouse for small business and will serve as an entrepreneurial resource; developed in the model of Café College.
The Library will also continue its focus to improve and encourage early childhood literacy and teen age-appropriate activities and programs. Partnering with the San Antonio Public Library Foundation and Valero, we will introduce a new mobile resource that will visit the Eastside Promise Neighborhood. This vehicle will offer some of the latest mobile technology loaded with programs and activities for children and teens.
Finally, in perhaps what is the biggest opportunity to reach more citizens in San Antonio, the Library will begin construction on two new branch locations – one in District 2 on the southeast side of San Antonio and one in District 9 in the ever-growing community on the far north side. Physical improvements to the Central Library are also planned in 2014 which will greatly improve the interior appearance of this 19 year-old iconic building.
The leadership and staff of the San Antonio Public Library will continue to strive to improve and grow the Library in ways that help us stay relevant to your needs. So in 2014, we invite you to come by and visit our 26 library locations, or visit us anytime at mysapl.org.
On behalf of the entire Library team, I wish you peace, prosperity, and good health in the New Year!
Ramiro S. Salazar