Taking Learning Beyond the Library

Life-long learning is a state of mind. At the Library Foundation, we not only support Library programs, but also help the people of Fort Worth find their “how”. Providing access to educational opportunities is essential to our community’s success. An investment in youth ensures a path is available to future leaders.

To Higher Learning
A critical life stage, the transition from high school to college can be daunting, especially for a first-generation college student. Our college application program, LaunchPad, helps young applicants demonstrate college readiness, insightful thought and polished responses through development of the application essay and other self-expressive materials. Youth Programming Coordinator, Dr. Paula Tyler notes, the “secret is to provide a human structure for encouraging an individual all the way through an application and decision process.”

“Launch Pad was the most crucial resource for applying for and thriving in college. The support I received ranged from learning how to design the most effective college application, to how to maximize my college education, and self-discovery. Launch Pad has given me a(n) invaluable boost in my writing skills that has already made a huge impact on my life.” Cenobio H.

To Households
A 2018 study by the Pew Research Center showed that racial minorities, older adults, and those with lower levels of income are less likely to have broadband internet at home due to cost. The study also showed that in this group, any access to the internet tends to come from smartphones, which are not conducive to more detailed activities, such as completing homework assignments or applying for jobs online. Since the launch of the Hotspot program in July 2018, the Fort Worth Library has checked out Hotspot devices over 1,600 times, 300 of those being to children under the age of 18. The library possesses 275 active devices and currently has 470 customers waiting on the hold list for check-out.

“I am very satisfied with the service, more than satisfied. My kids can do academic work and it is a lot easier for them to do it on computers and tablets than just on my phone where they have data signal. I am on the hold list again and am really looking forward to my next check-out. I would recommend this program to all of my friends and family.” Victoria M.

To the Community
This past summer, Mayor Betsy Price along with The Fort Worth Public Library, Read Fort Worth, and the Library Foundation challenged readers of all ages to explore a universe of stories in the Fort Worth Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge. Each reader logged their minutes to earn prizes. The Challenge will return in 2020 to encourage residents to visit the Fort Worth Public Library, read throughout the summer, and help combat “summer slide” in students—the loss of literacy levels over summer vacation.

“Adults who read serve as positive role models for younger readers, but it’s more than that. Reading can provide adults with learning opportunities, enjoyment, and a reawakening of their imaginations. Reading can inform, inspire and energize. Imagine coming together as a city to focus on the power of reading, and where it can take us as a community.” Mayor Betsy Price

To Schools
Since 1997, our Children’s Author Series has arranged for thousands of local school students to meet well-known authors and illustrators and to hear them talk about their favorite techniques, sources for ideas, use of imagination, and about becoming a published writer or artist. Most speakers have targeted their books for grade levels somewhere between kindergarten and eighth grade. Although campuses sign up through their librarians to enjoy a particular author or illustrator on a first-come, first-served basis, the Library Foundation actively seeks to involve schools with a large “at risk” student population or with many students on the free-and-reduced lunch program, which reflects low family income. Nearly 48,000 students have interacted with authors in small group settings since we began in 1997.

“Students that are normally quiet or reluctant to write were re-fueled and re-energized with an “extra push” to become better writers.” Anonymous