Thanks to reviewers, Sanibel Public Library is a 2020 Travelers’ Choice winner from TripAdvisor!
The Library has won a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence every year since 2014, earning Hall of Fame status. Certificate of Excellence honorees are now celebrated on TripAdvisor as Travelers’ Choice winners — selected for placing among the top 10% of all listings on TripAdvisor.
Recommendations and comments on TripAdvisor come from the public, which makes this distinction extra special.
Other highlights 2020, so far:
With a gift from Hans and Leslie Fleischer, the Library has added learning tablets, audiobooks, and audio-enhanced books. Launchpad, Playaway’s popular learning tablet, features ad-free educational games for preschooler through third graders. The Launchpad experience lets children design a personal avatar and choose an adventure they’re most interested in. From math and monkeys to science and superheroes, every tablet is pre-loaded with different topics. Adults will love that Launchpads are 100% secure, ensuring that children will not be exposed to unintended content. Plus, the amount of playing time on the tablet can be monitored.
The six Playaway audiobooks, including Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy can be checked out with or without a print version of the book to read along as you listen. Six Wonderbooks were added to the Library’s audio-enhanced book collection. These books will read aloud to the young listener and can even be adjusted to ask the listeners comprehension questions. Children are given cues to turn the page at a specified sound. Titles include We Are Grateful by Tracy Sorell and Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle.
Patrons who want to social distance are encouraged to try the Library’s new meeScan app. MeeScan is a self-checkout service with two different ways to self-checkout. One option is use your smartphone or tablet along with the Library’s WiFi. Using meeScan app, library patrons can check-out their items from anywhere in the Library. Available for download on iOS, Android, and Blackberry platforms; meeScan is simple to set up. As always, Library staff is available to help patrons with Library apps, self checkout, or to help find your next favorite book.
Awards, achievements, and accolades:
In May 2019 Sanibel Public Library learned it was one of the national winners of Beanstack’s Second Annual Winter Reading Challenge. Beanstack is a web-based or mobile app, where participants can track their reading. Sanibel Public Library received $500 to support its general book budget.
Sanibel’s Winter Reading Challenge was to read at least 3,000 hours over the month of January 2019. The program, sponsored by billionaire investor and Shark Tank personality Mark Cuban, challenged 250 U.S. libraries to meet a collective goal of reading at least 5 million minutes and 75,000 books in January 2019. A total of 46 participants registered locally for the program, reading for a combined total of 30,331 minutes.
In November 2018, Sanibel Public Library was recognized for the fifth time as one of the best libraries in the country. America’s Star Libraries presents an overall indication of how a library’s performance stacks up to peers, measuring computer usage, circulation, program attendance and library visits.
This year Library Journal also based the star rating on circulation of electronic materials. Sanibel Public Library’s eShelf was originally funded in 2010 with a grant from the Sanibel Library Foundation, to provide bestseller eBooks and audiobooks. The following year the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club provided funds for an eBook business collection. Since 2011 the eShelf usage has grown by 20 percent every year, and more than 43,000 eBooks have been checked out in the past six years, including 9,000 audiobooks. Sanibel Public Library offers several e-reader apps; including Hoopla for downloadable eBooks, movies, music and audiobooks as well as Libby from OverDrive. New in 2018, cardholders can download music with the Freegal app.
The Library also offers Mango – an online language learning tool. Downloadable magazines are available through the RB digital app. Library cardholders can also use the popular on-demand video streaming service Kanopy. Sanibel Public Library was the first public library in the State of Florida to offer “Tech IT Out” service—a kiosk where patrons can borrow MacBook Air and Dell laptops for use in the Library. These eShelf services are offered to Sanibel Public Library cardholders at no extra charge. Major funding for new technology is provided by the Sanibel Public Library Foundation and its generous donors. The Library’s own SanLibMobile app helps you search the Library’s catalog, manage your account, place a book on hold, and more. The app works on all iOS, Android, and other major smart phones and tablets.
For Sanibel Public Library cardholders there is no charge to use Library apps.
The Library, partnering with the Sanibel Public Library Foundation, is also celebrating more than a decade of bringing high caliber, best-selling authors to Sanibel. Past guests of the Author Series include Joyce Carol Oates, Sue Monk Kidd, Jodi Picoult, Clive Cussler, Lee Child, Dennis Lehane, Amor Towles, Lisa Scottoline, David Baldacci,and Margaret Atwood.
Sanibel Public Library loans cooking kits for patrons to check out and take home. The Library’s reference area offers general research help, as well as access to many databases, including Morningstar investment services, Consumer Reports, and Ancestry.com.
The Florida Weekly rated it ‘Best Library’ in their 2012 ‘Best of Southwest Florida’ issue. Sanibel Public Library Foundation President Ken Nirenberg was awarded the 2013 Florida Library “Advocate of the Year” award for his support and advocacy for the Library.
Sanibel Public Library cards are available to all residents of Sanibel and Lee County, Florida, at no charge. Visitor library cards are available for a $10 annual fee.