Educational Enhancements


Educational Enhancements

The City of Dallas supports lifelong learning opportunities through various partnerships to benefit the community.
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The Dallas Public Library is committed to inform, entertain, enrich, and foster self-learning by providing access to its collections, services, and facilities to all. Service efforts focus on customer expectations and needs. The Library will make available a broad spectrum of ideas reflecting diverse points of view, and collections that reflect the needs and diversity of the communities it serves.

e-Books, e-Audiobooks, & e-Content
E-books and e-audiobooks are available to the public 24/7 for checkout from home. No special account is needed, just a Dallas Public Library card. The service is compatible with Mac, PC, iPod, iPhone, Kindle, Sony e-readers, Nook, Windows Mobile, Android and other devices. Dallas Public Library cardholders can also access over 60 e-resources with their library card. In 2013, the Library added Mango Language Learning and English as a Second Language.

2013 Mayor’s Summer Reading Program
The program provides incentives to encourage children to read during the summer and maintain their reading skills for the coming school year; creating life-long readers of all ages. In 2013, adults were eligible to participate for the first time to make reading a family activity. Online sign up and a partnership with DISD also spurred registration to more than 37,000 people of all ages, an 86% increase from 2012.

Teen Centers
Book collections, laptops and special programs continue to be available to teens at 26 branch libraries. The centers give teen’s access to technology, homework and career assistance, and opportunities to build positive social relationships. The Centers also provide educational and cultural programs throughout the year, including an author visit by Walter Dean Myers, a visit from former Dallas Cowboys player Patrick Crayton, and a citywide essay contest which awarded the winners free tickets to see and meet singer Alicia Keys.

Polk-Wisdom Branch
The Polk Wisdom Branch Library reopened on April 13, 2013 to 900 excited customers. The facility’s new features include an additional 800 square feet of space, classrooms, two mobile study spaces and a mobile story time area, 16 public computers, two Early Learning System touch screen computers providing 35 educational and entertaining games for 2-to-12 year-olds, self-service checkout and WiFi connection. The library’s LEED Gold certification includes energy efficient lighting, a ground source heat pump system for heating and cooling, water efficient landscaping, excellent in-door air quality and the use of local building materials.

Job Seekers Center
Staff continued to provide assistance through the Job Seekers Resource Center on the fifth floor of the Central Library. More than 7,600 customers, an increase of 12% over the prior year, took advantage of extended-length computer sessions, résumé writing assistance, job search related materials, online tutorials and help with the City of Dallas job application software.

Grant Information Center
In FY 2012-2013 more than 414 people attended programs offered by the Grant Information Center including Foundation Center’s Proposal Writing Seminar, Got Grants?; Making it Count: Using Census Data in Grant Writing; and Where’s the Money? More than $1.6 million was raised by local nonprofits using the grant resources and attending programs.

Bookmobile Services
The Bookmobiles continued to provide library services in areas far from the nearest branch and where residents have limited transportation, such as senior living homes. The full schedule is available here

Free Tax Assistance
The library partnered with the American Association of Retired Persons and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program volunteers to offer income tax assistance at 16 library locations. In 2012, 2,747 people received help filing their income tax returns. Tax forms were also a heavily used resource since libraries are one of the few places people can find paper forms.

Adult Literacy Programs
The library continues to provide Family Literacy programs at five branch locations that provide English as a Second Language instruction to adults and literacy-based programs for their children, as well as GED preparation programs at four branch locations. These programs served more than 500 adult learners in 2012-2013. The library has trained more than 50 community volunteers to facilitate these classes each semester.

Atmos Energy/TAMUC Literacy Center
In 2013, the Dallas Public Library launched the Atmos Energy/TAMUC Literacy Center at Dallas West Branch Library in partnership with Atmos Energy and Texas A&M University – Commerce.  Students and volunteers gain experience in classroom instruction by teaching adult ESL classes, and Spanish GED preparation classes. Morning, afternoon, evening and Saturday classes are offered during spring, summer and fall terms at the Atmos Energy/TAMUC Literacy Center.

Annual Programs

  • Express Yourself Youth Poetry Competition- Students in grades 2 through 12 who live in Dallas and/or attend a Dallas school entered their original poems. Finalists were honored at an awards ceremony during National Poetry Month and their poems published in an anthology.
  • Hispanic Heritage Drawing Contest- Nearly 300 children ages 7-18 submitted drawings and paintings in the contest sponsored by the Consulate General of Mexico.
  • Mother Goose Story Time- Nearly 20,000 people again enjoyed this event at the State Fair of Texas. This program uses Texas-themed nursery rhymes, songs and finger plays to promote reading and library services to the whole family.
  • International Book Fair- This year’s featured speaker was author and award winning journalist, Nancy Smith who presented her new book: Dallas International with J.R. Ewing: History of Real Dallasites in the spotlight of Dallas, South Fork and the 1980’s Gold Rush. Special attractions included the First Annual Miriam Rodriguez Short Story Contest, Spanish language film and Zumba.
  • Tulisoma: South Dallas Book Fair- The community-based literary festival opened with the annual Heart & Soul bus Tour. Special events included Taste of Gospel showcasing some of South Dallas’ finest choirs, Pork Chops & Politics with award winning journalist Bob Ray Sanders and Conversation & Roses with panelists Diane Ragsdale, Rev Wanda Bolton-Davis, Vicki Meek and Judge Cheryl Williams.