Library Director Informs RPB Council Of Available Services

Councilman Richard Valuntas, Councilwoman Selena Samios, Palm Beach County Library System Director Doug Crane, Mayor Fred Pinto, Vice Mayor Jan Rodusky and Councilman Jeff Hmara.

Palm Beach County Library System Director Doug Crane gave a special presentation on the past and future of the library system at the Royal Palm Beach Village Council meeting on Thursday, Aug. 15.

“I just want to offer a few highlights about the library service in Royal Palm Beach,” Crane said. “We lend out material to the public. Yes, books, but beyond books, we provide DVDs, CDs and a growing collection of physical material. Plus, we have a growing collection of electronic material all available online.”

Electronic materials available on a mobile device or home computer include e-books, audio books, videos, music and movies. The library system also recently began circulating mobile hotspots that provide internet access to those who need it. These services are all free with a valid Palm Beach County library card.

“Also, we have a few unusual items we’ve begun circulating over the last few years, including citizenship kits for those interested in becoming citizens of the United States,” Crane said. “Birding backpacks is a neat item we introduced this year, which contains all the information and materials you’d want to go out and explore the great birding stretches in our community, including binoculars, birding guides, notebooks and other fun items.”

The library also offers free research assistance on nearly any topic, including federal, state and local government.

“Not too long ago, we did research for the equestrian community,” Crane said. “There’s always a problem with horses and how we deal with horse waste, so it shows we don’t mind dealing with stinky problems along the way.”

Other services include a wide variety of programs for all ages from babies to seniors, as well as training courses. Computer training is available for those wanting to learn the basics to others looking to create a podcast, and the library system is expanding its resources to include equipment for virtual reality, as well as photo and video editing projects.

Council members were impressed by the wide array of resources available.

“I didn’t know you could go any place and learn the skills associated with podcasting,” Councilman Jeff Hmara said. “That’s quite an extensive set of capabilities, and, of course, a lot of it is tech-oriented, which really is great stuff.”

The Palm Beach County Library System is celebrating its milestone 50th anniversary this year with special events countywide. An official birthday party is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 4 p.m. at the Royal Palm Beach branch library. Mayor Fred Pinto will be reading at the event, along with other special activities.

The Royal Palm Beach branch library is located at 500 Civic Center Way, near the southwest intersection of Royal Palm Beach and Okeechobee boulevards. To learn more about programs and services available, call (561) 790-6030 or visit

In other business:

• Pinto spoke about the recognition that the village recently received from neighbor Loxahatchee Groves on its recent 60th anniversary milestone. He brought with him the award he received from the Loxahatchee Groves Town Council for all the council to see, and Village Clerk Diane DiSanto read the proclamation.

• The council voted 5-0 to approve site plan modifications for Our Lady Queen of Peace Cemetery at 10941 Southern Blvd., as requested by George Gentile of the planning firm 2GHO. The plan was a preemptive housekeeping plan to allow for the construction of mausoleums, columbaria, parking and driveways as needed over the next 10 years.

• The council also voted unanimously to renew a 30-year franchise agreement with the Florida Power & Light Company, before the existing agreement expires in the first quarter of 2020. “It is keeping the 6 percent franchise fee. However, it will increase the revenue to the village by approximately $88,000 per year,” FP&L representative Stephanie Mitrione said. “The other change is we no longer have the 10 percent holdback each month, so you will receive 100 percent of the revenue at the end of each month.”