The Monroe County Library System branches are now closed to in-person visits until April 6. While our physical locations will be closed due to safety concerns regarding COVID-19, the libraries will continue to serve the community. Library staff will be available by telephone Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for reference, renewal of material, and assistance for new users in the creation of an E-Library card. The E-Library card will allow users access the library system’s digital collection and electronic resources. The “Ask-a-Librarian“ service will be expanded to provide reference services via chat and email. Librarians will provide, using the branch’s respective Facebook Live and website pages, daily virtual programming such as story time, book talk on our digital collection, and training sessions on our digital resources. Drop boxes will remain open at all locations and late fees will be suspended. Contact your local branch library or visit the library website at www.keyslibraries.org for additional links and information.
In 1853, the Florida Keys first public library opened in Key West. Today, Monroe County’s libraries are as popular as ever, with more than 350,000 adults and children visiting the five branches.
Monroe County library system is the oldest in South Florida!
The libraries’ main mission is to meet the changing needs of the patrons for information, education, and entertainment. To do so, the library provides books, periodicals and audio and video materials for circulation, both in print format and through electronic access.
Monroe County Library Branches
- 700 Fleming Street, Key West, FL 33040; 305-292-3595
- Branch Manager: Robin Henderson
Big Pine Key
- 213 Key Deer Blvd., Big Pine Key, FL 33043; 305-872-0992
- Branch Manager: Stephen Chambers
- 3251 Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL 33050; 305-743-5156
- Branch Manager: Cristy Danford
- 81830 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL 33036; 305-664-4645
- Branch Manager: Walt Johnson
- 101485 Overseas Highway, Tradewinds Shopping Center, Key Largo, FL 33037; 305-451-2396
- Branch Manager: Paulette Sullivan
Hours for all Library Branches:
- Mondays – 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- Tuesdays – 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. (8 p.m. for Big Pine Key and Islamorada branches)
- Wednesdays – 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. (8 p.m. for Key West, Marathon, and Key Largo branches)
- Thursdays – 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- Fridays – 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- Saturdays – 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- Sundays - Closed
Monroe County Libraries’ Website: keyslibraries.org
Free access for the public to the internet, through library computers and through our wireless access that enables patrons to use their own laptops and other mobile devices.
Free 24/7 access to our catalog information, giving them off-site ability to renew and request library materials.
Free 24/7 access to the library website: keyslibraries.org. The website has links to a variety of databases available at no charge.
The number of views of Monroe County Library Service’s Flickr images reached 3.5 million views in 2018, with a cumulative total of more than 26 million views since 2006. The site features historic photos of people, places, and events in Florida Keys history. Visit www.flickr.com/photos/keyslibraries to see the images.
In 2018, the five branches offered more than 3,000 programs. The programs offer something for all ages, from toddlers to senior citizens, and meet a broad base of interests. The interests include musical presentations, author talks, Lego clubs, art workshops and displays, 3D printing, scavenger hunts, a pizza cooking class, Fantasy Theatre, computer classes and programs at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm.
Interested in learning another language? The Monroe County Public Library offers the learning language resource, Mango, an app and web-based program that includes 70 world languages, including English as a second language. Mango is free with an active library card. For more information, visit https://connect.mangolanguages.com/keyslibraries or call 305-292-3595.
- Along with the focus on print materials for the non-English speaking community, the library expanded the e-materials collection to include comparable resources for this underserved part of the community.
- An improvement plan for the children’s areas has been developed. It has increased the appeal as well as comfort and safety of the furnishings and rooms used by the younger patrons.
- The library has expanded its program offerings to target audiences as well as content, involving more branch collaboration and joint planning for an enriched series of presentations for all age groups.
- More detailed planning for use of space and furnishings has been completed for the new Marathon library, with the focus on creativity and attention to specific patron needs, in response to discussion groups and public input.
- Responding to public requests and suggestions, the library is expanding its database resources to include a variety of media, involving appropriate staff in comparison studies and test trials. This ensures the best and most viable selections for the audience while remaining aware of fiscal responsibilities.
- Branches have expanded their social media presence and are working on a regular basis with the County’s Public Information Officer, to increase public awareness of the ongoing activities and services.
- The Monroe County Library was invited to join as a contributor to the Digital Public Library of America. This is a nationwide group of libraries who are able to share their unique digital collections to be made accessible to a worldwide audience. The Florida history collection items qualified the Monroe County Library Services for this highly prized honor.
- Set up and implement a plan to study and compare all databases currently purchased by the library for patron use, the value of information, overall cost, timeliness, and unique characteristics, and evaluate for possible expansion or downsizing.
- More active promotion of library services and programs, especially focusing on the unique offerings, such as the Florida History collections in all five branches, and the digitization project to increase access to historic Florida Keys photographs and memorabilia.
- Completion of detailed planning for the new Marathon library, and plan for implementation of the transition.
- Increase in coordination and collaboration between branches in areas of collection development, schedule of programs offered to the public, resource sharing, design of children’s programs, and computer classes for the public.
- Explore the potential of QR coding for reference uses and investigate experiments in other libraries, including costs and validity of the process.
- Increase efforts in the areas of services for senior citizens, including collections in varied formats and programs geared to the interests of that group within our community.
Hurricane Irma Information
In 2017, the libraries’ onsite and outreach users of wireless computer access increased by more than 40 percent. Many of these users were seeking hurricane recovery information and assistance after Irma’s devastating impact.