Letter from the Library Director:

A New Year and New Beginnings @ Your Library

As the calendar turns to a new year, many of us make resolutions such as exercising more, eating healthier, or reading more books. The beginning of each new year gives us a few moments to quietly reflect on the previous 12 months and our various accomplishments. This time also affords us a meaningful opportunity to plan out an even more extraordinary year to come.

Thanks to supporters like you, 2023 was a successful year for SJCPLS. We were able to meet or exceed many of our operational goals and even expand a few of our services through the generosity of our library Friends, patrons, and committed staff. Thank you so much!

As we look ahead to 2024, a few items are especially noteworthy.

  • First, the Library System will host St. Johns Reads, the annual One Book, One Community event, in January 2024. This year’s programming is based on “The Reading List,” a debut novel by Sara Nisha Adams. Goodreads calls the novel “an unforgettable and heartwarming debut about how a chance encounter with a list of library books helps forge an unlikely friendship between two very different people in a London suburb.” Each library branch will hold community book discussions and special programming throughout January. The grand finale will be conversations with the author held at each library location between Jan. 30 and Feb. 2. Check our website for specific dates, times, and locations.
  • Second, effective Feb. 5, all SJCPLS libraries will transition from our current online catalog to the new Aspen Discovery platform and make necessary technology updates to enhance your library experience. Some services and resources may experience disruptions throughout the next few weeks as we migrate our collection and patron data into the new system. All SJCPLS libraries will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 9, and Saturday, Feb. 3, for systemwide training and final data migration. You can find out more information about the new library catalog by visiting www.sjcpls.org/aspen-discovery.
  • Third, anticipated early March, all SJCPLS libraries will adjust their public service hours to accommodate community needs better. These changes will include the Hastings and Anastasia Island branches opening on Mondays and a return of Sunday afternoon hours at the Bartram Trail, Main, Ponte Vedra Beach, and Southeast branch libraries. A more formal announcement is forthcoming, so please check the library’s website or speak with staff at your local branch library for the most up-to-date information.

I hope your 2023 was full of happiness and tons of great books. This New Year, we thank you for allowing us to serve you and promise to make your library experiences in 2024 even more satisfying and enriching.

Debra Rhodes Gibson

Library System Director, St. Johns County Public Library System