Letter from the Library Director: Connect With Your Library

April and libraries go hand-in-hand. Spring is the season for renewal and making new connections. April for libraries means the annual National Library Week celebration, taking place from April 3 to 9. This year’s theme, “Connect with Your Library,” was selected to spotlight libraries as places users get connected when they use broadband, computers, and other technology resources. It also reinforces the idea that libraries are places to connect with media, programs, ideas, and classes, and, of course, books! Moreover, it’s a call to action: an invitation for community members to visit, use, and advocate for their libraries. 

The role of SJCPLS continues to evolve, responding to the changing needs of our community. In response to community input gathered during the updating of our Master Plan for Libraries in 2019, our branch libraries increased and enhanced services and programs, resulting in a dramatic increase in program attendance. Without enough square footage systemwide, programs competed for space regularly, inhibiting our abilities to meet public demand. The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners first recognized the need for additional libraries within our library system in 1999, and in 2020, the Board approved moving forward with a new branch library facility in the World Golf Village area.

St. Johns County Public Works, in partnership with the Library System, is hosting a community open house from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, 2022 at Pacetti Bay Middle School, 245 Meadowlark Ln. Representatives from both departments will be on site to discuss the new library project, highlight the current library plans, and answer citizen questions. A sign language interpreter will be available during this event. The event details may be found in this newsletter, on the St. Johns County Master Calendar, or on the SJCPLS website. It has been 15 years since the last “new” library opened on Anastasia Island. These are exciting times ahead for the library system and the community. Additional community meetings will be scheduled as the project moves forward.

I hope you and your family will stop in to your local library during this year’s National Library Week celebration and connect with the wonderful resources and programs we offer for all ages. And, I look forward to meeting many of you on April 7th!

Debra Rhodes Gibson

Library System Director, St. Johns County Public Library System

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