L.A. Times

Greetings, Team Library!

Have you ever gotten dragged to something you didn’t think you would enjoy but went anyway because all your friends/family were going? And, then, you had more fun than you expected? Yeah, that was me recently, and it’s now a fun memory with my “tribe”! I think we need to take the opportunity to make memories with friends and family when they present themselves.

Memories are what’s important in life, not things. Things can be good, but experiences will be with us long after the things are broken, lost, or simply not useful anymore. Books are like memories, at least to me. You read a good book, have a good time, and remember the feelings it gave you. When your friends read the same book, and you can talk about it with them? That’s the best time ever!

In this newsletter, you’ll find information on the inaugural St. Johns Reads Staff Book Club. I encourage you to sign up and join your library family at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7, for an online book discussion about the 2024 St. Johns Reads title, “The Reading List.” This event is being held in the morning before opening, so all staff have an opportunity to participate. There are even “free gifts” coming your way upon registration! It will be a fun and a great way to expand your readers’ advisory skills ahead of this popular community event in January.

Once again, this holiday season, SJCPLS will host Food for Fines. This is a fantastic opportunity for patrons (and staff!) to clear fines from their patron records and help struggling families simultaneously. All collected items are distributed locally through St. Johns County HHS to provide holiday meals for families in need. Since we are migrating to a new ILS in early 2024, patrons with fines or blocked library cards will move seamlessly into the new system. Also, those patrons/staff without fines are welcome to donate non-perishable food items or “pay it forward” and apply those donated goods to a patron’s account as a holiday “gift.” Remember, those positive library experiences will be with our patrons long after the holiday season.

Thanks for all you do on behalf of SJCPLS and your local patrons. We couldn’t do it without each of you!

Debra Rhodes Gibson

Library System Director, St. Johns County Public Library System