Letter from the Library Director:

A New Year and New Beginnings @ Your Library

There’s something special about a lighthouse. These beautiful and necessary structures have been used in poetry, literature, music, and art for centuries. The lighthouse tower emits a light, serving as a beacon for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways. Over time, the function of lighthouses gradually changed from indicating ports to providing a visible warning system against shipping hazards, such as rocks or reefs.

The job of the lighthouse keeper required diligence, vigilance, and steadfastness. The keeper is always there – always waiting. A keeper must be vigilant, constantly aware of the importance of the job, a watchful overseer, and constantly alert and ready to spring to action even if days or weeks pass without seeing anyone.

SJCPLS lost their “lighthouse keeper,” Dr. Patricia Laurencelle, in late December. Dr. Laurencelle served on the Library Advisory Board over many years and was appointed by the BCC in 2012 as an Emeritus member of the LAB in recognition of her contributions, advocacy, and dedication to our libraries.

Dr. Laurencelle was present during a period of phenomenal library and community growth, budget and intellectual freedom challenges, and the building, renovation, and expansion of four branch libraries. She has always been the strongest voice in support of the community’s welfare through the maintenance of the best Library System possible. Dr. Laurencelle’s sincere care and enormous community spirit informed every effort she made on behalf of the St. Johns County Public Library System.

Dr. Laurencelle was our guiding light, keeping the library and the Library Advisory Board on a straight and true course. Her institutional knowledge, years of experience, enthusiasm for new service methods and technologies, wisdom, and passionate spirit will truly be missed.

Debra Rhodes Gibson

Library System Director, St. Johns County Public Library System