Letter from the Library Director:

There’s More to the Story @ Your Library

April and libraries go hand-in-hand. This month SJCPLS participates in the annual National Library Week celebration from April 23 to 29. This year’s theme is “There’s More to the Story,”…. and that’s quite an understatement!

Libraries are full of stories in various formats, from audiobooks to e-books and more. But there’s so much more to the story. Our “Library of Things” includes Adventure Packs, Wi-Fi hotspots, NASA packs, binoculars and telescopes, chess sets, National Parks Travel Bags, and more, all available for our patrons to check out. Visit our website to learn more about our “Library of Things.”

Do you know that SJCPLS also has a Seed Library? To “grow” gardening knowledge and foster more sustainability, the Seed Library launched in 2019. Library cardholders can check out packets of seeds to plant, grow, harvest, and hopefully, retrieve new seeds. The library system also offers free resources and programs to share gardening knowledge with the area’s residents. 

Libraries also unite communities for entertainment, connection, and learning. SJCPLS offers programs for all ages, both in-person, off-site in the community, and virtually. Program topics include book discussions, summer reading, storytimes, STEM projects, author and music events, and small business assistance. Over the last year, SJCPLS offered 51% more library programs and experienced a 74% increase in program attendance! There’s truly something for almost everyone at your local library! Check out our full calendar of events to find programming at a local branch near you.

Library infrastructure advances communities, providing internet and technology access for all residents. Our public computers and circulating hotspots remain essential to those residents without broadband access at home or while traveling. Last year, over 42,400 people used a library computer and asked over 318,000 reference questions! Library staff are ready and willing to assist residents with technology questions and devices, from setting up email accounts to downloading eBooks on tablets/devices.

This National Library Week, share your story with our librarians and celebrate the place where we all belong. You can read elsewhere in this newsletter for an update on our 2021-2022 annual library statistics. With six branch libraries and two roaming bookmobiles, there’s bound to be a library near you. See you at the library!

Debra Rhodes Gibson

Library System Director, St. Johns County Public Library System