‘Tis the Season

The holiday festivities are in full swing! It seems like we just finished the dredges of the leftover Halloween candy, made room in the refrigerator for the Thanksgiving leftovers, and now it is time to unearth the holiday decorations from storage!

Last year, my family bucked our holiday traditions and went to New Orleans to celebrate Christmas. Since we were traveling, there was no tree (except the tiny ceramic one I tucked into my suitcase for the hotel room), no stockings, and only one small gift each for Christmas morning. We walked, and ate our way, across the Big Easy, enjoying the holiday spirit, the decorations, and simply being together as a family.

Sharing the holiday spirit while giving back to your community and clearing up your library record is currently underway in your local libraries. Our annual Food for Fines program is a way to reconnect with the library by returning your overdue materials and “paying” with non-perishable food items. Return your overdue items, clear your record, and help replenish the inventory at the county’s food pantry. All food collected remains in St. Johns County, assisting local residents during the holidays and beyond.

Recovering overdue materials increases the availability of materials for circulation and reduces replacement costs. During the 2018 program, SJCPLS received more than 10,000 food items and welcomed back hundreds of patrons who were previously unable to use the library due to overdue fines. The Food for Fines program aligns with SJCPLS’ commitment to eliminating barriers to service and providing basic access for all residents, especially those most in need of library service.

Whether you are starting new traditions or celebrating long-held ones, enjoy every moment with your family and friends. Happy Holidays from all of us here at SJCPLS!

Debra Rhodes Gibson

Library System Director, St. Johns County Public Library System