St Johns County Public Library System

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St Johns County Public Library System
LocationSt Augustine, Florida
Websitewww.sjcpls.org

St. Johns County Public Library System serves St. Augustine and the surrounding areas of St. Johns County, Florida. The library system has six branches and two bookmobiles.

Mission statement[edit]

The St. Johns County Public Library System provides a variety of services to meet the needs of all its citizens in a friendly and courteous manner.

History[edit]

In 1874, St. Augustine opened the oldest library in Florida as a "subscription library". The library was called St. Augustine Free Public Library. Patrons gave money to help buy books for the library, and there was no charge to check out items.[1] The prime mover was Frances L. Wilson, who worked steadily on library matters. Wilson negotiated with the U.S. Government for rent-free use of two rooms in the U.S. Customs House for the library. In 1895, the Wilson family purchased the birthplace of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith on Aviles Street to use as a library. The house was given to the St. Augustine Library Association under trusteeship as long as the building was used as a public library.

It was "hard times" for the library in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. Methods of non-governmental funding were tried. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, president of the association in 1942–1943, lent her name to various fund-raising drives. In January 1976, a movement toward a county library system was led by the American Association of University Women, who were joined by the Junior Service League and others. In 1977, an ordinance was passed setting up a county system. It also appointed a five-member advisory board. The following January, the Friends of the Library of St. Johns County was formally organized. A contract was signed in February 1978 between the County Commission and the St. Augustine Library Association for use of the Aviles Street building as a main county library. In 1981, Richard Waters began a library development study under a grant from the State Library. In 1984, Davenport Park was the recommended site for a new library building and a request was made to the St. Augustine City Commission. The city deeded a portion of Davenport Park to the county for the new main library of the St. Johns County Public Library System. On November 6, the voters passed a county-wide referendum for 1 million in funding to provide for the new library. The ground breaking ceremony was held one year later. On February 14, 1987, the dedication for the newly built main library was held.

Now in the 2000s, the St. Johns County Public Library system continues to serve its public. In 2003, the library circulated over one million books in its branches.[2]

Branches[edit]

The library systems six branches are: Anastasia Island, Bartram Trail, Hastings, Main (St. Augustine), Ponte Vedra, Southeast and the Bookmobile-Extension Services. Information about branch hours and locations can be found here or by navigating to a branch's page. Each branch's page also provides information about programs and classes offered by the library, this information can also be found through the events calendar.

Anastasia Island Branch[edit]

The Anastasia Island Branch opened its doors in 2007 and is located at 124 Seagrove Main Street, St. Augustine, FL 32080. It serves the east portion of St. Johns County.[3]

Bartram Trail Branch[edit]

Bartram Trail opened its doors at its current Davis Pond Blvd location in 1996. Previously, the library was located in the Julington Creek Shopping Center on the corner of Racetrack Road and State Road 13. The storefront library opened in 1990 and grew to house 32,000 books in its collection. The Bartram Trail Branch closed its doors at the current location briefly for expansion in April and May 2006. A Grand RE-opening was held on 16 September 2006.

Hastings Branch[edit]

The Hastings Branch Library serves the Southwest portion of St. Johns County. The library is housed in what used to be Hastings High School. The library is located at 6195 South Main Street Hastings, Florida 32145.

Main Branch[edit]

More than 30 years after its opening, the Main Library continues to be the hub of community activity for St. Augustine. More than 25,000 visitors a month walk through its doors to make use of its numerous services. The Main Library houses the largest print collection in the St. Johns County Public Library System. Collections included in the Main Library are children's, young adult, adult fiction and non-fiction, Florida Reference, audiobooks, DVDs, CDs, magazines, and newspapers.

Ponte Vedra Branch[edit]

The Ponte Vedra Branch Library is located in the Northeast portion of St. Johns County. The physical address is 101 Library Blvd, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082. A history of the branch can be found at [1]

Southeast Branch[edit]

As the name suggests, the Southeast Branch Library serves the Southeast portion of the county. The building houses not only the library, but the Administration portion of the library as well as Technical Services and the Bookmobile-Extension Services. The physical address is 6670 US 1 South, St. Augustine, FL 32086.

Bookmobile[edit]

St. Johns County established its first bookmobile in 2001, named the LEO Express. This bookmobile was purchased in order to service the elderly and physically disabled residents of the county.

Due to its popularity and additional funding, in 2008 St. Johns County purchased another bookmobile. This bookmobile is called the Bluebird Express and is able to service a larger population of St. Johns County.[4]

Both bookmobiles are housed in the Southeast Branch Library. The two bookmobiles, LEO and Bluebird travel around the county providing services to patrons who are unable to visit the library branches. These bookmobiles service outlying areas, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, parks, recreation centers, and more. The bookmobile schedules and routes can be found here.

The bookmobiles offer a full collection of movies, best selling books, audio books, music CDs, Playaways, and children's books. In August 2010, the library system added its Books by Mail service. The library sends library materials to library patrons for free. These materials can be returned to any branch or bookmobile.[5]

Databases[edit]

The library system offers online access to many databases for patron usage at our library or at home here. For home access, patrons need their library card number. Remote access allows the database collection to be available 24-7 to patrons.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Florida". World Book Encyclopedia. 1998 ed, vol. 7, page 247.
  2. ^ Jacksonville Journal. Florida Times Union 2 Nov. 2003: B-3
  3. ^ http://www.sjcpls.org
  4. ^ http://jacksonville.com/community/shorelines/2009-01-31/story/st_johns_gets_second_bookmobile
  5. ^ http://www.sjcpls.org/content/bookmobile-extension-services

Further reading[edit]

  • Local Library is the Best Online, an article published by First Coast News: [2]

External links[edit]