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Season's Readings

 Letter from the Library Director

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Debra Rhodes Gibson, Library Director

St. Johns County Public Library

This time of year is one of reflection, wrapping last-minute gifts, spending time with family and friends over the holidays, and making resolutions for the New Year. I want to thank you for your continued support of SJCPLS. Your investment in your local libraries has helped us grow into a quality organization, and it is an honor for me and all of the library staff to serve you.

We all know there’s no shortage of festive movies on TV and holiday music on the radio. If you’d rather get your dose of cheer from a good book, we have plenty of options for you! Through the years, many authors have become well known for their Christmas fiction and have released new Christmas fiction again this year. Or, how about tapping into your “inner DIY” and sampling some new recipes for your holiday gatherings or making a few seasonal decorations or gifts? Kids, teens, adults, your local library has something for everyone! Try one of these titles from our catalog and online resources and unwrap a good read!

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SJCPLS Announces St. Johns Reads 2022

St. Johns Reads is back! We are excited to announce that "Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef's Journey to Discover America's New Melting-Pot Cuisine," by Edward Lee is our pick for the 18th year of our "one book, one community" program.

"Buttermilk Graffiti" tells the story of the diverse culture that makes up the landscape of American cuisine. A natural-born storyteller, Chef Ed Lee decided to hit the road and spent two years uncovering fascinating narratives from every corner of the country. Sixteen adventures, sixteen vibrant new chapters in the great evolving story of American cuisine. And forty recipes, created by Lee, that bring these new dishes into our own kitchens.

This title will be available to enjoy in print, digital audiobook, and ebook formats. A variety of virtual and in-person programs will be offered throughout the month of January 2023, including food and art programs, author interviews, and much more. Visit our St. Johns Reads webpage for more information.

Meet Author of "Buttermilk Graffiti," Edward Lee

Join SJCPLS at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, in the First Coast Technical College Character Counts Conference Center, 2980 Collins Ave., for a special St. Johns Reads event featuring the author of our 2023 book pick! We are pleased to host Chef Edward Lee and discuss his book “Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine,” talk about his writing process, and explore his passion for food and culture. This event is free and registration is not required. For more information, visit our St. Johns Reads webpage or email

Funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities. St. Johns Reads is generously supported by the St. Johns County Public Library System’s Friends of the Library groups.

Food for Fines is Back!

We are excited to announce that the popular Food for Fines program has returned this year to St. Johns County libraries and bookmobiles! An opportunity to eliminate most library fines, Food for Fines will run through Saturday, Dec. 17. The food items collected will be used to stock the St. Johns County Health and Human Services (HHS) Food Pantry, providing food for St. Johns County families in need.

A donation of one non-perishable, unexpired food item will remove $1 of fines from a patron’s library record. This fine-reduction program applies only to overdue fines and patrons may bring in as many items as needed to reduce overdue fines. Fees related to damaged or lost items are not included in the Food for Fines program. Visit our website for more information.

Free Online Language Learning

Don't spend a ton of money on expensive language-learning software this holiday season. Your library has you covered! Our database, Pronunciator, focuses on the language of everyday situations, so you can begin with the essentials and then build on that foundation at your own pace. Pronunciator is a fun, free way to learn any of the available 163 languages with personalized courses, movies, music, and more. With easy access, you can learn online with a desktop or mobile device.

Read Your Holiday Favorites with Libby

The weather is getting cooler and the holidays are upon us. Now is the perfect time to curl up and spend some time reading! Borrow ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines to read on your phone or tablet using the Libby app by OverDrive. It’s free and easy to get started for new users and a streamlined experience for current OverDrive app users.

Upcoming Closures

All library branches will be closed for the Christmas holiday on Saturday, Dec. 24, and Monday, Dec. 26. Libraries will reopen on Tuesday, Dec. 27.

In addition to the Christmas holiday closure, our libraries will also close on Monday, Jan. 2, for the New Year's Day holiday. All libraries will resume normal operating hours on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Book drops will remain open during all closures and our virtual services such as ebooks, downloadables, and databases are available 24/7.

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