Beyond Story Time: 10 Things You May Not Know About the Jacksonville Public Library

jacksonville public library

The Jacksonville Public Library and its awesome librarians played a huge role during those tender pre-pre-K years with my children. Hopefully, you already know that all of our JPL branches have amazing story times, music and art activities. But here are 10 things you may not know you can do at our Jacksonville Public Library:

1. Research made easy. The library provides a rich tapestry of connections from exploring family history, to examining the library’s special collections, to getting help with homework you can go on a fruitful fact-finding adventure at JPL. The Research and Learning Center offers access to help you research a multitude of topics with ease.

2. Digital Library. Did you know that the Jacksonville Public Library offers a vast collection of digital content to its members. The digital library provides access to digital online learning through LinkedIn, audible books, and a complete e-library.

3. Grow a garden. Did you know that the library offers a series of events called Life Lit? These series offer a variety of informational topics taught by trained specialists. The San Marco Branch is partnering with UF/IFAS to share a special course on companion planting your vegetable garden.

4. Become a stitch wizard. Did you know you can take sewing classes at the library? The West Branch offers a Second Saturday Stitch where you can learn to crochet by the fireplace. Check out the calendar of events for upcoming sewing and other skill-building courses at all area branches.

5. Family movie nights. Drop in to your local branch for a movie night. Sometimes these Drop In events include a crafting opportunity. These events are age rated offerings that include child and teen films.  Many of our local branches offer awesome movie nights for your family free of charge. While you’re there, grab a few books that go along with the movie theme. They also offer closed-caption film options. It’s sure to be a fun-filled night with the whole family.

6. Family reading nights. Several of our local branches offer family-friendly reading events. These events often include a themed craft and an opportunity to sit back and enjoy listening to a story with your family. Be sure to check the searchable events calendar. You can search for events by age, location, and content.

7. Learn new operating and software systems. Along with many other enrichment courses, the library offers free classes on operating systems and business software like Microsoft Excel. They even have multilingual class options available.

8. Have a community meeting. JPL provides meeting rooms available to the public for cultural, civic, and informal educational purposes. You can reserve one of these rooms to host a variety of community events for free. Contact the library for more details.

9. Study groups. In addition to having meeting rooms available for reservation, the library also offers study rooms that are available without reservation to grab a quiet place and study or prep projects with your classmates or colleagues. Availability may vary. Be sure to call your local branch to learn about their study room policy.

10. Grow your small business. If you own a small business or have ever thought about launching one, the Jacksonville Public Library should be on your to-do list. Our library offers a small-business resource center that provides access to several resources you need to connect to the community and thrive.

Putting this list together was actually really hard because I left a lot of amazing programs on the cutting-room floor. Our libraries are a vital part of the community and enrich our city. Be sure to check out all the amazing learning programs they have for children, teens and adults. The Jacksonville Public Library is one of our city’s greatest treasures, but it shines brightest when it’s filled with community members who love our library.

Stacy Mcdonald-Taylor
Stacy, a former health care program manager, came to the first coast by way of Charlotte, NC. Passionate for community and creative arts. Stacy has worked with families and educators through Parent Education & Outreach Programs. Since welcoming the births of her and her husband’s two delightful, energetic sons, she has worked from home, always seeking to find new ways to provide a joy-filled, creative environment, nurturing a love for people, learning, nature, and healthy, natural/organic foods. Stacy shares tidbits of her “life learnings” on her blog, Wasting Nothing


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