Do you still think of libraries as only buildings for books?
St. Johns County Public Library System has so much more to offer for families than just books! For new as well as experienced moms, libraries are a safe haven. There are storytimes and kids classes, a variety of wellness activities (yoga!), adult craft classes, book clubs, movie showings, and lectures to choose from–all free! Looking for resources on baby led weaning, helping your child with homework, or finding a new job? There are so many online and print resources within the library just waiting to be put to use.
Each branch of the library system is unique, which is why I recommend checking out the online calendar to see what’s going on all over the county. There are different classes and programs offered at each location–check them all out when you get a chance. Read on to find out what makes each branch (and the bookmobiles!) special.
Anastasia Island Branch
Location: 124 Seagrove Main Street, St. Augustine Beach, FL 32080
The Anastasia Island Library is the beachside branch in the Seagrove Shopping Plaza on the island. Ms. Nicole is the Programming Librarian, and runs everything from storytimes to art classes! This library may be small in size, but it’s big at heart. The colorful kids’ area is inviting and has an adorable play area for babies and toddlers. There are several computers available for older children, and (of course) a wonderful selection of books, audiobooks, DVDs, and CDs. Ms. Nicole even offers two different Spanish/English storytimes for little ones. Check out their event calendar to see what amazing classes are coming up next!
From the Librarian: Anastasia Library offers a wide variety of free classes for kids of all ages in art, yoga, early literacy and much more!
Bartram Trail Branch
Location: 60 Davis Pong Boulevard, Fruit Cove, FL 32259
The Bartram Trail Branch is the heart of Julington Creek Plantation, and with all the building in the northwest corner of the county, their service base is getting larger every day! Ms. Lisa (Children’s Librarian) and Ms. Carla (Young Adult Librarian) are there to serve ages 0 to 18. The children’s area is open and inviting for kids of all ages. There are computers and several tables for older children to work and play on, a play kitchen for littles, coloring sheets, puzzles, and more! The section was recently renovated, so be sure to stop by and check it out. You’re sure to find a book, movie, or music to make your heart sing.
From the Librarian: Bartram Trail’s friendly staff is always ready to help with your child’s reading needs, including Genre Bingo!
Location: 6195 South Main Street, Hastings, FL 32145
The Hastings Branch is nestled cozily in the historic Hastings High School building. This coquina building, which was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2006, dates back to 1924 and currently houses the library as well as the Friends of the Library Bookstore. Ms. Michelle is the Youth Services Librarian here, and provides a wealth of exciting classes, including storytimes, art classes, and maker spaces! Even if you don’t live near this library, I highly recommend making the drive. The farmlands along the way are beautiful scenery, and there are several local farms you can visit. Definitely worth a trip!
From the Librarian: The Hastings Branch Library offers an array of engaging learning opportunities for young explorers.
Location: 1960 North Ponce De Leon Boulevard, St. Augustine, FL 32084
The Main Library is often referred to as the “Carousel Park Library” due to its close neighbor, the J&S Carousel at Davenport Park. Mr. Andy runs the Youth Services Department here, and can often be found playing his bass for his adoring toddler fans. The kids’ area here is completely glassed in, giving parents peace of mind as their littles play. This library also regularly offers a variety of lego robotics classes for ages 7-16! I recommend stopping in for storytime, picking out a few fun books, and heading over to the park to run off your kiddo’s energy. It’s the perfect spot for a playdate!
From the Librarian: Main Library invites families to explore and enjoy The Randolph Caldecott Children’s Room.
Ponte Vedra Beach Branch
Location: 101 Library Boulevard, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
The Ponte Vedra Beach Branch is in a beautiful location, set right next to Bird Island Park. Ms. Anne is your friendly Youth Services Librarian and leads all of the storytimes and exciting classes available to kids of all ages. While there are so many different programs to choose from, what really shines about this branch is their partnerships for kids programs with local organizations such as the Jacksonville Symphony and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Plants. The bright kids’ area at this branch always has something fun to do, from coloring pages to board games for the whole family. Be sure to keep an eye on their schedule!
From the Librarian: The Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library brings smiles through educational, recreational, and social opportunities for everyone in the family.
Location: 6670 US Highway 1, St. Augustine, FL 32086
The Southeast Branch is easily missed, as it’s nestled back into the woods and behind a pond off of US1. But once you’ve discovered it, you’ll know what a treasure you’ve found! Ms. Alex is the Youth Services Librarian on staff, and can’t wait to help you find what you’re looking for. The kids’ area here is large, with a wide-open play area including a play kitchen, doll house, train table, wooden puzzles, and more! There are several large tables that are perfect for working on homework. Stop by the small table next to the Youth Services Desk to put together an impromptu craft. You can even sit outside on the cute Kids Porch to enjoy a snack or lunch. This branch also features weekly family fitness classes and much more!
From the Librarian: The Southeast Library seeks to foster a love of reading and learning through its many classes and programs, and features an inviting and creative space for families to explore.
Bookmobile – Extension Services
Location: All over St. Johns County!
Have you ever visited the library on wheels? Our public library system has two bookmobiles that serve locations all over the county. Check out all the stops available to find one near you! The bookmobiles even offer daycare stops and many different classes and programs at outreach locations outside of the library buildings. They can often be spotted at the Farmer’s Market, Record Fair, and other events & festivals. If you have a home-bound relative, they can even apply for the Books-by-Mail program and have their items sent right to their home. The Extension Services Department is a wonderful service to patrons of all ages around the county.
From the Librarian: Extension Services makes it easier to connect with the library by bringing the library to you through the Bookmobile, Storytime Outreach Programs, and Books-by-Mail.