St. Johns County public libraries reopen for essential services

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — All St. Johns County public library branches were able to reopen Tuesday for essential services.

Action News Jax was there when the Ponte Vedra Beach branch library opened their doors to the public.

The first patrons were excited to finally step foot inside for the first time since the pandemic shut everything down.

“As soon as I knew what time it was open, as you can see I was here,” said one woman who didn’t want to give her name.

Dan Palese told Action News Jax reporter Alicia Tarancon he and his wife had been waiting for this moment.

“We read an average of two books a piece a week and therefore, we have run out of readable material and this is a great service,” Palese said.

Right now the library is only doing essential services. That means when you walk in, you’ll notice that the seating areas, meeting rooms, and children’s play areas are taped off.

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“It’s going to be a grab and go service, so you can come in, grab your holds, grab something new to read. A staff member will go get it off the shelf for you,” said Maribeth Wood, the Youth Services Librarian.

It’s also offering computer use to people for an hour a day.

The Ponte Vedra Branch Library is taking steps to make sure everyone is safe while they slowly begin to reopen. On the floor of the library, you’ll notice blue tape spaced out six feet apart and reminders around the building to practice social distancing.

When you return your books at the drop off box, they’ll be put in isolation for four days before they are returned to the shelves.

Wearing your mask is not required but it is strongly recommended when you come into the library.

The library staff will be wearing their mask to help patrons and other staff members stay safe.​

Two weeks ago, St. Johns County libraries were only doing curbside pick up.

Staff picked out the materials and brought it outside to a table for patrons to pick up.

Now you’ll be able to go inside all the St. Johns County libraries but only at 50 percent capacity.

St. Johns County public libraries will be open from Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

To see the closest St. Johns County branch location near you, click here.