Public Spaces

Council Passes Bill to Monitor Big Spending, Considers Library Cuts

Council Passes Bill to Monitor Big Spending, Considers Library Cuts

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- There was a swath of red in council chambers Tuesday night, worn in protest to the proposed deep cuts to library funding.
The city's Finance Committee recommended reducing the library's $39 million dollar by about $3.5 million.
Library staffers, volunteers and patrons said the resulting cuts in services would reduce the quality of life in Jacksonville and remove a vital resource for job seekers.

"Our libraries are the place where anybody who does not have a computer at home, the libraries are the only place where there's free access to computers," said a member of the Friends of Murray Hill Library.

A final vote on the matter is expected later this month.

Signs ask Park Visitors not to Smoke Around Kids

Signs ask Park Visitors not to Smoke Around Kids

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- Slides and swings don't mix with cigarettes, according to the St. Johns County parks department.

County commissioners agreed and now the St. Johns County Recreation & Parks department will place signs in parks saying, "Be courteous. Please refrain from tobacco use in areas designed for children."

Larry Murphy and his wife, Kristi, were at Treaty Park on Wednesday.  "I think that's a good idea. I don't think kids should be exposed to second hand smoke and stuff like that," Larry Murphy said.

His wife added, "I think in public places there should be signs for no smoking around kids."

A group of students approached the county with the idea, which a grant will pay for.

Other counties are placing similar signs in public parks, but St. Johns County officials stress that they are not changing the county ordinance; the signs simply request people to be courteous.

St. Johns County Closures for Good Friday

The Good Friday schedule for various St. Johns County facilities is listed below:


County Offices

St. Johns County Public Library System Set to Kick-off National Library Week

The St. Johns County Public Library System invites the community to celebrate National Library Week beginning April 10th. National Library Week is an annual celebration of all types of libraries, with the theme this year being “Create Your Own Story @ Your Library.” This year’s library week honorary chair is one of the world’s most popular storytellers, best-selling author John Grisham.

Each branch library in St. Johns County has many different events planned throughout the week, including theater, genealogy class, parties with Cookie Mouse, Bingo for Books, storytimes and more.

St. Johns Libraries Discuss Adding Internet Filters to Block Porn

St. Johns Libraries Discuss Adding Internet Filters to Block Porn

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- A public workshop on internet filters on library computers Wednesday addressed several complaints from the community.

St. Johns County libraries currently do not have electronic filters on computers used by adults. But there are filters on computers used by children and teenagers in each of the county's branches, said St. Johns County Library Advisory Board Chairwoman Carolee Bertisch.

However, some have expressed concerns over the ability of adults to look up pornography on public computers.

Library Director Debra Rhodes Gibson said Wednesday that the board voted to change its internet policy recently to prohibit use that would be considered "harmful to children," but that new policy is still under legal review.

Gibson explained this new policy would allow library staff to ask people to navigate away from porn sites, though it would not add electronic filters.

Commissioner Miner to Host Community Meetings

St. Johns County Commissioner Mark P. Miner is holding a series of community meetings to re-connect with the community following his year-long deployment with the Florida National Guard. Miner returned to his post as the District 3 Commissioner in January. Ray Quinn, who was appointed by Governor Charlie Crist, served as Commissioner during Miner’s leave of absence.

Florida State Park Celebrates Black History Month

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Fort Mose Historic State Park will celebrate the first free black community in the United States during Black History Month on Saturday, February 12, 2011.