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March 2013 Newsletter

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Have you surfed the Library catalog lately?

Get ready for a fun, exciting new ride!

As part of an ongoing initiative to expand digital technology and make library services more accessible to customers, the Jacksonville Public Library has transitioned to a new user-friendly catalog. The new library catalog offers a more intuitive interface, and puts the user in charge, providing a web-like search experience, similar to that of Google or Amazon. The new catalog should prove faster—and easier—when looking for specific information, reference items, books, e-books, audiobooks, and music.

The page layouts for the new catalog display colorful book covers, and you can view books three different ways—as a vertical list, horizontal list (think NetFlix), or using the cool, hip, fluid Cooliris feature. Go ahead and give it a try…the kids will love Cooliris!

The collapsible and expandable menus are a cinch to use. For instance, the “Select Action” drop down menu allows you to easily place holds, add to your lists, email or print with just a simple click. Users can customize their search experience and even select their preferred language in “Preferences.”

The new catalog boasts smart features such as “fuzzy logic” that corrects misspellings, and offers questions such as “Did you mean” suggestions in case of misspellings or incomplete queries. Users can narrow search criteria to near-exact detail. For example, you can select options or limit search results by author, subject, title, and any Jacksonville library location. You can specify a publication date range, material type or even the reading level, and have the capability to “include” or “exclude” options of your choice.

Users can also place holds on several titles (not just one), set a preferred library location to pick up items on hold, check accounts with ease, download e-books, and create, save and email lists of their favorite library items. So click on the catalog tutorial and get ready for a whole new catalog experience that’s fast, fun, and on the forefront of today’s library technology.

JPL Bookfinder Pick of the Month:

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

(Book | eBook | eAudio | BookBunch)

A Lesson Before Dying is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s.  Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death.  Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach.  As he struggles with his decision whether to stay or escape to another state, his aunt and Jefferson's godmother persuade him to visit Jefferson in his cell and impart his learning and his pride to Jefferson before his death.  In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting—and defying—the expected.

A Lesson Before Dying is the selection for The Big Read, and the book is already generating a lot of excitement around town. If you read it and loved it, we have a few more books you might enjoy.

Fiction Titles:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Book | LargePrint | Audio)

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (Book | eBook | LargePrint | Audio| eAudio)

Billy by Albert French (Book)

Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes (Book)

Black Like Me by John Griffin (Book | Audio)

A few films you may enjoy:

Dead Man Walking (DVD)

House of Sand and Fog (DVD)

To request a personalized reading list of suggested titles crafted just for you by our expert librarians, follow this link.

Chat live with the author!

You are invited to join in a conversation with A Lesson Before Dying author Ernest J. Gaines, conducted by teleconference from the WJCT Studios on Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m. Reservations are requested at The event is the culmination of a month-long celebration of The Big Read, a community-wide initiative to promote reading.  Programs including book discussion groups, movie screenings and staged readings have been held around Jacksonville to enrich readers’ experiences of the book.

On the First Coast, The Big Read is supported by Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library and Duval County Public Schools. Additional support is provided by School District of Clay County, Cultural Fusion, JCCI, Theatre Jacksonville, and The 5 & Dime.

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The Big Read is managed by Arts Midwest.

Want something fun to do over Spring Break?

It all happens @ your library

Rain or shine, JPL has the kids covered with a deluge of Spring Break activities. Read all about it in the Spring Break Happenings guide. Check out the Spring Break guide online or pick up a printed version available at all library locations starting March 9. The guide includes a rainy day reading list with favorites such as Happy Go Ducky, Thunder Cake and more. Programs and activities are planned for all ages—from babies and preschoolers to elementary, middle and high school teens. With activities such as beading, music and movement, puppet shows, movies and popcorn, and gaming, you can be sure your children are involved, engaged and learning all Spring Break long.

Poetic Voices of the Muslim World

National Exhibit and Educational Program Series Begins

Jacksonville Public Library, in partnership with University of North Florida and the Istanbul Cultural Center of Jacksonville, hosts Poetic Voices of the Muslim World, a traveling exhibit and series of programs presenting the varied poetic traditions of the Muslim world, beginning March 2. Jacksonville was one of six cities in the U.S. chosen to host Poetic Voices of the Muslim World, a national initiative that celebrates poetry with scholar presentations, dialogue, visual art, music and performance.

Here’s a preview of the events for March.  All programs are free; however, reservations are required for some events. Visit our webpage for more information and to make reservations.

March 2
The 18-panel exhibit opens at Southeast Regional Library featuring photography, calligraphic masterworks and poetry from Adonis to Rumi.
March 2
Blues and the Muslim Call to Prayer: Award-winning historian Dr. Sylviane Diouf will lecture as she compares early blues recordings side-by-side with African recordings of the call to prayer.
UNF, Grand Ballroom, Adam W. Herbert University Center, 7 p.m.
March 3
Ebru art (paper marbeling) demonstration by Fatma Yilmaz, a graduate from Gaza University’s Decorative Arts Education department in Ankara, Turkey.
Main Library, Hicks Auditorium, 3 p.m.
March 7
Prince Among Slaves documentary screening and discussion. The story recounts the true story of an African Muslim prince who was captured and sold into slavery.
UNF, Andrew A. Robinson, Jr. Theater, 7 p.m.
March 8
Calligraphy demonstration by renowned calligrapher Aydin Cayir, who was trained in the ancient art form in Istanbul.
Main Library, Hicks Auditorium, 7 p.m.
March 23
Stories featuring Arabic folktales for preschoolers.
Southeast Regional Library, Children’s Dept., 11 a.m.
March 26
“Make a magic carpet” craft for ages 6 and older.
Southeast Regional Library, Children’s Dept., 6 – 8 p.m.
March 26
Words of Praise: the Qasida with Dr. Michael Sells with Amir ElSaffar and the Safaafir ensemble. The qasida is a long rhymed ode common to Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu literature. Lecture followed by Iraqi Maqam performance.
Main Library, Hicks Auditorium, 7 p.m.
March 30
Design your own tughra, an art project for children 6 and older.
Southeast Regional Library, Children’s Dept., 2 p.m.

Poetic Voices of the Muslim World is presented by Poets House and City Lore, in partnership with the American Library Association and the Jacksonville Public Library along with the public libraries in Los Angeles, Detroit, Milwaukee, Washington, D.C. and Queens, N.Y. It is funded by the Bridging Cultures Program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, with additional support from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Celebrity Reader at Mandarin Branch Library

City Councilman Schellenberg makes sweet stop on Valentine’s Day

It was hard to tell who had more fun, City Councilman Matt Schellenberg or the more than 45 children who were all ears as he read Guess How Much I Love You and If You’ll Be My Valentine at the Mandarin Branch Library during Storytime on Feb. 14. A special thanks to Councilman Schellenberg for taking time to spend with the children, patrons and staff at the library!

JPL invites you to slow down, take time…

To savor and save at MOCA exhibit

Library cardholders have another great reason to see SLOW: Marking Time in Photography and Film, the newest exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. Adults with a Jacksonville Public Library card receive a discounted admission of $5, and children under 18 with a card receive free admission Tuesdays through Saturdays through April 7.

The exhibit focuses on artists and works that engage photography, film and video to explore questions of time and duration. Temporal elements invite the viewer to slow down the process of looking and engage with the works over an expanded period of time to observe their unfolding. For more details about the exhibit, click here.

Don’t stress about the test…

Sign up for FCAT Prep Classes @ your library

The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is an important tool for measuring student progress. In Florida, students have to meet Sunshine State Standards in academic subjects such as reading, writing, math and science, and achieve a certain FCAT score to receive a high school diploma. JPL has resources to help students prepare for FCAT, so register today. For teens 12 – 18.

FCAT Prep Classes

Southeast Regional Library
Saturday, March 9 @ 2 p.m.
10599 Deerwood Park Blvd. Call 996-0325 to register.
South Mandarin Branch Library
Saturday, March 16 @2 p.m.
12125 San Jose Blvd. Call 288-6385 to register.
Main Library
Saturdays – March 16 & March 23 @ 11a.m.
303 Laura St. N.  Call 630-0673 to register.

Feliz Aniversario! Spanish computer classes

Celebrate one-year milestone at JPL

April will mark the one-year anniversary of Spanish computer classes at the library. What started out as a pilot class at the Main Library has grown into a full range of computer class offerings with everything from Introduction to Computers, Word, social networking (think Facebook!) to accessing e-government resources and more. The classes have been close to full capacity at the Main Library and Webb Wesconnett Regional Library, so we’re adding classes in Spanish at the Argyle Branch Library as well.

Habla Español? Then take advantage of Spanish computer classes being held March 7, 8, 14 and 15. Click the dates on the JPL March calendar for more information; click the April calendar for classes on April 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26.

Get Financially Fit

Attend a free workshop at the library

It’s never too late to get your financial house in order. Take advantage of these helpful workshops free at the library, and get on the right track to budgeting and investing today.

Investing Basics - Part I

Discover the difference between saving and investing, how diversification reduces risk and the basics of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

When: Saturday, March 9 @ 10:30 A.M. – noon
Where: Main Library, 303 Laura St. N, Room G-4, Conference Center Level

Click here for more information or to register.

When:  Tuesday, March 12 @ 6 – 7:30 P.M.
Where: Southeast Regional Library, 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd.,Community Room B

Click here for more information or to register.

Managing Your Money in Tough Times

One of our most requested workshops is back! Learn how to make those tough decisions for spending and get tips for reducing expenses.

When:  Thursday, March 7 @ 6 – 7:30 P.M.
Where: Southeast Regional Library, 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd., Community Room B

Click here for more information or to register.

From La Florida 500 years ago to today

There’s a whole lot of history in between

JPL is proud to support Viva Florida 500, a statewide initiative to highlight the 500 years of historic people, places and events in present-day Florida since the arrival of Juan Ponce de León in 1513. This year marks 500 years of history and diverse cultural heritage in Florida—a claim no other state can make.

There’s no better way to learn about Florida’s history—its people, places and cultural achievements—than by going straight to the source—the Main Library’s Florida Collection. The Florida Collection is a reference collection of materials on Florida with an emphasis on Northeast Florida and Jacksonville. It is one of the largest collections of its type in a public library in Florida. The collection consists of nearly 20,000 cataloged books and pamphlets, and also includes rare manuscripts, photographs, postcards, periodicals, maps, stereographs, microfilm and documents. The Florida Collection is located on the fourth floor of the Main Library, so drop by and join us in celebrating the Florida we live in today!

Upcoming Board and Committee Meetings

Meeting times and locations are updated regularly. Check our Board of Library Trustees page for updates.

Governance Meeting
Date: To be determined
See JPL webpage for details
Contact: Andi Hammond, (904) 630-8717,

Finance Meeting
Date: Thursday, March 14
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: Main Library, Board Room
303 Laura St. N.
Contact: Andi Hammond, (904) 630-8717,

Board Meeting
Date: Thursday, March 14
Time: Noon
Location: Main Library, Conference Center, Multipurpose Room
303 Laura St. N.
Contact: Andi Hammond, (904) 630-8717,

JAX2025 and the future of Jacksonville

Where does your library fit in?

Did You Know…
…you can book a librarian for one-on-one personal assistance at Jacksonville Public Library? Let the professional tell you about the resources at the Main Library, help you with a specific research project, or point you in the right direction for the information you need. It’s easy; just fill out a Book-a-Librarian request form online. Allow 1-2 business days for a response. For immediate assistance, call (904) 630-2665. Most appointments are one hour or less.

Preparing your taxes?

Get help now at JPL

April 15 will be here before you know it so don’t delay. The AARP and the United Way’s RealSense Prosperity Campaign will host free tax assistance workshops at JPL branches and other community locations now through mid-April. AARP’s program gives special consideration to citizens who are 60 years and older while the Real$ense program is more income-based. For a schedule of dates and participating locations, visit our tax help page.

JPL is proud to welcome two new additions

To the Board of Library Trustees

Guy K. Anderson, a senior consultant at Kirkpatrick & Associates, Inc., joins the board as a voting member serving a four-year term. He has been active in the Jacksonville Community Council, Inc., participating in the library funding and city finance studies.

Daniela Simic joins the board as an ex-officio member representing the Duval County Public Schools, where she is Chief of Strategic Planning and Partnerships. Previously she was an academic supervisor and executive director of curriculum for the Miami-Dade County School District.

Branching Out

Schedule some teen time

Teen Tech Talk

Friday, March 15 @ 4 – 5:30 P.M.

Main Library, Teen Department

Play and learn at our tech petting zoo. We’re not talking about zebras and giraffes either—we’ll have a whole menagerie of tech devices for you to explore. You can take a Nook, Kindle, smartphone or tablet for a brief test drive right inside the Teen Department. You’ll also have an opportunity to sample cool new apps, learn how to check out e-books from the library and more!  For more information, call 630-0673.

Get your anime on!

Tuesday, March 19 @ 5 – 7 p.m.

University Park Branch, Public Meeting Room A

Hey teens, you already know that anime is all about great graphics, cool characters and fantastic themes, right? Then join the Anime Club to discuss the latest anime books and movies. It’s totally fun and you might discover something new about the world of anime—the popular Japanese animated art form. For more information call, 630-1265.

Support Us

FJPL seeks volunteers for petition drive

The Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library plays an important role as an advocate for our libraries. Ongoing budget cuts have made this role even more important in 2013. One important effort is the petition drive for a straw vote on an independent tax district for the library, as recommended by a recent JCCI study. Volunteers are needed to help with the petitions. Find out what you can do to lend a hand at or call FJPL President Harry Reagan at 891-7582.

Kudos to JPL’s Center for Adult Learning

Literacy project recognized as “exemplary” again

For the third consecutive year, JPL’s Center for Adult Learning has been recognized for its “Expanding Horizons Adult Literacy Project,” a Learning Services and Technology Act grant funded program. The program has been selected as one of three Exemplary Projects by the Florida State Library in its annual report to the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Exemplary Project Recognition Program highlights excellence in program planning, implementation, and evaluation with special emphasis on outcome measurements.  Congratulations to manager Sharon Jaskula and her staff for this important recognition.

KidSmart Kiosks set up at libraries

To inspire young students

Thanks to a donation by IBM on behalf of the city to the Jacksonville Public Library, the Main Library, Highlands, Dallas Graham, and Brentwood Branch libraries now offer Young Explorer™ computer kiosks to serve children ages four through seven in preschool literacy programs.

The City of Jacksonville was awarded the KidSmart kiosks by the IBM Foundation as part of Mayor Alvin Brown’s entrance into IBM’s Smarter Cities program. The kiosks, valued at $18,200, are being offered to the city at no cost to purchase or maintain. Equipped with award-winning educational software, the computers help children learn concepts in math, science and language, and acquire socialization skills such as cooperation and sharing.

Library Director Barbara Gubbin said, “IBM’s generous contribution of technology developed especially for young children supports our priorities of educational success for youth and increasing access to information and resources through technology.” She also encouraged parents to visit the library’s Link Up to Literacy website for more great ways to encourage young children to read.

Database Spotlight: The Florida Database
Google is not the only place to find cool information about Florida. The Florida Database at Jacksonville Public Library is loaded with interesting information. So if you missed a Florida Trend story about state government, want to see past articles about the Jacksonville Jaguars, or even find trivia about Walt Disney World, just type in a keyword or subject. And just for fun, check out the article about the mystery and intrigue surrounding the 450-year history of Mayport. Hint: Type in Jean Ribault as the subject, then click “news” for the interesting Times-Union story.

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