Current Issues

Children and Teen Programs

June Programs:

Stories for young children

Thursdays @ 10:30a.m.
June 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd
Age(s): Birth to 5 years

This program is for children birth to 5 years with an adult caregiver. The program includes stories, fingerplays, nursery rhymes, and songs that promote language development, vocabulary building, and comprehension.

Free Summer Lunch Program

Tuesdays through Fridays
June 14th, 15th, 16th, 17, 21rst, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 3p.m. - 4p.m.

Age(s): School Age, Early Childhood, Tween
Meeting Room

Nutritious (and FREE!) lunches served to children under the age of 18! Children do not need to be enrolled in camps or activities to receive a meal, just show up during mealtime. This program is a partnership with the Jacksonville Children’s Commission.

Summer Learning Kick-Off Party

Tuesday, June 14th, 3:00p.m. - 4:00p.m.
Age(s): 5-12
Meeting Room

Kick off a whole summer of learning fun at the Jacksonville Public Library.

Ciaran Sontag: Music Moves Us

Tuesday, June 21rst, 3:00p.m. - 4:00p.m.
Age(s): School Age
Meeting Room

Sontag will be using musical activities to help build excitement about learning reading, language arts, and math. This interactive program gives children the opportunity to participate in a hands-on musical experience.

School Age Mini-Series: Cook a Book

Wednesday, June 22nd and 29th, 3:00p.m. - 4:00p.m.
Age(s): 5-12
Meeting Room

Who says you can't play with your food? Join us for a snack making, book reading, game playing good time. These Olympics themed programs encourage creativity and develop creative thinking skills through open-ended projects and activities, while highlighting library resources and promoting reading and learning. Attendance will be limited to 20 participants. Arrive early to secure your spot!

Teen Mini-Series: Book It

Thursday, June 23rd and 30th, 3:00p.m. - 4:00p.m.
Age(s): Teen, Tween
Meeting Room

Need a new challenge? Like books? Join us to book it through teen literature. Each week, you’ll be introduced to a different best-selling teen book or series. Join us to play games, compete and find your new favorite book.

Jacksonville Zoo: Zoofari Outreach

Tuesday, June 28th, 3:00p.m. - 4:00p.m.
Age(s): 5-12

Young scientists will get a close up view of live animals from the Jacksonville Zoo while learning about the animals’ biology and habitats. 

1-on-1 Tech Tutoring

Thursdays, June 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th 12:30p.m. - 3:30p.m.
Age(s): Adult

One-on-one help with ebooks, email, the Internet, online applications, and basic computer instruction. For downloadable media assistance, bring your charged laptop, e-reader or tablet with you. Visit or call your branch to sign up.

15 City Peer Comparison Shows Jacksonville as “Dead Last”

Jacksonville Pubic Library System is “Dead Last” among its 15 peer library systems according to a comparison updated last year (.pdf) that contains more information about public service hours per week, visits per hour and the identity of the peer library systems. 

The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce will be taking its Leadership Trip this year to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This was an excellent choice for many reasons. Kudos to the Jax Chamber Leadership Team. 

Let’s take a look at the Oklahoma Metropolitan Library System, which is a peer system to the Jacksonville Library System. There is a Downtown Library in Oklahoma City open 70 hours per week. The Jacksonville Main Library is open only 52 hours per week. Which metropolitan area should be more attractive to a business seeking to relocate to a large city?

The Oklahoma Metropolitan Library System has 18 branches. The Jacksonville Public Library System has 20 branches, including the Willowbranch Branch Public Library which has been closed for a portion of the past two years. The tale of these two metropolitan areas speaks volumes. So how do they compare in August 2015 as to the average hours open to the public:

  • Consolidated City of Jacksonville - 41 average hours per week.  
  • Oklahoma Metropolitan System - 62 average hours per week. 
  • 6 out of the 7 branch libraries within Oklahoma City proper are open 7 days per week. 
  • However, in comparison, not a single branch library within the entire Consolidated City of Jacksonville is open 7 days per week. Not a single one! 
  • Sixteen of twenty-one libraries within the Consolidated City of Jacksonville are only open 5 days per week. The four urban core libraries are currently shuttered all day Saturday and Sunday, all weekend. All 19 of the Oklahoma Metropolitan System libraries are open on Saturdays. No exceptions. Not true in Jacksonville where the weekends are not a friendly place for patrons and “would-be patrons,” young and old, for the four urban core libraries.
  • Within the entire Oklahoma Metropolitan System and its 19 libraries, 14 libraries are open 7 days per week. 

The Friends of the Murray Hill Public Library, Inc. have repeatedly expressed their desire to have the Murray Hill branch library open seven days a week to all. Is that too much to ask? Should we move our businesses and residences to Oklahoma? We love Jacksonville. It is our home. But honestly, we can do better. We must. This is “an embarrassment” to residents and the business community, alike.

Libraries are not just about books!

Our libraries provide places for people to seek employment, participate in community meetings, access multimedia materials, and further the education and of our children. These are just a few of the important functions that our libraries serve.

Consider the following facts: 

  • Early literacy remains a problem in our community and the public libraries are a critical part of the solution.
  • Public libraries should be sufficiently funded so that their doors are open to the children of our community during weekdays and weekends.
  • Attracting businesses and jobs to Jacksonville requires that we pay attention to the health of our public libraries that support our overall educational system.
  • Businesses will not relocate to a city where its public libraries are shuttered and closed.
  • Libraries offer more than just books, but provide a range of services and materials for the entire population.


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