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Clay County Libraries Add Hours, Plan Automated RFID Checkout System

Jazmin Ortiz via Facebook
The Orange Park library displays its Spanish language section.

Clay County is extending hours at its public libraries, starting Thursday, Feb. 1. It’s a restoration of services following cuts during the recession a few years back and a standardization across the whole system.

All five libraries in Clay County are now open the same hours:

  • Monday – Thursday – 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday – 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday – closed

For most branches, that means staying open later into the evening.
County Commission Chairman Gavin Rollins said he’s proud the hours are being extended without hiring additional librarians or support staff. Instead, he said the county is hiring a single coordinator to direct a team of passionate volunteers.

In addition, he said, Clay libraries will likely soon add a radio frequency, or RFID, system that will check books out automatically using sensors.

“What we’re going to do is implement a system, which will, over the long run, save us a lot of money, in the same way the horse and buggy worked for a while, but automobiles have allowed us to travel much farther and faster and more inexpensively,” Rollins said.

He said such a system would likely cost more than $250,000 at the outset, but because it’s considered a capital improvement, more tax revenue can cover it than would be available for general operating costs like salaries.

Clay County Library locations can be found at:

  • Headquarters Library/Fleming Island – 1895 Town Center Blvd., Fleming Island
  • Green Cove Springs – 403 Ferris St., Green Cove Springs
  • Keystone Heights – 175 Oriole St., Keystone Heights
  • Middleburg-Clay Hill – 2245 Aster Ave., Middleburg
  • Orange Park – 2054 Plainfield Ave., Orange Park

Contact Jessica Palombo at 904-358-6315, or on Twitter at @JessicaPubRadio.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP