The Best Library Branches to Visit in St. Johns County

Children's Library Reading Program in St Johns County

Whether in search of a youth reading program or local information that cannot be found online, a library is an important part of any community. Thankfully, Beacon Lake residents have convenient access to multiple public library systems throughout St. Johns County. This means families will have ample opportunities to provide their children with an environment that encourages learning and reading outside of school.

Below, we examine the best libraries for Beacon Lake’s curious young minds and thorough researchers alike to visit when in St. John’s County, St. Augustine, or the Jacksonville area.


St. Johns County Public Library System: Main Branch

Kid's Book Club St. Johns County

The St. Johns County Public Library system operates six branches in the areas surrounding Beacon Lake, but the branch with the greatest amount of offerings would be the Main Branch in downtown St. Augustine. Facing across the San Sebastian River on N Ponce De Leon Blvd, the Main Library has a host of offerings and an event calendar with regular community updates.

Among the library’s public offerings includes a convenient MobilePrint Service that allows patrons to print documents from home or a mobile device and conveniently pick them up at any branch for a low fee. Guests and library card holders alike can print in black and white or color simply by sending an email or by submitting files directly to the PrinterOn Main Branch site. This is a great option for families in need of emergency document printing, though users of this service are asked to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the close of the library for pickup.

The main branch has a wide variety of events running throughout the fall season for groups of all ages—both in person and virtual. Adult, teen, and children’s book clubs can be found throughout the month of October—as well as a murder mystery night and blood drive during the second full week of the month. Other events are added regularly, so those curious about getting involved with the St. Johns County library community should check back frequently to see new plans.

Contact Information

1960 N. Ponce De Leon Blvd.

St. Augustine, FL 32084

Phone: (904)827-6940

Fax: (904)827-6945



St. Augustine Free Public Library

Saint Augustine Free Public Library in Downtown St. Augustine

The St. Augustine Free Public Library is the oldest library in the state of Florida and a building with a fascinating history. The Segui-Kirby Smith House inside which the building still operates dates back to the late 1770s and was the childhood home of Edmund Kirby Smith—the Confederate States General that commanded the Trans-Mississippi Department in the Civil War. 

Roughly 300 years after the site was first occupied by Spaniards, it was acquired as part of an effort to form the St. Augustine Library Association. The library operated free to the public from 1874 until roughly the late 1980s, charging no fees for borrowing its books and surviving almost entirely on the donations of patrons.

Today, the building now belongs to the Saint Augustine Historical Society as a research library and remains open to the public free of charge. Most of the material cannot be checked out given its age and exclusivity, but Beacon Lake residents curious about the area’s history are highly encouraged to visit the Free Public Library’s reading room.

Contact Information

6 Artillery Ln

St Augustine, FL 32084

Phone: (904) 825-2333 



Jacksonville Public Library System: Argyle, South Mandarin, and University Park Branches

Jacksonville Public Library System for University Students

The Jacksonville Public Library system is a robust educational resource for the public that spans over 20 locations throughout the surrounding area—including Beacon Lake. While the Main Branch is temporarily closed for building upgrades, there are still several other branches worth browsing for locals seeking a library with dense public services.

The three branches Beacon Lake recommends checking out would be the Argyle Branch (our favorite of the building designs), South Mandarin (only about a 20 minute drive away from Beacon Lake), and University Park Branches (next to Jacksonville University). Each offers a rentable meeting room for nonprofits and community groups with a max occupancy of at least 40 people.

In addition to meeting rooms, many of the Jacksonville Public Libraries also offer other convenient services. Among these offerings includes a “digitization station” for transferring old photos and VHS tapes into a DVD or online format, a Center for Adult Learning that can assist with GED prep and ESOL services, and even 3D-printing capabilities.

Contact Information

Argyle Branch

7973 Old Middleburg Road S

Jacksonville, FL 32222

Phone: (904) 255-BOOK (2665)

South Mandarin Branch

12125 San Jose Blvd

Jacksonville, FL 32223

Phone: (904) 255-BOOK (2665)

University Park Branch

3435 University Blvd N

Jacksonville, FL 32277

Phone: (904) 255-BOOK (2665)