The Jacksonville Public Library is the public library system of Jacksonville, Florida. It primarily serves Jacksonville and Duval County, and is also used by the neighboring Baker, Nassau, Clay, and St. Johns Counties. It is one of the largest library systems in Florida, with a collection of over three million items. A division of the city government, the library has the third largest group of city employees after the city’s Fire Department and Sheriff’s Office. There are twenty branches and a Main Library in the system.
The main library is located downtown near City Hall and Hemming Plaza, the Main Library opened in November 2005, replacing the Haydon Burns Library. Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the new library is almost three times the size of the Haydon Burns building. The North Laura facility is 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2) with the capacity to hold one million books. A 600-space parking garage across from the library building on Duval Street makes the Main Library easily accessible. State-of-the-art technology offers 250 public computers, satellite, and video conferencing capabilities with infrastructure to support future technologies. On April 18, 2012, the AIA Florida Chapter placed the Jacksonville Public Library – Main Library on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.
Jacksonville was the first library in Florida to offer a mobile library service, established in 1928. For over 75 years, the Jacksonville Public Library continued this service of providing accessible materials to rural residents and areas where a branch had not been established. However, due to funding cuts, the bookmobile was discontinued as of October 2005.
After the discontinuation of the bookmobile service, the library looked for ways to continue servicing the area where the mobile branch had been primarily operating. In 2012, the library opened the Oceanway Express location to provide limited service to customers who have no geographically-close library branch. The pickup/drop-off service is located near the Oceanway Community Center in northwest Jacksonville.