News Briefs for the Week of June 16-22, 2022


Exploring Florida state parks through the library

The St. Johns County Public Library System has partnered with Florida State Parks, the Florida Department of State and Florida’s Division of Library Services to offer library patrons access to Florida State Parks through the Real Florida Reader Program. Now through Sept. 12, library card holders may check out a Real Florida Reader day pass for free admission for up to eight people at more than 170 participating state parks.

Passes may be checked out for seven days, with no holds or renewals, at any of the library branches. They do not cover activity fees or entry into special events, museum or boat tours, instructor certification diving, boat launching, rentals of picnic pavilions and other facilities, rentals of equipment such as canoes and kayaks, overnight camping or lodging.

Access to Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife, Skyway Pier and Weeki Wachee Springs state parks is also excluded from this program.

For more information about this program, go to or contact your local branch library. For information on other services the St. Johns County Public Library System offers, go to

Virtual Hiring Fair is June 16

Job seekers can consider work opportunities available from employers throughout the region during the CareerSource Northeast Florida virtual hiring fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, June 16.

More than 20 private and public-sector employers are taking part in the hiring fair so far, including DeVry University, Haeco Airframe Services, Metric Engineering, Children’s Home Society of Florida, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the State of Florida’s Department of Children and Families.

Job seekers must register to take part in the hiring event. Registration is open now at

Virtual employer booths will also be open to job seekers three days prior to the event, where they can preview the booths and job opportunities — allowing job seekers who cannot participate in the live event to submit their resumes in advance.

Reading program, magic show among summer fun

The St. Johns County Public Library System is encouraging youth and adults to participate in “The Best Summer at Your Library” Summer Reading Program now through Aug. 6. The program includes virtual and in-person opportunities that are fun for the whole family. Readers of all ages are invited to pick up their free reading logs from any library branch or track their progress virtually through the READsquared app. Participants may earn free books for every six days read on logs or 60 points reached on READsquared.

In addition, the library system is hosting the second annual “Amp up the Magic” show with magician Mark Alan at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. June 30 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340C A1A South. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or beach towels and bug spray for this free outdoor event. Register at

“The Best Summer at Your Library” is sponsored by the library system’s multiple Friends of the Library groups. To learn more about the summer reading program and how to register for the variety of programs, contact your local branch library or go to

Celebrity chef returning for seafood presentation

Celebrity Chef Warren Caterson will present “Seafood 101: Cooking Finfish and Shellfish for Two at Home.” In this presentation, he shares dozens of kitchen tips, cooking hints and humorous anecdotes about the joys and challenges of cooking seafood for two.

The chef will answer such questions as: Should I buy my seafood fresh or frozen? My fish seems to always come out dry; is there a fix? What’s the best way to cook fish? What’s the difference between farm-raised and wild-caught fish, and is one better than the other? Why are fish like tilapia so widely available and inexpensive? Can I use canned oysters or clams in place of fresh? Is it okay to serve red wine with seafood? And many more.

Chef Caterson will end the presentation with a seafood cooking demonstration, preparing a healthy seafood entrée that anyone can replicate in their own home in less than 10 minutes.

The presentation will be held 6-7:30 p.m. July 6 at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library.

Registration is required. RSVP at or call 904-827-6950 for assistance. This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library.

— Compiled by Shaun Ryan