After literal years of anticipation, and even in the midst of rolling power outages, I was able to get my library card on Friday morning.
Moving here in the spring of 2020 gave me a weird perspective on St. John life. I made the decision to move pre-pandemic and, once the ball was already too far rolling to turn back, I ended up arriving (and quarantining) during the first island shutdown in May of 2020. A lot of businesses were closed or on limited hours, so I ended up very much in a cycle of going straight to work and coming straight home for the majority of that first year.
One thing that kept coming up as a craving during this time was access to books. I left the majority of my beloved book collection in the states. A professor friend of mine in Arkansas sent me five books to start my home library that summer (thanks again, John).
As I have mentioned before, I worked at a library in Kansas City for a few years. The access a library card gave my students was virtually endless. I have been SO looking forward to the opening of the Elaine Ione Sprauve Public Library and Museum and I am so grateful that we are finally here.
On Friday morning, I set out for Cruz Bay to acquire my library card and let the access begin! I was planning to make it a whole family affair, but my 1-year-old intern/sidekick decided to fall asleep in the car, so my husband stayed with her while I went in to get started.
Ms. Pam Richards let me inside the gorgeous, historic building and aided me with the application process. Though it was quick and easy, there was a bit of misinformation circulating the internet and I did not arrive with the necessary paperwork. Fortunately, Pam was able to direct me to alternate options.
To get your library card, you will need to prove St. John residency. They will need your VI Drivers License, Voter ID Card, or a copy of your current lease with photo ID verification. If neither of these things are available, they will accept a utility bill with photo ID verification (but not your vehicle registration, despite what Facebook might tell you – haha).
While Pam finished up my paperwork, she encouraged me to snoop around and get acclimated with the space. It is absolutely stunning. I am so excited to take Maizie for weekly visits and to explore the collection.
A HUGE benefit of getting your VI library card is that it will also give you access to Hoopla, a site that allows you to borrow media digitally. I was so excited to redownload the app after years of not using it! I previously used Hoopla for audiobooks and eBooks, but you can also access music, movies, TV, magazines, and comics.
If you have any questions or concerns about how to get your library card, the staff will be more than happy to assist. The library is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 7pm and on Saturdays from 10am to 5pm. They are closed Sundays and Mondays.
My husband and I are still hosting Pop-Up Children’s Storytime at the Gazebo in Franklin Powell Park every Monday at 4:30pm. I am so excited to expand our story offerings now that we have library access.