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Library Employee, Friend Win 2018 NEFLIN Awards

Librarian Named Member of Year for Significant Community Impact

Friend of Brentwood Library Named Champion of Year for Support

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Sept. 18, 2018 – The Northeast Florida Library Information Network has named Julie Rekow of the Beaches Branch Library as the NEFLIN Member of the Year, for making a significant impact on her library and the community it serves. Rekow, a youth services librarian who has been employed at Jacksonville Public Library since 2011, has helped put the Beaches Branch Library on the map with its annual Comic Con, Deck the Chairs participation, and Harry Potter Yule Ball—successful events that bring the community together.

Beaches Branch Library Manager Theresa Rooney said, “Julie has made a positive impact on the community by tapping into pop culture to create Comic Con and other programs that encourage families and reluctant readers to enjoy themselves and experience the library in a cool, new way.” Rekow conceived the idea for Comic Con, which was originally met with skepticism, but  has become a popular annual event since it was first held in 2013. It was attended by over 2,000 in May 2018.

Rekow partnered with Fletcher High School honors art students to create a Harry Potter-themed lifeguard chair for the Jacksonville Beaches Annual Deck the Chairs holiday event; the chair won community recognition. She also developed a Harry Potter Yule Ball and a six-week Harry Potter Boot Camp series, which hundreds of teens and tweens attended.  

NEFLIN awarded Sharon Coon, founder and chair of the Friends of the Brentwood Library, the NEFLIN Champion of the Year award, for demonstrating exceptional support for Jacksonville Public Library. She helped organize and unite the JPL Friends Advocacy Group, comprising nine Friends’ groups, to help successfully advocate for library funding. Coon was honored with the Florida Library Association’s Outstanding Citizen award in May 2018.

Northeast Florida Library Information Network

A regional library cooperative for 25 years, NEFLIN currently serves 550 libraries in 24 counties throughout northeast Florida. NEFLIN provides members access to training, resource sharing, research and development, partnerships for grant funding, leadership opportunities, and additional services through relationships with other organizations.

About the Jacksonville Public Library

The mission of the Jacksonville Public Library is to enrich lives, build community and foster success by bringing people, information and ideas together. Last year, more than 3.4 million visits were made to Jacksonville Public Libraries, items were checked out more than 5.1 million times, and over 14,000 programs and services were offered to Duval County residents at the Main Library and 20 branch locations. For more information about the Jacksonville Public Library, call 630-BOOK (2665) or visit  


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Jacksonville Public Library