More than just book worms: Destin Library Celebrates National Library Week

Savannah Vasquez
Librarian Jurate Burns stands among the stacks at the Destin Library.

Did you know that the Destin Library hosts seasonal concerts, weekly children’s programs and has a state-of-the-art digital media center? How about the fact that as part of a co-op of libraries, the Destin Library has access not only to their inventory but the full range of books, DVD’s, CD’s and other media sources from five other libraries in the area? Well this week, April 12-18, library’s across the country will celebrate National Library Week, so it is a perfect time to get to know this hidden treasure that has been quietly serving the city for 75 years.

“The purpose of library week is to promote libraries,” Destin Librarian Jurate Burns said, adding that this year’s theme for National Library Week is ‘Unlimited possibilities at your library.’ “We have so many people who have never been here, who aren’t taking advantage of what we offer.”

So besides books what does the Destin Library offer? 

“We have audio books, DVD’s, study courses, computer labs, free Wi-Fi,, tablets for the kids and our new digital media lab,” Library Administrative Assistant Tina Kaple said to name a few. “We also have special monthly programs for kids, a teen section and seasonal events throughout the year.”

Both Burns and Kaple agree that the Destin Library has transformed greatly since its inception in 1940.

“It started off in one room in the Destin Presbyterian Church,” said Burns. “Then it moved into the community center and in 1966, into what is now the Destin History and Fishing Museum, and this building was finished in 2003.”

“I think people forget what the library would have looked like in 1940,” said Kaple. “We offer so much more today.”

Several events are scheduled at the Destin Library next week, but Burns said they are not specifically for National Library Week.

 “In the past, the week was a marketing tool for local libraries, but in this technologically-savvy generation, libraries are able to self-promote through various social media channels,” she said. “It’s very busy, but our programs are really spread throughout the month of April.”

“The big thing for us next week is that we are going to open our Digital Media Lab to the public,” said Kaple. “This media lab has two target audiences. Teens; to allow additional time for school projects, or just to have some fun; And the other is small businesses, to create videos and tutorials.”

Kaple explained that the new lab will feature computers with photo and video editing software, and video creation tools such as video cameras, a green screen and studio lights.

When asked what the main hope behind National Library Week is for the Destin Library, both ladies had a different answer.

“To teachers and parents, we want to let them know we can supplement what the kids are getting in school,” said Kaple. “Just let us know what you need.”

As for Burns, she wants the community to experience the library for themselves.

“One of my biggest desires really is that everyone in Destin would visit us at least once,” Burns said. “There really are endless possibilities at the Destin Library.”

For more information about the Destin Library visit and click on the Library tab, visit the Destin Library Facebook page or call 837-8572.

National Library Week events at the Destin Library include:

Grand opening of the Digital Media Lab, April 13.

Katie’s Kids, April 14 at 3:15 p.m. for children kindergarten to second grade.

Cuddlers and Toddlers Story time, April 16 at 9:30 a.m. for children 4-years old and under.

Teen Literature Day, April 16.

The Friends Guild of the Destin Library will also be on-hand throughout the week to share the benefits of the club and to enlist new members.