Get Inspired to Volunteer this Earth Day and Beyond!

Monday, April 22, 2024

Volunteers Needed. Image includes a bull horn.

# Better Than We Found It

April 22 is Earth Day! Started in 1970, the day is often celebrated via organized volunteer events with the health of our planet or our local natural resources in mind. Some folks celebrate by volunteering at a beach or river cleanup or by picking up trash in a park. 

The founder of Earth Day, US Senator Gaylord Nelson, actually called on students to fight for environmental causes. That first year, over 20 million people nationwide attended inaugural events, including many young people and youth organizations. Today, youth activists use Earth Day to call for a reduction in plastic production and use as well as other human activities that impact the environment and hundreds of millions of people in countries all around the world participate!

When Everyone Helps, Everyone Wins

Are you new to volunteering or activism? Whether you're looking for inspiration, role models, or just a place to start giving back and making a difference: the Library has you covered!


# Book Recommendations

We love to share selections that demonstrate the range of our collection all year and we encourage you to explore these books with us on Earth Day (and beyond)!


Earth Day Books for Kids



Books for Teen Activists and Volunteers



Making a Difference as an Adult



Local Earth Day Celebration

More than 20 public and nonprofit organizations will join together to commemorate the 54th anniversary of Earth Day at James Weldon Johnson Park on Friday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in downtown Jax, across from the Main Library. This event is hosted by the Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board and JEA, with support from the City of Jacksonville and the Keep Jacksonville Beautiful Commission. Stop by to learn about protecting the environment, conservation, reducing energy and water use, and preventing pollution. 

James Weldon Johnson Park will offer local entertainment and several food trucks for lunch options. 

Inspired to Volunteer?

Did you know? You can volunteer at Jacksonville Public Library!  For example, adults can volunteer during summer break to help ensure that kids do not go hungry while school is out of session. Every year, the Library partners with the Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Florida to distribute free lunches to all children 18 years and younger. Volunteers assist with room setup, distributing lunches, and cleanup. 

Note: Youth ages 12-15 years may only volunteer as a member of the Teen Advisory Board (TAB) and/or during the Summer. TAB is offered only in person at select branches. Youths between 16-18 years may participate in TAB and/or in different capacities in our locations.

Click here to learn more about how you can make a difference!

Become a Friend of the Library

Friends of the Library groups are independent, community-managed groups that are organized to enhance the reach and value of the library. While many people know them for their awesome used book sales, they use the proceeds from those sales to enhance programs, collections and even fund things like beautification projects for the library branch location they're supporting.

Click here to contact a group and ask them about joining them as a member or volunteer.

Mayor Deegan's River City Readers. Image includes people of all ages reading books.

# Let's Get Duuuval Reading!

Are you participating in Mayor Deegan's River City Readers challenge? Through the Beanstack app, children and their caregivers will be able to log their reading minutes with an individual goal of reading at least 20 minutes per day, and a citywide goal of reading a million minutes in 2024. At the end of the year, the city’s top young readers will be given prizes!

Join the Challenge

  1. Go to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Download and open the Beanstack Tracker app.
  2. You can also register and log your reading minutes on the Beanstack website at
  3. Using the Find a Site search bar, type Jax Library or River City Readers