New Passion for Reading Video featuring Renata Hannans, "The Hope Dealer"

 Contacts: Chris Boivin, (904) 255-6106
Cell: (904) 338-2790,

Local Literacy Organizations Release New 'Passion for Reading' Video to Inspire Duval County Community 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 6, 2024 — In a world where true freedom lies within the human spirit, Renata Hannans, "The Hope Dealer," reveals how books can unlock the doors to healing and transformation. Working with incarcerated youth, Renata uses the power of literature to guide them toward a  path of recovery and hope. Her inspiring words, now captured in a new Passion for Reading video, showcase the profound impact that reading can have on anyone seeking a second chance.

As the City of Jacksonville heads into summer—a perfect time to [re]discover reading-—we are pleased to release Hannans' Passion for Reading episode. In addition to her tireless work in literacy and education in Jacksonville, Hannans is the author of two books, P.S. Never Give Up Hope, and I'm Here for the Girls.

Hannans has been recognized with several awards for her activist work and community leadership, including but not limited to: READ USA’s 2020 recipient of the READ TO HEAL Award, the United Way of Northeast Florida’s Sherwood Smith Children’s Champion Award and in 2016, she was chosen as a Florida Black Pages Top 20 under 40. Additionally, in 2022, she was in class VI of the Hightower Emerging Leaders Fellowship through the Jax Chamber.

The leadership and staff of Jacksonville Public Library, READ JAX, and the Library Foundation of Jacksonville would like to thank Ms. Hannans for sharing her passion for reading in this latest video. Her insights inspire us all to embrace the joy of reading. By following the advice Renata always offers, "just pick up a [gives us] the freedom to be who we really are," we can foster a thriving, literacy-focused community across Duval County.

Watch the video

View and share Renata Hannans' Passion for Reading episode on YouTube and social media. Let’s ignite the love for reading and empower our community through the magic of the written word.

Take Mayor Deegan's River City Readers Challenge this Summer

One great way to get that therapeutic benefit Hannans describes: join Mayor Deegan's River City Readers Challenge! Download the Beanstack app, log your reading, and help your city reach 1,000,000 minutes read in 2024. Visit to get started. 

About 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 3.1 million visits were made to Jacksonville Public Libraries, items were checked out more than 4.7 million times, and over 15,000 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 255-BOOK (2665) or visit


READ JAX is a community-wide initiative that aspires to a future where all Duval children are reading at or above grade level by the end of 3rd grade. The Jacksonville Public Education Fund and Kids Hope Alliance are helping to lead this effort alongside various community organizations. Together, these organizations have identified four key elements to drive the shared vision of READ JAX: home learning/ family engagement, quality early care & education, VPK - third-grade instruction, and broader community engagement. READ JAX is also part of the Florida Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. For more information about the READ JAX, visit

About The Library Foundation of Jacksonville

The mission of the Library Foundation of Jacksonville is to inspire, advocate, and grow philanthropic support for the Jacksonville Public Library in service to lifelong learners throughout our diverse community. The Foundation—a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization—provides community members, corporations, and other stakeholders with opportunities to invest in the success of the Library. With private financial support, the Foundation expects to support and enhance the Library’s current funding system, not to replace the tax base and public community dollars so essential to the core of the Library mission. Managed by the Board of Directors, the Foundation is wholly independent of the City of Jacksonville, the Library, and the Library Board of Trustees. To learn more call 904-255-6192 or visit

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