Roxanne Henkle loves Jacksonville and her community. Her spot as a staple in the Friends of the Willowbranch Library and Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP) represent that love.
A Friend of the Willowbranch Library since 1998 and the current President of the Friends group, Henkle has made numerous contributions to the entire library system. One of the most notable is the donation of a 3-D printer.
“I love technology,” Henkle explained, “I sponsored the 3-D printer personally because I see the need for the entire library system, not just the Willowbranch Library.”
With the donation, Henkle hopes to fill the gap of technology that the school system often can’t meet. She believes that children being exposed to new technologies, such as a 3-D printer, can spark an interest that may impact their future. Anyone can now take a class at select branches to learn more about how 3-D printers are used to create prototypes, print food and one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces.
Henkle’s donation of the 3-D printer only sparked her desire to do more for the Jacksonville Public Library system. A “punk” in her youth, Henkle was naturally drawn to the Zine Collection in the Main Library downtown. Zines, which are small magazines, often homemade and written by non-professional writers, are typically devoted to specialized or unconventional topics.
“I’ve been contributing to the Zine Collection since about a year after it started,”
Henkle said, “I just think they are so cool.” Henkle even goes out of her way to seek out new zines to buy for the collection when she or her friends travel. The library has a wish list of zines it would like to add to its collection and Henkle hunts those out specifically to purchase for donation.
In addition to her contributions of the 3-D printer and to the Zine Collection, Henkle has partnered with librarians at the Willowbranch Library and RAP to start a plot in the new Riverside Community Garden, just down the street from the library.
Henkle has been involved in the process of starting the Riverside Community Garden since January. When approached by the librarians to add a plot to the garden for the library, Henkle immediately thought it was a great idea and knew the plot in the garden could be used for programs at the Willowbranch Library.
They want to add a plot that is ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible. However, adding an ADA plot to the garden requires some construction. Since the librarians are usually working during peak daylight hours, Henkle selflessly volunteered to fulfill the hours necessary to make the ADA garden plot possible. Construction of the plot is anticipated to start soon. Her efforts haven’t gone unnoticed either.
“Roxanne is a ceaseless advocate for the Willowbranch library,” said Willowbranch Branch Manager Scott Adams. “She increases our branches visibility in the Riverside/Avondale community through partnerships with RAP and large projects like the community garden.”
When asked about her tenure as a Friend of the Willowbranch Library and community supporter, Henkle says she is just glad to be a part of the good. “I have worked with such a great group of people since 1998. It is a joy when we can come together to offer our support for our librarians in a way that brings the best programming to our community.”
Roxanne Henkle believes in the magic of a library and she intends to continue to advocate for the Jacksonville Public Library to keep that magic alive for generations to come.