Little Free Library goes up at Gayle's Trails entrance
The City of Panama City Beach has partnered with a local branch of the Little Free Library and has a new library exchange box on Gayle’s Trails inside the Colony Club subdivision.
The Little Free Library contains more than a dozen fiction and nonfiction books, from romance and mysteries to faith-based and inspirational reading. The freshly painted white and blue box is located on the eastern entrance of Gayle’s Trails, on Moonlight Bay Drive, and adjacent to a map showing the City’s trail system.
The box was just installed the first of the year through a memorandum of understanding between the library and the City, through the Parks and Recreation Department.
Ward 2 Councilman Phil Chester said the Little Free Library is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
“It’s a nice little thing to offer our residents and users of the trails,” said Chester, who lives near the Little Free Library. “It’s a great way to promote reading and is a free, convenient way to trade reading materials. I think people will love it.”
The Little Free Library is a national nonprofit network of free book exchanges designed to foster a love of reading. The libraries provide access to books for readers of all ages and from all backgrounds. Users of the libraries are asked to take a book and/or leave a book. It operates on the honor system.
Kathleen Branks was responsible for getting the library up at Gayle’s Trails.
“I thought utilizing the trail for a Little Free Library would enhance my experience as a steward and open up the possibilities for a great book exchange,” she said. “My love of reading has been rekindled with the birth of each grandchild. I created reading wish lists for each one before they were born and always include a book as a gift for them.”
Under the agreement with the City, the Little Free Library installs and maintains the library box and monitors the donation box weekly and keeps the area free of litter.
“My hope is that books will always be accessible to those who want them,” said Branks. “Personally, I prefer a physical book to reading online, but my message to people is to read in any format that is available.”
Other libraries are located outside the PCB City limits near Baypoint and off North Lagoon. Four libraries went up in Panama City last fall. There are currently more than 70,000 Little Free Libraries in 85 countries.
“Another important aspect of this library is it never closes and the book exchange is always accessible,” said Chester. “We don’t want anyone to not have access to books. This is a great way to support our existing library system and promote literacy.”