One of the first things we explored upon moving to Walton County was the library. We came from a place that spoiled us- stacks and stacks, fantastic children’s programs, and a checkout limit of 50 items. There was a community garden on the grounds and a café inside. The lobby was an art gallery. Plus, it shared a parking lot with Krispy Kreme.
Now, I wasn’t expecting that kind of experience moving to a smaller community. But, for our family, the library is a good place to start looking for activities and friends. Even though we live in Defuniak now, the Coastal Branch is still where you can find us regularly. Here’s why!
1. Reading to Dogs– AJ, Duffy, and Buster Brown happily listen to children improving their reading skills. The dogs are all trained therapy dogs. This program builds confidence of young readers in the cutest way possible.
2. Story Time– Toddlers and preschoolers get an hour of storybooks, music, crafts, and snacks. It’s a good way to get the wiggles out.
3. Lego Club– It’s awesome! This program is so popular, the Coastal Branch added a second weekly session. The Freeport library launched a similar one, too. Kids get a base to free build for an hour. Then they save the board for next session and put them on display in the library.
4. Chess Club– Mr. Owens, the library director, meets players of all levels on Monday evenings. He gives great tips and helps young players learn the secrets of the game.
5. Reading Programs– The library hosts challenges in the winter and summer. The summer session includes programs like magic shows, paper airplane competitions, and sea turtle experiences. Rangers from Topsail Hill also have Reading with a Ranger monthly at the Coastal Branch.
6. Beach Reads– Did you know there is a whole section of paperbacks available to everyone? That’s right! You and your out-of-town guests can take any book with a yellow sticker on the spine without a library card. These titles are available on the honor system and include popular series and classics.
7. Hobby Clubs– Painting, Knitting, Meditating, Reading, Writing are just a few of the adult hobby groups that meet at the Coastal Branch.
8. Beat the Heat– Let’s face it, summer in Florida can be too hot and too wet. We don’t have a ton of options of indoor entertainment. The library is a cool, free place to get out of the house and explore something new.
You can find even more reasons to check out the Coastal Branch library by visiting their website. We’ll see you there!