Fostering Connections

May 14, 2024 | Communities, Freeport, Walton & Beyond

Image of a stack of books

Friends of the Freeport Public Library seek community support

By Wendy O. Dixon

The Freeport Public Library is a beacon of knowledge, a beloved destination and a hub of activity. A place where people of all ages can come and explore, read, discover and grow. In addition to those seeking solace with a good book, you can spot curious researchers thumbing through piles of literature, people seeking resources to pursue their passions, kids going on an adventure during the summer reading programs. Book club members discussing their latest great read.

In many ways the library is the heart of the community. 

The library is fundraising for an expansion to the current facility. The library began the building process in 1998, and opened to the public in April 2001.

“The population of Walton County has grown 110% since that time with the City of Freeport growing at an even faster rate,” says Caitie Cerise, library director for the Walton County Public Library System. “The current library is 4,500 square feet, and the expansion will double the size to include a large programming room, enclosed children and teen areas, small study rooms, and outdoor program space.”


A picture of the new book mobile

In addition to the building fund, the Friends of the Freeport Public Library (FFPL) support the library’s outreach efforts by obtaining funding for a new bookmobile, which began operation in April 2023, funding scholarships for Career Online High School, which provide tuition waivers for adults who want to earn a high school diploma, and supporting events and programs for children and teens through funding. “Our fundraisers are for garnering community support to benefit this free public library and its programs,” says Lori Logue, president of the FFPL. “The city has donated land behind the current library, but we have to raise a lot of funds.” 

Summer Reading, the library’s largest program of the year, will begin in June and go through July with the goal of supporting school-aged children through the summer months. Educational programs, prizes, and an end-of-summer celebration are all funded in part by the Friends and local supporters. 

Pirate character reading a book

The library director is also working on a county-wide program for early literacy that is still in the early stages of development, and the Friends will be assisting as needed. 

Advocacy is a big part of the Friends, as they inform City Councils and County Commissioners about the great services and programs at the library to encourage increased funding. 

The Friends also support the Little Free Pantry beside the library by keeping it stocked, organizing food drives, and writing funding grants to purchase needed supplies. They are always looking for opportunities for the community to help gather resources for the pantry by hosting a food drive, or providing items or financial donations for this project. 

The library provides services and programs to the community at no charge, and the Friends help expand what the library can do to support innovation, discovery, and life-long learning for all members of the community.

Follow the Friends of Freeport Library Facebook Page to learn more about programs and fundraising activities.


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