When Jim and I moved to Sanibel, we were surprised by just how “big” this small barrier island is in terms of the resources available to the community. Coming from the big city and suburbs of Miami, we thought we would have to give up some of the common “mainland” luxuries such as a large recreation center, interesting art and history museums, and a nice public library. Come to find out Sanibel has all of these things and more!
One of my favorite discoveries on the island was in fact, the Sanibel Public Library. I’m lucky that my whole family, from our youngest in Kindergarten to our oldest in high school, enjoys reading for school and for fun. We often find ourselves at the library for after-school tutoring sessions or student group project collaborations.
Our youngest, Abbie enjoys the children’s library on the right wing of the building, and our older kids hang out in the “teen space” where they work on homework with their friends. For the past couple of years, we have been attending the Sanibel Public Library Summer Camp Program. The librarians are so great with the kids, they’ve always really enjoyed the camp.
As for me, I tend to use the quiet time in the library to get some uninterrupted work done. Sometimes I take a break to browse the library’s special “Sanibel History” collection of books that are written about our sanctuary island, or written from an author on the island. As you can imagine, this is an interesting collection of books and artifacts, unique to the Sanibel Public Library.
But enough about me! What’s there to do for you? Well, if the children’s library or teen space are not “your thing,” you’ll be happy to know that there is an extensive collection of books, periodicals, magazines and AV materials in the library as well.
The Sanibel Library hosts a number of book clubs that you can get involved with – a great way to meet some locals and chat about your favorite reads! There is even an area for enjoying board games and puzzles together.
The library also puts together a great author and lecture series where noted writers and speakers have come to talk about their work, tell their stories, and meet with fans. Numerous book signings and meet-and-greets occur on the island throughout the year, just ask the friendly librarians at the front desk if they know who’s coming to town next!
Last but not least, if you prefer to go to the library for peace and quite, this is your place. The Sanibel Public Library actually has an outdoor reading porch with rocking chairs that overlook the peaceful lake behind the building.
Warning: The relaxing atmosphere and comfy chairs could potentially rock you to sleep, not that I know from experience or anything.
I hope you find as much joy in the local library as I do with my family! Don’t forget to pick up some fun Sanibel Public Library gear while you’re there – like this lovely pink hat our son Andrew so boldly sports with his sisters!