Libraries turn page on Teen Read Week

Published: Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 03:51 PM.

" St. Augustine has us beat by a few years for oldest library," Owens said.

As manager of the DeFuniak Springs Library, Owens said the library's history has helped increase its patronage over the years.

"We've had students in Central Florida contact us for a school project; people will look it up and stop in to see what it looks like," he said.

When the library first opened in July 1887, it had only a dozen or so books. Today, it has more than 50,000 items. Libraries aren't just book lenders, they can be a portal to the past.

"It's funny — there's a photograph of the library from 1891 and in front of the library is a bush about 3-feet high," Owens said. "It was an oak tree, and now, it's massive."

While Teen Read Week is primarily to encourage reading, librarians relish the opportunity to raise awareness to all that local libraries offer.

"The whole idea is get teenagers interested in reading," said Thompson. "But it's also important that young people have fun and are comfortable at the library." 

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