Florence-Lauderdale Public Library

Last week I wrote about the beautiful parks of Florence, but today I’m focusing on taking the fun indoors. For all the bookworms in the Shoals area, you probably are already aware of the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library that proudly sits in downtown Florence, next to Wilson Park. If you haven’t yet checked out this establishment you are truly missing out. But, wait! I feel like when we think of public libraries an image of a dark, musty building comes to mind that only offers the chance to pick up the occasional book. This is not the case for Florence’s public library. FLPL is a place of possibility for young and old and offers much more than a study spot or book check out. It’s a vibrant participant in the community and creates an atmosphere of opportunity and energy, while still maintaining its reputation as a quiet reading retreat.

First, we must talk about the appearance of the library and dispel any thoughts of a gloomy, dusty book depot. It is quite the opposite. This stereotype is immediately debunked as you walk into the front doors of the library, which face Wilson Park’s famous fountain and lovely spring scenery. Upon entering the library you’re greeted with a capacious, open atrium decorated with modern chandeliers and stately columns. To your right is an adorable kids’ section with artificial trees that reach the ceiling and offer a canopy to sit under and read. To the left are rows of books and your fiction section. It’s a spacious, airy atmosphere with floor to ceiling windows and a place you wouldn't mind getting lost in with a good book on a rainy or sunny day. While it’s a relatively quiet getaway, it’s also busy with activity up and downstairs.

On the main floor you can find the Fiction, Young Adult, and Children’s section as well as periodicals and quiet places to sit and read, work, or study. Upstairs hosts the Non-Fiction, historical, and movie sections, and includes computers open for public use. This floor is bustling with adult computer and technology classes, and historical displays. Right now they have artifacts and information set up on Tennessee during the War of 1812. The exhibition is a fun way to learn and the kids will love looking at the wax figures and glass cases with antique relics. In addition, they have scholarly discussion and presentations throughout April on various topics about the display. There are so many free activities, opportunities, and classes available at the library that I can only name a few, but first I want to focus on all the events available for children.
The kids’ section of the library is full of fun and educational happenings. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:30am there is “ABC’s Under the Trees”, another program on Thursday’s at 10:30am specifically for 2 year olds, and even a class for babies on Friday mornings at 10:30am. There is something for every age including teenagers where they can find help on their homework at their after school program on Tuesday’s at 4:00pm. There’s also a Mother-Daughter book club and reading program for everyone. Honestly, there is just too much to name. Every day they have something going on including a Lego club and Friday night “Family Movie Night” where they serve free popcorn and juice. Parents, if you’re stuck at home wondering what to do with your kids, head to the library right now and they will find something to do, whether it’s simply reading or participating in one of the many free classes the library has to offer.

There are also plenty of things for adults to do besides checking out a book or movie. Computer and technology classes are offered upstairs including Google Series, Beginner Series, and Microsoft Office Series. You can check out a guitar or learn a new language; or if you need a quiet place to study or conduct a business meeting there are study and meeting rooms available for reservation. The best part about it is everything is free! Keep an eye out on the FLPL website and check in for new and exciting programs all the time. On your way out of the library stop by the Friends’ Bookstore where books and magazines can be purchased for next to nothing. The money made by the bookstore is used to help support the library. There are tons of books circulating the bookstore that are old and new—you can also drop off old books that are crowding your bookshelves at home and clear up space for some new reading. Right next door Bookmarks Coffee Shop is ready to serve delicious coffee, snacks, and lunch options. It’s an adorable little coffee shop, perfect for a quick read or a break during your study session. There is just so much to do at Florence-Lauderdale Public Library, so if you don’t have your library card yet, today is the day to pick it up and let the fun begin!


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