SoWal's Coastal Branch Library Brimming With Events & Activities

January 11, 2016 by Manny Chavez

Got the winter blahs? Weather not cooperating with your outdoor activity schedule? No worries…any weather is good weather at the Walton County Coastal Branch Library.

Conveniently located just off Hwy 331 next to South Walton High School, the library has a lot to offer both residents and visitors (snowbirds LOVE the library and all its offerings).



Printed books, audio books, cassettes, CD’s, and various music CD’s are all available at the library.  Also, 13 computers, two scanners, and both b&w and color printers can be used during the regular library hours: Monday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Tuesday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; closed Sundays.

Library cards are free to Walton county residents and non-residents can purchase a 6-month seasonal card for $25 or an annual card for $35. Many of the library offerings are available without a card.



“We have a wonderful paperback collection available to travelers and seasonal non-residents,” explains Coastal Branch Manager Linda Thompson.

No card is required to borrow these books which are mostly popular fiction offerings. Linda heads the library staff including Wanda Cherry, Belinda Balzer, Shirles Johnson, and Deirdre Kelly. Volunteers include Bev Burgess, Lynn Stephens, and numerous high school students currently working toward their future scholarships.



The library has brought back their popular South Walton Coastal Branch Library Winter Community Lecture series to be held Jan. 6 - Feb. 24. These free lectures kicked off Jan. 6th with local historian Chick Huttel’s “War in the Gulf of Mexico: the German U-boat Invasion.” His lecture was welcomed by an overflow audience. The series will culminate Feb. 24 with a Film Screening of "Coastal Dune Lakes; Jewels of Florida’s Emerald Coast.”

Each lecture is held at 10 a.m. on each Wednesday of the months of January and February, 2016. For more information on the series, please go to Just click on the Coastal Branch Library button, Calendar, and then Winter Community Lecture button on Wednesdays.



The website provides a comprehensive listing of library activities which includes everything from Yoga with Emily to various art group meetings and Story Time. Local artists are well-represented at the library with monthly exhibits featured throughout the library space. With ample window lighting throughout, the art work is wonderfully showcased.

To encourage reading, the library conducts “Reading Challenges” whereby students between the ages of 7-14 and older teens can keep track of their individual time spent reading during each monthly period. Their names are then entered into a drawing to win a kindle Fire 7 (Teen Category) or a boys or girls bicycle (Age 7-14 Category).



The Age 7-14 Category reading challenge drawing will be held April 11, 2016 and will coincide with National Library Week. The bikes (donated by Wal Mart) will be given away then. As part of the activities, members of the North Bay Clan of Lower Creek Muskogee Tribe will have a Unity Drum presentation, storytelling, and dancing demonstration. Contact the library at 850-267-2809 for further information.

Book donations are a part of any library and the Coastal Branch Library certainly follows suit. Books can be donated at any time and will be utilized at the Friends of the Coastal Branch Library Winter Book Sale on Friday, Feb. 12 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Hardback books will go for $1, Paperbacks, $.50. The sale will be conducted in the Coastal Branch Library Community Room.

Other Special Events available from the SoWal library include: Preschool Class-Storytime, 10 a.m., Thursdays; Booklovers Discussion Group, 2nd Tuesday monthly 10 a.m. Sept.-May; Lego Builders Club, Wednesdays, 3:30-4:30 p.m.; Tail Waggin’ Tutors Read to Dogs, Wednesdays 3 p.m.; Knitwits Knitting Club, every other Monday 1-3 p.m.; Tai-chi, Wednesdays 1-3:30 p.m.; and Women on the Fringe (quilting and more), 1st Wednesday 10 a.m.


Manny Chavez's picture

Manny Chavez

Manny and his wife Kris moved to the Emerald Coast in 1992. After 16 years as staff photographer for The Houston Post, Manny has successfully transitioned to creative weddings and beach portraits.

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