Passengers flying through Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) can now take, borrow or trade a book for free at the Bailey Terminal near baggage claim. The PGD Flybrary partnership with the Charlotte County Library System is intended to promote literacy, reduce flight anxiety and help create a positive travel experience.
“Flying is the perfect time to settle into a good book, said Charlotte County Airport Authority Commissioner Kathleen Coppola. “Thanks to the new PGD Flybrary, a good book won’t be hard to find.”
The PGD Flybrary is a 20-foot space in the hallway adjacent to baggage claim with 14 shelves of reading material and a backdrop of blue skies, white clouds and inspirational quotes. Signage encourages airport visitors to take a book to borrow for their travels, trade a book, or leave one for others to enjoy. There are no fees and visitors are under no obligation to return the books.
“We developed the Flybrary based on the ‘Little Free Library’ concept, but creatively modified it to have a lofty aviation theme, be indoors and be large enough to accommodate the growing number of passengers travelling through Punta Gorda Airport,” said PGD’s Marketing & Communications Manager Kaley Miller.
In early 2018, LeAnn Beckwith, librarian supervisor for the Punta Gorda Branch of the Charlotte County Library System, first proposed the idea of an airport book exchange or Little Free Library where passengers could pick up some reading materials to take on their flight.
“Board books for young children can be a great distraction during long waits. Reading can also help relieve stress and be comforting to folks who may be anxious flyers,” said Beckwith.
The Library System is responsible for replenishing reading materials for the PGD Flybrary with used paperback books, hardcover books and magazines, utilizing its excess inventory and/or donations from the Friends of the Punta Gorda Library. PGD staff and library volunteers will also help monitor the inventory and add a Flybrary sticker to the back of each book that’s left on a shelf.
“The Flybrary is a great way to reinforce a positive airport experience and the importance of our local libraries. No matter where the books travel, their readers will see the Flybrary sticker with our logos and be reminded of Charlotte County,” said Charlotte County Airport Authority Commissioner Paul Andrews.
While the Flybrary is accessible to all, its reading materials are intended for traveling guests, families and children flying through PGD. Patrons wishing to donate books to the Flybrary beyond its shelving capacity are encouraged to email PuntaGordaLibrary@charlottecountyfl.gov or call 941-833-5460 for further directions.