PONCE DE LEON – The brain child of Chairman of Ponce de Leon’s Town Council George Roberson has been brought to life.

The free library at Ponce de Leon Town Hall opened in October and is completely free for patrons to use.

Roberson wanted to do something that would be more convenient for residents to get to instead of having to travel to Bonifay to reach the Holmes County Public Library. However, patrons are encouraged to obtain a library card with HCPL.

Roberson is working with HCPL Director Susan Harris to have a computer placed at the town hall so patrons can have access to the internet. Harris says this is important, especially in rural counties.

"Internet is hard to come by in the more rural parts of our county," said Harris. "Having access to it means that if someone needs to fill out a job application, file for social security or anything else that requires an internet connection, they can do so at their local library."

With limited amounts of space at Town Hall, the hope is that one day a small building can be purchased and placed on the premises to hold the library. In the mean time, the walls of Town Hall are lined with donated book cases filled with donated books.

There may only be a few patrons each week, but Roberson and Town Clerk Tammy Melerine have hopes that will change. Melerine would like to hold story time for children as well as book signings in the future that would showcase local authors.

Harris says she is happy to support the growing library as much as possible.

"I think its great what they are doing in Ponce de Leon," said Harris. "I am happy to help them as much as I can to help provide a much needed service in that part of the county."

The library imbibes "free" in every sense of the word, including no late fees if books are not returned on time.

"We don’t charge people for not bringing a book back," Melerine said. "If someone wants a book they can check one out. If they want to return a different book, they can do that too."

If anyone would like to donate books, especially children’s books or book shelves, they can be made directly at Ponce de Leon Town Hall. Hours of operation are held during town hall business hours Monday – Friday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.. For more information call 850-836-4361.