ARIPEKA, Fla. — Volunteers in the small coastal community of Aripeka are working hard to maintain a connection with the community's past by preserving its library.

  • History of library being preserved by resident Louis Charity
  • Volunteer efforts being noticed by community
  • More Good News stories

Resident Rene Bennett visited the Aripeka Library when she first moved to the area and instantly fell in love. 

"It's like a step back in time," Bennett said. 

The small library in the old fishing village requires some extra care to stay open. Bennett became head librarian and has been keeping up the books and increasing activities, something she feels it is worth it for the community.

"You just have such a quiet, serene feeling in here. You don’t have all the electronics that the other libraries have now,” she said. "We're like a mini-community center."

The library is the size of a small house. It's now also becoming a makeshift museum, as it now contains photos and history of Aripeka. 

The history at the library is being preserved by Louis Charity, whose wife, Mary, had generations of family in Aripeka.

“I feel it’s important to know where you come from,” said Charity. “I think I’m doing something in memory of her, because she just loved this place so much."

Charity is lining the walls of the library with old photos he has found. He is even writing several books to get the history of Aripeka and its people in one place.

“It’s been very heartwarming,” he said. “I’ve met a lot of people that are just so supportive of what we’re doing and it so it seems worthwhile."

Together with Bennett, the two are working to make the small library a big step back in time.

“We want everybody to have that feel of a book in their hands again,” said Bennett. 

The volunteers’ efforts are already being noticed by many in the community. Researchers at Pasco-Hernando State College hope archeology students can use the library more often, as well.