UWF welcomes Little Free Library book-sharing boxes to campus

The University of West Florida 2022-23 LEAD: The Staff Version announced the launch of four Little Free Library locations on the Pensacola campus. Little Free Libraries are weather-protected, book-sharing boxes.

LEAD, which stands for leadership, enhancement, activities and development, consists of two year-long programs (one for staff and one for faculty) to help enhance their leadership skills, build relationships across campus, and develop strategies to help them grow as leaders and team members. Dr. Athena du Pré, Distinguished University Professor, is director of the programs. 

Each Staff LEAD class selects, researches, plans and implements a project to benefit the University. The need for book sharing boxes was introduced to the team by Kugelman Honors students, who contributed funds to support the project. 

“It was important to this year’s class that our project benefit UWF and the greater community and be a sustainable project that would have purpose for years to come,” said Jessica Whittle, paralegal in the Office of the General Counsel and current Staff LEADmember. “Every single class member played a part in bringing Little Free Libraries to UWF. It was a true team effort.”

Staff LEAD collected donations of new and used books for the boxes, including children’s books provided by Early Learning Coalition of Escambia County. UWF’s facilities management department provided project guidance, tools for box construction and assistance pouring concrete for the box footings and posts. The Kugelman Honors Program agreed to act as stewards for the libraries and will maintain and monitor the boxes moving forward. 

“This year’s Staff LEAD class shares a passion for the power of books to help people learn, relax and dream,” du Pré said. “By making reading materials readily available at various locations around campus, LEAD is enriching the UWF experience for students, faculty and staff, as well as community members. I am so grateful to them for creating this legacy.” 

Little Free Library boxes are located adjacent to the Connection Deck, Pace Hall, the Educational Research Center for Child Development and the Community Garden.

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Its mission is to be a catalyst for building community, inspiring readers and expanding book access for all through a global network of volunteer-led Little Free Library book exchange boxes.

For more information about UWF’s Staff LEAD program, visit