May 20, 2022

Southwest Airlines Awards Grant to a Florida Public Library System

From the Lee County Public Library System (Fort Myers Area):

Today, Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) grew their multi-year commitment to Placemaking and local community development, announcing that Lee County, one of six locations across the U.S. will receive a Heart of the Community grant to enhance the Cornog Plaza on the campus of the Fort Myers Regional Library.

Southwest Airlines will provide a $50,000 grant to the Lee County Library System to transform the Cornog Plaza into an interactive space through a combination of expanded amenities and family-oriented programming. The Library System will work with the community to determine a clear vision and programming platform for the space. The grant also funds a variety of physical amenities, such as tables and chairs, outdoor reading rooms and information kiosks – bringing new life and vibrancy to public spaces.

Placemaking is an emerging movement with environmentalist roots that positions public spaces as engines for urban development, serving as catalysts for building sustainable, healthy, inclusive and economically viable neighborhoods. For more than 40 years.


“We are extremely happy to be recipients of the initiative.  Southwest Airlines and the Project for Public Spaces are trailblazers and we are gratified to be working with them,” says Sheldon Kaye, Lee County Library System Director.

The five additional public spaces to be developed as part of Southwest’s Heart of the Communityinitiative include: Albuquerque, New Mexico: Civic Plaza; Jacksonville, Florida: Hemming Park; Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 4MKE: 4th Street and Wisconsin Avenue; Portland, MAINE: Congress Square Park and St. Louis, Missouri: Strauss Park.


Read more about key role public space plays in community building: Places in the Making, an MIT white paper.

Read the Complete Announcement.

Note From Gary Price, infoDOCKET Founder/Editor

I was delighted to learn that Southwest Airlines, both an airline I fly (a lot) and company I’m a long-time admirer of (30 years) is supporting a public library with some funding. 

I not only hope the funding of library projects continues but I would also love to see Southwest provide the library community with something other than money. No, not with free airline tickets (that would also be great) but rather advice and training regarding customer service. Southwest has been consistently been rated in many polls at or near the top in this area and it’s very noticeable if you’ve flown with Southwest. Very few large companies do customer service better.

Another area where I think Southwest can help the library community is with team building, organizational culture, etc. Again, like customer service this is also noticeable if you’ve dealt with the airline. Plus, I’ve talked with many employees over the years and have read a lot about the company and wit very few exceptions heard nothing short of a deep love of job and company.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.