Miss Franny Block, the tiny town's librarian, sees a kindred spirit in Opal. Opal is new in town and doesn't yet have any friends. Like her—and Winn-Dixie—Miss Franny's quite a lonely character herself, albeit for different reasons. Her chronic loneliness stems from the fact that she's one of the few people still alive from the days when Florida was still quite wild and undeveloped and when the library was first built.
Miss Franny and Opal also bond over their shared love of long stories, and Franny tells Opal a strange tale about a bear coming into the library and making off with a copy of War and Peace. In fact, Franny thought that Winn-Dixie was a bear when she peaked out of the window and was immediately reminded of that scary episode back in the day.
When she discovers that Winn-Dixie's not a bear, but a friendly, lovable dog, Miss Franny's more than happy to let him and his owner, Opal, into the library whenever they like.