Library shows progress in 2018 and more to look forward to in 2019

Published 3:10 pm Friday, January 4, 2019

The Decatur County – Gilbert H. Gragg Library is the headquarters for Southwest Georgia Regional Library System, which serves Decatur, Miller, and Seminole Counties. The library had a great year in 2018. Community members of all ages enjoyed the library’s offering of collections and services throughout the year. The library offered programs and activities for children, teens, and adults.

Chess Club continued to be held every Wednesday in 2018. The club has attendees of all ages, and many beginners have learned how to play by attending the club. The library had a busy year for children in 2018 with the continuation of program favorites, and the introduction of several new programs. The library received the PRIME TIME reading grant again, which enabled a program on six consecutive Mondays from February to March. The PRIME TIME program included free meal and books for participants and involved discussions on the books read for the program. This program saw a significant increase in attendance over 2017, and the library has been awarded this grant again for 2019.

The library hosted the Picnic and Read event in Willis Park with the Bainbridge – Decatur County Recreation Authority in August. Families were able to listen to some great stories, get a tour of the Bookmobile, sign up for library cards, and check out books! Toddlers and their parents listened to children’s stories, sang songs, played games, and made crafts during Toddler Time on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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The library held its annual Breakfast with Santa on December 1, sponsored by First Port City Bank, which gave children the opportunity to work on crafts and meet Santa Claus! The library hosted a Young Author Book Reading, in which a local elementary student read a book that he had written about his travels in the United States and internationally.

S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) continued to be incorporated into children’s programming. Coding Club continued in 2018 through June and served as a fun way to introduce children to the concepts and logic of computer programming. The library continued Minecraft Club in 2018, which remains a popular program. The club is held on the first Thursday of the month at 4:00 pm.

Legos & More was introduced in July and quickly gained enthusiastic attendance. This event is held on the third Thursday of each month at 4 pm, and the children who attend always make wonderful creations with the Legos, K’nex, and the other building materials provided. The library hosted a Drawing Class each month in 2018, which gave attendees the opportunity to learn drawing tips and techniques.

The library’s annual Summer Reading Program kicked off at the end of May with the 2018 theme “Libraries Rock!” Summer readers in Decatur County logged over 4,500 reading hours in 2018! In addition to the reading portion, the library held several special programs that were exciting and educational, including Will Keating, Didgeridoo Down Under, Animal Tales, and a meeting with Curious George. Toddler Time continued to be held on Thursdays during the summer. The Summer Reading Program wrapped up in July and concluded with the grand prize drawing of Amazon Kindle Fire tablets. The Summer Reading Program was sponsored by Hardee’s, Georgia Pacific, Birdsong Peanuts, Decatur County Family Connection, First National Bank of Decatur County, Decatur County – Gilbert H Gragg Library Foundation, Thomas M. and Irene B. Kirbo Charitable Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. Ron Henderson.

A number of teen programs were offered throughout 2018. Fortnite began in June and has brought new faces into the library. This has given teens the opportunity to bond over what quickly became the most popular video game in the world in 2018. The library hosted Life Skills programs for teens in August and September that provided information on personal banking and credit as well as networking.

Adults participated in a variety of activities at the library in 2018. The library held a Pie Demonstration and Tasting in December, which enlisted Tyler Thomas, owner of The American restaurant in Bainbridge. In this program, Thomas demonstrated the process of making a pie crust from scratch, and he provided tomato pies and blackberry pies for attendees to taste.

Tyler Thomas will lead a similar program in the spring of 2019, so be on the lookout for that! In September, the library hosted Fighting Fake News, led by ABAC at Bainbridge professors Branagan Webb and David Nelson. This program had a great turnout of adults as well as high school and college students. The library hosted an author event with Cheryl Carvajal in October, at which she did a reading of her new young adult novel The Ghost Portal, and she afterwards held a writers’ workshop.

The library began a monthly Knitting Club in October, led by a local community member. The Knitting Club is held on the first Monday of each month at 6 pm. The library continued to offer its monthly introductory computer classes, where attendees learned the basics of using a computer, navigating the Windows environment, creating and editing documents in Microsoft Word, and using the internet and email. The library also held Microsoft Word: Beyond the Basics in the spring and the fall. The library hosted a Device Advice program in February to give patrons the opportunity to get help using RBdigital, the library’s new e-book, e-audiobook, and e-magazine platform.

The library began a book club, the Bainbridge Bookworms, which meets monthly on the first Tuesday at 5:00 pm. The library added another book club, the Bookends, which is held on the fourth Monday of each month at 10 am. The library held Coloring and Puzzles on a monthly basis until August. The library held Finding Your Roots with FamilySearch several times in 2018, which introduced attendees to FamilySearch, a free online family history resource.

The library hosted Darkness to Light: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention training once in the spring and fall in 2018. The library also hosted experts in Medicare and disability on a monthly basis for members of the community that needed assistance with these processes. The library hosted a voting station for the Great American Read in October, which gave library users the opportunity to cast a vote for their favorite book. The Decatur County Artists’ Guild displayed their works in the library in October, and 4-H students displayed projects in the library in December.

The library continued to offer free passes to Zoo Atlanta, free State Park Passes, a free State Park backpack, free passes to the Go Fish Education Center, free Chehaw Park passes, free passes to Center for Puppetry Arts, and free passes to the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University.

The Decatur County – Gilbert H. Gragg Library continued to serve our community by providing books, programs, and creating unique experiences for our patrons. We look forward to continuing our efforts to offer a great user experience, a variety of programs for all ages, and valuable resources to Decatur County in 2019.