Gilbert H. Gragg Library- it’s not your father’s library

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Southwest Georgia Regional Library in Bainbridge was the subject at Rotary this week, as Catherine Vanstone, assistant director of training technology and facilities, told of all the various activities and programs offered to the public locally.

Vanstone reported that in Fiscal Year 2018, Southwest Georgia Regional Library calculated a return on investment of $4,543,392.38. The figure was arrived at by using an average cost for each checkout of books, movies, park passes, programs and meeting room use.

Her presentation proved this is not the typical library most of us grew up in, as it offers so much more than books. There is something there for everyone. In addition to being able to download eBooks and eAudios, readers can now download magazines.

There are free passes to the state park systems, historic sites, Atlanta Zoo, GoFish in Perry, and more—all available on your library card.

But, the big changes are the specialized programs being offered —many of which are bringing non-traditional readers into the Library.

Prime Time Family Reading Time, in partnership with Potter Street Elementary brings non-traditional library users into the library. It is in its third year and attendance was 47 at the last meeting.

Tyler Thomas of The American recently did a pie crust class that was well received. On February 23 he will be back at the library at 2 p.m. to demonstrate how to make the perfect soup from scratch. Those in attendance even get to sample the cooking.

There are presentations made on current news topics. In September they had an attendance of about 50 to hear a discussion of Fake News. On March 14 at 5 p.m. there will be a program called Locked and Loaded – the American Gun Culture in Perspective, analyzing American gun culture in literature and media. It will be presented by Branagan Webb and David Nelson of ABAC,

There are various games offered, the newest being Chess, offered each Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m.

A knitting club meets the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m. offering instruction for beginners and a chance for fellowship among seasoned knitters.

Another offering is the Bridge Club, which meets every Wednesday from 1:30 to 3:30.

A class on financial advice has been offered by Bert Hines at First National Bank and a one on one financial session, led by Lee Bryant of Envision Credit, will be held the fourth Thursday of each month.

What would a library be without book clubs? The Bookworms meet the first Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m. and the Bookends Club meets the fourth Monday of the month at 10 a.m. There are Legos and Minecraft games for youth.

Classes that teach basic computer programming are still offered, with the next class  being Feb. 12-14 at 10 a.m.

Other continuing programs are Toddler Time on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m., Bookmobile services, accessible services for those with disabilities and the Summer Reading Program that will begin May 13.

Vanstone commented that Dr. Clark, principal of Jones Wheat Elementary, sponsors a pizza party each year for all the kids who turn in their summer reading logs.

The digitizing of high school yearbooks is an ongoing project being completed through a contract between the State of Georgia and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Vanstone requested anyone with yearbooks to offer can drop them off at the Library.

Digitizing is also a big issue with some of the older recorded materials, such as the interviews once recorded by Mayo Livingston of WWII veterans. Vanstone announced an intern will be hired this summer to handle digitizing those documents.