A coastal library’s decision to send the Three Rivers Regional Library packing made waves in Glynn County last week, but ripples will likely be felt in Brantley County as well according to Brantley County Library Director Kathy Moody.
Moody said that the recent eviction of the regional library group from their headquarters in a Glynn County library will mean that dues and career service fees will be going up for each library including the Brantley location – one of six counties still left in the system.
The transfer of the regional headquarters from Brunswick to Jesup will also mean a disruption in member e-mails until the server is re-established in its new location meaning that even those not directly affected by the move will have to deal with complications while it occurs.
To make up those extra dues, Moody said that the library will be forced to ask for that money from the county in this year’s budget.
The long-running Glynn County battle finally came to a head in mid-June when a superior court judge ruled that an April reminder to the TRRLS was notice-enough for the group to vacate the premises after the county-owned library voted to pull out of the system earlier this year.
The Brunswick and St. Simons libraries plan to start their own library system, the Marshes of Glynn Library, on July 1.
Local librarians will be attending a regional meeting to work out the details regarding how the TRRLS will proceed and more details on the overall ramifications of Glynn’s departure from the system.
Compounded with that is the possibility that the Brantley County School System may not renew their services with the group after members at the Brunswick location couldn’t tell board officials what Brantley schools were getting for the cost.
The TRRLS will, however, get a second chance to make their point at an upcoming board of education meeting where the school board could add them back into the budget helping the local library and the regional system to which it belongs through a though transition.
But if not, the local library will be forced to ask for this money from the county as well for the first time since the partnership started in 1954.
Through the TRRLS the local library is able to provide books by courier from over 275 libraries. Meanwhile the county’s annual contribution has gone down in value according to documentation from the TRRLS.
According to that documentation, the school board first paid an annual contribution of $600 in 1954 which was equivalent to $5,186 in today’s dollar value. Today, the annual contribution is $2,425.92 which while a higher dollar figure is worth less than the amount they first paid.
That money goes toward several areas including book purchases, high speed internet at all locations, the PINES library cataloging system, online pay databases, the library website, tech support, certified librarians, community outreach programs and services, new book processing and library construction.
In 2012, 372 teens read for over 4,100 hours according to the presentation and 708 kids were in attendance of the 16 summer reading programs at the local library.
In fact, in just two months of this year alone, March and April, the library reported that 726 picture books, 699 middle-reader books and 95 young adult books were checked out.
The library also provides access to several print, digital and online sources from across the state outside of a school setting while also partnering with several local organizations for community and educational purposes.
Library officials also argue that the library also bridges the divide between students giving those without the resources in their homes an equal footing by providing technology and other services outside of their local schools.