Editor I am writing on behalf of the Liberty County Branch of the Live Oak Public Libraries and the members of the local board of trustees. I want to encourage the citizens of Liberty County to give serious consideration to voting “yes” on the special purpose local option sales and use tax (SPLOST) resolution included on the Nov. 4 election ballot.
As most of the voters are aware, the funds generated by the new SPLOST will go toward several projects in Liberty County. One of those projects is the construction of a new public library facility in Hinesville and renovations to the facility that was most recently used as the old Liberty County Elementary School. When renovations are complete, this facility (referred to as Liberty Annex East End) will house the Midway-Riceboro branch of the Liberty County Library and will provide a more spacious facility for residents in this part of the county.
Both of these libraries in Liberty County are in dire need of larger facilities in order to accommodate the number of patrons they serve and to house the necessary materials and technology that libraries must have in order to operate more efficiently. Over the past several years the number of citizens using library facilities in our county has grown remarkably, and that growth is a positive move in the right direction for our community.
The staffs at both of the libraries have worked diligently to add more programs for all ages, and they have been able to attract more and more children and adults to use library facilities. Children’s programs have continued to grow and caused more of our youth to read and participate in activities that will surely benefit them as they continue to pursue educations.
More and more of our young adults are attending colleges and universities through branches here in our county or commuting to those in nearby cities. Those students need library facilities where they can complete research assignments and keep up with new information that becomes available each day. Students in the local schools here in the county need better facilities that they can use each day after school libraries have to close. Military families are also using the local libraries more as many of them live off post and find it more convenient to visit a building near to their homes.
Visitors to the libraries today will observe a busy place where young children, teens and adults are using many different kinds of materials and technology. Patrons can access the World Wide Web for information on any topic, can check out books of interest, can browse journals and magazines for entertainment or information and can research most any topic they care to pursue. Libraries of today offer so much more than those of the past, and it is imperative that we keep up in this new information age.
Quarterly reports made by library officials to the local library board members have continued to show library use increasing among our citizens and have reported an increase in the number of programs offered to all ages. Computer use is at an all-time high as well, and there is a great need for more space to house additional computers. The employees of the Liberty County branches are doing an excellent job of planning programs, making materials and other aids available, and serving the patrons of the libraries. We must now make every effort to help our citizens have access to better facilities that will aid them in learning, in doing research and in reading for enjoyment.
The members of the library board of trustees encourage and implore voters to support our efforts to secure new library facilities for the citizens of our county by voting “yes” to pass the referendum for the renewed SPLOST fund.
Library Board Chair