THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) – The Thomas County Public Library will begin adding 8,000 square feet to its current building in March. The construction project has been a long time coming.
In July 2006, Thomas County voters said yes to a special-purpose local option sales tax to fund the expansion of their public library.
"We're so excited! So thrilled we have finances to do this," said TCPLS Director Nancy Tillinghast.
Along with state money, the SPLOST money will help the library add more space for computers, study rooms, and book shelves. The new library will also feature a public meeting room for up to 300 people.
"We're just trying to increase everything to fill the needs of everyone. it's going to be a state of the art building. Lots of room to sit down and read with a book. It's gonna be worth the wait," said Tillinghast.
Officials say it's important to invest in public libraries. "The public library is a place where anyone can come in and get information they want. Trying to get a job, if they're trying to write a resume, or just want that new book that's out .They can come here and get and it's free."
The new Thomas County library will be technologically advanced to better serve the 200,000 visitors it gets every year.
"We have CDs and DVDs and downloadable books off the website since everyone's going to electronics."
And officials say the library will stay open throughout the entire makeover. "We're going to have a new challenge and excitement and be here while they're doing it. they'll be times we'll have to be closed if they're breaking through walls, putting in carpet, and things like that."
But when the dust settles, visitors will have more than books to take them on a new adventure.
Once construction begins, the expansion project should take 12 to 16 months to complete.
Thomas County Public Library System (TCPLS) provides information, materials, services, and facilities for the educational and recreational needs of Thomas County residents. About 80% of the library system's funding comes through the county's 1¢ sales tax and it operates on just 1/12th of that 1¢. Additional funding comes from the state as well as from grants and donations from private citizens.
Headquartered in Thomasville, TCPLS serves Thomas County through the main library in Thomasville and five service libraries in Boston, Coolidge, Meigs, Ochlocknee, and Pavo.
TCPLS offers free programs for adults, teens, and children, including computer and Internet classes. Along with its collection of books, periodicals, audio books, DVDs, and videos, TCPLS offers electronic resources through its Web site and its subscription databases, most of which can be accessed 24/7 from any computer.
All TCPLS locations offer residents access to computers with Internet connection and educational software. For more information on TCPLS, visit www.tcpls.org.
The Thomas County Public Library System (TCPLS) is headquartered in Thomasville. In addition to its main library in Thomasville, it operates five service libraries in the county: Boston Carnegie Public Library, Coolidge Public Library, Meigs Public Library, Gladys H. Clark Memorial Library (Ochlocknee), and the Pavo Public Library.
• TCPLS is a county entity under the Thomas County Board of Commissioners. Its budget in fiscal 2010 (ending 6/30/10) was just over $1 million. About 80% of the library's budget is generated by 1/12 of the county's 1¢ sales tax. Remaining funding comes from the State of Georgia, the federal government, grants and donations, and library fines and photocopies.
• In fiscal 2010, TCPLS:
o Had 197,520 patron visits
o Circulated 223,087 materials
o Had 40,878 computer/electronic material users
o Answered 20,463 reference questions
o Entertained 8,183 children with special programs
• As part of the Georgia PINES library network, TCPLS offers patrons access to more than 2 million items. TCPLS itself has more than 100,000 books, DVDs, videos, audio books, CDs, magazines, and newspapers in its permanent collection.
• TCPLS is one of only 400 designated cooperative collection sites of the Foundation Center, a national service organization that provides authoritative information on foundation and corporate giving. TCPLS offers Foundation Center materials to grant seekers in south Georgia, north Florida, and east Alabama.
• TCPLS is "open" 24/7 on the Internet. Legal forms, downloadable books, Tumble Books, job search information, and more are available at tcpls.org.
• TCPLS houses a collection of genealogy and local history resources that focus on local family and Thomas County histories. It is a "family search affiliate library," which means it provides access to more than 700,000 microfiche genealogical records.
• The library maintains an online database of local organizations, associations, and groups that serve the Thomas County area and it publishes a printed directory of this information (The Thomasville/ Thomas County Community Resources Directory), which is available free to the public and local agencies. This database helps connect people in need with important resources.
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