Off The Shelf @ Your Library - Latest from the library

By Kathy Pillatzki
Assistant Director
Henry County Library System

Good things are happening at Henry County libraries! All five branches have been busy with summer activities for all ages, with participation at an all-time high. In addition, we’ve gotten some good news on several fronts that library users can get excited about.

In June, Georgia Public Library Service announced that due to careful fiscal management and some projects coming in under budget, they had an end-of-fiscal-year surplus that would be distributed directly to public libraries throughout the state for the purchase of library materials. GPLS is the state agency that oversees public libraries, and any time they have extra resources they are very conscientious to make sure that money is made available in Georgia communities to meet local needs. With all the complaints and media coverage about government waste, it’s good to know when a government organization is managing its budget responsibly and making sure it directly benefits Georgia residents.

In our case, the surplus meant roughly $16,500 to be spent on materials for the library collection. Those funds were used to completely overhaul and update our travel section, and to purchase new audiobooks on CD and more Large Print books for our circulating collection. Those collections have been languishing for the past few years due to budget limitations, but they have now received a much-needed shot in the arm. In addition, some of the funds are being used to add new, exclusive titles to our OverDrive digital collection. This means anyone with a library card issued in Henry County will have first dibs on popular bestsellers in digital formats, both audiobooks and e-books. Henry County patrons currently check out approximately 2,000 titles per month through OverDrive, and this will reduce waiting times for popular titles.

In addition, the library system received some local grants in June. One was from Central Georgia EMC to purchase books for our Library Goes to Camp outreach program. If you have a child who has attended day camp this summer through Henry County Parks and Recreation, they have benefitted from this program that provides campers with access to popular children’s books and allows them to participate in the library’s Vacation Reading Program as part of their camp experience.

We also received a generous grant from the William and Sara Babb Smith Foundation. Many of our children’s classics and popular series books have been nearly “loved to death” by our young patrons. Years of circulation have caused gradual wear-and-tear that was causing some of our collection to look a bit shabby. Funds provided by the Smith Foundation will be used to purchase sturdy new copies of beloved classics and other popular titles.

Finally, for years we have been asked to add a language learning program to our online resources, but we have found the most popular courses to be cost prohibitive. Thanks to GALILEO (Georgia Library Learning Online), Mango Languages is now available to anyone with a valid PINES library card anywhere in Georgia. Mango provides access to 70 languages through interactive, easy-to-navigate online courses. You can access Mango Languages on GALILEO through our website at or by searching the PINES catalog. The GALILEO password can be obtained in person at any PINES library.

Visit any Henry County library to explore and enjoy these new resources!