Library hosts Music and Mingle fundraiser

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

Elise Myers of Griffin came to the McDonough Public Library for the first time Thursday, because she wanted to see what the area has to offer for library users.

“I am a library user, a library supporter and a former library employee, and I am exploring the libraries in the area,” said Myers. “It’s a great way to gain information, check out a new book, not to spend any money.”

The bluegrass-gospel band Flint River provided entertainment last Friday night at the Music & Mingle event at the McDonough Public Library. Photo by Jason A. Smith

The Friends of the Henry County Library sponsored the inaugural Music & Mingle concert at the McDonough Public Library Thursday. The nonprofit advocacy group’s Chairperson, Shana Thornton, said her goal is to spread the word about what the library has to offer, including books, access to online applications and seminars.

“As many people know, nearly 30 million people come through the doors of the Georgia system of libraries,” said Thornton. “So, it’s accessible to people, it’s something that I’m very proud to be a part of because I think the library system continues to be relevant in 2017.”

Carolyn Fuller is the director of the Henry County Library System. She said the Friends group has been instrumental in the system’s growth over the years.

“The first 10 computers that we put into this new building in 2001 came from the Friends of the Library,” said Fuller. “For each library that was opened, they provided $5,000-10,000 for new books for the library. When we opened the doors, most of them had old books from the other libraries, but we wanted bright, shiny new books, particularly for children. So, the Friends have been very helpful.

“We have almost 300,000 books,” continued Fuller. “But we also have access to, probably, 10,000 or 12,000 e-books, and it doesn’t cost you a thing. We have downloadable audio books and, probably in the near future, films on demand.”

Highlights of Music & Mingle included performances by bluegrass-gospel band Flint River, as well as Thorton’s husband, comedian Treandos Thornton. He said it is important to support the library because of the resources it provides for local residents.

“There’s a lot of people out here who don’t have access to the Internet, access to information and books,” said Treandos Thornton. “The library’s a free resource. Not only do they provide books and Internet, they provide free training and different classes that people can take advantage of to help them move further in their career, help their kids and so forth.”

Joy Caldwell, marketing and publicity specialist for the library system, said the Friends group raises funds for projects including a summer reading program and supplies for libraries in the county. She said support from the county government has enabled the library system to expand its reach in the community.

“We were lucky enough that, this last year, the commissioners gave us a little bit of extra funds which allowed us to open on Fridays,” said Caldwell. “We’re transforming with the times. We really want to see ourselves as a community hub, and a place where you can come and really be a part of the community.”

For more information on Friends of the Library, Henry County visit