County libraries need right resources to thrive
As of today, Brunswick and the Golden Isles are no longer part of the now six-county Three Rivers Regional Library System, Glynn County. Its two public libraries, one in the city and the other on St. Simons Island, now are in their own, self-made regional library system that the board of trustees has appropriately named Marshes of Glynn Libraries.
Stepping out of the Three Rivers Regional Library system was an insightful and prudent move. Disagreement and arguments over funds raised by a local citizens group for the benefit of their community library was getting in the way of daily affairs. All it managed to do is get everyone's hackles up, making it nearly impossible for board members to focus on the real task at hand, which was the state of the libraries and their futures.
The hope now is that same cooperative and look-ahead spirit exhibited by the Glynn County Commission and its administration will continue this new fiscal budget year and in all the years ahead. There were times in the past when that was not always the case.
Our libraries need the county and its resources. It needs them now more than ever, in fact, with the state continuing to tighten the funding it doles out to libraries today. Like public school education, libraries just don't seem to be high on the state's list of funding priorities.
Our libraries also need the full involvement of the city of Brunswick. While the city has been willing to help where it can with in-kind assistance in recent years, it has been reluctant, if not actually hard-pressed, to turn over any funds for day to day operations. Any monetary contribution is better than zero.
The same can be said for the Glynn County School System. It, too, discontinued pitching into the ante when all its schools opened their own on-campus libraries. It would be helpful to all if the school system reconsidered that position. Members of the school board should check and see how many children visit the public library on the island and in Brunswick with their parents. They might be amazed by the books children read when accompanied by mom, dad or a guardian.
The community itself can ensure the success of the libraries by urging commissioners and school board members to assist where they can. The general public also can help by availing itself of library services and participating in fund-raising drives. Any amount given is better than - you guessed it - zero.