Oconee County Library patron wins statewide library card design contest

pines cardAthens Regional Library System and Georgia Public Library System congratulate the winner of the PINES 20th anniversary library card design contest, Oconee County Library patron Megan Weatherford.

Megan's design is made from her son Beau’s handprint in finger paint. She chose hands because "they say so much about the service PINES provides each and every day to our community. Hands hold books. Hands do research. Hands guide and teach. Hands help others. Hands hold a community together. Most of all, for my son and I, hands say THANK YOU!" megan weatherford and rebecca ballard

She shared that as a new mother, she brought her baby to infant storytime led by Oconee County Library’s Children’s Librarian Rebecca Ballard. "At every event we attend, Rebecca creates the most magical and accepting environment. Not only has my son had the opportunity to hear songs and stories and to socialize with other children, I have had the chance to grow and be pulled out of my shell as a new mother," Megan wrote.

“We couldn’t be more delighted that the winner is one of our local patrons,” said Athens Regional Library System Executive Director Valerie Bell. “Megan’s story is just one example of how libraries impact people’s lives. Whether serving as an outlet for new parents venturing out with their babies for the first time or providing resources to help an entrepreneur start a business, a library offers powerful tools to benefit everyone in our communities.” 

“It is so lovely to hear how the library is touching people’s lives. Ms. Rebecca and all Oconee library staff go above and beyond to create a warm, welcoming environment for all. This is why we do what we do, and we are pleased that Megan chose to share her story with PINES,” Oconee County Library Branch Manager Cara Karnes added.

The limited edition card will be available across the 53 PINES library systems (including 300 branches across Georgia) in 6-8 weeks. 

2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the Georgia Public Information Network for Electronic Services, or PINES. PINES creates a statewide borderless library that eliminates geographic and socio-economic barriers. Nearly two million Georgians have PINES library cards.

ERead Kids: A New Digital Library for pre-K through 4th grade

ereads graphicAll you need is your public library card to access eRead Kids, which provides free access to nearly 15,000 digital books to encourage early literacy.

The Athens Regional Library System and Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) are proud to announce eRead Kids, a new digital library available through all 407 public libraries in the state, including the Athens Regional Library System. The collection of almost 15,000 electronic and audio books is for children from pre-k through fourth grade.

kid reading on a tablet“eRead Kids is a new way for our libraries to encourage families and children to engage in reading,” said Athens Regional Library System Executive Director Valerie Bell. “Whether you prefer print, audio or electronic books, we believe providing options that meet busy families’ needs can reinforce the value of early literacy and give parents the tools they need to help their children become lifelong learners.”

“Kids will build confidence and reading skills - and have fun - through eRead Kids,” said State Librarian Julie Walker. “eRead Kids will empower libraries to support young readers by offering a format convenient for traveling and entertaining kids, while growing their reading skills.” The collection is a mix of fiction and non-fiction ebook and audio book titles that can be downloaded onto computers, tablets and smartphones.

All Georgia families now can freely check out electronic books for their devices, encouraging the early reading that is so important to educational success.GPLS has worked with children’s librarians across the state to select titles and identify the most advantageous offerings and pricing. eRead Kids is made possible by funding proposed by Gov. Brian Kemp and approved by the Georgia General Assembly.

To access eRead Kids, you simply need your Georgia public library card and an internet connection. Visit georgialibraries.org/eReadKids or e-Reads Kids @ ARLS to learn more.

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