For the safety of our patrons and with a continued effort to “flatten the curve," all Athens Regional Library System branches in Athens-Clarke, Franklin, Madison, Oconee and Oglethorpe counties will remain closed until such time that it is deemed safe to reopen to the public. Library staff remain on the job  serving our communities virtually.  Please feel free to contact us at if you have any questions regarding library service during this time. We will update the community as more information becomes available.

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Message from the Director

Message from the Director

Updated May 23, 2020
Starting Wednesday, May 27, Athens Regional Library System will begin circulating library materials through curbside service.   Curbside service will be available to patrons Monday through Friday between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Please read the Message from the Director for the full statement.

Thank you for your support! Our library has won the Public Libraries' Readers Choice Award!

Rhiannon Eades, PIOWe are proud to share that Public Information Officer Rhiannon Eades' article, "Implementing a Trauma-Informed Approach," has won the 2020 Public Libraries' Feature Article Readers Choice Award! The article was published in the September/October 2019 issue of Public Libraries, the official magazine of the Public Library Association. The article highlights TILT, or Trauma Informed Library Transformation, a partnership between Athens-Clarke County Library and the University of Georgia School of Social Work, funded by a Community Catalyst grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Thank you to everyone who voted for our article! Read it here:  

Share your family's experiences as part of our library's community archive

Are you keeping a journal of your experiences during the coronavirus pandemic?share your story Did you post a photo on social media of empty shelves at the grocery store? Whether you’re writing in an old school diary or recording voice memos, everyone's experience is unique. The Heritage Room at Athens-Clarke County Library wants to help preserve our community’s story of this unprecedented time in our collective history. We are interested in stories from everyday people. No story is too small! How you collect your thoughts is up to you: write in a journal, take photos or videos, record voice memos or even save social media posts. Full details are available here using a Google account. If you don't have a Google account, use this link.

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Sign up now for a digital-only library card and take advantage of everything on our website, including our downloadable collection of digital eBooks, audiobooks and magazines.
It’s easy! Remember you must include your email address on the online form!

Message from the Director 05-23-2020

Message from the Director

Dear Library User,

Starting Wednesday, May 27, Athens Regional Library System will begin circulating library materials through curbside service.   Curbside service will be available to patrons Monday through Friday between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. 

Before you come to the library to pick up items, please keep the following in mind:

  • We will begin accepting holds on library materials for curbside service. You can place holds as usual by logging into your PINES account or through our library website.  You may also call your local branch for assistance.
  • You will receive notification when your holds are available for pickup.
  • If you placed a hold before the library buildings closed, please check your account at or call the branch, to confirm its availability for pick up. 
  • To allow staff time to ready your materials, please wait 24 hours after receiving notification, before coming to the library for pickup.  
  • When you arrive at the branch, call the number that is posted, and follow the directions you will be given.  
  • Because we only have a limited number of staff working in the facility each day, your wait time may be longer than usual.  We appreciate your patience.
  • Please remember our library facilities remain closed to the public and there will be no direct contact with staff.

As with many things during this pandemic, the safest course of action will be to continue to use our online resources including reading materials.  We have more than doubled our collection of e-books, e-magazines, and are offering a wide variety of free online materials from safe and reputable vendors. 

That being said, the library has done everything in our power to reduce risk in the circulation of items.  We have implemented the following protective measures for library collections: 

  • Our staff are required to wear a face mask and gloves when handling library materials.
  • Returned library items are being quarantined for 10 days.  This decision was based on advice from authorities including the Northeast Document Conservation Center. 

This is in addition to the other recommended safety measures such as social distancing, limiting the number of staff working in the buildings, hand hygiene, increased cleaning and disinfecting of library surfaces.

We are able to expand our services with the help of local businesses ADD Drug and Creature Comforts Brewing Company who kindly donated hand sanitizer to the library and the community volunteer group Mask Making for Athens who donated face masks for the staff to wear.  We thank them and appreciate their kindness.  

We are pleased to be able to offer these expanding services to our community and anticipate expanding the hours of curbside service in the near future.

POSTED MAY 19, 2020

Dear Library User,

On behalf of our Library Boards of Trustees and the library staff members that you have come to  care for over the years, I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we move through the process of re-establishing physical library services.

We do want to remind you that many library services have been and will continue to be available to our patrons in a virtual format.  As our state moves from “stay at home” to “safer at home” recommendations, we encourage patrons to use our on-line services as often as possible to help our local and state officials in their effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.  

The library has developed a phased approach to re-establishing physical library services.  Our first phase was moving services to an on-line format.  Our second phase is re-opening our bookdrops.  The third phase is circulating library materials.  The fourth phase is limited access to library facilities and increased internet and computer use.

Starting Monday May 18, a limited number of staff will be allowed back in the buildings to prepare the facilities, collections, and equipment for phase two and phase three. 

We will begin phase two on Wednesday, May 20.  Bookdrops will be open Monday through Friday between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm to allow the safe return of library materials.  Please do not feel you have to return your library borrowed items this first week.  We have only a limited number of staff to handle the returns.  Before you return library materials, please keep the following in mind:

  • If there is illness in your home, please do not return any library items.  
  • No fines are being accrued during this time.  We will alert the public before we reinstitute fines.
  • Please do not leave materials outside of the bookdrop.  If the bookdrop is closed, keep your items until you can safely return them inside the bookdrop on weekdays between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.
  • Return only library borrowed materials.  We are not accepting donations.  
  • Library materials will be quarantined in the library for ten (10) days before being checked-in and taken off your record.  

If all goes well with phase two, we expect to begin phase three on Wednesday, May 27.   During this phase, we hope to have curbside holds pick-up available between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm to allow the safe circulation of library materials.

We will keep you updated on phase three as plans solidify.

The Boards and staff of the Athens Regional Library System appreciate and thank all our residents and patrons for your support and patience as we navigate through these uncertain times.  


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