Welcome to the Athens Regional Library System: A Place Where Everyone Belongs!
Our webpage will provide people living in our 5-county region and the state with access to information about the many services and programs available. Our role is to ensure that every library user receives the best possible service from our professional and helpful staff throughout the region.
Our Strategic Plan focuses on our key roles: Family Literacy, Information Services, New Books and AV materials, Local History and Genealogy. We strive to offer a wide variety of interesting, thought-provoking and innovative programming including family literacy events, computer instruction, challenging young adult activities and a wide variety of adult discussions and musical events in every community.
Visit our libraries and web pages often to see what is happening! We welcome you and stress that the entire regional staff is here to serve you.
Mission and Vision Statements
Athens-Clarke County Mission Statement
The mission of the Athens-Clarke County Libraries is to provide information and resources which address the needs of the community, foster enjoyment and a love of reading, and provide a repository of the history and culture of Athens-Clarke County.
Franklin County Mission Statement
The mission of the Franklin County Libraries is to provide organized access to information and services for all the citizens of Franklin County in order to meet their educational, recreational, social and cultural needs, in attractive and friendly environments.
- The libraries will enhance and increase awareness of the program of services by promoting them to schools, government, clubs and organizations, and all residents.
- To enable all citizens access to newer forms of technology and provide knowledgeable assistance.
Madison County Mission Statement
The mission of the Madison County Library is to provide access to materials, programs, and services which meet the educational, informational, and recreational needs of county residents.
- The Madison County Library will serve as the Lifelong Learning Center for the county.
- The Madison County Library will provide residents of Madison County with current, high-demand, high-interest popular materials in a variety of formats for persons of all ages.
Oconee County Mission Statement
The Oconee County Libraries stimulate imagination, foster educational growth and improvement, and provide dynamic access to resources and programs.
- Families will know that the Oconee County Libraries are the best places in the community for free education and enrichment materials.
- The people of Oconee County will have their informational needs met in a superior manner by library staff.
Oglethorpe County Mission Statement
The mission of the Oglethorpe County Library is to encourage and support learning, literacy, and leisure pursuits through a variety of media in an inviting and friendly environment.
- The library will provide the community with an accessible and inviting environment for public gatherings.
- The library will support and encourage learning about local history as well as the larger world through special collections, special events and programs, and special speakers.
The Athens Regional Library System emphasizes a customer-centered culture. We accomplish this through the everyday practice of our organizational values. It is through our values that we provide an atmosphere and work environment that is:
We are committed to promoting library services for all of our counties’ diverse populations. We accomplish this through our policies and procedures, staff training, outreach to our communities, the development of programs and exhibits, and the recruitment and retention of qualified and diverse library personnel. Our goal is to have a positive and lasting effect on every individual who interacts with the Athens Regional Library System by reflecting our values outwards to staff and customers and enabling everyone to expand their horizons in an atmosphere of safe exploration.
Supportive of our COMMUNITY
We aim to support the success of our community and to strengthen the connections we all share. This library is an accessible public resource for the open communication of ideas and information; therefore our facilities, collections, hours and services reflect and enhance our community. We engage our community by being responsive and by making a difference. We are full participants in the Athens Regional Library System’s Vision, Mission, Goals, activities and plans.
We treat every person fairly and impartially, providing equitable access to all library resources, information, and technology, and taking into account the individual’s needs and requirements. We seek to improve lives by providing services and resources to everyone without consideration of social status, education level, ability, ethnicity, ideas, personal beliefs, age, sexual identity, gender or citizenship status. We believe, without exception, in validating all voices and treating everyone equitably.
Committed to EXCELLENCE
We strive toward the highest standards of performance, quality, and service. We act with integrity, honesty and confidentiality. We focus on the needs and expectations of the community and of our residents. As employees, we are empowered to continuously improve and expand our individual and organizational knowledge, skills, abilities, and activities.
We believe “helpful” is an active word with a human element. We seek to connect with patrons and each other in positive ways. We help people make the best use of the library. We celebrate the individual uniqueness of our patrons or staff; we anticipate the needs of the individual and community, and we adapt in order to better serve them. As libraries, technologies and people change, we will transform the resources, services and programs that we offer. We understand that our connection with people is unique and vital.
Examples of team members practicing our values:
- Is able to communicate successfully across socio-economic, gender and racial fields.
- Plans a variety of programs and services with the objective of appealing to multiple viewpoints and experiences.
- Serves all sectors of the community, keeping in mind diverse holidays, anniversaries and celebrations.
- Creates pathways and entries which are convenient and ADA compliant, with equitable access to resources, information, and technology.
- Practices social justice in hiring, training, promoting, and supporting staff.
- Offers remote connections to library resources.
- Works towards cultural competence and understanding.
- Cultivates relationships and partnership opportunities with organizations serving a diverse population.
Supportive of our COMMUNITY
- Seeks opportunities to learn about the community and its needs and resources.
- Engages the community by building positive relationships and ensuring residents want to visit the library.
- Acknowledges the diverse needs of our communities by developing a broad range of resources, programs, and services.
- Cultivates relationships and partnerships with local organizations and agencies that complement the library’s mission, vision and values.
- Participates in Athens Regional Library System activities and volunteers to serve on System committees.
- Provides fair and consistent treatment of all patrons and staff which is free from bias or favoritism.
- Respects the Athens Regional Library System as a work community by supporting fellow staff members and the work of all ARLS libraries.
- Listens to hear, understand, and validate regardless of personal bias.
- Approaches people with an open mind.
- Understands that every person has the potential to be a future entrepreneur, teacher, librarian, or leader and treats each person accordingly.
- Understands that knowledge goes both ways and should be shared.
Committed to EXCELLENCE
- Goes the extra mile.
- Creates meaningful encounters for patrons and fellow staff.
- Is inquiring, interested, and observant. Anticipates potential service needs.
- Is aware and informed about resources and services offered by all ARLS libraries and within the communities.
- Is committed to continuous learning, innovation, and accountability. Takes advantage of continuing education programs offered not just by the library, but also from other available and relevant resources.
- Knows and understands library policies and procedures and is able to reliably apply those, even while seeking creative, equitable solutions to problems and issues.
- Displays professionalism by providing expert service with a positive attitude and a pleasant demeanor.
- Is knowledgeable and a reliable steward of trustworthy information. When we don’t know the answer we take time to find it.
- Is a creative problem solver. Is patient, looks for alternative solutions, and offers options. When mistakes are made, this person is courteous and does everything possible to make a situation better.
- Seeks advice from co-workers when unsure of an answer, and understands that asking for assistance is part of the job.
- Exceeds expectations by providing welcoming and friendly service with a smile and open heart to everyone.
- Is approachable and friendly. Greets and acknowledges patrons and fellow staff members with eye contact, positivity, enthusiasm, and geniality.
- Goes out of the way to be helpful, and address the needs of patrons and colleagues.
- Creates a secure affirming environment for patrons and staff.
- Offers a clean and comfortable facility including our workspaces.
- Strives to ensure each patron is a repeat visitor who is satisfied with services received.
- Makes intentional connections with others.
- Makes patrons and colleagues feel valued by actively listening and taking time to genuinely address their questions and concerns.
- Is flexible in creating and providing services and programs.
- Assumes each interaction with a colleague or patron has a positive intent.