Library news (Georgia Public Library Service), 2024 Spring

Sharing stories of Georgia's libraries changing lives and communities Spring 2024
Blind volunteer showcases inclusivity at the library
Public library leaders and champions honored Discover family history
with Ancestry Library Edition
Georgia Public Library Service | | Empowering libraries to improve the lives of all Georgians

Get more from GALILEO at the library:
Explore family history with Ancestry Library Edition

This series explores practical ways to use GALILEO, which you can access freely with DSXEOLFOLEUDU\FDUG*$/,/(2RHUVPDQ\ useful tools for lifelong learners, from language learning to job skills to genealogy resources.
Did you know that with your Georgia public library card, you have access to genealogy research programs like Ancestry Library Edition, which you can use to explore your family's history?

You can also use wild cards such as asterisks or question marks to improve your search. Use an asterisk (*) to help \RXVHDUFKIRUGLHUHQWVSHOOLQJVRIDQDPHRUDTXHVWLRQ mark (?) in place of a letter when you're not sure how something is spelled.

Ancestry Library Edition lets you search through historical documents like birth, marriage, and death records; census records; immigration and travel records; military and school records; photos and maps; and more. Ancestry Library Edition is very similar to, the largest online genealogy database in the world, but GLHUVLQVRPHLPSRUWDQWZD\V

Ancestry Library Edition will look through all the historical documents in its database and provide a list of relevant sources.
On the search results page, you can use the sliders to control how broad or narrow you would like the search results to be. You also can select a document for more details.

Ancestry Library Edition is only available using a public access computer at the library. At some libraries, you can DFFHVVLWWKURXJKDPRELOHGHYLFH7\SLFDOO\\RXZLOOQG the link under "digital resources" on the library's website, but ask your librarian to be sure.
You can use Ancestry Library Edition without having to create an account. This version makes searching through your family's history simple without having to pay to see historical documents.
If you want to do a quick search for a relative, use the StoryScout feature.
To use StoryScout, look for the section titled "Family KLVWRU\VHDUFKVLPSOLHGq7KHQHQWHUWKHQDPHRID grandparent or any relative and a place they may have lived. After submitting your relative's information, click the "Find your stories'' button.
You will be shown a list of people who match the relative you searched for. If you click "This is my grandparent" on one of the matches, you'll be given facts about their life.
You can also see the names of the historical documents the information was pulled from by clicking "Why am I getting this story?" If you'd like to save the results, click the share button to email your relative's overview.
From the homepage, click on the button labeled "Begin

On the right-side panel on a document's detail page, \RXoOODOVRQGVXJJHVWHGGRFXPHQWV\RXPD\QGXVHIXO as you look deeper into your family's history.
To examine a document, click on the image or image placeholder for the document.
When examining a document, click "Save" on the top right of the page to download the document to your computer or to send it to your email if you are using one of the library's public access computers.
From a document's detail page, you can also click the button "Send document" and enter your email address to save it for later even when you're not at the library. From this page, you can also print documents by clicking "Print" on the upper right-hand side of the page.
All the documents you send to your email from Ancestry Library Edition can be accessed from the same page. Go to your email and look for an email from "Ancestry." Click "View your discoveries" on the email that was sent. This page will have a list of all the documents you selected to send to your email. Bookmark this page on your web browser so you can quickly access it. Q
Discover more GALILEO tips: 3

Georgia Public Library Service | | Empowering libraries to improve the lives of all Georgians

Blind volunteer showcases inclusivity at the library

"The kids have learned that having a disability doesn't mean you can't do something. You just KDYHWRGRLWDOLWWOHGLHUHQWO\q

Shay Casey is a volunteer at the Roddenbery Memorial Library in Cairo, Georgia, where she recently led a paint-pouring class as part of the teen craft cafe program.
Ahead of the class, Casey tested the paint and made VDPSOHVIRUSDUWLFLSDQWV+HUSUHSDUDWLRQORRNVGLHUHQW than that of many other volunteers, because she was born with optic nerve hypoplasia.
The optic nerve connects the eyes to the brain and sends light signals, which allows you to see. Casey's condition means this nerve is underdeveloped, causing her to have severely low vision.
"For little kids, I say I just can't see very well. For adults, basically the same thing, but I tell them my optic nerves are underdeveloped and after about eight feet it's like looking through cheap wax paper," said Casey.
To read the labels on the small paint bottles, Casey holds each bottle roughly three inches from her face and uses DKDQGKHOGGLJLWDOPDJQLHU

pressed her interest and the library decided she would make a great volunteer.
She has been volunteering at the library since 2021 and works closely with Michelle Semones, the teen coordinator. While she primarily volunteers for teen programming, she also helps out with family programming and shelving.
Casey's ability to overcome the challenges of her disability is very helpful to the teens who regularly attend library programs, several of whom also have disabilities or medical conditions, said Semones.
"The kids have learned that having a disability doesn't mean you can't do something. You just have to do it a OLWWOHGLHUHQWO\qVDLG6HPRQHVp<RXoUHQRWDYLFWLPRI your disability. Shay shows you can be a victor by doing it GLHUHQWO\q

Casey poured paint onto her canvas, scraped it with wooden popsicle sticks, and then tilted the canvas. Carefully, she held it up to her face to get a glimpse of the pattern she made.
After carefully examining her paint-poured canvas, Casey walks without her cane to a nearby counter and places the canvas on it to dry.
She usually uses a cane when walking, but she has become very familiar with the layout of the library and rarely uses it there.
Being legally blind does not stop her from doing what she loves, including making art and crafts, reading manga, or enjoying anime. It was her interest in anime and manga that led her to become a volunteer at the library.
When the library hosted an anime club geared toward teens, Casey, who was 28 years old at the time, ex-

"I've come out of my shell quite a bit. I love working with the people here," said Casey. "I've found that I'm more capable of doing more than I realized."
Even though her vision can present challenges when creating art or doing other tasks, she is known for her positive attitude. The teens she works with have appreciated Casey's help and presence at the library.
"If I think of the library, I think of her," said Jordan, 17. "Shay just lights up the room and motivates me to push past my own struggles and live my best life."
Janet Boudet, the library's director, recognizes that &DVH\DQGRWKHUSDWURQVZLWKGLVDELOLWLHVKDYHLQXHQFHG how the library approaches accessibility. This includes making sure there is enough room between furniture so individuals can easily navigate through the building,

Georgia Public Library Service | | Empowering libraries to improve the lives of all Georgians

Georgia Public Library Service | | Empowering libraries to improve the lives of all Georgians

"Tools and devices from Georgia Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, as well as Georgia Public Library Service tech grants, assist us in making the library accessible to everyone. Many of these devices would be more than we FRXOGDRUGqVDLG%RXGHW
Georgia Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled supports libraries in providing accessible resources to ensure every patron can enjoy and participate in what their local librarLHVKDYHWRRHU
"Our team engages with communiWLHVWKDWPD\EHQHWIURPRXURIferings, ensuring that no one is left behind due to barriers to access," said Brandi Robertson, Georgia Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled outreach librarian. "Shay's story shows that libraries are for everyone at every phase of their lives."
"Shay is just so positive and her attitude is contagious! And you think `If she can do this, I certainly can do whatever it is that's challenging me at the moment,'" said Boudet.
In the future, Casey hopes to pursue her passion for art and become a graphic designer. She is currently working with Semones to plan the library's teen Summer Reading Program. Q

Top image: "If I think of the library, I think of her," said Jordan, 17. "Shay just lights up the room and motivates me to push past my own struggles and live my best life."
Bottom image: Casey guides Danica, a library teen, through the paint-pouring process and WHDFKHVKHUDERXWWKHGLHUHQWWRROVDQGWHFKQLTXHVXVHGWRPDNHGHVLJQV

as well as making sure the library provides tools to improve access to its materials and services.
"It opens your eyes, literally opens your eyes, to what someone may not be able to see or do and that a library has to be accessible," said Boudet.

7KHKDQGKHOGGLJLWDOPDJQLHUWKDW Casey uses is one of the tools at the library to help patrons easily access materials.
Other items include high-contrast keyboards, large print rulers, and page readers.

Learn more about Georgia Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled at
Do you have a talent to share? Libraries are often in need of volunteers who can give their time or talent.
Reach out to your local library to see how you may be able to assist.

Georgia Public Library Service | | Empowering libraries to improve the lives of all Georgians

Digitized Augusta Fire Department ledgers help tell the story of the Great Fire of 1916

By Tina Monaco, Historian, Georgia Heritage Room, Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System

20th century, when mechanization and new technology ZHUHDOWHULQJWKHZD\UHVZHUHIRXJKW

In 2023, the Digital Library of Georgia, with support from Georgia Public Library Service, digitized two oversized, handwritten, bound ledgers that were donated to the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System by the $XJXVWD)LUH'HSDUWPHQW7KHOHGJHUVGRFXPHQWUH history in Augusta, Georgia, from 1906-1937 and detail VHYHUDORIWKHPRVWVLJQLFDQWDQGGHVWUXFWLYHUHVLQ the city's history, making them an important resource for XQGHUVWDQGLQJKRZFDWDVWURSKLFUHVVKDSHGWKHFLW\scape and local history.
Since the Augusta Fire Department is the second oldest in the state, behind Savannah, the ledgers are important WRXQGHUVWDQGLQJUHJKWLQJPHWKRGVGXULQJWKHHDUO\

3 Along with the time and the box number, information LQFOXGLQJWKHGDWHUHGLVWULFWVWUHHWORFDWLRQEXLOGLQJ

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7RZQEXUQLQJGZHOOLQJVDQGEXVLQHVVHV7KH destruction displaced 3,000 people. Miraculously, no one was killed. Long-time Augusta Chronicle newspaperman Bill Kirby noted in a 2016 column that the winds were so HUFHVLQJHGK\PQDOVDQGSUD\HUERRNVZHUHGLVFRYHUHG across the Savannah River in South Carolina.

The Great Fire of 1916 is recorded in the 1906-1923 OHGJHUDORQJZLWKQRWHVGHVFULELQJWKHQDQFLDOFRVWRI WKHUHDVLQGDPDJHVZKLFKLVQHDUO\ million in today's value.

6KRUWO\IROORZLQJWKHUH&KLHI5H\QROGVZURWHDQ indictment printed in the Augusta Chronicle blaming FLW\RFLDOVIRUDOORZLQJOD[EXLOGLQJVWDQGDUGVVXFKDV subpar wood framing and wood shingles. He also cited inadequate water pressure, which dropped quickly as the UHEHJDQDQGVWD\HGORZLQWKHKRXUVWKDWIROORZHG

RFFXSDQWRURZQHUFDXVHRIUHDQGWKHW\SHRIEXLOGing was recorded. Financial details such as insurance payouts and the cost incurred by property loss are also noted. Further information about damage or what was XVHGWRFRPEDWWKHUHPD\DOVREHOLVWHG
By itself, the Augusta Fire Department ledgers simply record names and addresses, but when used with other digitized primary sources such as city directories, Sanborn maps, and historic newspapers, those people and places come alive and are no longer just an entry recorded in a historic ledger.
The Great Fire of 1916 The ledgers document the most calamitous blaze in Augusta's history, the Great Fire of 1916. At 6:20 p.m. on March 22, 1916, as downtown merchants closed up shop for the day and families were sitting down to evening PHDOVUHDODUPER[RQWKHFRUQHURI%RDUGDQG Eighth Streets emitted a shrill call, alerting Augustans WRDUH

Many of Chief Reynolds' complaints were later corroborated by the insurance investigations. The ledgers note the issue regarding water pressure, which proved to be DPLWLJDWLQJIDFWRULQWKHVSUHDGRIWKHUH
Additional Fires Recorded :KLOHWKHOHGJHUVUHFRUGWKHPDMRUUHVWKDWGHVWUR\HG VLJQLFDQWSRUWLRQVRI$XJXVWDWKH\DOVRGRFXPHQW VPDOOHUOHVVGHVWUXFWLYHUHVWKDWPLJKWQRWKDYHHYHU been reported in newspapers or other sources, along with identifying information about the individuals associated with the property.
In May 1906, during a typical day in terms of the number and severity of the calls coming in, 27 calls were recorded, 26 from the call boxes and one by telephone. About KDOIWKHUHVZHUHQRWHGDVLQVLJQLFDQWLQFOXGLQJDFDOO WKDWFDPHLQRQ0D\DWSPIURPFDOOER[ LQGLFDWLQJDUHDW*UHHQH6WUHHW7KHOHGJHUQRWHV the address was residence-owned and occupied by A. J. 7ZHHG\7KHUHLVQRWHGDVLQVLJQLFDQWDQGWKHFDXVH RIWKHUHLVOLVWHGDVpZLQGRZFXUWDLQVq

Local accounts at the time claim it was started by an unattended iron in Kelly's Dry-Goods store in the Dyer building on the corner of Eighth and Broad Streets. This ZDVQHYHUSURYHQDOWKRXJK$XJXVWDoVUHFKLHIDWWKDW time, Frank G. Reynolds, later called the 30-year-old EXLOGLQJDUHWUDSEHFDXVHLWVVWDLUZHOOVZHUHFRQVWUXFWed around an elevator shaft, creating an architectural QLJKWPDUHLQWHUPVRIUHFRQWURO

Several factors led to the blaze growing in intensity. Strong winds drove the blaze northeastward where it ultimately destroyed 35 blocks in downtown and Olde

Georgia Public Library Service | | Empowering libraries to improve the lives of all Georgians

Archival Resources Detail Local History Used in conjunction with additional Augusta resources, WKHUHOHGJHUVSDLQWDPRUHFRPSOHWHSLFWXUHRIWKH city's historical landscape, particularly in terms of its people and places. They also help people search for ancestors and places they may have lived.
For example, when searching through the 1905 Augusta City Directory to learn more about A. J. Tweedy, whose FXUWDLQVVWDUWHGDVPDOOKRXVHUHRQHZLOOOHDUQWKDWKH and his wife Emma lived at the Greene Street residence, and that Albert was the manager of the Tweedy Loan Company at 738 Ellis Street.
The Sanborn maps for Augusta reveal how the city ZRUNHGWRSUHYHQWODUJHVFDOHUHVIROORZLQJWKH*UHDW Fire of 1916. An image taken from the 1917 Sanborn Map a year after the destruction shows the 700 block of Broad Street, including buildings that were destroyed in the Great Fire, along with those being rebuilt using what ZDVUHIHUUHGWRDVpUHSURRIFRQVWUXFWLRQq
p$OPRVWLPPHGLDWHO\DIWHUWKHUHDQHZEXLOGLQJFRGH was adopted which called for a better class of construction throughout," according to the Augusta City Council Yearbook for 1916. This is evident in an image from

the Digital Library of Georgia that shows steel frames replaced the outdated and potentially hazardous use of wood frames.
7KHWKUHDWRIFDWDVWURSKLFUHVSODJXHG86FLWLHVXQWLO strict building codes, technological changes, and loosely RUJDQL]HGYROXQWHHUUHGHSDUWPHQWVZHUHLPSOHPHQWed under the administration of city governments, much of which occurred during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Augusta Fire Department ledgers are a window into this time period of major changes, and are a helpful UHVRXUFHIRUH[SORULQJUHKLVWRU\QRWRQO\LQWKHFLW\RI Augusta, Georgia but throughout the United States.
View the ledgers and more through the DLG The digitized ledgers, as well as many other important documents from Georgia's history, are freely available to view through the Digital Library of Georgia. To view them, visit and search for "Augusta Fire Department Ledgers." The collection allows you to view HDFKOHGJHUVHSDUDWHO\7KHUVWOHGJHUFRYHUVWKH period from January 1906 December 1923, and the VHFRQGOHGJHUFRYHUVWKHSHULRGIURP-DQXDU\s December 1937. Q

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Georgia Public Library Service honors public library leaders, VWDDQG champions

Georgia Public Library Service is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 Georgia Public Library Awards.
"Strong public libraries are essential to a prosperous state, and our honorees showcase the vital role that public libraries play in post-pandemic recovery, competitiveness, and resilience throughout Georgia," said Vice Chancellor for Archives and Libraries and State Librarian Julie Walker. "Our public libraries are a model of collaboration, innovation, and excellence."
Winners are selected from nominations submitted by library patrons, trustees, Friends of Libraries groups, and VWDVKRZFDVLQJWKHEHVWDQGEULJKWHVWZKRVHUYHLQ public libraries.
Cobb County Public Library has been awarded Library of the Year; Alan Harkness of Chattahoochee Valley Libraries is Director of the Year; Lydia Hahne, business manager at Hall County Library System, is Library Employee of WKH<HDU0LFKDHO/7KXUPRQGFKLHIH[HFXWLYHRFHU of Dekalb County, is Library Champion of the Year; and Kathryn Ames, former director of Athens Regional Library System, has posthumously received this year's Lifetime Achievement Award.
"These award winners, along with so many others who received nominations, exemplify creativity, vision, and H[LELOLW\LQDGDSWLQJWRWKHQHHGVRIDUDSLGO\FKDQJLQJ world," said Walker.

Georgia Public Library Service | | Empowering libraries to improve the lives of all Georgians

2023 Georgia Public Library Awards

LIBRARY OF THE YEAR Cobb County Public Library has been recognized for its commitment to serving its community by partnering with numerous organizations within its county and statewide, DQGIRUHRUWVWRH[SDQGDFFHVVWRPDWHULDOVDQGHVsential services. The library serves a population of over 750,000 across 15 branches and is dedicated to being a resource center in the community by providing equal access to information, materials, and services.
"The Cobb County Public Library prides itself with providing excellent, responsive service to enrich people's lives, support lifelong learning, build and enhance our communities," said Georgia State Senator Michael Rhett. "The library meets the needs of patrons across school systems, the county, and beyond by providing high quality services for early and adult learning literacy, hotspot and internet access, digital skills training, continuing education, health DQGZHOOQHVVRHULQJVDQGFXOWXUDODZDUHQHVVq
LIBRARY DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR Alan Harkness has been named Georgia Public Library Director of the Year. Under his leadership, ChattahoochHH9DOOH\/LEUDULHVEDVHGLQ&ROXPEXVEHFDPHWKHUVW OLEUDU\V\VWHPLQ*HRUJLDWRHOLPLQDWHQHVIRURYHUGXH materials in 2019, and he continues to be a strong advoFDWHIRUQHVIUHHSURJUDPV
6LQFHJRLQJQHVIUHHWKHOLEUDU\KDVVHHQDQLQFUHDVH in cardholder sign-ups and activity among lapsed users. ,QWKHUVW\HDUDIWHUJRLQJQHVIUHHWKHOLEUDU\VDZD LQFUHDVHLQQHZFDUGVLJQXSVDQGDQLQFUHDVH in circulations over a four-month period compared to the previous year.
Harkness has served public libraries for more than 30 years including as regional director of Piedmont Regional Library System and assistant state librarian for library development at Georgia Public Library Service.
In 2013, he became the director of Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, where he oversees the regional library system that serves a population of 250,000 through seven IDFLOLWLHVWZRERRNPRELOHVDQGWZRDXWRPDWHGKRXU library kiosks spread across Chattahoochee, Marion, Muscogee, and Stewart counties.

"It is rare to meet an individual who has devoted their entire working life to one organization. It is even more rare to get the opportunity to work with someone who has demonstrated such devotion along with leadership, commitment, a passion for service, and an exceptional work ethic," said Lisa MacKinney, director of Hall County Library System.
Hahne began working for the library as a shelver when VKHZDV\HDUVROGLQ2YHU\HDUVVKHKDVKHOG several positions including administrative assistant, circulation assistant, and bookkeeper.
PUBLIC LIBRARY CHAMPION OF THE YEAR 0LFKDHO/7KXUPRQGFKLHIH[HFXWLYHRFHURI'H.DOE County, was essential to DeKalb County Public Library's recovery after the pandemic.
"Thurmond's multifaceted support, from recognizing WKHXQLTXHKDUGZRUNRIVWDVHFXULQJYLWDOIXQGLQJDQG resources; and advocating for employee wellbeing, truly sets him apart as a Georgia Public Library Champion of WKH<HDU+LVLQXHQFHLVQRWRQO\IHOWWRGD\EXWZLOOOHDYH a lasting legacy for years to come," said Alison Weissinger, director of DeKalb County Public Library.
During the pandemic, Thurmond recognized the library as an essential department by enacting frontline pay for all library employees. He also helped to secure funding and resources to support the shift to curbside services including the extension of Wi-Fi to the library parking lot.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT Kathryn Ames has been honored posthumously with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to the Athens Regional Library System and her impact on GeorJLDSXEOLFOLEUDULHVRYHU\HDUVRIVHUYLFH+HUUHSXWDtion as a library leader is immense and renowned. Many library employees who worked and trained under Ames currently hold leadership positions at libraries in Georgia.
She made many contributions that have a lasting impact, including supporting the development of Public Information Network for Electronic Services (PINES) that today FRQQHFWVOLEUDULHVDQGDOLDWHGVHUYLFHRXWOHWVLQ OLEUDU\V\VWHPVFRYHULQJFRXQWLHV

PUBLIC LIBRARY EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR Lydia Hahne, business manager at Hall County Library System, has been recognized for her years of service and ensuring the library can serve its community by manDJLQJEXGJHWVPHQWRULQJIHOORZVWDDQGWDNLQJRQ challenges beyond what is expected.

During her tenure as director of Athens Regional Library System, the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded the library two National Leadership grants to design and sha3re original service programs. When Ames retired in 2015, the plaza in front of the library was named after her in recognition of her legacy. Q

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2872 Woodcock Blvd, Suite 250 Atlanta, GA 30341



Georgia Public Library Service 2872 Woodcock Blvd, Suite 250 Atlanta, GA 30341 (404) 235-7200
Julie Walker, state librarian Deborah Hakes, editor Fabian Munive, contributor Sarah Young, contributor
Library News (ISSN 1546-511X) is published by the Georgia Public Library Service, the state agency that empowers public libraries to improve the lives of all Georgians.
This publication is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Georgia Public Library Service under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act. Information presented in this magazine will be provided in alternative formats on request.
PHOTO CREDITS: Augusta Fire Department Book 1 (January 1906 - December 1923): 8; Chattahoochee Valley Libraries: back cover; Davis, F. Edgar. Souvenir Views of Augusta's Big Fire March 22, 1916: 7 left; F. Munive: Cover, 5, 6, 7 right; S. Hazelwood/Pexels: 2.

Need a laptop for work or school? Check one out from your local library! Georgia Public Library Service has provided laptops and Launchpad learning tablets to all public libraries in Georgia. To check one out, visit in person or search the online catalog. This project was assisted with federal pandemic funding from the State of Georgia Governor's O ce.

Georgia Public Library Service | | Empowering libraries to improve the lives of all Georgians