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Pooler Magazine

Pooler Library—Access for Everyone!

Pooler Library—Access for Everyone!

Story by Cindy Reid


The Pooler Library is part of the Live Oak Public Libraries system consisting of 16 library locations serving a three county region in southeast Georgia.

Each year, the 16 locations host more than 1.1 million visitors, check out over 1.1 million items, and present programs to nearly 125,000 patrons in Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty Counties. It is a large library system with a caring and hometown touch, as each branch works diligently to serve the needs of their local residents.

Pooler Magazine spoke with Library Manager Jennifer Taylor-Pack to learn more about what Pooler Library offers the community—from preschoolers to senior citizens.

Jennifer has been at the branch for four years and says, “We are a unique and busy library. Our branch serves a very diverse population, from local residents to folks traveling on I-95.”

As a member of Public Information Network for Electronic Services (PINES), a Georgia lending network of 300 libraries, they have people from all over the state stop in to utilize their services.

Currently fully staffed with eight employees, it’s a bustling place. In the past year, the Pooler branch served 34,900 in person visits.

For every library user there is a different reason for visiting, from checking out books to using computers, printing documents, sending faxes, attending story times and other programs and unique events. Programs are very popular, and the library offers a full slate for various ages.

“We hosted a wonderful special event with the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra recently,” says Jennifer, “and our Feelings Aren’t Scary Storytime and Rig-a-ma-jig program, both so much fun, have generated a lot of interest, too.”

More than Books

Today’s library is so much more than electronic and print resources. Of course, you can borrow books, audiobooks, CDs, DVDs, at each branch, but they also offer hotspot and Chromebook loans, “because families don’t always have conventional internet,” says Jennifer. “Overall, our goal is access for everyone and the Student PLAY Account, which automatically issues public school students library cards, is helping us to reach that goal.”

She says they also have wonderful partnership programs such as the Library Family Passes to Parks and Museums program and the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail, which helps increase habitats for Monarch Butterflies.

During the summer, the library partners with America’s Second Harvest to provide meals at the branch for hungry children.

Jennifer says she’s proud of the successful partnerships and she enjoys seeing multi-generational families at the library. “I love seeing a grandmom, a mom, and a child here together because the library has something for every one of them,” she says. “We are very thankful for our community. They are so supportive, and we are building a bright future together.”

Student PLAY Account

The Student PLAY Account automatically issues every public school student in Chatham and Effingham counties a public library card. Students use their student/lunch number just like a library card, in fact no physical card or ID is needed and the program is fine free. Liberty County Schools will begin participating in this program soon.

Storytime and More

The Pooler Library offers many fun and interesting in-house programs, as well as special events for all ages and interests. Some programs are drop in, such as storytime, others require registration to reserve your spot.

Check the Calendar of Events posted on the website. Popular programs include:

•          Music & Movement, learning from songs and moving to the music. (preschoolers)

•          Feelings Aren't Scary Storytime & Preschool Storytime (preschoolers)

•          Rig-a-ma-jig STEM program, which is a building set of wooden planks, wheels, pulleys, nuts, bolts, and rope that allows children to follow their curiosity through play. (Ages 6-11)

•          Bee Creative —crafting, talking, and sharing. (Ages 14+)

•          In Stitches—Join yarn and craft lovers of all skill levels for stitching, talking, and sharing tips and suggestions. (Age 14 +)

Access to Technology

 Wireless Internet access is available at all Live Oak Public Libraries, including the Pooler branch. There are computers with Internet access available for public use and Chromebooks and hotspots are available for check out.

To check out a Chromebook, you must be 18 years of age or older and have both a valid library card and valid State identification.

To check out a hotspot, individuals must have a valid library card or Student PLAY account. The devices can be checked out for a maximum of seven days and must be returned to the same library from which it was borrowed.

Live Oak Public Libraries has print/copy/scan/fax services available at all locations. Mobile printing is also available at all locations.

E-books remain very popular, and the system uses the eBook apps Libby and Hoopla, and eRead Kids for eBooks and audiobooks for Pre-K to fourth grade students.

Park & Museum Passes

Your library card allows you to check out free passes or obtain discounted tickets to cultural centers across the state of Georgia. Borrow a Georgia State Park ParkPass or Historic Site Pass and get free admission at parks statewide.

You can also check out a Discovery Backpack that contains binoculars and wildlife guides.

Check out a Telfair Museums Family Pass, good for seven days, usable for up to eight people per visit, for free admission to the Telfair Academy and the Jepson Center for the Arts in downtown Savannah.

These facilities also offer free admissions with the Library Family Pass:

•          Chattahoochee Nature Center, Roswell GA—admits up to four people for free.

•          Go Fish Education Center, Perry GA—admits up to four family members for free.

•          Macon Museum Pass - the Tubman Museum, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, and the Museum of Arts and Sciences partner to provide free passes to their locations in Macon. Up to four people can get free admission with the passes, valid for one week.

Atlanta Partnerships:

•          Georgia Aquarium—use the Library Discount for tickets purchased online.

•          Center for Puppetry Arts—the Library Family Pass admits up to four for free.

•          Michael C. Carlos Museum—the Library Family Pass admits up to six for free.

•          William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum—the Library Family Pass admits up to four for free.

•          Zoo Atlanta—the Library Family Pass admits up to three guests for free.

Seed Library

The Seed Library provides access to seeds, knowledge, and learning opportunities. The Pooler branch offers actual seeds (when available) to anyone who visits the library. A library card is not required and there is no cost. It’s a great- and cost effective—way to start growing nutritional food at home.

Get Your Card!

Your free library card provides access to books and so much more, from free digital resources online, to museum passes, and materials from other libraries, including 11 million items from PINES library network partners across Georgia. Getting a card is easy, just visit your local library, fill out an application, and show your ID. That’s it! You can also apply online to get a free library account with access to digital resources.

Georgia Library PINES

You are eligible for a free PINES card if you live, work, or go to school in Georgia.

A program of the Georgia Public Library Service, Georgia Library PINES is the public library automation and lending network for 300 libraries and affiliated service outlets in 51 library systems covering 146 counties. PINES creates a statewide “borderless library” that provides equal access to information for all Georgians. A PINES library card provides access to a shared collection of 10.6 million books and other materials that can be delivered to your home library free of charge.