Contact Phone: 706-876-1370
|Nick Fogarty||Deputy Director|
|Janet Eberhart||Finance Officer|
The Northwest Georgia Regional Library System is a three-county Library cooperative. The regional system, which began as the Dalton Regional Library, is more than fifty years old. The purpose of the Region is to save duplicative administrative costs and achieve economy of scale.
Library service began in Dalton in 1921, and the first "formally trained" librarian, Miriam Lanier Wheeler was hired in 1942. In 1943, Ann Pfeiffer Hamilton succeeded Ms. Wheeler. In order to make library collections more accessible, deposit stations were opened in five Whitfield County Communities in 1944, and bookmobile service began that same year.
In 1945, the Catoosa County Library, located in Ringgold, joined with the Whitfield County Library to form the Dalton Regional Library System. The Gordon County Library joined the region in 1957, and Murray County joined in 1958. The Fort Oglethorpe Branch Library was opened in 1971 and became the second library in Catoosa County. As more counties joined the library system, the bookmobile service was expanded. During this period, Eugenia Cavender became Library Director.
The current 32,000 square foot library headquarters, at the corner of Waugh and Cappes Streets in Dalton, was constructed in 1982. In 1984, the Library established a Special Collections Room funded by an LSCA grant. In 1988, the Library System rolled out its first computerized circulation system, serving part of the member libraries. That same year, construction began on the expansion of the Gordon County Library, which was concluded late in 1989. In 1995, Joe Forsee was hired as Library Director.
Bookmobile service was discontinued at the library system in 2006, and replaced by a van which carried books from library to library within the region as well as to schools, nursing homes, and to homebound citizens. In 2008, the Catoosa County Library Board voted to leave the regional system and become a single county library.
An economic downturn impacted the United States beginning in 2008. Many governmental supported agencies and organizations faced changes in operations in light of diminishing budgets. In 2010, van service was eliminated based on lack of funding.
Extension/outreach service includes delivery service of books and other library materials to homebound individuals. In 2010, a community partner began working with the library on providing delivery service twice monthly to homebound patrons.
In October, 2010, NGRL joined the PINES network. All residents of our three-county region may use library materials in any of our facilities, and participation in the PINES network allows our residents to borrow materials from other PINES libraries in Georgia.
Public programming, notably pre-school story hour and summer reading club for school- aged children, is a regular feature of public library service. Public computer and Internet access are available as is computer-assisted basic English training in our computer lab.
The collection includes large print materials, audio books, music on cd's, videos, fiction and non-fiction books and a limited collection of books in Spanish, especially in the life coping skills areas.
THE HARD FACTS OF OUR LIBRARY BUDGET CUTS
In fiscal year 2009 (FY09), the Materials Grant (items to be purchased for the library collection) from the state for our library Region started at $113,000, and ended at $78,000.
Dalton-Whitfield County dropped from a starting figure of $55,144 to $38,089.
The total beginning FY09 State Grant figure was $695,704. We now project $600,000 for FY2010--a cut of nearly $100,000.
We have lost 1/7th of our state grant money since FY09--about 14%.
As of now, during fiscal year 2010 (FY2010), we started with a state budget of $656,807. We now project $600,000--a cut of nearly $60,000.
The Materials Grant started at $78,800, and now stands at $35,900--a cut of more than half.