Rotary helps local libraries do more

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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – The Rotary Club of Johns Creek has made helping the Northeast Spruill Oaks Library and the Dr. Robert E. Fulton Library at Ocee one of their projects. So at its Jan. 24 meeting, it presented a check for $700 to help them in their programs.

“Supporting literacy is a goal of Rotary International, and we are acting locally to do the same,” said Rotary President Rory Robichaux. “In these times of shrinking budgets, we are helping them with their local programs for our citizens.”

Northeast Spruill Oaks Branch Manager Nancy Powers and Ocee Branch Manager Carla Barber joined Friends of the Spruill Oaks Library volunteer Sue Quinby to accept the check and told Rotary members about the various services offered at the libraries.

Because the libraries are of the Atlanta Fulton Library System, the donation is split between the volunteer Friends of the Library auxiliaries for the two libraries.

Libraries have changed a great deal in the computer-connected world of today, Barber told the Rotarians. And the libraries today are tied into huge resources that can help business people, students and others connect to the world.

“We have A to Z databases that anyone with a library card can access from their homes 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Barber said.

By going online at www.afpls.org, users can get access to information that can help them in countless ways.

Students can receive free tutoring online through the library system’s Education to Go program. Teachers, professionals and others can receive certification certificates after completing online work.

Job seekers can find information on jobs, resume preparation and get interview tips through the library website.

Each library has a volunteer connection through the Friends of the Library organizations. These are local people who volunteer their time to help, whether it is fundraising, shelving books, advocating for libraries or providing special free programs at their particular library.

The Friends organizations also provide the conduit for accepting donations to a particular library.

Libraries also provide public space for community meetings and other community programs. Spruill Oaks’ Powers said one day might find yoga classes going on; another might see a group of Asian women who enjoy line-dancing together.

The two libraries are among the top five in the county in circulation of materials, topping one million distributed last year.

Teenagers have a variety of programs aimed at them with Toastmasters helping them gain self-confidence through teaching public speaking, business writing and other programs. There are also other programs and activities directed to teenagers.

“We know what our libraries mean to our community, so we want to support them as much as we can,” Robichaux said.