The History of Clayton County Library and Its Branches
The Clayton County Library System which is located today in Clayton County was established in 1941 by the Jonesboro women’s group. The first visitors could find the building of the library in the South Main Street. The first library’s collection of books was rather small and included 200 items which were taken by the Jonesboro women’s group from the resources of the WPA. The library was known as Jonesboro’s one, and later it joined the Flint River Regional Library System in order to get the access to the increased number of library materials and use the qualified staff. In 1966 the library was relocated to Smith and Lee Street. Today the Jonesboro branch is situated in this street (Clayton County Library System, n.d).
The Clayton Library System continuously expanded and during the period between the 1960s and the 1980s six branches of the library system were developed in order to provide the community with the opportunity to satisfy its informational and educational interests. These six branches are Jonesboro library branch, Forest Park Branch, Riverdale Branch, Morrow Branch, Lovejoy Branch, and Battle Creek Road Branch. The Clayton County Library System was founded in 1981.
In spite of the fact the branches are located independently and each branch has some autonomy, they work as one system (Clayton County Library System, n.d). Thus, the books can be obtained from any branch of the library system by the registered members. The Clayton Library System owns over 400,000 library material (books, magazines and journals) distributed between the six branches. It also owns over 8,500 audio tapes and CDs and over 5,000 videos. In 2007 the Clayton County Library System proposed 616,628 materials which are books and the other informational materials to visitors. 348,478 items among this number were the children’s materials.
The Annual Circulation in the Clayton Library System (2012)
The annual circulation in the Clayton Library System and the level of the computer usage for the period between January and March of 2012 is the following:
Circulation for January to March:
Computer Usage for January to March:
According to the data presented in the tables, the numbers on the circulation are inclined to grow from January to March when the numbers on the computer usage are rather stable. However, the circulation is characterized by the 22% decrease in comparison with 2011.
The Annual Operating Budget and Per Capita Funding
The Clayton Library System functions according to rather different budgets each year. The annual operating budget of the Clayton Library System consists of such elements as the Clayton Library System General Fund, Other County Grants Fund, and Reimposition SPLOST. According to the operating budget and per capita funding in 2011, the numbers are the following: it was 3,304,648 dollars for the Clayton Library System General Fund, it was 126,264 dollars for the Other County Grants Fund, and it was 537,703 dollars for the Reimposition SPLOST. Moreover, the library administration intends to cut its expenditure in 8 percent for the fiscal year of 2012 because of the difficulties with the circulation and operations. The decrease in the total income can be observed in comparison with the numbers of 2009 when the total operating income was 3,523,460 dollars and 11,62 dollars per capita (IMLS Clayton County Library System, 2009).
The Clayton County Library Friends Group and Programs for Adults and Children
The Clayton County Library Friends Group began its activity in 1950. It was ruled by the library board and Jonesboro women’s group. Today the Friends Group is an active part of the library’s supporters who help in promoting the children programs, in purchasing new furniture and equipment. The group meets on the second Monday of each month in order to plan their further activity in establishing the closer relations between the library and community. The Friends Group helps in organizing the adults reading programs, exhibitions, and classes (104 programs were attended by 1,485 people at the beginning of 2012) and the children programs for toddlers and reading classes for elder children (494 programs were attended by 9,412 children).
The Clayton County Library is regulated according to the funds provided by the local government and contributes to its social and cultural programs for increasing the general cultural and educational level within the community.
The Clayton County Library Meeting
The library board meeting was held in April, 2012. The main task of the meeting was to report on the overall progress of the various activities within the library. The meeting was also called to deliberate on the 2013 budget and expenditure. The main speaker was the director of the library. He dwelt mainly on staffing, the budget, and the source of funds. The other speakers reported on the Friends Group’s activities, on the extension of the Internet access in the library and providing more services for the visitors. During the meeting it was sated that the expenditure for the coming fiscal year will be reduced in eight percent. It was also agreed to reduce both the number of working days and operating hours per day.
The main questions discussed at the meeting are oriented to addressing the visitors’ interests. Thus, it is possible to say that the library’s activity is directed toward the attraction of more visitors with referring to the expansion of the service possibilities which can meet the users’ needs (Carlson, 2005; Kammeyer-Mueller & Wanberg, 2003). Moreover, the representatives of the Friends Group’s are the members of the community whose activity also contributes to the community’s development.
Thus, the participation in the meeting helped understand the correlation between the community’s values and their appreciation and development with the help of the Friends Group and the library’s administration with references to the reading culture of the community (Macionis, 2010). It was important that the administration and community keeps the focus on using the library’s resources with basing on the number of visits per year. The main accents are also made on volunteering and sponsorship.
The board meeting reports also gave an indication that socialization is important for the community because it helps the community members bond together (Clausen, 1968; Mumford, 2000; Zaccaro, 2007). It helps reduce interpersonal conflicts and the library promotes this important aspect through developing the various activities. For instance, it regularly holds annual adult and children’s programs and activities (McCook, 2000; Hill, 2009).
The material on the library circulation and number of visits also gave the general information about the literacy level and interests of the community (Carlson et al, 2005). Moreover, it is possible to conclude that the majority of visitors are inclined to use the library’s resources with the help of modern technological devices.
Carlson, N. (2005). Psychology: The science of behavior. USA: Pearson.
Clausen, A. (1968). Socialization and society. Boston: Little Brown and Company.
Clayton County Library System. (n.d). Web.
Hill, C. (2009). Inside, outside, and online: Building your library community. Chicago: ALA Editions.
IMLS Clayton County Library System. (2009). Web.
Kammeyer-Mueller, D. & Wanberg, C. (2003). Unwrapping the organizational entry process: Disentangling antecedents and their pathways to adjustment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 779-794.
McCook, K. (2000). A place at the table: Participating in community building. Chicago: American Library Association.
Macionis, G. (2010). Sociology. USA: Pearson.
Mumford, M. (2000). Leadership skills for a changing world solving complex social problems. The Leadership Quarterly, 11, 11-35.
Zaccaro, S. (2007). Trait-based perspectives of leadership. American Psychologist, 62, 6-16.