Photo by Johnny Jackson
Henry County Rotary Club Literacy Chairperson Sheri Willis (from left), Locust Grove Public Library Branch Supervisor Wanda Bennett, Locust Grove Library Branch Assistant Supervisor LaDon Golden, and Henry Daily Herald Advertising Manager Christy Collier stand with some of the more than 300 donated books collected through the Rotary Club's March book drive.
By Johnny Jackson
The Locust Grove Public Library has received a gift of more than 300 books from the Henry County Rotary Club.
The books, collected from Henry County residents, were presented Thursday to library officials.
Locust Grove Library Branch Supervisor Wanda Bennett said the books will be added to the library's current collection. She said the library has been trying to build its book collection since it reopened in 2005 at its new location, at 115 Locust Grove-Griffin Road in Locust Grove.
"Right now, with the budget cuts to the county, we don't have any money to buy more books," Bennett said.
The library has accepted individual book donations, but had not received any organizational gifts until representatives of the Rotary Club appeared with the load of 317 donated books.
The Rotary Club, in partnership with the Henry Daily Herald, hosted a book drive during the month of March, to promote and facilitate literacy, said Sheri Willis, literacy chairperson of the 55-member Rotary Club.
"Promoting literacy within the community is important," said Willis, who is also the associate area director of the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta.
"Rotary has taken an active role in promoting literacy in our community," she continued. "And we think it's important to educate children ... By donating the books to the library, we'll help our literacy efforts as well as the library's efforts."
Bennett said book needs are ever-growing at the Locust Grove Public Library, whose daily patronage has grown from 65 to 250 library users.
"They're coming back," Bennett said. "Because of the economy, more people are looking for free things to do. Instead of buying books, they're coming to the library and borrowing them."
Christy Collier, a Rotary Club member and the Henry Daily Herald advertising manager, said this year's book drive surpassed last year's collection of 100 books for the McDonough Public Library. She said she hopes next year's book drive will improve on this year's successes.