Clayton County Commission Chairman Jeff Turner talks with Sherry Turner, managing library at the Jonesboro Library Branch, and interim county library system Director Yvonne Carmicheal about the system's book collection and program offerings. This week is National Library Week.
JONESBORO Clayton County residents are being encouraged to get their geek on with an encyclopedia.
They could also do it with a how-to manual if that’s their preference.
It won’t hurt if they swing more towards novels, autobiographies, magazines, newspapers, children’s books or comic books either.
It’s all part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s nationwide Geek The Library campaign, which the Clayton County Library System joined this week as part of its National Library Week observances.
“Basically, what it means is if there is a topic a person is passionate about, we have something to fulfill that,” said Sherry Turner, the managing librarian at the Jonesboro Library Branch. “If they want to learn about computers, we have computer classes. We have everything from Baby Talk for the brand new ones, right up to — we actually have quite a few people in their 90’s who use the libraries.
“There’s something for everyone here,” she said.
Turner, Interim Library System Director Yvonne Carmicheal and county Commission Chairman Jeff Turner (not related to Sherry Turner) kicked off National Library Week and the Geek The Library campaign by greeting patrons at the Jonesboro branch Monday.
Sherry Turner, who recently transferred to the branch from the Headquarters branch, made small cupcakes for patrons to eat at the branch’s entrance. The theme for National Library Week is “We care about communities,” she and Carmicheal said.
“The refreshments are to thank people for coming to the library,” Carmicheal said.
Sherry Turner added, “we appreciate our patrons.”
Patrons could also enter their names in drawings for prizes such as book tapes, cups and gift certificates from various businesses and residents. An information table for the Geek The Library program was set up at the entrance as well.
The Jonesboro branch manager said patron participation in the Geek The Library program will help the county’s six libraries better serve their communities.
“When people are telling us what they geek, that will help us not only with collection development, but also the sort of programs we offer,” she said.
Jeff Turner said the libraries are important to the county because of the resources they offer. One popular library feature he referenced was the availability of public-use computers. Unemployed residents can use those computers to pursue a new career.
“The libraries are great resources that are definitely underutilized,” he said. “They have access to computers and Clayton County has a high unemployment rate. People who are researching jobs and looking for jobs, and they need to utilize the library system. Then it’s also a source to just be able to come check out a book, to kick back and relax out here while you’re reading, or on the Internet or whatever.”
Carmicheal said residents should make use of the libraries because of those resources. “We offer things for all ages, from the very youngest to the elderly,” she said. “We offer classes and programs to meet their needs as far as leisure, entertainment, education and cultural interests. We try to cover all areas.”
Sherry Turner then added, “the library really is the best bargain in town, because everything she said we offer is free.”
The Geek The Library program will be ongoing throughout the year. An online calendar of upcoming events at the six branches can be found at www.claytonpl.org/. Printed monthly calendars are also available at each branch.