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Fayette would be mistaken to leave regional library system

Election to public office confers no special knowledge, expertise, or wisdom. Witness the Fayette County Commission’s ongoing spat with the PINES Library System.

What does membership in PINES bring? Let’s start with what PINES stands for: Public Information Network for Electronic Services. At heart, PINES is information. PINES includes:

• A set of computer software that allows a library card holder to search the collections of nearly 300 public libraries in Georgia, to order books to be delivered to his or her home library, and to be notified when the book is received.

• A set of computer software that allows the library staff to check books in and out; monitor the popularity of books to help maintain the collection; and to track fines.

• Access by any library card holder to a growing set of audio books that can be downloaded to MP3 players, and e-books that can be downloaded to several kinds of e-readers.

• Internet access both in libraries and at home to databases that would otherwise require cost money to use.

There is no way that the resources available to our libraries could be duplicated at less cost than the current PINES membership. If Fayette County withdraws from PINES, costs will go up and access to information will go down.

At heart, PINES is information, and information is essential to freedom.

We must take back our government.

Paul W. Lentz, Jr.

Peachtree City, Ga.



Now that's a mighty fine rant on PINES---shame that's not the issue at hand. The issue is the Flint River Regional Library System, NOT PINES. Final analysis: Nice attack--wrong hill!

Please see my reply to the earlier comment.

Paul Lentz

Qseal's picture

The issue is not leaving the Pines System but leaving the Flint River Regional Library System where the powers-that-be in the Griffin Headquarters dictate how we run our library. Fayette County became a member of the FFRLS when we were a small, country library in need of the services that the larger Griffin library and regional resources provided. We are no longer that small library but have surpassed the Griffin HQ library in circulation numbers, services provided and reputation on the state, if not national level. In the most recent fiscal year, Griffin's circulation was less than 150,000 items while the PTC library circulated more than 464,000 items and Fayetteville more than 332,000. We have become the larger and better run library and are performing most of the functions for ourselves that were once done by the HQ library, (even though we are still paying the FRRLS for these services). The FRRLS used the excuse that the region was funding the Library Director's position in Fayette County so our large assessment was justified. Since they will no longer fund this position and we're doing our own production work, there is no longer a need to belong to a regional system that no longer supports us. When the state library system lifts its current moratorium on new library regions, it will be to Fayette County's advantage to petition the state to establish the Fayette County Regional Library System including our Pines Membership.
-A Library Pal

My understanding, confirmed by state library officials, is that our Fayette County libraries, including the ones in Fayetteville, Peachtree City, and Tyrone are able to access PINES and PINES services only through the Flint River Regional Library System (FRRLS) and that we would lose all PINES access if the County Commissioners were to withdraw from FRRLS. Further, the state has put a moratorium on any "new" library systems, meaning that Fayette County couldn't "go it alone" and establish a relationship with PINES.

Paul Lentz

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