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University System Assumes Administration of Public Libraries

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Atlanta — June 30, 2000

Under the terms of the A-Plus Education Reform Act, the administration of the state’s 57 public library systems will be transferred from the Department of Technical and Adult Education to the University System of Georgia on July 1.

To ensure a smooth transfer, Chancellor Stephen R. Portch has appointed a transition team that includes Central Office staff, local librarians and representatives from some University System institutions. He also has appointed Tom Ploeg as acting director of the Office of Public Library Services (OPLS), which is responsible for allocating state funds for salaries, equipment, book purchases and technology for the public library systems. Ploeg, a program consultant to the OPLS, has been serving informally as acting director for the past year.

Portch and the Board of Regents are excited about the new partnership and how it will enhance GALILEO, the computer network that links every library in the University System.

“This is a natural marriage, as the purpose of both the University System of Georgia and the public libraries is to provide Georgia citizens with access to information resources and educational materials,” Portch said. “With the tremendous success of GALILEO, and the addition of the state’s 371 public libraries to the University System, we will be able to provide Georgia’s citizens with a unique opportunity in the years ahead to access material from not only every corner of our state, but literally from every corner of the world.”

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