Through its Georgia Public Library Service unit, the University System of Georgia directly contributes to higher, secondary and vocational education in all 159 counties. GPLS provides support services and equitably distributes state funding to the 61 public library systems that operate 385 branches across the state.
Services & Programs
Georgia Library Public Information Network for Electronic Services (PINES)
PINES, the Public Information Network for Electronic Services, is a library automation and lending network for more than 275 participating libraries and affiliated service outlets. PINES effectively create a statewide “borderless library” that provides equal access to information for all Georgians. The 2 million Georgians who carry a PINES library card enjoy the benefits of a shared collection of nearly 10 million books and other materials that can be delivered to their respective home libraries free of charge.
Georgia Library Learning Online (GALILEO)
The Georgia Public Library Service ensures that all Georgia public libraries and their patrons have access to GALILEO. GALILEO is the state’s virtual library, providing online access to thousands of periodicals, scholarly journals, books, encyclopedias, business directories and government publications. Citizens can access GALILEO at any public library facility. Library users can also access many of GALILEO’s resources at home through remote password access.
Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services (GLASS)
GLASS is the library for blind, visually impaired and physically disabled Georgians. GLASS loans specially recorded books on tape, specialized tape playback machines and Braille materials. GLASS serves residents in 16 metro Atlanta counties. Twelve subregional Talking Book Centers provide services for the rest of the state. Library users who are not able to visit one of the 12 libraries in person may obtain talking books and other materials through the mail free of charge.
Professional Consulting, Training and Facilities Support
The Georgia Public Library Service supports Georgia’s libraries by providing a broad range of consulting services and technical assistance, such as resource sharing, outreach support and long-term facilities planning. The agency also offers a diverse menu of training and continuing education courses for Georgia’s library professionals, from grantwriting to integrating technology into library services, to techniques for attracting more teen readers.
The Georgia Public Library Service administers state and federal grant funds totaling approximately $37.8 million to Georgia’s public library systems and GLASS and for the support of statewide activities. Grants support salaries and travel for Georgia’s professional librarians, the purchase of books and materials, the maintenance and operation of services and the purchase and development of technology systems for staff and library users.
Child and Family Literacy
The Georgia Public Library Service coordinates the annual statewide Vacation Reading Program that encourages children and families to read for fun during school vacations by hosting literacy-based activities such as magic shows, arts and crafts and wildlife visits. Children also receive rewards for achieving reading goals. Annually, more than 425,000 children and families participate in the Vacation Reading Program, checking out more than 2 million books and attending almost 9,000 programs.
Computer Networking & Technical Support
The Georgia Public Library Service administers a statewide network of high-speed Internet connections to public libraries in the state, ensuring that citizens living in any community in Georgia have access to the World Wide Web. In addition to e-mail and Web hosting for Georgia public libraries, the Georgia Public Library Service also assists public libraries with technical support for network, equipment and software technology issues.