A Tri-County System

Bartram Trail Regional Library System is administered from offices located in the Mary Willis Library, Washington, Georgia and serves the Mary Willis Library, the Taliaferro County Library, and the Thomson-McDuffie County Library.

The affiliate libraries are located in the county seats of Wilkes, McDuffie and Taliaferro Counties. Each county library is supported by annual appropriations from its local funding agents. Each local board, assisted by the director, employs its own librarian or library manager, adopts its own budget, secures local financial support from its funding agents and handles matters of a local nature not in conflict with Georgia Public Library Law (Act 1210) or the Regional Library Constitution and By-Laws.

Regional Administration

Regional administration is supported by local funds supplied by the Wilkes County Board of Commissioners, City of Washington, Wilkes County Board of Education, Taliaferro County Board of Education, McDuffie County Commission and City of Thomson. In addition, it receives and administers State Grants for Materials, Maintenance and Operations, and Federal Library Services and Construction Act grants for the entire regional system.

All affairs of the System are handled through a 9-member Regional Board and the Library Director.

The Library System complies with the Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 and under Title III, The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990.


Serving the Community

The Bartram Trail Regional Library System serves the Mary Willis, Taliaferro, and Thomson-McDuffie communites, each of which was visited by William Bartram during his expeditions for his Elements of Botany Engravings.

The services of the libraries have changed over the years from the early 1900s-when children under age eight were discouraged from visiting the libraries-to the present, when programs are designed especially with the young child in mind.

Children's Programs have increased in number and variety. Multi-media resources are used in classrooms, churches, nursing homes, scouting groups, extension programs and civic clubs.

Over the years, the libraries have expanded their services to better provide the public with information, reference materials, and recreational reading. Special library programs and services for adults have included:

- Exhibits
- Lectures
- Demonstrations
- Book talks
- Films

- Photocopying
- Audio-visual equipment
- Computers for public use
- Typewriters for public use
- Voter registration

1967 Mary Willis Library and Taliaferro County Library sign a contractual agreement forming the Wilkes-Taliaferro Regional Library System.
1970 Greene County joins the System and name changes to Wilkes-Taliaferro-Greene Regional System.
1974 McDuffie joins System, which is renamed the Bartram Trail Regional Library.
Wilkes County Library Board created.
1976 Miss Jean Cochran's plan for Mary Willis Library expansion is accepted and the firm of Kuhlke and Wade of Augusta, GA. submit architectural drawings for an annex to the existing structure.
1977 Combining elements of the 1888 Mary Willis Library structure with a functional floor plan, the annex opens on April 1, adding 4,459 square feet for a total of 7,114 square feet.
1980 McDuffie County Library moves from the old Garden Club building to the renovated U.S. Post Office.
1985 Greene County Library builds a new building on Main Street with 8,600 square feet of space.
1987 McDuffie County Library embarks on a building program to create a new 13,500 square foot building.
McDuffie County Library renamed the Thomson-McDuffie County Library.
1989 New 2,500 square foot Taliaferro County Library opens to public.
1991 Mary Willis Library extension is completed in October, adding 5,267 square feet to almost completely occupy its town lot.
1992 Greene County withdraws from the Bartram Trail System, joining the Uncle Remus Regional Library System.
Original Board of Trustees

- Samuel Barnett, President
- O.S. Barnett, Secretary-Treasurer
- Charles A. Alexander
- Frank H. Colley
- William M. Reese
- Benjamin S. Irvin
- Frank W. Barnett

Head Librarians

- Carrie Dyson Turner (1889-1916)
- Hardeman Toombs Woods (1916-1925)
- Kathleen Colley (1925-1964)
- Marjorie S. Morrow (1965-1988)
- Celeste A. Stover (1988-2006)
- Lillie Crowe (2006 - present)

Governing Boards

Promoting Interest in the Library

It is the function of the Regional Library Board to adopt policies for the library system, to promote interest in the Library and to authorize and negotiate funding for the regional library budget proposed by the Director for the operation of the Library System. Membership on the Regional Board consists of three members from each county Library Board in the Region. The Board meets the third Tuesday in January, April, August and October at 5:00 PM at alternate libraries in the System. For a list of names on your current Governing Board, please ask the staff at your local library.


This materials selection policy has been compiled to act as a guide to the library staff in selecting materials and maintaining the library's collections. It is also designed to inform the public about the principles upon which selections are made.

  1. To acquire and maintain popular materials of various media which:
    • Help people to know more about themselves and their world
    • Supplement formal study and encourage informal self-education
    • Stimulate thoughtful participation in the affairs of the community by giving access to a variety of opinions on matters of current interest
    • Support the educational, civic and cultural activities within the community
    • Aid in learning and improving job-related skills
    • Assist the individual to grow intellectually, spiritually and to enjoy life more fully
    • Meet the changing information needs and interests of the entire community
  2. To provide access to all library materials:
    • To classify and catalog most purchased materials
    • To process all other materials using appropriate cataloging and/or identifying notations
    • To maintain all public catalogs according to standardized MARC format
  3. To provide materials not available in the local library:
    • By interchange of materials between affiliated libraries within the System and through interlibrary loan using sources outside the local service area such as those accessed via Georgia On-Line Database.
Criteria for Materials Selection

Factors to be considered in selecting and adding materials to the collection are:

  • Availability of funds and space
  • Relationship and importance to entire collection (including books of regional interest, by local authors, etc.)
  • Author's reputation, significance and authority as a writer
  • Content - accuracy, readability, literary merit, permanent value, etc.
  • Availability of material in the region, via interlibrary loan, etc.
  • Community interest and public demand. Students of all ages need to be considered; no textbooks as a rule.
  • Timeliness - books of current interest and best-sellers must be chosen in time to meet demand. Some duplication may be necessary.
  • Format - high standards of print, paper, binding and format are regarded in all selections, but selection should not be limited when usefulness is a deciding factor
  • A favorable review from a reputable source
Other Considerations

Each library should have a well-rounded core collection of fiction and nonfiction. Current periodicals are selected to expand upon these basic materials. They should cover a wide range of subjects and should reflect community interest and demand.

Highly specialized materials are not purchased, but are borrowed through interlibrary loan.

Religious materials should be of a general or historical nature and be non-proselytizing.

Medical materials purchased should be sound and contain basic information on such topics as hygiene, nutrition, health, and common diseases. Should be updated frequently as often as every three years.

Materials containing sexually explicit references will be selected under the same criteria as other library materials: i.e., on the basis of good reviews, community and collection needs, and budgetary and space limitations.

No attempt will be made to build a collection of textbooks, but they will be purchased when they are the best or only source of information on a subject.

If a book is not chosen for the Library's collection, it has been excluded because it does not measure up to the Library's standards, because the Library already has adequate coverage of the subject, or because of budgetary or space limitations.

Replacement of Materials

The library will not automatically replace all materials withdrawn because of loss, damage or wear. Decisions will be based on the following considerations:

  • Demand for specific title
  • Importance and value of specific title
  • Number of copies held
  • Existing coverage of the subject

On a continuous basis, obsolete and unused materials are eliminated from the collection. Weeding is done by professional staff at the headquarters and by library managers assisted by the regional coordinator in affiliated counties.

Materials to be weeded include:

  • Those of poor content which are outdated or badly written
  • Those which no longer serve the purposes of the library - duplicates or "shelf-sitters"
  • Those in poor physical condition - dirty, worn, and badly bound or badly printed volumes.

* For more detailed information, please see: General Considerations.

Meeting Rooms

Bartram Trail Regional Library System provides meeting room spaces as a service to the community for use by individual groups and/or organizations. This space is designed for library-sponsored programs, community group activities and programs of governmental funding agencies including local, state and federal agencies that provide continuous financial support to the libraries.

Bartram Trail Regional Library System provides meeting room spaces as a service to the community for use by individual groups and/or organizations. This space is designed for library sponsored programs, community group activities and programs of governmental funding agencies including local, State and federal agencies that provide continuous financial support to the libraries. Priority for use will be given to library-related programs and those co-sponsored by the library. Community sponsored activities will be granted permission on a first-come first-serve basis.

Functions held in the meeting rooms must be of civic, cultural or educational nature. Meetings must be open to the general public.

Space may be reserved for workshops, conferences, institutes, book discussions, training, touring exhibits, programs, etc. Recurring meetings by organizations and/or community groups are not encouraged; however, the rooms may be reserved no earlier than 60 days in advance. The library will not accept reservations for a series of meetings which will designate the Library as a regular meeting place of any organization. However, classes held in a series but on a temporary basis will be allowed. i.e. "Weekly class or workshop on financial planning for 4 weeks and sponsored by the County Extension Office".

All programs, events, meetings and gatherings shall be open to the public at no admission fee. However, an organization may charge for materials used in the program or meals served if allowed at the local library. Library related programs such as Friend's book sales or bake sales to benefit the library services may be scheduled in library facilities.

Permission to use the meeting room will not be granted unless the presentation assumes the nature of an open forum with the opportunity given for all viewpoints to be presented. The Board of Trustees for the Bartram Trail Regional Library System reserves the right to review any or all room use applications and may demand sufficient time to make proper investigations before action is taken on a request. The Board may reject applications. Permission to use the meeting room does not constitute an endorsement of a group's policies or beliefs.

A maintenance fee to recover costs of operating the meeting room may be assessed.

The Library Director is instructed to implement this policy with procedures as required.

Eligible groups include:
  • Civic organizations
  • Social clubs whose intent is educational or cultural in nature
  • Academic classes or study groups of more than two people
  • Professional or honorary groups
  • Organized school or academic groups which have a civic interest or goal

All meetings are open to the public. The Library staff reserves the right to enter the meeting room at any time.

Who May Not Use the Library Meeting Room

The meeting room is not an appropriate venue for the following types of meetings:

  • Any group meeting for a profitable reason.
  • Group meetings for family or personal reasons, such as family reunion, wedding reception, birthday parties, etc.
  • Political campaigns (political forums, however, are allowed)
  • Any meeting that would tend to incite or provoke imminent lawless action, to be disruptive to other Library functions or would endanger the safety of Library staff or patrons.
  • One-on-one meetings of any kind (example: personal tutoring), with the exception of those events held at the request of the Library, the City, the County, or the Board of Education.
  • Any group which has violated Library policies related to the meeting room on prior visits.
  • An application for the use of the Meeting Room is available during the regular OPEN hours of any library branch in the system and must be completed by an official of the requesting organization and who will be attending the meeting. Tentative scheduling and information exchanges by telephone are acceptable. However, the application must be completed and approved by the Librarian or Library Manager in charge before reservation is official or before the library meeting site is advertised. Upon approval the requestor will be notified. Rooms are assigned in the order in which requests are received. The requestor's original signature, address and telephone number are required on the form.

  • Arrangements and logistics for use of the rooms should be made with a library Staff member at the time the application is approved. The Library is not responsible for setting up furniture as desired by the user group. Certain equipment may be available for use upon request. See Application.
  • It is the responsibility of the contact person/requestor to obtain the key, when necessary, from library staff when a meeting or function is held after hours. The person in charge or who has requested the room must check out the key. The key must be returned by the same person as soon as possible the next day. A fee of $30 will be charged for a lost key.
  • A non-refundable fee may be charged for maintenance of the room used with the amount determined by the Board of Trustees.
  • All programs or meetings must be open to the public.
  • Permission to meet in the Library does not in any way constitute an endorsement of a group's policies or beliefs.
  • Neither the name nor the address of the Bartram Trail Regional Library or any of its branches may be used as the official address or headquarters for an organization.
  • The library is not responsible for equipment, supplies or other items owned by a group and used in the library. Organizations needing use of Library Audio-Visual equipment may request this use on the application.
  • Smoking is prohibited on the premises of the libraries. The group sponsoring the meeting is responsible for enforcing the non-smoking rule.
  • Organizations should observe the time frame noted on their application and before leaving, must accept responsibility of turning off lights, closing windows, adjusting thermostat and locking doors.
  • The adult booking the facility, as well as the organization, is responsible for any damages that should occur as a result of the use of the facilities. Facilities will be inspected after each meeting. Users shall pay the cost of repair of any damage to facilities as determined by the library.
  • In the event of cancellation, the requestor shall promptly notify the Library. This courtesy will allow another group the opportunity to use the room.
  • Use of Library telephones is prohibited. The Library Staff will not deliver messages to participants in the meeting room.
  • No signs or banners may be placed anywhere in the library without the permission of the Librarian or Library Manager. (For further clarification see Display/Poster/Sign Policy)
  • The room should be left in the order in which it was found. Tables and chairs may be arranged, provided they are returned to their original arrangement before the group vacates the premises.
  • No food or drink is to be served in the Meeting or Conference Room by the person(s) or group responsible for the meeting.
  • No food or drink is to be brought into the Meeting or Conference Room by individuals attending the meeting.
  • If damage occurs, groups are responsible for cost of repairs or cleaning of the Meeting or Conference Room.
  • Failure to comply with the regulations or abuse of any of the above mentioned privileges may result in suspension of the right to use the meeting rooms for one year.
  • A $25 security system fee will be required for after hours use of the Taliaferro County Library meeting room which is subject to availability.


All policies come directly from the Bartram Trail Regional Library System Administrative Manual. Some policies may vary from branch to branch according to the needs of the communities each library serves.


An Equal Opportunity Employer

Bartram Trail Regional Library System offers an equal opportunity for all qualified applicants to be selected for jobs at all levels. We take seriously our goal to provide equal consideration regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, physical handicap, age, political affiliation, or any other nonmerit factor.

We encourage all interested and qualified persons to apply for positions with Bartram Trail Regional Library System. We heartily believe that our emphasis on employment opportunity yields benefits for the library, its employees, and its patrons.

BTRLS Job Postings:

There are no open positions at this time.