Mission & History

Mission Statement

The Thomas County Public Library System (TCPLS) provides open access to information for recreational and educational purposes. It is committed to providing its patrons with an atmosphere free from unnecessary distractions and conducive to the most efficient use of library facilities.

The Five Goals

1. The Library provides high-demand, high-interest materials of a widespread nature in a variety of formats to meet the educational and recreational needs of the communities.

2. The Library provides reference materials and services that answer the community's needs or give direction to additional sources of information.

3. The Library provides a source for ongoing education, programs, and services to meet community needs and provide equality of services for the residents of Thomas County.

4. The Library collects, preserves, and provides access to various materials that are written by and/or about Thomas County citizens in both a current and historical context.

5. The Library evaluates current services, performs user surveys, and plans new services that will meet the community’s current and future needs.

History
On September 23, 1963, the City Commission of Thomasville passed a resolution "Accepting the Annie Wright Memorial Library" and, thus, "making it a part of the regularly functioning general government of the City."  On January 13, 1964, the Commissioners changed the name to the Thomasville Public Library.  

The Thomasville Public Library moved into the oversight of the Board of Education on April 13, 1964, making then City School Superintendent Charles P. McDaniel the first Library Board Chairman. He and Librarian Martha Mitchell oversaw the conversion and renovation of the Old Post Office on the corner of Broad St. and Jefferson St. into the new home of the Thomasville Public Library.

Library at The Old Post Office                                                    (Photo courtesy of the Georgia Archives.)

The Thomasville Public Library opened in The Old Post Office on June 15, 1964 and would be the Library's home for the next 29 years.  

In the 1940s, the State of Georgia encouraged the development of regional libraries throughout the state to equalize services between rural and city areas. On January 1, 1964, the Thomasville Public Library joined the Colquitt-Thomas Regional Library. Before this, the association had already been serving parts of Thomas County through a contract - signed on June 5, 1952 - made between Superintendent W. H. Rehberg and Moultrie Library Librarian Roberta Ryan. This contract contained the provisos: "that Thomas County purchase a bookmobile, pay all bookmobile expenses, make an annual appropriation of $2000.00 to the headquarters library, and maintain existing branches at Ochlocknee and Boston. The headquarters library guaranteed service to six county schools, two branches, and 21 stations."  The headquarters of the Colquitt-Thomas County Regional Library was established through this contact as the Moultrie Carnegie Library.

The benefits of this contract were substantial and were a significant contributing factor for the City. On January 1, 1964, the Board of Education acquired the Thomasville Library and entered the Regional system. This new configuration of the Colquitt-Thomas Regional Library remained for the next twenty years.

Though the benefits of the Regional Library were great, Moultrie, being the 'parent' library of the system, received a significant share of the System's income.  Once the Thomasville Public Library joined in 1964, the circulation in Thomas County surpassed that of Colquitt County. A county system comprising city and town libraries would qualify for state funding and keep it all in-house. In early 1985, the Board of Education returned the Thomasville Public Library to City control. On July 1, 1988, after weighing the options of leaving the Colquitt-Thomas Regional Library and starting a single-county system, Sandra Newell was hired as the first Librarian for the newly created Thomas County Public Library System. The system would now fall under the Thomas County Board of Commissioners.  

In early 1989, a sales tax initiative was recommended to raise 1.9 million dollars for new library facilities and books and attract matching funds from the Georgia State Department of Education to improve the physical facilities of the System. It passed on September 19, 1989, and the planning for new buildings began. Meigs and Coolidge were to have new buildings, Ochlocknee and Pavo moved to larger spaces, the historic Boston Carnegie Library was renovated, and Thomasville moved to its current location at the corner of Madison and Jefferson Streets. On May 13, 1993, the Thomasville Public Library opened with Librarian David Eden in charge.

Following a demand to accommodate more materials and services to meet growing demand, the Thomasville library underwent renovation from 2011 -  2012. Reopening on May 8, 2012, the Thomasville library grew into the library it is today, with two high-ceiling sections added to either side of the building and a reimagined interior.  


 
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