History

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

Timeline

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 (2006-2018)
  • Katherine Gregory (2018-Present)