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Rowe settling in as library director
Says economy is the biggest challenge
021210 LIBRARY ROWE for web
Sharon Rowe is the director of the Statesboro Regional Library. Rowe, who took over the director position in December, says the state of Georgias economy is her biggest challenge.

The Statesboro Regional Library System is facing big challenges and an exciting future as the latest director settles into her new position.
    Sharon Rowe, who took over the director of the library position from Lois Roberts on Dec. 1, said she is relishing the challenge of a five-library system, after moving from a one-county system in Bennettsville, S.C. Without a doubt, Rowe said, the state of Georgia's economy is her biggest challenge.
 “We have no money for books,” Rowe said, adding that 'books' also refers to magazines, research materials and other library resources. “Most of our book money comes from the state and the state is in a budget crisis, which has been passed on to us.”
    Fortunately, Rowe said, the public and local library support groups have been picking up some of the slack from the state.
    “Most of the libraries have a 'Friends (of the Library)' group — they've been helping us out,” said Rowe. “We also have a wonderful public who keep a constant stream of donations coming in — those are two of the main sources of donations.”
    Rowe said the libraries current programs like Reading to Rover, family craft nights and the “Meet the Author” series are all very popular and will remain firmly on the schedule.     However, she said one of the things the library is definitely going to expand is the genealogy programming.
    “We're going to be doing a 'how to trace your family tree' workshop. We also hope to do a program on specialized genealogy,” Rowe said.
Both programs will be offered in the fall.
    The new director is also making sure the library stays up-to-date with current technology. To that end, the library offers downloadable audio books on the library's Web site and is keeping staff updated on new computer programs so they can pass on that knowledge to library patrons. They even have a Facebook page.
    “We want to be where the people are and where people can find us,” Rowe said.
    The library will soon start offering introductory computer courses, which will teach the basics like e-mail and word processing. Classes will be taught by Lois Roberts, public services librarian, and Chuck Davis, reference services librarian.
    Rowe said embracing technology is very important as the library continues to evolve in the 21st century.
    “Who knows when books will be left behind? Who knows when we might start renting out Kindles — the technology is changing very rapidly,” Rowe said.
    People interested in donating to the library can either call (912) 764-1341 to schedule a drop-off time or they can simply bring their donations to the reference desk
    “And we take checks, too — not just books,” Rowe said.


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