Savannah, GA -- August 19, 2007

At the Bull Street branch of the public library, beyond the moss dripping trees, inside the air conditioned doors, I had the privilege of talking with Janet Langford, the branch manager, who was filling in for the day at the genealogy department.

What she’s excited about? A new library! They’re building a branch on the south side of town, the first one in that area, so that people won’t have to drive ten to fifteen minutes to get to a library. They will break ground within the next couple of months and the library will open in the Spring of 2009.

The funding is coming through a local option sales tax. The Commission selects which projects the tax could go towards, picking projects they think the public will vote for, and then it’s voted on.

Something else she's excited about, less groundbreaking but as important-- the Vacation Reading Program, which just finished. 4,011 children enrolled and won prizes like Barnes and Nobles gift certificates and a $500 gift certificate to the mall. What kids like—anime; the Charlie Bone series, by Jenny Nimmo; Geronimo Stilton books, by Geronimo Stilton; and the A-Z Mysteries, by Ron Roy.

Her favorite book--The Scarlet Pimpernel, by the Hungarian-British author, Baroness Emmuska Orczy. She enjoys historical fiction.

She works so much that she had no idea where I’d find people reading in the in the world outside the walls of the library. walls outside the library--it was already late in the day and I hadn't found even one reader.

The library was a Carnegie building, built in 1916 and renovated in the late 1990s. The stacks, which you can see in the background, are structural.

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