Information resources made accessible for all.
The vision of the Twin Lakes Library System is to improve and enhance the educational, the cultural and the recreational life of the communities served.
The Twin Lakes Library System’s mission is to improve and enhance the educational, cultural and recreational life of the communities served in order to increase the intellectual potential of the community. The System does this by promoting access to information, offering innovative programs and providing well-trained staff.
Planned to be a place of “recreation, inspiration, and information,” then Mayor George S. Carpenter commented, “the time has come when Milledgeville must plan for the future if she expects to grow and remain a progressive city.” It would be quite a number of years before the library as we know it would come to be. With a $25 monthly appropriation toward the establishment and maintenance of the library by the City, plans were earnestly made to provide Milledgeville with its first public library.
In 1938 Mr. Julian Stanley offered a vacant building that he owned located on Hancock Street, the Elks Building, as the home for the new library and assisted in the renovation process. On January 18, 1938 the library opened its door to the public as The Baldwin County Library. Within the first year of operation, the Baldwin County Library had the largest circulation of books in its area with a total circulation of 1,388.
In July of 1948, the Board of Trustees unanimously adopted a constitution and by-laws and the library purpose was made clear. The Library’s purpose was established to be “the furnishing of complete library service to the people – adult and juvenile – of this county,” and that “all services rendered by the library shall be free to the residents of Baldwin County.”
Funded by cashing in bonds, in 1953 the library moved from its location on Hancock Street to the first floor of the Veterans’ Building. As early as the 1950’s the library sought to expand into a regional library. Needing larger space to house the facility, a letter was drafted to Carl Vinson, chairman of the armed services committee, asking for assistance. Although the proposition appealed to Mr. Vinson, the project of becoming a regional library did not come to fruition at that time. However, in 1958 the Baldwin County Library became a part of Middle Georgia Regional Library System. In 1961, Carl Vinson secured the county’s old post office as a new building for the library. For his generosity, the Board of Trustees changed the name of the headquarters of the Baldwin County Library on June 15, 1961 to the Mary Vinson Memorial Library in honor of Congressman Vinson’s late wife.
By the 1980’s increased circulation and other library services forced the need for a larger space. After many proposals it was agreed that a new library had to be built. The new 18,900 square foot two-story building, the library’s current location, opened in 1987. The new building featured many new improvements over that of previous locations. As of 2010 the library has a separate childrens, young adult, and local history area for its patrons. Not only did the library expand, but in keeping with the move into the computer age former library employee, Carter Nipper designed AUTOLIB, the library’s first automated catalog. This was the first computerized library catalog available to library patrons.
After 43 years under the Middle Georgia Library System a dream became a reality when the Mary Vinson Memorial Library became the headquarters for a new library system, the Twin Lakes Library System in July 2001. On May 30, 2003, the Twin Lakes Library System added a branch library, the Lake Sinclair Library, to serve patrons on the north side of town. On October 10, 2008 the System added its third branch facility, the Floride Allen Library, located in the Wray Housing Facility of the Milledgeville Housing Authority. Sadly, due to the economic downturn the Floride Allen Library was forced to close. Its final day of operation was February 23, 2011. In 2019, the library opened the Hancock Branch, a multi-use space in a renovated historic building.
Planned as a place of “recreation, inspiration, and information,” the Twin Lakes Library System continues to provide top-notch service to the residents of Milledgeville and Baldwin County with its continual pursuit to expand its services. As a Georgia public library and a member of the Public Information Network for Electronic Services (PINES), patrons can enjoy the comfort and convenience of utilizing its comprehensive services throughout the state. Through the PINES online catalog, patrons can place holds, renew items, and see what the other 275+ member libraries have to offer! Additionally, with a PINES library card, there is no need to have multiple cards; one will do!
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