Mary Beth Sallee
Reporter, Hart Co. News-Herald
The Hart County Public Library (HCPL) has a rich history dating back to 1908 when the first library was established within the community. The present library was constructed in 1969 and has undergone two additions through the years.
But no matter the cosmetic changes that have taken place at the library over the past 115 years, the mission of HCPL has remained the same: serving the informational, educational, and recreational needs of the residents of Hart County.
Vicki Logsdon has been the Director of the library since 1996. After retiring as a school librarian from Memorial Elementary, Logsdon was looking for a way to continue working with books and serving the community.
“As someone who has always been passionate about libraries and their importance in communities, HCPL was a natural fit for me,” Logsdon said. “I was drawn to the library’s mission to provide resources and services that promote literacy, learning, and community engagement. When the position of Director became available, I saw it as an opportunity to use my skills and experience to help HCPL fulfill that mission and make a positive impact in the community…I have been fortunate enough to see the library grow and evolve over the years.”
As decades have passed, HCPL has adapted to the evolving needs of its patrons by expanding its services and programs.
“We have increased our digital resources and technology offerings, such as providing computer and internet access for patrons,” Logsdon explained. “We have also expanded our outreach efforts to serve more schools and community groups, and we are always looking for new ways to engage with and serve our patrons.”
HCPL offers a diverse range of services and resources to the community.
“We provide access to a vast collection of books, e-books, audio books, DVDs, and other materials that cater to all ages and interests,” Logsdon said. “In addition, we offer computer and internet access, online resources, educational and cultural programming, and outreach services to local schools and community groups. Our services also include a book club for adults, a group for homeschoolers, and a robust birth to (age) 5 early literacy program that supports parents and caregivers in developing their children’s literacy skills. Furthermore, our bookmobile program is the largest in the state, and we take pride in being able to bring library services to those who may not have easy access to our physical location.”
As someone who has worked at the library for over 25 years, Logsdon said it is a joy to see so many members of the community come through the doors at HCPL and engage with its services and resources.
“It is especially heartwarming to see those who grew up visiting the library with their families now bringing their own children in to experience all that we have to offer,” Logsdon said. “…A library is vital to a community because it provides access to information, resources, and educational opportunities that can transform lives. Libraries are a place where people can come to learn, explore, and connect with others. We are a hub for community engagement and a safe and welcoming space for all members of the community.”
Because of the library’s ability to serve all ages within the community through its various programs that promote literacy and enrich the lives of others, Logsdon and the entire staff at the Hart County Public Library have been chosen as the newspaper’s Hometown Heroes for the month of March.
Beth Atkins recalls utilizing HCPL as a child and now takes her own son to the library for its various programs.
“I’ve used the library my entire life. I remember the day mom took me to get a library card,” Atkins said. “It’s always been a place that my son has used, too. He attended story hour and every summer reading program they’ve offered. We enjoy the programming as well as the amazing physical book collection. Ms. Martha Cyphers has also made an impact on us in her role with HCPL. Wednesdays at LeGrande (Elementary) she provides students with a weekly dose of read-alouds and life skills. The kids and myself look forward to her visits.”
Charli Hoffman said her two children, Francis and Violet, have always enjoyed going to the library.
“They both love the play area that they offer. I enjoy watching them learn and grow,” Hoffman said. “They meet new friends there and also like seeing Miss Debbie when we go. Everyone there is super nice and helpful. At the events, they provide learning games and activities that the kids look forward to doing. We think it’s great that our small community offers Story Time and the other events that the school/library do once a month.”
Logsdon said that she and her staff are honored and humbled to be recognized as Hometown Heroes.
“It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to provide excellent library services to our community,” Logsdon said. “We are grateful for the support and recognition from the community, and it motivates us to continue to innovate and improve our offerings.”
On behalf of the HCPL staff, Logsdon said they would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has supported the library through the years.
“Your support has helped us to grow and thrive, and we are grateful for your trust in us as a valuable resource for the community,” Logsdon said. “We hope to continue to earn that trust and support in years to come.”
“I would just like to emphasize that libraries are more than just a place to borrow books,” Logsdon added. “They are community centers that provide resources and services that are essential to the well-being and success of individuals and communities. We are proud to be a apart of that tradition at Hart County Public Library and to serve our community in a meaningful way.”
On behalf of Jobe Publishing, the Hart County News-Herald is honored to recognize the Hart County Public Library staff as Hometown Heroes for providing the resources and programs that help young and old alike to thrive within our community.