Library News Blog

Clean Slate Initiative

All Okefenokee Regional Library System (OKRLS) card-holders to kick off the holiday season with a clean slate! Celebrate by visiting your local OKRLS library today!

In honor of the late Martha P. Donaldson, the Okefenokee Regional Library System is holding a once-in-a-lifetime clean slate action for OKRLS cardholders who have bills due to one of our member libraries in Appling, Bacon, Clinch, Pierce, and Ware counties. Mrs. Donaldson served as the Children’s Librarian and then Director of OKRLS as well as serving many years as a Ware County Library Trustee. She was known for her spirited advocacy of reading and being a masterful storyteller. The OKRLS Board of Trustees dedicates this clean-slate action to Mrs. Donaldson in appreciation of her many years of service to our libraries and the communities we serve.

What does this mean for you? If you are a card-holder in one of our libraries in Appling, Bacon, Clinch, Pierce, or Ware counties, your bills have been forgiven and you now have a clean slate! If you have lost your library card, you can also replace it free of charge through the end of December.

OKRLS Trustee JoAnn Tomlinson said, “Fines and fees shouldn’t be punitive. They’re meant to encourage people to return items so other people in their community can access them; they aren’t meant to be a barrier.” OKRLS Trustee Colleen Noble pointed out that “the important thing was for people to feel comfortable using their library again and bringing their children into the library.”

This initiative is intended to make sure that every member of the Appling, Bacon, Clinch, Pierce, and Ware county communities has an important life tool – a free library card in good standing.

OKRLS Board Chair Pat Prevatt said, “I hope that this goodwill gesture to our library cardholders will encourage everyone to visit the library again and see the wonderful things we have for our community.” OKRLS Vice-Chair Kim Spivey added, “Removing this barrier to library service is a great way to foster community-wide literacy and help combat low literacy levels – among all ages – in our communities.”

Please note – only OKRLS bills will be forgiven and all overdue items still out will need to be returned to the library to return an account to good standing. If you have items that you have lost, please contact the library and we will help you restore your library privileges!

For additional information, check out our or call (912) 287-4978.

Ready, Set, VOTE!

Get ready to vote on November 6th by checking out your sample ballot! These are the most updated sample ballots for our counties as of 10/23/18, but may not exactly match the actual ballots on November 6.

Appling County – Nov 6 2018 Ballot

Bacon County – Nov 6 2018 Ballot

Clinch County – Nov 6 2018 Ballot

Pierce County – Nov 6 2018 Ballot

Ware County – Nov 6 2018 Ballot

Remember to visit the Georgia My Voter Page to check your registration status and find your polling location. Use the voting resources collected on our page to research your candidates and issues!

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Makerspace Hours

The Waycross-Ware County Public Library Makerspace is now open with regular hours: Mondays and Thursdays from 5:15 – 7:30 pm, Tuesdays and Fridays from 4:30 – 5:30 pm, Wednesday from 4 – 5:30 pm, and Saturday from 10 am – 1:30 pm. Patrons can come in each day the library is open to use our virtual reality headset, 3D printing, and other equipment. Come on in and get started on a project! Visit for more info on what we have available.

Stay healthy, America!

Get free help signing up for health insurance! The Okefenokee Regional Library System is proud to host nonprofit Insure Georgia for a series of workshops to help our local community access healthcare. Insure Georgia healthcare navigators help Georgians determine what assistance they may be eligible for and gain access to high quality, affordable health coverage.

For more information about Insure Georgia, visit their website and Facebook page. If you are unable to attend one of the workshops, get personalized assistance here.

Come join one of the free workshops!

Appling County

Location: Appling County Public Library – 242 E. Parker St. Baxley, GA 31513

11/9 (Thursday) from 10:00 – 1:00 pm

11/20 (Monday) from 10:00 – 1:00 pm

12/7 (Thursday) from 10:00 – 1:00 pm

Bacon County

Location: Alma-Bacon County Public Library – 201 North Pierce St. Alma, GA 31510

11/9 (Thursday) from 2:00 – 5:00 pm

11/20 (Monday) from 2:00 – 5:00 pm

12/7 (Thursday) from 2:00 – 5:00 pm

Pierce County

Location: 785 College Ave. Blackshear, GA 31516

11/21 (Tuesday) from 12:00 – 5:00 pm

Ware County

Location: Comfort Suites – 1922 Memorial Dr, Waycross, GA 31501

12/1 (Friday) from 9:00 – 2:00 pm

12/2 (Saturday) from 1:00 – 5:00 pm

Better health makes a better Georgia!

National Voter Registration Day

This year the Okefenokee Regional Library System is proud to participate in National Voter Registration Day on September 26th. National Voter Registration Day, first observed in 2012, is a day to celebrate our democracy and encourage civic engagement. Each year, millions of citizens are unable to vote because they haven’t registered or their registration information is out-of-date. Registering to vote is free and will ensure that you are able to participate in any upcoming local, state or national elections. Don’t be left out!

The library invites current U.S. citizens and Georgia residents over 18 to come check your voter registration status, update your registration or register for the first time at the library. Anyone who comes to the library to register or update their registration on September 26th, 2017 will be eligible to have their current fines cut by 20%. Anyone who checks their voter registration status and confirms their registration information is accurate is eligible to have their current fines cut by 10%. Please note that in either case, the discount is applied to fines only and not charges for lost materials.

Check out our new how-to’s under our Tutorials link on the far right of our website! We have links to, free kids ebooks via TumbleBooks, Mango Languages, and more!

May the Fourth Be with You!

May 4th is also known as Star Wars Day and we’re going to celebrate by watching The Force Awakens in every OKRLS branch! The movie will show at the following times:

Appling – 10:30 am
Bacon – 1:00 pm
Clinch – 10:30 am
Pierce – 10:30 am
Ware – 10:30 am

Additionally, that week’s regularly scheduled Story & Craft times will be Star Wars-themed. Catch them at the following dates/times:

Appling – May 2, 4:00 pm
Bacon – May 2, 4:00 pm
Clinch – May 3, 4:00 pm
Pierce – May 2, 4:00 pm
Ware – May 3, 4:00 pm

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*Craft options vary by branch

Free Comic Book Day 2016 at OKRLS branches

The Okefenokee Regional Library System is proud to announce that we will be hosting Free Comic Book Day 2016 at three of our branches, the Waycross-Ware County Public Library, the Pierce County Public Library and the Appling County Public Library. Free Comic Book Day is a national event sponsored by Diamond Comic Distributors and participating comic book retailers in which specially printed copies of comic books are made available for free. Comics are aimed at attracting new non-comic readers, and it is a great way for newcomers to see what is available.

In order to get a free comic book, just come to one of the participating branches on Free Comic Book Day, May 7th, 2016.

Waycross-Ware County Public Library (WCPL)

10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Pierce County Public Library (PCPL)

10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Appling County Public Library (ACPL)

9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Comic books will be available at the Circulation Desk at each branch. Supplies are limited and will be distributed in limited quantities on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Each person will be able to take one comic and may come back for additional comics within the last hour (from 1-2 pm at WCPL & PCPL, from 12-1 pm at ACPL) if they are available. Early birds who show up within the first half hour can take up to three comics.

All three will also show a movie, Captain America: The First Avenger, with door prizes of tickets to see Captain America: Civil War at GTC Mall Cinema 7 (for WCPL and PCPL) and the Bacon Theater (for ACPL). The movie starts at 10:30 am at all branches.

The FCBD branches will be hosting a coloring contest. Pick up the coloring sheet entry forms at each library. Feel free to use the pencils provided on site or take the sheet home to color and submit to the library before May 27th.

For more information, visit



First Coloring Contest Winner

February was the first month for our new adult coloring program and monthly Coloring Contest. Connecting to Black History Month, the coloring pages celebrated black historical figures including Henrietta Lacks, Elijah McCoy and Robert Smalls. The Henrietta Lacks coloring sheet was the contest entry for the month. Stephen D. of Waycross was the winner and received a 100-page Strathmore sketchbook. March brings new coloring sheets and a new contest. The new prize is a set of colored pencils.

2016 Feb Winner


2015 Chili Cook-Off a Hot Event

A small crowd attended the inaugural Chili Cook-Off at the Waycross-Ware County Public Library on February 18th. There were twelve contestants, each entering their unique take on the Mexican dish. Ken Gaskins took first place, winning a hundred-dollar gift card and a trophy the size of a small school child. Second place went to chef family Stacy, Emma and Emery Storrs and third place to culinary mastermind Dee Dee Taylor. Chilis were judged on several factors, including flavor, spiciness, texture and appearance. After the competition was over, members of the public were able to partake of the chili creations. Yum!

Miss it? Keep an eye out in winter for our Cookie Decorating Contest and next year for the Second Annual Chili Cook-Off.



First Place Winner Ken Gaskins with Mayor John Knox


Second Place Winners Stacy, Emma & Emery Storrs with Ware Schools Superintendent Jim LeBrun



Third Place Winner Dee Dee Taylor with Master Ronnie Crews of Paks Karate


WANTED! Chili cooks for the 2016 WCPL Chili Cook-Off!

Chili cooks have one thing in common: they all think their recipe is the best.

The 2016 Chili Cook-Off will be held at the Waycross-Ware County Public Library on Thursday, February 18th at 6:00 pm. All types of chili are welcome. The chili needs to be in a slow cooker and cooks are asked to bring their own serving utensils like a serving ladle. Tables and chairs will be provided for all participants. The library will also supply bowls, napkins and utensils for tasting and judging. So come join the fun and share your chili!

By the end of the night, everyone will leave full and happy — and someone will go home with bragging rights, a trophy for the best chili recipe, and A $100 gift card!

Please respond to or call 912-287-6570 by February 15th. Space is limited, so register soon.

Winter Reading Program 2016

Are you and your kids trying to beat the winter blahs? Bring them by your local Waycross-Ware County Public Library and sign them up for the Winter Reading Club to be held during the month of February! Reading books will earn children a weekly prize and they can put their names into our grand prize drawing.

All family members are invited to join in on the fun and read to younger children or help them read on their own. Pre-registration for the Winter Reading Club begins on January 28, 2016 and continues through the end of the program.

winter ready FLYER sm

PINES Upgrade


Starting at 6:00 pm Thursday, January 14th, computers at all Okefenokee Regional Library System branches will be unavailable due to a PINES catalog upgrade. The computers are managed by software that needs to access the PINES system patron information for logins, and won’t work until the upgrade is complete. While the PCs will not be available, patrons will be able to use Chromebooks and Chromeboxes available at each library branch for internet and web-based applications. Unfortunately, printing will not be possible. PCs will be back to normal operation on Tuesday, January 19th (keeping in mind that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated on Monday, January 18th and all branches will be closed).

The PINES upgrade will affect all systems that use the PINES catalog and server, including ebook checkout and in-person checkout. Patrons will not be able to renew library cards, pay fines or take out more than five items during this period.

What’s new with PINES?

Checkout and holds history! You will now have the option to record and browse your checkout and holds history. Checkout history will be off by default, but you can turn it on and track what you’ve read and watched over the past year.

Messages will now appear in your account regarding account activity and communication from staff.

Account renewal reminders will now be sent to the patron email thirty days before account is due to expire. This will allow patrons time to visit a library branch and renew without losing service.

As a reminder, patrons can also now pay account fines online with a credit card through their account. Log in at with your library card number and PIN.

We hope you enjoy these new features! For more information, visit the PINES website.

Fine Free Month: Sept 8-30, 2015

The OkefenokSilverstein OVERDUESee Regional Library System is promoting a Fine Free Month in honor of National Library Card Signup Month, starting Tuesday, September 8th, 2015. During this time, late or damaged OKRLS books, DVDs, and CDs can be returned and all overdue fines for those items will be forgiven. While overdue fines will be waived for damaged materials that are returned, cardholders may still be charged for the damage.

To take advantage of the Fine Free Month, patrons can return OKRLS items in person–not in a book drop–to any OKRLS library in Appling, Bacon, Clinch, Pierce, or Ware counties from September 8 – September 30, 2015.

For more information about Fine Free Month, call your local OKRLS library, find the library’s Facebook page, or see the website at