For over 40 years, Mountain Regional Library has been providing quality library services to the citizens
of both Towns and Union Counties. However, the financial commitment of operating two branches in
Towns County can no longer be met. Due to this unfortunate circumstance, the Mountain Regional
Library branch of the Mountain Regional Library System will close temporarily and cease all in-person
services beginning December 1, 2020. Administrative functions performed at Mountain Regional
Library will continue as normal.
Mountain Regional Library is located equidistant between Blairsville and Hiawassee making it easily
accessible for anyone located in the area or traveling between the two towns. Mountain Regional
Library also serves as the headquarters location for the Mountain Regional Library System which also
includes Fannin County Public Library.
The lack of in-person services at Mountain Regional Library branch does not mean library services will be
unavailable for Towns County residents. The Towns County Public Library will be unaffected by this
change in operations. Any resident with an active PINES library card can use the available in-person
resources at any of the other Mountain Regional Library System locations or any PINES library location
in the state of Georgia. Mountain Regional Library System staff will continue to work hard for its
patrons to offer the best of in-person library services, digital services, and internet access whether
patrons are inside the library or outside the library accessing the Wi-Fi.
It is important to remember while the physical location of Mountain Regional Library will be closed,
digital library services are always open. Mountain Regional Library System provides access to eBooks
and eAudiobooks 24/7 to all of its patrons via the Overdrive platform and its Libby app. All Mountain
Regional Library System patrons have access to tens of thousands of materials via Overdrive
(https://overdrive.com) and Libby. Libby can be found at your App Store.
Mountain Regional Library System also provides access to GALILEO
(https://www.galileo.usg.edu/mrl1), digital access to newspapers, eRead Kids
(https://www.learningexpresshub.com/), and more.
The friendly and helpful staff is always available to assist our current and future patrons gain access to these wonderful services and more. As Mountain Regional Library System works through this transition with its patrons, staff will be in touch with regards to holds requests, pickup locations and any other number of requests libraries
receive from their patrons. Mountain Regional Library System will work with its patrons the very best
we can to make this transition progress as smoothly as possible. If or when updates to the operations
at Mountain Regional Library changes, Mountain Regional Library System will continue to quickly
provide further information as to its status
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – On Feb. 18, Towns County Public Library Chair Barbara Hale announced that a new director of the Mountain Regional Library Board would be formally appointed the following day at a meeting in Fannin County.
“The Mountain Regional Library Board will be having a meeting to officially select, or appoint, the new director,” Hale said. “The person is presently branch manager in Ellijay. It’s a man by the name of Heath Lee. I have not met him but the president of Friends of the Library of Towns County and I are going to that meeting tomorrow and we’re going to introduce ourselves to him together because we’re going to be working with him.”
The Mountain Regional Library System maintains and operates four public libraries located in the counties of Fannin, Towns, and Union. The libraries are in the towns of Hiawassee, Young Harris, Blairsville, and Blue Ridge. The four branches service a population of just over 58,000 people.
“It was very necessary for us to have a new director. Let me tell you, things were not in good shape and we’re very fortunate that we have a new set of officers in the regional board and I confess that I had a little bit to do with making that happen although I’m not on the regional board,” Hale explained. “There’s three officers; the president or chair, a vice-chair, and the secretary and all three of them are from Towns County. So I’m proud of that because they’ve gotten things done. I’m so grateful because the situation was so impossible. So many of us knew it but there was nothing that we could do to make it better, and now things are better.”
The Mountain Regional Library System is governed by the Georgia University Board of Regents and is managed locally by the Mountain Regional Library System Board of Trustees. The Board meets a minimum of four times per year.
Featured Image: Towns County Public Library Chair Barbara Hale (left) announcing the upcoming regional chair appointment at the Towns County Courthouse.