The Union Recorder

February 16, 2011

Twin Lakes Library System nears 75-year mark

Special to The U-R
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Baldwin County’s public library was born in 1938, when Mayor George S. Carpenter worked with a group of citizens led by Miss Floride Allen. The Baldwin County Public Library was located in downtown Milledgeville, originally operating out of the Elks Building on Hancock Street. The library was a big success, operating a bookmobile during the 1940s and opening a branch in Hardwick in 1958. In 1961, the library moved into the old Milledgeville post office, an act made possible with the help of Sen. Carl Vinson. In appreciation for all the hard work done by Vinson, the library was renamed in honor of his late wife, Mary Vinson. A portrait of Vinson was unveiled to the public in 1966, and this same painting still hangs in the library today. During this period, the Mary Vinson Memorial Library was part of the Middle Georgia Regional Library family, which was a collection of libraries headquartered in Macon.

During the 1970s, the Hardwick branch was closed, but the library kept on growing. Elizabeth Kelly was hired as director during the late ‘70s, becoming the first professional librarian to hold the position. Kelly oversaw the construction of the current Mary Vinson Memorial Library facility, which was opened in 1986.

In early 2001, the library left the Middle Georgia Regional Library System to become the headquarters for the new Twin Lakes Library System. This new system was comprised of two libraries: the Mary Vinson Memorial Library and the Lake Sinclair Library (opened in 2003). The changes were confusing to some, with many people worrying that Mary Vinson had changed its name or thinking that the Lake Sinclair Library was named Twin Lakes. As time passed, however, the public came to understand that Mary Vinson and Lake Sinclair were both simply two parts of a greater whole.

The Twin Lakes Library System traces its origins back to 1938 when a group of concerned citizens worked hand-in-hand with local government to give Baldwin County the best public library possible. As the library system move toward its 75th anniversary and beyond, it remains committed to making the following words as true today as they were so many years ago: “The final establishment of this enterprise will be a living tribute to those civic minded people who have worked so faithfully in this endeavor.”