Young Butts County readers have a new place to fall in love with books at the Jackson-Butts County Public Library. 

Thanks to the Friends of the Library group, the reading room for children ages 8 to 12 has an all-new look with new decorations and some new furniture. 

Friends of the Library President Glenda Grant said the room hadn't been updated in several years, and giving it a refreshed look was a suggestion of Library Branch Manager Cathy Kelly. "We asked her what could we do" to benefit the library, Grant said.

Noting there were only two wooden table-and-chair sets in the room for children to sit at, Grant pointed to the four new colorful vinyl ottomans that give children an alternative. 

"We wanted something soft and comfortable and colorful," Grant said.

"It was sort of decorated like your living room, and it didn't look 'children' at all," said Friends member Sara Beth Crockarell. 

With proceeds from the Friends of the Library's Amazing Library Race fundraiser in June, the group purchased themed decorative items to give children ideas for activities that don't involve screen time on phones, tablets and television. 

There are areas dedicated to reading, sports, music, crafts, games, art and other activities. The group also purchased new wall art in the form of large framed posters of various animal images made up of words.

The new decor even includes a ceramic chess set that Grant made herself about 30 years ago. 

It took about two months to acquire the decorative items at various sales and to assemble the scenes atop the reading room's book cases, Friends members said. 

Grant said the group hopes the room helps children realize "they can do other things, besides play on the phone at watch TV."

Managing Editor

Michael Davis has been the editor of the Jackson Progress-Argus since 2010. He previously worked as an editor and reporter for the Henry Daily Herald and Clayton News-Daily.