Bainbridge State College Library Director Susan Ralph recently retired, ending her era of helping move the library toward a digital age and greater expansion.
Ralph was appointed the College’s library director in 2006.
Two years later, Ralph successfully transferred the College’s microfilm files of Bainbridge newspapers to computer disks, which was the first of its kind in Georgia.
Also in 2008, Ralph helped host the Georgia Literary Festival in the newly opened Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center. The event, which was the first time the College hosted such an event, brought nationally known authors to campus.
Under Ralph’s tenure, the library expanded by approximately 14,000 square feet last year. The College completed an expansion of the library from approximately 10,000 square feet to 16,978, with an additional 1,186 square feet added between the library and classrooms in Cypress Hall to serve as a gathering space. The additional space also allowed for more computers and several study rooms for students to gather for group study or to study foreign languages using computers with microphones and headphones.
Ralph was also instrumental in the national recognition of former Bainbridge State Librarian Jeff Dowdy, who was one of the winners of the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award. His recognition was in addition to such institutions as Harvard University and Texas A&M University.
The Academy for Lifelong Learners, which is an initiative to provide opportunities for active adults over 50 years old who are committed to learning, Ralph helped establish.
Prior to Bainbridge State, Ralph was with the Southwest Georgia Regional Library System as deputy director public services librarian since 1994. She earned a bachelor’s in home economics from the University of North Carolina in 1971 and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Kentucky in 1993.
Ralph said she plans to travel and volunteer for such organizations as the Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society.