LaFAYETTE, Ga. — Locals probably learn that the Cherokee Regional Library serves Dade and Walker counties with branches in LaFayette, Rossville, Chickamauga and Trenton.
But newcomers, outsiders and others who aren't in the know sometimes get thrown by the name.
"People think, 'You must be in Cherokee County,'" said Library Director Lecia Eubanks.
Or, in some cases, "somebody will walk in the door thinking this will be a library on the heritage of the Cherokee Indians," she said.
So starting today, the library is seeking the public's suggestions for a new name that better embodies "who we are and where we are and what we do," Eubanks said.
Suggestion boxes will be set up at all four library branches, but ideas also can be pitched online at the upper righthand corner of the library system's home page at www.chrl.org and on each library branch's Facebook page.
Some promising names already have been claimed.
The Northwest Georgia Regional Library, for example, has been taken by the Dalton-Whitfield County Library system.
"We've joked around and said maybe we can be the Extreme Northwest Georgia Regional Library System," Eubanks said.
Some Georgia library systems are named after landmarks, such as the Columbus-based Chattahoochee Valley Libraries.
At least one system gives a nod to a famous author with local roots. The six-county Uncle Remus Regional Library System in Madison honors Putnam County folklorist Joel Chandler Harris.
Jason McDade, a library assistant at the Rossville branch, said employees spent two to three hours in December brainstorming ideas for a new name.
"I think it'll bring attention to the library system, and people will know the library better," McDade said.
Eubanks will present the public's suggestions to the library board at its meeting in April.
The winner won't get a prize, but will be recognized, Eubanks said.
If Cherokee Regional Library officials can't find a new name they like, they will stick with the current name, she said.
Eubanks hopes the rebranding will be done by spring 2013 to coincide with the completion of remodeling work under way now at library branches in LaFayette and Trenton.
Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.