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Touching stories at the library

Published 8:53pm Thursday, April 25, 2013

Last week marked National Library Week, a week dedicated to celebrating our local library and the people who work tirelessly to bring a strong resource to the community. Throughout the week, I was given the task of interviewing someone each day who is a regular library visitor.

While interviewing these library patrons, I noticed a common theme in each of their stories. Each said the library, for them, has become more like a home. Litric Bea Mingo, Selma resident, said she started going to the library after her husband passed away unexpectedly. Burrying herself in books and researching foreign countries not only brought her a source of education, it brought her comfort.

Listening to Mingo’s touching story, I couldn’t help but see her strength and how the library has assisted her on many personal levels.

Peggy and Doug Fortner, who also visit the library on a regular basis, said over the years, library employees have become more like family as they’ve assisted them through trying personal issues. After Peggy was hospitalized for a serious medical issue, she said employees visited her to make sure she was ok.

This is the kind of service that is hard to find in a big city library. The Selma-Dallas County Public Library may not have state-of-the-art technology or an I-max movie theater, but what it does have is a big heart. Becky Nichols, library director, works endlessly to enhance and improve our public library. Her passion is evident in the way she greets everyone who walks through the library’s front doors.

While at the library last week, one of the librarians showed me a picture of the library when it was first built. With a dirt road in front, a small girl in a dress and large hat that could be seen looking up at the one-room building. The librarian jokingly said that the little girl was Becky Nichols and I had to laugh, because Becky does seem like she’s been the library’s biggest cheerleader since birth.

And because we do have such a great library, I think more residents should celebrate this great resource and encourage more people to become members. Not only does the library offer a wide variety of books, it also offers free computer access and will soon allow residents to access e-books.

I’m sure there are plenty other touching stories I didn’t get the chance to hear last week. However, I do want to extend a large thank you to those I talked to.

All of your stories touched me and reinforced for me why the Selma-Dallas County Public Library is such a great place. We shouldn’t limit our appreciation for the library to one week a year, we should celebrate it every day.

 

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