Library makes plea for financial support

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 21, 2002

Becky Nichols of the Selma-Dallas County Public Library is making a case for increased funding for her facility.

The library primarily receives funds from the city and county. These funds are used for operating costs. The library’s total operating budget has remained flat since 1995, Nichols says.

While operating funds have remained flat, Nichols says the library has seen an increase in usage. The library is feeling a squeeze, she says, and will have to cut services if funding is not increased. That cutback would likely come in operating hours, which would make the library less accessible to the public.

Government-subsidized agencies are always asking for more funds. This is nothing new. What makes Nichols’ plea worth considering is the fact that the library is one of Selma’strong points.

The library here is much better than what is found in similar-sized towns. Selma’s library is an anchor for the community and something we can point to with pride.

When newcomers or potential citizens visit an area, the library is often held up as a benchmark. A strong library means the community is serious about reading and learning. Selma’s library is a positive and we need to keep it that way.

Both city government and county government should take the time to visit with Nichols and hear her request. Upon initial inspection, she appears to have a good point. The library is a viable resource that the community is using.

While a large increase in library funding isn’t recommended, it would perhaps be feasible to allocate enough operating funds to avoid a cutback of services.

We have a good thing going with the library here. To lose services and scale back would be a move in the wrong direction.