Timely story would have better

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 1, 2005

To the editor,

As the executive board member of the Alabama Public Library Service (Alabama’s state library and agency charged with distributing both state and federal monies to public libraries) for the 7th Congressional District I appreciate having an article about the Selma-Dallas County Library as the headline article in your paper. I am troubled by the timing however.

The article states: “On April 1, 2005, Becky Nichols, Selma’s head librarian, saw Alabama Power disconnecting her power meters.”

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Is there some unrevealed reason for waiting seven months to run this story? And if waiting seven months to run the story isn’t strange enough, there is an editorial on page 4 entitled: “Power sources: Who should pay for them?” that is also about the library’s utility problems.

Again I appreciate your bringing these problems to light. But, since the conclusion of the front page story is on page 5 and about 50 percent of the editorial is nothing but direct quotes (unattributed) from the article are you really raising your reader’s awareness of the problem?

Is it possible that we might have gotten something done already if the story or the editorial had been run in a more timely manner? I would think that if the story is important enough to be on the frontpage immediately under masthead, it would be important enough to run at a time closer to the events being discussed.

The opinions expressed here are mine and should not be construed to be a policy statement from the Alabama Public Library Service.

For more information on APLS you can check the APLS Web site at

Dr. George Washburn

Reference Librarian

Bowling Library, Judson College