Council, library can work it out

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 22, 2006

At the Selma City Council meeting tonight, a group of citizens is expected to present a petition asking the city to restore funding to the Selma-Dallas County Public Library.

Last year, in a cost-cutting measure, the city council voted to cut funding.

That move led the library to cough up the money for its utility bills – an amount that can be anywhere from $4,000 to $4,700 a month. Previously, the city – which owns the facility located on the city hall campus – paid those bills.

The restored funding, if approved by the council, would give the library enough in its budget to keep the lights on.

Another question, however, has been asked regarding the hours of operation for the library.

Some council members have voiced their desire that the library stay open later to allow workers to get to the library before it closes at 5 p.m.

Working parents are often unable to get their children to the library before closing as well.

It seems a compromise could be in order. The council should vote to restore the funding.

However, the administration of the library should be willing to have a rotating schedule, staying open later at least one or two nights a week.

That move doesn’t have to cost more money – instead of opening at 9 a.m. on those days, the library could open later, say 10 a.m. or 11 a.m., allowing the facility to stay open until 6 p.m. or 7 p.m.

Just staying open that extra hour or two in the evening could make all the difference in the world to someone who doesn’t get off work until 5 p.m. and needs to use the library’s services.

It seems that all parties involved should be willing to come to a compromise for the good of the citizens of Selma and Dallas County.

Hopefully, everyone will attend tonight’s meeting with an open mind, and the desire to do what’s best for the residents.