Visitor Center opens at public library

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Times-Journal

Visitors to the city have an official place to go to ask for directions.

The grand opening for the The Visitor Center, located inside the Selma-Dallas County Public Library, was held on Monday.

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The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

The library is closed on Sundays and since the information center is inside

the building, the gazebo in front of the library will serve as the visiting center for that day.

Lauri Cothran, president of the Selma-Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism & Convention Bureau, said the center needs volunteers who will man the gazebo. Signage will be placed outside of the library to draw visitors.

At the center, visitors can find tourism maps, a copy of the Selma-Dallas County Membership Director and Buyers Guide, books, videos for sale, information pamphlets from local organizations and a video of Selma&8217;s history that will constantly play.

The city has been without a center for more than a year.

George A. &8220;Cap&8221; Swift was the owner and operator of the Crossroads Visitors Information Center near the intersection of Highland Avenue and Broad Street for nearly 20 years when he had to retire because of failing health. Swift died Aug. 4, 2007, at the age of 86, and the information center has since closed.

The Selma-Dallas County Library, Tourism Advisory Board, Downtown Selma Association, City of Selma, and the Dallas County Chamber of Commerce partnered in the project.

Becky Nichols, executive director of the library, is happy about the project and said the library is delighted to welcome tourists.

The opening of The Visitor Center was organized around a special event. A 90th birthday celebration for Selma&8217;s world-renowned tale teller and author, Kathryn Tucker Windham, will be held on the library&8217;s grounds at 2 p.m. today.