Saving Westtown Library -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Saving Westtown Library

Mike Dugan, Interim Library Director Mike Dugan, Interim Library Director
Brenda Smith believes this side of town needs its library Brenda Smith believes this side of town needs its library

A year after the Dougherty County library board voted to close two library branches, they're asking county leaders to re-open the West Town library.

While they're aware of the budget constraints, they and residents who relied on the library want to see up and running again.

The Westtown Library branch has sat empty for nearly a year. One of two branches shut down last June by the library board in a cost cutting move.

"I was shocked. I went there to do some school work and it wasn't there anymore," said Westtown Library patron Tamesha Harris. 

Harris says while attending Albany Tech she used the branch often for school projects and internet research. "Not everyone can afford the internet, so the library was very convenient."

While Westtown along with Southside remain shuttered. The library board is now trying to breathe new life into Westtown.

"The next step is we will present our request to the county commission this Friday at the budget meeting. Then we will wait and see what action they decide to take," said Mike Dugan, Interim Library Director.

 The proposal is asking for $150,000 to keep Westtown open for 40 hours a week for one year. Considering the county's budget woes, it's a long shot, but there is optimism.

"Just the opportunity to present a proposal is encouraging as opposed to just being turned down," said parent Brenda Smith, who believes this side of town needs its library, especially for the kids.

She hopes commissioners will find a way to get the funding. "I really do. I hope the do listen. They all need to listen. A lot of kids are walking around out here and they don't have a library to go. It hurts them. That library stayed full everyday,"

But it will come down to county leaders to decide if re-opening Westtown is fiscally feasible.  The library board voted last year to close West town and Southside libraries.

County commissioners criticized that decision and since added Commissioner John Hayes to the board so the commission can have more input.




Powered by Frankly