Ozark Dale-County Library seeing positives through recent negativity
DALE COUNTY, Ala. (WTVY) - A few weeks ago, there were threats of the library being defunded. Today, according to the chairman, they have seen a recent increase of traffic.
Dale County residents packed out a library meeting in August over concerns of certain books in the young adult section of the library, aimed for 12-18-year-old kids.
Since that meeting, though they faced threats from city leaders about defunding, Chairman Liz Delaney says there is light at the end of the tunnel for the library.
“The friends of the library which always supported our library, we’ve had almost $1,000 in memberships since it began,” said Delaney. “So yes, we’re trying to see it as a positive.”
Library-goers are impressed with the influx of visitors today too.
“We’ve heard of so many people who have gone and renewed their library cards who have started using the library,” said Adam Kamerer. “If you go over to the library right now, I mean, foot traffic there is much increased from what it was before.”
Kamerer says the threats of defunding the library seem to be going nowhere, as he has heard multiple city leaders step up in support of the library.
“Four of the five city council members have come out in strong support of the library, and the county commission,” said Kamerer. “Commissioner Frankie Wilson and Commission Chairman Steve McKinnon had both made some very strong public statements saying that they are not in line with defunding the library.”
Regardless of the funding, the library board does agree there could be books in the YA section people deem inappropriate for the target audience. They urge for people to address it the correct way, by filling out a form.
“They’re not going to read every single book that comes through those doors. There’s just no way,“ said Brittany Gallend, a supporter of the library. “Over 20,000 books within those walls, I would personally be upset if there wasn’t anything in there to offend anybody because then you don’t have a library. You just have an empty building next to Piggly Wiggly.”
The library board has a meeting on Wednesday, September 20.
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