The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Letters to the Editor

August 26, 2012

Letters to the Editor 8/26/12


Library a place to learn

Dear Editor:

Athens should be proud of its community spirit symbolized by our new library project. Andrew Carnegie, the captain of industry who worked with towns all across the world to build libraries, knew that merit and hard work brought about great accomplishments. He insisted that the public library would be open to all, even those “working boys” who otherwise would have no access to books. With books they got ideas, and those ideas could then be developed, modified, and shared in that same public forum.

His ideas led to open stacks in libraries, where the very concept of browsing was introduced. How many of us today learned about other, totally unknown subjects, places, and people because we spent time in a library, just browsing?  How many of us heard our first public presentation there, or engaged in a discussion? I know I learned that I was not alone in my ideas, nor that my ideas were always right, when I could test my thinking there.

A public center of discussion that has as well a coffee shop reminds me of the great era of coffee shops when our forefathers, in colonial times, gathered in such houses to debate, discuss, and explore ideas of the day. I’m not afraid of public forums, and I’m proud of a city that has the wisdom to share this idea.


John W. Davis


New library brings growth

Dear Editor:

Our county library is a local gem. Everyone should be saying, “Yes” to the new public library.

We need a new library downtown because we have outgrown the facilities and the technology the currently library presently houses. Limestone County patrons regularly use their library and find Internet access congested, with long waiting lists for computers, resources unavailable due to lack of space, and parking and meeting space inadequate.

The new public library should be the shining gem in our community; instead, it is fighting ignorance from those who want to keep Limestone County behind Madison and Morgan counties. Other cities have lured business to their cities because of the value they place in their library.

This doesn’t mean our librarians don’t do a good job, but they are strangled by people who are afraid to change. We are losing out on potential industry and residents for the county. The librarians offer great programs and services, but there are loud people who do not care. They project an image that doesn’t encourage people to bring their businesses here or move here.

The National Association of Realtors said that 62 percent of people choose where they live based on the local public library. Why? Because the public library provides education and learning opportunities for a lifetime, beginning with preschool programs and summer reading and going through adult skills, with a world of opportunities in between. Do you want your property values to grow? I asked the librarian about using the new library for art exhibits. She told me that weeks ago she contacted the Spirit of Athens about hosting an art displays in the new library.

It’s time for the negativity to end and for everyone to realize that our residents want and deserve a strong public library that has the facilities to meet the education, information and recreation needs of our young people, our business community, and our seniors.


Mischelle Harmon


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