Opinion

Support libraries for good of all

Macon and Bibb County have a wonderful library system. With the main library and its four branches, it provides tremendous learning resources to our community. The new Lanford branch in South Bibb County is a state-of-the-art facility with approximately 50 computer stations for online access.

It is disconcerting that Bibb County is having a difficult time adequately funding our library system. We need to figure out a way to protect and improve this learning resource in our community. The libraries are funded under the Bibb County Parks and Recreation budget, and there always seems to be a shortage of funds. Perhaps the city of Macon could come to the party with additional support.

The city seems to have money to fund additional museums.While these museums are nice to have, the museums don’t meet one of our most basic needs — literacy.

Perhaps if we focused on literacy, in the long term we would need less money to build jails and courthouses. We should be working on prevention, not detention.

The Friends of the Library will hold its annual Old Book Sale at Central City Park on Feb. 19, 20, 21 and 22 to raise funds for our libraries. This dedicated, all-volunteer organization recruits hundreds of volunteers from our community, including students and military personnel to assist with this four-day sale.

It is a phenomenal effort, with the profits going to the library system. However, this is not enough to fill the funding gap.

Literacy is a major issue in Macon and Bibb County. The library system is there to assist with this important need.

As we try to recruit new industry and jobs to our community, a strong library system is an important recruiting tool. We need to find a way to give priority to fund our libraries.

A strong library system is an important measure of a strong community.

Andy Newton is a resident of Macon.

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