Letter: Local garden club urges greater funding of library

At a recent meeting of the Sprig and Dig Garden Club, a program was presented by Brandy Wyatt, the Dalton-Whitfield County Public Library administrator. We were updated on the many great things going on at our local library.

Questions were asked at the end of the program by the members including why the library is now closed on Saturdays and why it is also closed during the middle of the day. Members were surprised with answers to these questions. The local library is closed at these times because of a shortage in funding. The staff is short three employees. Recruiting qualified replacements is a challenge because they are so underpaid.

We are part of the Northwest Georgia Regional Library System. This region includes Whitfield, Murray and Gordon counties. Based on how much local governments support the library’s annual budget, our library system ranks 57 out of 62 regional systems in the state of Georgia. We can and must do better to support a facility that is so important to children, families and the citizens of our area.

The best way to teach children a love of reading is to get books in their hands early. As a community, we know the importance of reading and literacy. The library is a great resource for programs for young children and students. To improve one's educational level, there is no better cost effective way to access books, information and lots of other services than at the library.

City and county officials are in the process of setting their budgets for 2022. Now is the time to speak up for more funding for the library. Let our voices be heard! Call or email your local officials and let them know your concerns. It is time for our local governments to step up and increase funding so that our library can keep its doors open all day and some hours on Saturday.

Thank you,

Sprig & Dig Garden Club

Rita Fordham, president

Sarah Maret, vice president

Patricia Edwards, treasurer

Ann Viamonte, secretary

Dell Bailey, Priscilla Brown, Brenda Griffin, Mary Hardin, Dixie Kinard, Carol Houston, Becky McEntire, Nancy Ponder, Betty Sponcler, Doris Wages and 12 others.

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