Plea for assistance

By CATHY HIGGINS Onlooker Editor onlooker@gulfcoastnewspapers.com
Posted 8/19/13

MAGNOLIA SPRINGS, Ala. — Last week’s Magnolia Springs Town Council workshop was beyond standing-room only last week as supporters of the library spilled all the way into the town clerk’s office across the hall from council chambers.

That …

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Plea for assistance

Posted

MAGNOLIA SPRINGS, Ala. — Last week’s Magnolia Springs Town Council workshop was beyond standing-room only last week as supporters of the library spilled all the way into the town clerk’s office across the hall from council chambers.

That support came during the Magnolia Springs Town Council workshop as Librarian Alida Given petitioned that the town increase its contribution in the 2014 fiscal year and that on Oct. 2014, it take over management of the library. In conjunction with that request, she presented a petition containing 265 signatures, and she pointed out that it’s the third most used library in Baldwin County.

“Only Daphne and Foley are ahead of us,” she said.

The total cost of operation at that time would be $25,000, said library supporter Bill Given.

“But we have fundraisers and very generous donations,” he said, explaining that the amount the library from the town should suffice. “We think this will be enough.”

Bill Given said the library’s reason for seeking town management next year is essential to its growth.

“We think we’ve gone about as far as we can,” he said.

The Magnolia Springs Library was launched in October 2011.

“The whole concept began in that office with Charlie Houser,” Bill Given said, pointing to the mayor’s office.

In that time, it has gone on to establish such programs as a teen tech-mentoring program that pairs young volunteers with those who would learn about ever-changing technology. Magnolia Springs Fire Chief Jamie Hinton credited the librarian for that and other programs for Magnolia Springs youth.

“We’re having such a hard time reaching kids and leading them in the right direction,” he said. “She’s even got them involved. It’s giving them a purpose. They’re being guided on a path of servitude. That’s what’s happening at our library.”

The young facility also has established a fishing library and the Baldwin County Seed Lending Library.

“I think there’s no question it’s been successful,” former mayor Charlie Houser said.

Several library volunteers and patrons testified about the facility’s value to the community, and two children displayed a banner repeating Given’s request.

While the council will consider funding for its next fiscal year in September, Alida Given said she will return next year to formally request the town take over the library.