Opinion

July 2, 2014

Libraries should stick together

After months of looking for another dance partner, the Chatsworth-Murray County Library decided to stay with the one that brought them.

On Monday, the Northwest Georgia Regional Library System’s board of directors voted unanimously to accept a letter from the Chatsworth-Murray board to remain in the system. The Northwest Georgia Regional Library System is comprised of the Chatsworth-Murray County Library, the Dalton-Whitfield County Library and the Calhoun-Gordon County Library, so it makes sense from a regional perspective for the three libraries to stick together.

It appears Chatsworth-Murray library board members didn’t have any other viable option.

Georgia has had a moratorium on new single-county library systems for the past four years, and board members weren’t able to partner with another regional system. Chatsworth-Murray’s reasons for looking to leave were many, most noteworthy their desire for “clear and open communication” and “more representation and input in decision-making.”

From what board members tell us, things are already moving in a positive direction. Last spring the regional board added a second member from Chatsworth-Murray. At the Monday meeting, the board discussed how the regional system was working with Chatsworth-Murray to improve its accounting and bookkeeping.

Previously, Chatsworth-Murray had been the only system to have one representative on the regional board. Calhoun-Gordon has two regional board members and Dalton-Whitfield has four members, reflecting their relative sizes.

“We need to work together as one unit, and I think we are,” said Ann Compton, board chairman of the regional library system. “We’ve got some good programs. We are going to try to help them all that we can.”

We hope to see the relationship between Chatsworth-Murray and the regional system continue to improve in the coming months.

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