It is a great concern and sadness to me to learn of the possible closing of four of our library branches. I was serving on the Library Board when plans were being made to open the Blackshear Place Library. I remember the excitement we had in opening a new library in South Hall.
I am probably most concerned with the prospect of closing the East Hall Branch. This library is known as the special needs library and it has a friendly, welcoming staff. This is the library where folks can go when they are unable to read printed materials. A talking reading machine will allow materials to be read to them. Others may use a special magnifying device to read books and papers.
Parents of children who have disabilities may check out adaptive toys to see how well their children can use them before going out to buy them. East Hall is also the place where "The Telephone Pioneers" repair talking book machines are sent out to people who cannot read or hold printed books.
When I think of the library, I think of a place where children and adults may come in to use the computer, check out a book or participate in a number of other services.
I don't want to see property taxes go up, but it may be worth finding other areas to cut or paying a little more to keep the kinds of services we have come to expect in Hall County.