Communication the key for commission

Library closures lead to stricter communication rules for different boards. / From file

Libraries in Dougherty County have become a hot commodity over the last several months with two of the four branches shutting their doors. Commissioners with the county say lack of communication is to blame.

"It is our responsibility to try and find a way to close the communication gap that I believe caused that," said Dougherty County Commissioner, Gloria Gaines.

Gaines says the library board acted alone in closing down two of its branches, leaving commissioners to wonder how they can prevent this from happening in the future.

"If we had known a little bit earlier, perhaps we could've had some influence on that outcome. But now we're sitting with a large segment of this community without library services. And that is just not acceptable," said Commissioner Gaines.

And although commission members say this is only one instance in which communication has really faltered. They say it's one of the biggest issues that it could've happened on.

"Some major decisions were going on that board in regards to closing those two libraries, and nobody with the county commission was even aware of it until they had decided to close two libraries," said Dougherty County Commissioner, Lamar Hudgens.

That decision holds even more weight with libraries evolving out of books and into the technological age.

"They are not just there to check out books, they are really part of the information highway that's out here now," said Commissioner Gaines.

Members of the commission say although this is an issue, it holds a simple solution. Put a commissioner on the library board and keep those lines of communication open.