Athens Review, Athens, Texas

October 9, 2012

County tables issue of library’s hours

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — The Henderson County Commissioners Court, Tuesday, again took up the tabled issue of whether to close the Clint W. Murchison Library on Saturday, without reaching a decision.

Head Librarian Lori Lee suggested the change in response to a cut in the money set aside for part-time wages in the recently-passed 2013 county budget.

Lee said Saturday is the logical day to cut, because on average, only about 90 patrons come through the doors on that day.

Lee appeared before the court on Oct. 2, proposing that the library be closed on Saturday, and the hours adjusted to the time period, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday.

Tuesday, Lee returned with a suggestion that the library keep its current 9-to-5 hours Monday through Friday, and close Saturdays.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronny Lawrence said he would prefer to keep the schedule like it is. Precinct 1 Commissioner Joe Hall objected to closing the library on Saturday, because that is the only day some people have away from work.

“What would be the problem of being open Tuesday through Saturday?” Hall asked.

Lee said the library should not be closed on Monday, because that’s its busiest day.

Lawrence then made a motion to leave the library open on Saturday, and continue the Monday-through-Friday hours as they are. The motion died for lack of a second.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin commented that the court recently approved a policy for using volunteers at the library.

“It appears to me that we might be rushing the changing of hours, due to the fact that we’ve expanded the use of volunteers.,” Geeslin said.

Geeslin believes the Library should take a little time to see if volunteer help steps forward to take up some of the manpower shortage left by the decrease in funding of part-time employees.

“We could take no action, and come back later in the year, after we’ve had volunteers to see how things are going,” County Judge Richard Sanders said.

The commissioners concluded the discussion without taking a vote on the proposed library hours.

In other action, Commissioners voted to:

• proclaim the month of October, 2012 as Domestic Awareness Month for Henderson County;

• adopt a holiday schedule for 2013, and add President’s Day to the holiday list;

• proclaim Oct. 7 though Oct. 13 as National 4-H Week for Henderson County;

• approve paying $110 from the Justice of the Peace Technology Fund for Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Daryl Graham to attend a conference; and

• authorize payment of bills in the amount of $246,773.39.