Library move has residents seeing red

Posted by: Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -- Nestled along the streets of West Montgomery, Rosa Parks Library holds thousands of books, a few computers, and more memories than you can count.

"I've been coming to this library since I was 6 or 7 years old," explained Charles Dillahay of Montgomery.

City leaders are considering a plan to move the library across the street to the YMCA and fill the old building with city employees.

"We have a better opportunity for additional computer use, we'll have kids there, and we have a better opportunity to have a better utilization of those resources," said Mayor Todd Strange.

Neighbors of the building, however, say the historical significance doesn't just end with the name on the sign.

"That was the first and only library that black people could go to for many, many years.  It needs to remain a very integral depository of knowledge for people within this community," explained Lillian Jefferson of Montgomery.

"They want to memorialize that and commemorate it.  We're more than happy to do that.  It's the appropriate thing to do," Strange said.

Strange says he's willing to discuss exactly what goes in the building, but it won't be a library.

With what they call a "lack of notice," residents hope to fight that decision.

"I would like to see the library stay as it is and find a way to make it better," Dillahay said.

The city is considering putting a community policing division in the building.

While some residents tell us they welcome additional police presence in the neighborhood, they still want to keep the library as it is.

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