Library district receives report on conference

Thursday, January 8, 2009

On Dec. 19, the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library Board of Trustees heard a report on the Missouri Public Library Directors' Conference, which was held last month.

Jean Berg, library district director, reported that the conference included a presentation called "Customers in the Library with Mental Illness." Berg has shared information from the presentation with staff members at all of the regional library branches.

Directors who attended the conference also discussed how the probable $320 million state funding deficit could affect local library districts. Berg reported that the district's Internet service provider, MOREnet, could possibly have its budget reduced by 15 to 20 percent, which would cause the district's annual fees to increase dramatically.

State aid to public libraries, the Athlete and Entertainer's tax and Equalization tax funds could also be cut this year.

In new business, the board discussed a contract renewal agreement between the district and the Eagle Rock Community Association (ERCA). The contract will allow the library district to continue to use two rooms of the community center for the Eagle Rock Branch Library.

A letter requesting a change from a one-year to a three-year or five-year contract was received from Pamela Stillwell, ERCA president. The board also learned that ERCA is planning to replace the old windows in the library space, which will help lower heating and cooling costs for the branch.

After discussing the contract renewal, the board approved a three-year contract with ERCA. The new contract will expire on Dec. 31, 2011.

In old business, the board approved a contract for a tax research study that will be conducted by the Public Policy Research Center in St. Louis.

All Missouri public libraries will participate in the tax research study, which will be used to develop and maintain a database of property assessments, tax rates, revenues and other tax issues.

According to Berg, the study will focus on the assessment of property and the collection of library funds, which will give public libraries regular communication on upcoming hearings or legislative activity that districts need to be involved in.

The subscription rate for participating in the tax research study will be $250 per year.

In other business, the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library Board of Trustees:

* Heard that library employee Melvin Casper replaced the Purdy Branch Library sign that recently blew off of the building.

* Reviewed the November 2008 circulation statistics.

* Heard that the district's paid Symantec Endpoint $1,980.75 to renew anti-virus licenses for 100 district computers.

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