BL Library looks at branch improvements

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The board of directors for the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library looked at a number of branch improvements during their May meeting.

The collection at the Monett Branch has become too large for the existing shelving. Director Jean Berg said additional shelving that can ultimately be moved to the new branch could be purchased for $1,772.66. Money for the purchase is available from state Equalization Funds. Board members authorized the buy.

Major water leaks have surfaced at the Aurora Branch, resulting in water coming through the wall in the basement conference room and roof leaks in various places. Roofer Kenny Golubski found evidence of hail damage on both old and new sections of the roof. Board members agreed to contact architect Richard Werner to further isolate the source of the leaks. Estimates for roof replacement ran over $12,000 for the new roof and over $16,000 for the old roof section.

The Eagle Rock Branch reported several issues that were looked at during a visit by the regional office staff during a visit on April 25. They rearranged and moved out some non-essential furniture and changed the computer position at the desk. Parts of the collection were weeded out, and all uncatalogued items were removed. Items stored in the upstairs and basement continue to be cleaned out.

Two new bookcases were purchased for the branch and two kick-step stools. Berg received approval to buy adjustable steel shelving for $1,239.59. Berg said more shelving will be needed in the future.

New perennial flowers for the 40-foot flower bed at the Cassville Branch have been acquired from the For the Birds nursery. Board members agreed to hire Bishop's Lawn Care Service for landscaping and other grounds care issues for $1,445.

Friends of the Library in Shell Knob purchased three wing chair recliners for the meeting room, replacing an old chair and love seat. Friends in Aurora purchased a tip 'n' roll sign for $324 and a game board spinner for the adult reading program. Friends of the Library in Mt. Vernon bought book ends and display easels.

A letter on behalf of the board was sent to the Friends of the Library in Pierce City, voicing concern over the lack of meetings or a membership drive. The Friends leaders responded by releasing its funds of $1,445.49 to the district for use exclusively on the Pierce City Branch. Paperwork was sent indicating the group has disbanded. Berg said others may show an interest in reorganizing the auxiliary organization in the future.

Summer programming

Board members agreed to Berg's recommendations for summer hours, beginning on June 4 and running through Aug. 13. The Monett, Cassville, Aurora and Mt. Vernon branches will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., rather than 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. All other branches will continue on their regular half-day schedule.

Staffing changes

Twelve applicants had applied for the position of director.

Jennifer Cochran was promoted to the post of supervisor at the Eagle Rock Branch following the resignation of Kim Wolff. Jennifer Miller was hired for the part-time Library Clerk I position in Eagle Rock and started work on May 11. At Berg's recommendation, the clerk position was boosted to 16 hours a week from 10, enabling Cochran to do more programming and having more planning with the staff.

The circulation report for April showed the Cassville Branch had the highest activity with 9,003 items checked out.

A book sale will be held at the Monett Branch June 3 through June 4 in the garage facility.

In financial news, Berg reported the Monett Community Foundation had provided $2,500 and the Mt. Vernon Community Foundation gave $1,000 as matching funds for the Gates Foundation computer grant. Computers had been purchased and installed in all the branches, with $14,107.60 of the cost covered by the Gates Foundation and $13,957.60 through the capital improvements budget.

Computers purchased with Gates Foundation money are for public access only. Other computers replaced units in the office and for circulation use.

The board will next meet on June 23 at the Monett Branch. Berg expected tax assessment figures would be available by then, enabling preparation to begin for the 2011-12 budget.

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