Major personnel reclassifications at BL Library

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A major reclassification of employees with the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library has been approved by the Board of Directors at their August meeting.

Director Gina Milburn made her first proposals for streamlining the staff and branch classifications. Rather than listing staff by their duties, employees would be listed as branch supervisors 1, 2, or 3, based on the staffing needed in the branches.

The busiest branches with the most staff, in Monett, Cassville, Aurora and Mt. Vernon, are classified as branch 3. Marionville, which has the largest attendance at programs, is a branch 2 classification. The Pierce City, Purdy, Miller, Eagle Rock and Shell Knob branches are listed as branch 1.

Youth and adult services will be classifications under library assistant. The library clerk 2 position would be renamed as the material processor. Employees ideally will not hold dual positions, but some duties may be reduced only through attrition.

The new pay schedule was approved, based on job classification and base salary rate. Pay was adjusted for five staff members who have college degrees. A bachelor's or master's degree in library science or an education equivalent is now required for the branch 3 supervisor. Existing staff can advance, under specified guidelines, without obtaining a degree.

Budget concerns

The annual tax levy was adopted at the ceiling of 15 cents per $100 of assessed property. Based on projections from the Missouri State Auditor's office, the district should receive $1,293,802 in the coming tax cycle, an increase of $8,000 over the previous year.

Milburn reported the district received $1,190,598 last year, 93 percent of the total. The total was $12,000 more than was received in the previous year. Board members budgeted for a similar amount.

The district lost equalization funding from Lawrence County because of an improvement in the county's poverty rate. Consequently, the library received $18,896 from Barry County alone instead of $47,000. The money will be used on improvement materials, such as carpeting and shelving, in Barry County.

"I'm very grateful we're still in the black," Milburn said. "We're watching every penny we spend. I'm constantly on staff to make sure we're making the best use of our funds."

A budget for the 2012-13 year was revised, projecting income of $1,555,928, down 1 percent from the previous year. Spending of $1,542,024 was planned.

Directors voted to pay off the remaining principle payment of approximately $79,000 on the outstanding lease purchase, plus an interest payment of around $3,000.

Review of the collection showed an inordinately high number of overdue items, mostly in DVDs. Most appear to have been checked out and not returned. Up to 75 percent of overdue items were found to have been checked out and long past due.

Board members directed Milburn to get proposals for services from collection agency.

During National Friends of the Library Week, running Oct. 21 through Oct. 27, the board agreed to waive up to 50 cents per library card in fines in exchange for a donation of canned food items for a local food bank.

E-Rate, the government program that helps fund schools and libraries, will reimburse the library $11,183.19 for the year. To date $6,176.21 has been received.

Circulation statistics

Numbers for June and July showed Monett was still leading the branches with circulation numbers of over 10,000. Computer use dropped slightly but was expected to increase with school starting.

Circulation for the year was up 3 percent. The breakdown by branches showed Cassville still had the biggest year with 22 percent of all the material circulated in the system. Monett followed with 20 percent, Mt. Vernon with 19 percent and Aurora with 16 percent.

The other six branches rather evenly divided the remaining 23 percent. The Pierce City Branch had 5 percent and the Purdy Branch had 2 percent.

Entertainment DVDs make up the largest number of circulated items at 21 percent. Adult general fiction follows at 18 percent, followed by children's picture books at 12 percent, with youth fiction and adult fiction tied at 9 percent each.

The Summer Reading Club attracted 868 children, 153 teens and 657 adults this year.

The library provided 1,718 programs that attracted 24,481 people in the past year. Milburn said that represented a 30 percent increase over the previous year. The Mt. Vernon Branch offered the largest number of programs.

Facilities improvements

A contract was awarded to Keith McCracken, of Classic Homes, to make branch repairs. McCracken will repair the drainage and stacked stone wall on the Marionville Branch for $1,460. Eight sections of sidewalk will be replaced at the Aurora Branch for $1,250. The threshold will be retained on the Pierce City Branch and gravel placed at the Mt. Vernon Branch for $350 each.

Melvin Casper repaired the drywall and painted two walls in the meeting room at the Pierce City Branch.

Milburn reported she was participating in the Monett Chamber of Commerce's leadership program. The library provided packets of library-related material to the new teachers joining the Monett School District.

Four library employees attended summer institute training in Columbia and will share information they received at upcoming staff meetings.

Branches used 2,193 volunteer hours during the past year. Milburn said their service would have cost the district $15,901 if paid, and their help was greatly appreciated.

The next board meeting will be held on Sept. 13.

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