BL library branches see improvements
Several improvements to branches in the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library system were reported at the library board's February meeting.
The Purdy Branch has a larger, more functional desk that came out of storage replacing the old staff desk. A new rug and small "Little Tikes" picnic table has been added in the children's area. A small bistro table and two chairs were placed in the back.
With the removal of other furniture plus stripping and polishing the floor, the branch looks more spacious and bright, said Director Gina Milburn.
At the Shell Knob Branch, new shelving was installed in the children's area, along with a "Legos" table and a new carpet. All overhead lighting was replaced by Hill and Hill Construction.
Repairs will be made at the Eagle Rock Branch by the Eagle Rock Community Association following a break-in. Burglars broke a restroom window over the Jan. 26 weekend and stole a flat screen TV, a digital camera and cash.
Milburn recommended making changes at the Monett Branch. The annual and semi-annual sales in the branch's garage have not been as successful as hoped. At the same time, sales in the lobby of the Monett Branch have done better than expected.
Milburn asked the board to discontinue the special event sales and move shelving from the garage into the branch lobby to better organize sale items.
Circulation during January dropped slightly, compared to a year ago. Milburn reported Cassville was the top branch for circulation, followed closely by Monett.
Data from the use of wireless Internet at the four biggest branches showed Cassville had the heaviest usage. Computer use at all the branches was heavy.
The Shell Knob Branch used leftover SRC funds to purchase two library mascot costumes. "Barry" the Chipmunk and "Lawrence" the Frog will be used to promote events throughout the library system.
The regional office staff has begun weeding the collection at the Monett Branch for worn and low circulating items. The Marionville and Mt. Vernon branches will be the only two remaining after that.
Jeanne Ann Camp, of Monett, was hired as a part-time library clerk for the regional office.
The board welcomed Marilyn Carey as the new member from Lawrence County, appointed to replace Matt Teel. Carey, an Aurora resident, is a long-time library customer and will serve until June 30, 2014.
Two shipments of discarded books have been shipped at no cost to Better World Books. Some have been sold and proceeds will come back to the library.
The Summer Reading Program kickoff has been scheduled for June 4, 5 and 6. Musician Judy Bowen, of Springfield, has been hired to perform at all 10 branches for $1,700.
Themes for the youth club services for the Summer Reading Program will be "Dig into Reading" for children and "Beneath the Surface" for teens. Staff will go to Springfield for a training workshop on March 6.
Board members discussed making field trips during the Summer Read Club to off-site locations on foot or by car. Due to liability issues, the board decided library staff should not walk or transport child or teens beyond library facilities. If a program is scheduled off-site, parents will be asked to deliver and pick up children from the designated location.
According to a statistical survey by the State Library, Milburn reported more people visited Missouri public libraries than many of the state's other attractions. The 27.9 million public library visitors compared to 17 million visiting state parks, 4.8 million attending major league baseball games and 3.3 million attending the St. Louis and Kansas City zoos.
The 361 public library branches in Missouri surpass the 312 McDonald restaurants and the 330 Dollar General stores. The more than 4,900 computers in public libraries were used 6.5 million times during the 2011-12 fiscal year.
Milburn reported the bulk of the district's property tax revenue had been received. Costs across the board have risen.
The board approved Milburn's recommendations modifying the registration policy. All cardholders will be single accounts covering only one person, except for non-resident accounts.
The next board meeting was scheduled for March 14.