Library Board approves mural, new van
The Barry-Lawrence Regional Library Board of Directors approved the addition of a mural for the Pierce City Branch and purchase of a new van to serve all branches at the board's April meeting.
Artists Sherry Pettey, Terry Canady and Becky Golubski addressed the board about placing a mural at the Pierce City Branch. Pettey offered to paint the mural and donate materials at no cost to the library. She provided samples of her portfolios
Board members liked the option of Pettey painting a four-by-eight-foot mural in her studio for installation on a designated wall. Petty will submit a detailed sketch drawn to scale for review.
Director Gina Milburn and administrative assistant Joyce Frazier reported the current library van now has more than 200,000 miles on it. Purchased in 1999, the van makes at least two times per week at about 200 miles per round trip. The van also transports staff to meetings.
The board agreed to purchase a new Ford Econoline, based on the performance of the old model, and to keep the old van for maintenance. Cost of a new vehicle was estimated at $22,000.
Summer Reading Club
Preparations are continuing for the Summer Reading Program. Milburn reported receiving a $2,500 grant from Walmart and a $250 grant from the Barry-Lawrence Area United Fund.
To boost adult participation in the Summer Reading Club, the Adult Services Committee sought complimentary tickets from Branson attractions for use as incentives. Tickets and gift certificates have been received for the IMAX, Clay Cooper Theater, Jim Stafford Show, Masters of Magic, Neil Diamond Tribute, Presley's Country Jubilee, Andy Williams' Moon River Theater, Baldknobber's Jamboree Show, Dixie Stampede, Doug Gabriel's #1 Hits Tribute, Grand Country Music Hall, Haygood Family Enterprises, Shoji Tabuchi Entertainment, Silver Dollar City, Andy's Frozen Custard and Tanger Outlets.
If enough donations are received, the library will offer Kindles as a grand prize for children, teen and adult programs for both Barry and Lawrence counties, Milburn added.
Board members Jeannie Jones, from Shell Knob, and Mary Gilday, from Eagle Rock, asked for more information about Milburn's plan to consolidate all Summer Reading Club fundraising proceeds.
Milburn explained the strategy would allow all branches to receive the same service. She recommended patrons wishing to support a specific branch to make a donation to their Friends of the Library group.
Statistics for circulation remained down for March, compared to the previous year. Several branch supervisors reported many customers used the building, computers and materials without checking out materials, suggesting a bigger picture.
During March, branches hosted a variety of activities. The indoor Easter egg hunt in Cassville attracted 203 participants. Submissions in the annual "Draw Pierce City" contest were displayed at the branch. A photo showed a young man from the Eagle Rock Branch who attended after-school tutoring and raised one of his grades from a D to a B+.
For National Library Week, celebrated April 14 through April 20, a number of activities revolved around the theme "Communities Matter @ Your Library." Aurora offered a "Where in Aurora is Gnorbert?" contest. The Marionville Branch had a "Sac and Fox" Native American exhibit from the Missouri Arts Council and a concert by classical guitarist Peter Fletcher. Monett offered chair yoga, Customer Appreciation Day and a program on saving with coupons.
A contest for a bookmark describing the Summer Reading Club themes of "Dig into Reading" and "Beneath the Surface" is open to all patrons ages 5 to 19. The winners will be announced when the summer program starts the week of June 3.
Mary Lowery started on April 1 as the new part-time library assistant at the Purdy Branch. Beth Casselman has succeeded Raeleen Viera as part-time clerk at the Eagle Rock Branch.
Milburn reported Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander eliminated 13 positions in the Missouri State Library as part of an office reorganization effort. The move was supposed to free up funds for local branches.
Milburn said the Barry-Lawrence Library is among those that relied on state staff for grant planning and administration and assistance with continuing education. Continuation of those services remains a concern. The Secretary of State's office suggested librarians speak with Margaret Conroy, the state librarian, before bringing their concerns to Kander's office.
In financial matters, Milburn reported property tax collections from the counties had come in ahead of 2012. District reserves remain lower but without debt.
The next board meeting will be held on May 9.