Library sees positive numbers as financial year ends

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Grant money covers Summer Reading Club programs

Moving into summer, the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library found operations and funding in a relatively strong position.

Third quarter circulation figures showed the Monett branch held the top circulation spot again in April, with 7,158 items checked out, ahead of the Cassville branch with 6,608.

Director Gina Milburn reported overall circulation had fallen slightly behind last year's pace, though the average daily circulation rose slightly. Milburn attributed some of the change to weather, keeping library branches closed a day longer this year.

E-book and e-audio circulation had a combined total of 885 checkouts in April. Overall wireless use continues to increase. Use of public computers dropped slightly, which Milburn expected would pick up again when 17 new computers acquired with grant money go into service this summer.

State grant money secured for the Summer Reading Club paid for several of the weekly presentations. The Dickerson Park Zoo agreed to visit all 10 branches as part of the kickoff in the first week of June for $755. The Discovery Center sent science programs to all the branches for $1,150. Mad Science of Southwest Missouri out of Springfield will provide the final program, "Spin POP Boom," for seven of the branches in the last week of July for $1,863. The Miller, Purdy and Eagle Rock patrons are encouraged to come to the next closest branches to catch the program.

With a year of service on record, the library has expanded its use of collecting past due books and fines through Unique Management Services (UMS). Small balance programs and juvenile account recovery began earlier this year and have slowly started generating payments and the return of material.

"We believe that both of these programs will be as successful as the original material recovery program in getting our materials back and getting our customers to pay their fines," Milburn said.

Board members hired the firm JaniKing on a 90-day trial basis after efforts to keep a custodian for the Monett Branch proved unsuccessful. JaniKing secured the contract for $603 a month plus $206 for a one-time deep-cleaning. The other bidders were Marty's Veteran Cleaning Service for $600 a month and Advanced Janitorial at $815 per month.

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