Local library branches see new resources added

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bidding of phone service offers significant savings

A variety of new resources are planned for branches of the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library.

Director Gina Milburn reported that use of wireless Internet service has almost tripled over last year at this time. Computer use has also increased.

The district will see significant savings on its local and long distance telephone service for branches in Monett, Pierce City, Aurora and Marionville. Milburn reported as part of the federal E-Rate program, which provides funds to cover library communication costs, services for the four branches went up for bid. Suddenlink won the bid, offering to charge $30.20 per line for eight lines at a total cost of $241.60 per month for unlimited local and long distance calls.

"On average, we have been paying about $856 per month to the various phone companies that we are currently using," Milburn said. "This will result in a yearly savings of approximately $7,400. Once we get this service up and running, we will look at a new internal phone system for the regional office in Monett."

MOREnet, the service providing Internet access for the district, plans to update its lines to various branches, often without additional charge to the library. The Eagle Rock Branch will undergo the next upgrade, moving up from a T1 line. Shell Knob Branch upgrades will follow Eagle Rock's.

Service new services are offered as the year begins. Milburn reported all branches now have voter registration forms available for the public. The Monett, Cassville, Aurora, Mt. Vernon, Marionville and Shell Knob branches will begin offering notary service by the end of February. A full-time staff member at each branch has been trained and commissioned. Milburn also plans to establish passport services.

Excitement is growing over plans to build a new branch in Shell Knob. Milburn reported the Shell Knob Masonic Lodge agreed to make a $1,500 donation to the building fund in return for performing a cornerstone laying ceremony. Board members accepted the offer.

The board also selected Simply Corn Signs, of Cassville, to make a V-shaped sign to place on the bluff where the new Shell Knob building will go.

Branch activity was up slightly in December, aided by having two additional days open. The Cassville Branch claimed the most activity with 7,384 items circulated. Mt. Vernon came in second with 7,045 and Monett was third with 6,983.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Thursday.

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