Barry-Lawrence Library shows busy summer months

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Technology upgrading at multiple area libraries

The Barry-Lawrence Regional Library board is making plans for programs and projects in the coming year, as well as reviewing finances.

Director Gina Milburn reported the district ended the state fiscal year with more income than expected, thanks to more state aid, state equalization funding to even income to both counties that does not come every year and grant funds. Spending also ran approximately $100,000 over budget.

“We were over because we used assigned funds from the end of the calendar to pay for Hoopla, a new van and the Shell Knob Building Fund,” Milburn said. “We have sufficient funds in checking operations to finish the calendar year providing there are no major repairs or disasters to address.”

Looking ahead, plans for the new Shell Knob branch were unveiled in a kick-off fundraising effort on Aug. 30. A booth will be placed at the Shakin’ in the Shell event Sept. 14 and 15.

Jessica Struckhoff from Paragon Architecture presented computer generated images to the board of plans for the new Shell Knob branch. Main features included nearly doubling the book area to 2,200 square feet from the current building, adding a separate meeting room with a covered outdoor space, two public restrooms, a water fountain, a staff restroom and lounge, plus an abundance of parking. The design was characterized as “modern with a nod to the lake.”

Several branches have undergone recent maintenance. Federal Protection installed a new fire protection system in the Cassville branch. A grant from Barry Electric Cooperative will lead to replacing the overhead lighting with LED fixtures and bulbs. The exterior of the building and sidewalks were power washed.

Carpet and furniture cleaning has been finished in Cassville, Shell Knob and Marionville. The work will continue in Pierce City, the furniture in the Monett branch, then on to the Aurora, Mt. Vernon and Miller branches.

A power outage at the Monett branch at the end of August led to the city replacing a power pole behind the building at the end of August. A section of tile in front of the desk at the Pierce City branch was replaced and the Aurora branch has been cleaned of bird remnants following repairs to the roof.

Beginning Sept. 1, a new technology mini-grant through the Library Services Technology Act will fund placing a new server for the district. New switches and firewalls will be installed at the Purdy and Miller branches. Additional licenses for the Microsoft Office Suite 2016 have been purchased to upgrade branches using the older versions.

Bandwidth upgrades are underway for all branches. Work has been completed on the Cassville, Aurora and Pierce City branches up to 20 megabytes, doubling capacity. Marionville went from 20 to 30 megabytes. Shell Knob and Eagle Rock went from 5 to 10 megabytes. As the upgrade continues, Monett, which houses the district’s administrative offices, will go from 50 to 80. Miller and Purdy will rise from 3 to 10 megabytes, and Mt. Vernon will go from 10 to 20.

A standing issue was resolved between the district and the Victory Southern Baptist Church in Cassville over the property lines. Following negotiations, both parties signed agreements giving pieces of land to each other.

Circulation figures from the various branches shows Mt. Vernon topping the field in both June and July. Cassville came in second in July with 6,311 and third in June with 6,608, switching places with Monett, second in June with 6,620 and third in July with 6,095. The Shell Knob branch saw a circulation boost in recent months, routinely topping the Marionville numbers. Because of that, the board approved adding Thursday to the days the branch is open, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., joining Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Thursday was chosen because it corresponded with trips by the OATS bus.

Use of wireless internet has grown to around 1,000 uses monthly. Hoopla is receiving 1,300 uses a month and computers in the branches were receiving more than 3,000 uses a month.

Summer programming continued to bring users to branches. In June there were 207 programs, attended by 6,801 people. In July 176 programs brought in 5,083 people.

Several recent personnel changes occurred. Janene Kipers from Pierce City joined the board on July 1, succeeding Marilyn Carey. Korrlyn Cantwell replaced the retiring Jeanne Ann Camp as the part-time youth services library assistant in Monett.

The board’s next meeting will be at 9 a.m. on Sept. 20 at the Pierce City branch at Walnut and Main streets.

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