Gains toward getting the new Monett Library Branch built were reported at the February meeting of the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library Board of Trustees.
A three-year $10,000 pledge from the William T. Kemper Foundation and $2,000 from the Commerce Bancshares Foundation has been received for the Monett branch, according to Jean Berg, library director.
Mike McCracken, president of Commerce Bank in Cassville, presented two checks in the amount of $3,333 and $500 respectively on Feb. 4. This donation pushed the Monett branch construction project over the $1,000,000 mark, including $740,483.31 in cash and outstanding pledges of $266,725 for a total of $1,007,208.31.
An entertainment package, including several donated items--DVDs, board game, puzzles, books and snacks--is the current fundraiser for the Monett branch, collecting $1 donations for a drawing to be held on Saturday, March 28. A spring book and garage sale is also planned.
Berg said a Senate bill has been introduced to the Missouri Senate by Senator John Griesheimer and will correct the 1984 reference point on Senate Bill 711 (property taxation law). Senator Jack Goodman is a co-sponsor on the bill. It has gone to the Ways and Means Committee. Board members had been urged to call local legislators to request their support.
If SB174 is passed, restoring the 1984 reference point that was eliminated from the new tax law, it will make it possible for the library district to continue at the same tax levy of .17 per $100 valuation and not drop to the 1991 levy of .15 per $100 valuation.
In other matters, Patti Weber, of The CPA Group, Monett, reviewed the 2007-08 financial audit report. Weber indicated that the library district was given a clean audit and that there are no problems with internal controls. Governmental accounting standards were used for the report, Weber said. Questions and comments from the board were addressed.
It was noted that Charles Peiter, trustee, and Berg attended the library advocacy day held in Jefferson City on Feb. 10. A report of what transpired during the day was given.
Berg reported that the Consumer Product Safety Commission determined that the lead content in children's books falls consistently below the prescribed limits of 600 parts per million. Book collections for children in libraries will not have to be tested for lead content.
Purdy Branch hours have been changed to 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The library will be open an eight-hour day four days per week with one-half hour allotted for a lunch period.
Six staff members attended the Missouri State Library Institute in Columbia on Feb. 3 through Feb. 6. Those attending were Martha Pettegrew, from Aurora, Chastady Bennett and Cindy Rinker, from Mt. Vernon, Kim Wolff, from Eagle Rock, Pam Glassco, from Miller, and Janea Coker, from Marionville.
Coker is again a presentor at the state library training workshops held around the state, Berg said. The summer reading club planning and training workshop for this area was held in Springfield on Feb. 9. All children's coordinators, except Eagle Rock, attended. Berg reported that summer reading club materials have been ordered for the library district and an $843.93 voucher from the state will help pay for supplies for all 10 branches.
Berg reported the READMORE title selected by the Missouri Humanities Council for 2009 is "A Thousand Acres" by Jane Smiley. Library branches will promote this title throughout the year.
The library director said she has filed the Form 471 for 2009-10 telephone discounts. The total proposed discount, based on monthly phone bills for each branch, will be $10,243, provided the monthly estimates hold true until June 30, 2010.
Berg indicated that the staff is planning to place some memorial books in the Mt. Vernon branch to honor the service of Paul Morris as library trustee, who passed away recently.
Board members also reviewed the final report that was submitted to the Missouri State Library relative to Equalization Fund expenditures in the amount of $36,466. Funds in 2008 were received for Barry County libraries only. A total of $14,023 was spent on books and DVDs, $14,280 spent on new computers, $2,839 spent on laptops for Monett and Cassville, $1,973 spent on MS Office Professional software, and $3,350 on furnishings and equipment.
The next meeting of the board will be 9 a.m. Thursday, March. 12, at the Monett Branch.