The Board of Directors for the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library looked at financial matters and addressed maintenance problems during its May meeting.
Finances showed new pressures from different directions, reported Director Jean Berg. Income from local property tax through April showed a drop of more than $188,000 or 13 percent from a year ago. The decrease stemmed from the state lowering the district's tax levy.
The state aid budget for library systems was cut by $400,000 by the Missouri General Assembly during its session. Berg expected the district would see a cut in state aid or in its equalization funding.
Berg reported the district has received $12,816.22 toward the $13,000 needed in matching funds for the grant from the Gates Foundation for the fiscal year ending on June 30. Berg reported on support provided through corporations, businesses and community foundations.
The district will need to raise $20,800 to match grant money for the 2011 fiscal year. Gates Foundation money is provided to purchase computers and computer supplies such as printer cartridges.
A variety of expenditures were approved by board members, including:
* $15,840 to Software Specialists for 15 new computers.
* $14,401.04 to Sofnet Inc. for an upgrade of the firewalls between the automated circulation/cataloguing system and the public access internet computers. The work covers 10 Jupiter firewalls, six switches and labor for configuration and installation.
* $5,881.90 to Kent Wilbourn Construction to replace carpet at the Miller Branch with carpet tiles and ceramic tiles.
* $3,382 to Walters Pest Control of Cassville for termite prevention at the Cassville Branch. Termites had been discovered coming through the back wall of the basement area.
With Saturday activity at branches dropping over the summer, the board approved reducing Saturday hours for the Monett, Aurora, Mt. Vernon and Cassville branches to 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hours are otherwise 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Other branches would continue on a half-day schedule on Saturday.
Circulation figures for April showed the Monett branch was the most active with 8,415 items circulating. Records showed 38,410 items had been checked out from all the branches and 3,152 patrons used internet computers.
All the branches continue to be extremely busy, Berg indicated. Crowded conditions, particularly at the Monett branch and all of the smaller branches, remain a concern.
Sealing had been completed on the parking lots of two branches. Work at the Cassville branch was done by Cassville Sealing and Striping for $413.40. Mt. Vernon Branch work was done by Mt. Vernon Pavers for $760.
At the Miller Branch, Gary Meyer built three oak plywood shelves for the circulation desk at a cost of $120.
Vandalism had been reported at the Marionville Branch. Bricks were rearranged on the retaining wall and rocks thrown onto the roof, damaging the guttering on the rear of the building. Exterior lighting and illumination fixtures had been destroyed. Police had been asked to increase patrolling in the vicinity.
At Berg's request, the board agreed to spend $600 to replace the plants and soil in the 42-inch flower beds at the Cassville Branch. The old soaker hose had broken, resulting in the plants dying about two years ago. The staff volunteered to provide labor for the project.
Terms will expire this year for two board members: Jewell Farwell in Barry County and Donna Cheek in Lawrence County. Farwell indicated she plans to retire, having served on the board since 1956. The board planned to honor Farwell with a reception in Eagle Rock at a future date.
Cheek, Lester Richesin and Julie Vaughn were named to a nominating committee to find officers who will serve for the coming year.
The board will next meet on Thursday, June 24. Tax assessment figures and budgets from both counties are expected by that date.