Members of the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library board of trustees unanimously approved making an interest payment on lease purchase certificates in the amount of $7,612 for the Marionville and Cassville branches from a $130,968 certificate of deposit.
In an effort to utilize funds efficiently, members opted to use the remainder of those funds on the principal amount of the lease purchase certificates, bringing the total amount owed on the debt from $415,000 to $276,418.
Interest on the debt payment is currently at 4.35 percent, while interest generated on the certificates of deposit is only 1.5 percent. Board members chose to pay down the principal in an attempt to go into the upcoming construction of the new Monett Branch library debt free.
Members also voted to renew the tax levy at 15 cents per $100 assessed valuation, the same rate as the 2009 tax levy.
Library usage for the 2009-10 year was reviewed. Numbers showed a 4.6 percent increase over the 10 branches in the library system with Monett, Cassville and Mt. Vernon showing the largest increases in patron usage.
Internet usage has also shown a dramatic increase in users with 71,334 in 2009-10 users compared to 65,651 the previous year.
The summer reading program, "Make a Splash - Read," is now completed with branches reporting good attendance at the various programs.
New computers, fubded by the Gates Foundation, were installed in some of the branches in July. Cost of the new computers was $15,840. Gates funding was also used to purchase Microsoft Office licensing for 15 public access computers.
Eight early learning stations have also been installed at Mt. Vernon, Aurora, Monett, Pierce City and Marionville. The computers are preloaded with 46 interactive, educational programs for children in kindergarten through fourth grades. Total cost of those stations was $22,800.
Fundraising efforts have garnered a total of $14,013 in matching funds for the Gates Matching Dollars program with another $14,787 to be raised for the 2011 fiscal year.
School contracts were mailed to various school districts throughout the bi-county area, allowing authorized personnel to check out materials for an extended amount of time. Other facilities allowed to participate in the program include nursing homes and day care centers.
Director Jean Berg will will be attending a seminar on The Rural Library Trustee: Roles, Responsibilities and Relationships on Sept. 14. The seminar is offered on the Internet.
In other business, the board:
* Accepted bids for carpet and tile replacement at the Mt. Vernon and Pierce City branches.
* Authorized closing the Miller Branch for the upcoming Miller Fall Festival on Saturday, Sept. 4 on Main Street due to parking issues.
* Distributed a brochure for potential board members for county commissioners to use when considering appointment of new members.
* Approved a Code of Ethics resolution for library board members.
* Balanced the 2009-10 budget according to CPA standards.
The next regular meeting of the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library Board of Trustees will be Thursday, Sept. 9.