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Barry-Lawrence Regional Library explores new support services

Friday, October 12, 2012

New services to help the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library with operations were discussed at the September meeting of the library's board of directors.

Director Gina Milburn reported she asked the Missouri Public Library directors' e-mail groups some questions about library operations. A new idea was offered about what to do with library materials leftover after an annual book sale.

Several libraries send books to Better World Books, an agency that sells books and provides donors with 15 to 20 percent of the sale price. Unsold materials are donated to organizations such as Books for Africa.

There are no up-front costs to using Better World Books, which provides boxes and postage to ship materials. Milburn said she would try to use Better World Books after the fall book sale on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27.

Milburn also asked about using a collection agency for overdue materials. Ninety percent responded that they used Unique Management, which may be the only collection agency that specializes in working with libraries. Milburn planned to contact the firm and report back on its terms.

A number of maintenance projects have been underway. Keith McCracken, with Classic Homes, has been installing guttering on the Marionville, Mt. Vernon and Aurora branches. The threshold has been repaired on the Pierce City branch.

Roof leaks around air conditioning units appeared in Monett and Pierce City. Repairs were scheduled. Melvin Casper has made minor repairs in the Mt. Vernon and Miller branches, primarily on the bathrooms. He also painted at both branches.

Financial reports

Milburn reported the final payment for the lease purchase covering the Marionville and Cassville Branch construction projects has been paid off. The library is now debt free.

Tax collections for the year continue to run below 2011 levels. Milburn said reserve funds will have to be tapped to meet financial commitments through the end of 2012.

Federal E-Rate funds totaling $5,002.80 arrived, bringing the annual total for covering communications expenses to $11,179.01.

Milburn reported Cheryl Williams, Cassville Branch supervisor, applied for a grant through the Cassville Community Foundation to help underwrite the purchase of a gaming center. Williams hopes to add a Wii console plus a television for teens who use the branch.

The fall book sale will be held at the Monett Branch's garage on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27, opening at 8 a.m. both days. A preview sale for Friends of the Library will be held on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 5 to 7 p.m., capping off a Friends of the Library membership drive.

Donations and in-kind contributions for the Summer Reading Program totaled $9,665.76, compared to $8,671.23 in expenditures.

Personnel changes

Board members welcomed Chris Rice, from Mt. Vernon, as a new member, recently appointed by the Lawrence County Commission. Rice, a frequent library user, will finish the term vacated by Donna Cheek.

Milburn reported that Milly Jones succeeded Roxanne Berg as the new supervisor at the Purdy Branch. Efforts were underway to fill the part-time library assistant and children's services position in Purdy.

Three branch representatives and Rhonda Duff from the central office addended a reader's advisory workship held in Columbia. Milburn, Duff and two branch representatives attended training at the Missouri Library Association meeting in Springfield.

Circulation totals in August showed Monett continued to lead all branches for checked out items. Cassville was second.

Final numbers for the Summer Reading Program showed 868 children and 153 teens signed up to participate. The number completing the program was similar to last year, with 58 percent of the children and 64 percent of the teen reaching their reading goals.

All the branches offered Summer Reading Program benefits to adults this year. The 657 participating adults read 3,433 books. Total attendance was 6,115 in all the programs offered.

Janea Coker, the youth services coordinator, said attendance in the Summer Reading Program was down slightly this year, possibly due to fuel prices. The committee has started plans for 2013.

In other business, the board approved the Code of Ethics resolution, as required by the Missouri Ethics Commission.

The annual staff meeting on Oct. 8 had the theme "Teamwork: We're All In This Together."



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