Putnam County Library board members approved a motion to begin charging organizations a $25 fee to use the library's meeting rooms.
Effective July 1 groups using the facility will have to pay the fee. The new policy excludes non-profit groups who can continue to use the facility's rooms at no charge.
The fee includes a 6 percent Indiana sales tax which the library will have to pay once they get a required Merchants license.
The new policy requires that fees for use of the rooms to be paid at the circulation desk within 48 hours of the reservation. Once a group's application is on file and the fee is paid the room will be reserved.
Meanwhile, the salary committee recommended a 2-percent increase for all hourly library staff.
Prior to approving the increase, a discussion ensued regarding the new change in minimum wage law which goes into effect on July 24. At that time, the new wage goes up to $5.85.
Level I staff at the library will see that increase go into effect on July 23. Other hourly staff will receive the 2-percent increase effective July 29.
The committee recommended an increase for Executive Director Alice Greenburg of $6,000 spread over four years.
Finance committee member Bonnie Nealon explained the committee's recommendation to give Greenburg a raise of $6,000 to bring her salary even with other library directors of similar sized facilities.
"It's too big of a bite to do all at once, so we developed this plan to spread it out over four years," she stated.
Greenburg will receive the yearly 2-percent raise on top of the $1,500 annual raise. Her increase will take place beginning in January 2008.
Board members also approved the purchase of new library cards. Staff members will be responsible for the new design of the cards which will include a keychain card (similar to ones used by CVS and Kroger).
The cards will be phased in once the current card stock is depleted.
Tona Gardner, South Putnam High School librarian, was introduced to board members.
Greenburg announced that Gardner will be an intern and a volunteer at the library this summer.
Gardner intends to increase her knowledge of the inner workings of the public library.
Gardner told board members how friendly the library staff had been.
"Everyone keeps asking how they can help," she noted. "I have really enjoyed spending time here," she added.
Greenburg informed the board that the library is looking for a sponsor for its "Books for Babies" program which encourages new parents to read to babies.
The cost for the program is $1,300 for approximately 600 books which are given out to new parents. The board is looking into asking a publisher to donate the books.
Board President Donna Lukenbill suggested that some Spanish books be included in the program. Other members agreed with her recommendation.
Board members asked about the outside book drop box which is not currently in use do to an issue with the lock.
Greenburg told board members that the lock has been drilled out and replaced but they continue to have an issue locking it.
"We can't use it until we resolve this issue," reported Greenburg. "We keep working on it."
In other business:
* Completed a draft of a strategic plan for the library for 2007-09
* Were informed of new legislation which now allows the library to legally spend money to advertise and promote library services
* Discussed the new traffic flow for the parking lot which routes traffic into the lot off College Avenue and out of the lot on Poplar Street
* Reported that 828 kids (not including teens) were enrolled in the summer reading program
* Reported that 17 children participated in the "Read Away Fines" program which allows for the dismissal of fines by reading
* Named Bonnie Nealon and Vickie Timm to the Nominating Committee
* Announced the library will be closed on Wednesday, July 4.