Library board checks out endowment, training funds

Friday, March 2, 2007

A new endowment fund and funds for this year's staff development brought a few questions from the Putnam County Public Library Board during Wednesday's meeting.

Director Alice Greenburg informed the board that there were two pieces to the new endowment fund.

The first was the need to establish the fund. Greenburg reminded the board that it had talked about creating this fund, through the Putnam County Foundation, which would help support the Conversation with an Author Series.

By establishing the fund, the board would approve transferring $10,000 for the library's gift fund into the endowment fund.

Greenburg then informed the board about the second piece for the fund. Greenburg said the Foundation has a endowment builder program it is using that library can apply for a matching grant of $5,000.

Greenburg said the board needed to first vote on establishing the fund, and then vote on applying for the matching grant.

Board treasurer Ken Heeke asked Greenburg if he understood correctly that matching grant money does not apply to the money the board started with. Greenburg said that matching grant money would be new dollars.

Greenburg told the BannerGraphic that if the library received the grant, then the Foundation would match $5,000 of the $10,000 the library put into the fund.

The board approved both the transferring of $10,000 into the endowment fund and the applying for a matching grant through the Foundation.

Meanwhile, the board was a little concerned with the funds for this year's staff development.

Greenburg informed the board that this was to reimburse the library staff for conference and workshop attendance and tuition costs. She also said that the board approved this last year by placing $2,500 in the fund.

Currently, there is $1,000 in the budget for staff development.

"I can keep it to $1,000, and have this additional money for course work," Greenburg said.

Both Heeke and board secretary Bonnie Nealon said that they were confused. Heeke asked Greenburg if she was planning on changing the budget, which Greenburg said no because it would come from the gift fund.

Heeke said he was concerned about depleting the gift fund since the board has already transferred $10,000 for the endowment fund.

"There's plenty there (money in the gift fund), but how farther do we want to deplete that," Heeke said.

The library currently has $90,000, minus the $10,000 for the endowment fund, in the gift fund. Last year, there was $84,000.

Heeke suggested transferring $2,500, if the other board members were comfortable with it. "It's a good incentive to keep people, keep our staff current," Heeke said.

The board approved transferring $2,500 from the gift fund to be used toward professional development for 2007.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a resolution to transfer $100,000 from the Library Improvement Reserve Fund to the Operating Fund.

  • Learned that Greenburg had changed the format for the library activities report. One of the changes was to a year-to-date column, which allows the board to compare the differences between the years. Board member Becky Barham said she thinks that it will be interesting to way the year-to-date column grow.

  • Learned about donations from Bill Shuee and Jerry Lewis.

  • Approved to keep the non-resident fee for borrowing at $25.

  • Approved hiring Rick Monroe for the part-time local history librarian position and Anthony Freund to replace reference assistant Jayanne Rumple.

  • Learned about the new software under the events information link on the library's website. This software, called eventkeeper, enables organizations to update information on its upcoming events and allows visitors to search for an event by date, type, or other criteria.

    Visitors can also set up a reminder for themselves or can e-mail a friend about the event.

  • Learned there will be an increase in the minimum wage that might have some effect on the salary. Decided to create a salary committee with Nealon, Glen Gill and Wes Wilson.

  • Learned that the Traditional Arts in Indiana has a panel series will be coming next week. The panels highlight the traditional arts and crafts like quilts and fiddle making.

    The board meets regularly every fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. in the Kiwanis Room. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21, due to spring break. This meeting is open to the public.

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