Library looks into diversity reading program

Sunday, September 30, 2007
Shannon Egold won the crown of homecoming queen during South Putnam High School's football contest against Speedway Friday night. Selected as princesses were junior Megan Britani Wood, sophomore Andrea Whaley and freshman Megan Barnes.

A diversity reading program has received the support of the Putnam County Library Board.

Members Dorothy Lukenbill, Rebecca Barnham, Glen Gill, Ken Heeke, Wes Wilson, Bonnie Nealon and Vicki Timm approved the library being a co-sponsor for the diversity reading program.

"We felt the library would be a natural partner for the project," stated Leslie Hanson president of the League of Women Voters. "We're not asking for money just a possible site to distribute books and as a sign up area," she added.

The board also appointed Librarian Margo Payne to serve on the diversity reading committee. The program will bring together about 100 people to talk about race and diversity. Topics will be prompted by reading a book selected by the committee dealing with the subject of diversity.

Meanwhile, library director Alice Greenburg reported on the success of the Festival of the Book earlier this month. She shared e-mails and letters of appreciation from attendees and authors and showed slides of the event. She also asked the board to approve the same event for next year. It was unanimously approved.

The board discussed plans to put together a survey on customer satisfaction regarding usage at the library. Several methods were discussed including conducting a mail survey, telephone survey or in person survey. Before making a final decision on methods and content, more discussion will take place at the next board meeting.

The board is also considering a focus group of non-users of the library. Greenburg told board members she would like to put together a focus group by the end of October to gain information about why some people do not use the facility.

"We want to know about people who are not using the library and why they don't use our services," she stated.

Greenburg informed the board she plans to have a "Meet the Director" program so patrons and non-patrons can spend time discussing any issues or concerns. She plans to have morning, lunch and evening meetings.

In other business, the board,

* Formed a committee to look at the heating and cooling system at the library.

* Discussed the 20 percent increase in health insurance, which was recently announced by the city (which offers insurance to all public employees).

* Approved the second reading of the purchasing policy revision, which aligns the policy with current law thresholds.

* Announced the resignations of two part-time reference assistants.

* Approved the hiring of a new part-time reference assistant.

The Library Board meets at 6 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of the month in the Kiwanis Room at the library at 103 W. Poplar Street.

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