The Putnam County Public Library Board has been busy making improvements the past few months and this month got some welcome good news in the form of a $15,150.70 check.
The library was awarded the check from the Putnam County Community Foundation as a part of several endowments and funds such as the Putnam County Public Library endowment, the Albin-Rector fund, the Jewel W. Wright endowment, the Author Series fund, the Orville Webb endowment and the Cyril Johnson fund.
Vicki Timm of the Foundation was on hand to present the check, which will go toward a variety of things to better improve the library.
The board also heard from Lisa Baker of Circulation, as she gave an update on some things that are working and some that are not.
Baker has been at the circulation desk for more than 10 years now. In those 10 years she has seen a rise in the checking out of DVDs and a decrease of weekly staff hours.
"We've just seen such a change," Baker said. "There's more that can be done at the circulation desk to build patronage."
Baker suggested putting out a monthly calendar just for children's events as well has increasing the amount of programs for children, which is something the board has been looking into.
"There's such a change in libraryland, that we've got to keep up," Baker said. "We have to be decisive."
In an effort to keep up with the times, the board fapproved its three-year strategic plan. Among the top priorities outlined in the plan were helping adults, teens and families to learn to read and write, create young readers, connecting with the online world, providing homework help and creating lifelong learning.
To create this strategic plan, community input sessions were held along with surveys completed.
Survey results noted several strengths including having culturally diverse materials, special children's programs in the summer, book groups, access to DePauw University students as well as having a local history department.
Among the weaknesses that were noted were the lack of effective programming for children over age five, marketing, no adult literacy programs and a lack of "tween" programs.
The board hopes to address all issues and improve the library by annually assessing community needs, monitoring patronage and conducting surveys.
In an effort to improve the library, the board has been discussing the issue of Sunday hours for the past few months.
"I do know there's a strong feeling that Sunday is a family day," Library Director Alice Greenburg said of her staff. "There's a strong feeling that they want to keep that day for them and their families."
The board has taken into consideration people's concerns and has decided to form a committee, which will include library staff and board members. The board is hoping to get several community members to help as well.
The board officially approved the library to have Sunday hours, but the starting date has yet to be determined.
Finally, the board approved the replacement of the retaining wall. After receiving two bids, the board has chosen to go with Jerry Lewis Construction, Greencastle, for a total of $6,160.