Planning for the new children's room at the Putnam County Public Library is well underway as board members looked at fabric swatches during their monthly meeting Wednesday evening.
As the board continues to work with Odle McGuire and Shook to choose a color palette, progress is still being made, as the first community input meeting will be held on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 5 p.m.
The library is hoping residents will attend to provide valuable input on the suggested changes to the children's area.
"We're renting a popcorn machine, having snacks and book giveaways to try and encourage families to come," board secretary Lisa McCoy said. "We're hoping they give us some ideas on what they would like to see in our renovation."
The community will be able to view and vote on a few different color pallets. There will also be boards around the children's area showing the proposed renovation plans.
"People can see them and comment on them," McCoy explained. "We're also going to have kids draw what they would like to see in the children's area to give them some input."
The library will also be holding another input meeting for adults, which will be held in early November.
"By Halloween we'll have finalized, we hope, as many of the drawings as we can before we start actually cutting into walls and doing construction," McCoy said. "So, when all the kids come through on Halloween each book that we give away will have a website that has pictures of the board, the colors and plan for the rooms."
Along with input on what the community would like to see included in the renovation, the library will also be holding a contest to name the renovation project.
"I like the idea of naming the project because the word renovation carries a lot of negative connotations like construction zone, tearing things a part and limited access," board member Tona Gardner said.
McCoy also updated the board on the hiring of a new early childhood librarian.
"We interviewed several candidates and we found a spectacular person, Leslie Stimpert," McCoy explained. "She is from Colorado, her husband works at DePauw and she has two fantastic children who are in middle school. She did some story times and apparently she was terrific. She's wonderful. She's going to be a huge asset."
The board unanimously approved the hiring of Stimpert at a rate of $13 per hour at 20 hours a week.
The search for a new library director continues as Vice President Diana LaViolette informed the board that they have received applications from some promising candidates.
"We've reduced the number of applicants to a certain number that we're going to do phone interviews with," LaViolette said. "We're very excited really about the credentials and the qualifications that they all have."
Although the library is accepting applications through Monday, they have already planned to begin phone interviews the following week. It is likely that the library will hire a new director prior to its November board meeting.
"We really are enthusiastic," LaViolette said. "We're intent on getting this done as quickly and efficiently as possible."
In other business:
* The board previously approved to purchase eight new computers, the computers are in and all are nearly ready to be introduced as public computers with the proper security software.
* The board agreed to have the Friends of the Library run the Imagination Library Endowment. The board originally set a goal of $25,000, which would give the library a match of $0.50 on the dollar. Thus far, $19,910 has been raised. However the board has till the end of the year to raise the remainder.