Library Board adds members, switches search database

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Putnam County Library Board had a lot to be melancholy about during its monthly meeting on Wednesday evening. The board said goodbye to longtime member Ken Heeke while celebrating an increase in circulation at the library.

As members bid farewell to Heeke, the feeling was bittersweet for him. After years of serving on the library board, it had become all too familiar territory for him.

"I think it's good for a board to change, especially for a non-profit one," Heeke said. "It's always good to have fresh eyes. You guys have a lot of good opportunities coming up."

David Taylor will succeed Heeke beginning July 1. The Putnam County Commissioners recently appointed Taylor to the board.

Previous months have seen a slight decline in foot traffic and circulation. However, in the month of May an increase was seen, possibly due to many being on summer vacation.

"It's looking better this month," said Library Director Alice Greenburg. "It's been very busy."

During the month of May circulation saw a nine percent increase and a four percent increase in patrons using the library.

However, due to the ever-changing technology, Internet usage is maintaining its steady decline.

"Internet use is still down for whatever reason," said Greenburg. "The staff believes it may be due to smart phones."

Smart phones can no doubt play a part in the steady decline that the library has saw for months. As more and more people move to better technology, users now have the technology and Internet in their hands, thus a decrease in use of library computers.

Greenburg recently received approval for the purchase of three new databases from Gale Publications.

The databases will include Chilton Car Repair, Legal Forms and Reference.

"It will expand our offerings electronically," Greenburg said. "It looks like a good product, which will serve as an alternative to Google searching."

The cost of the subscription for the Chilton Car Repair and Legal forms is $1,799 for the year. The reference database totaled a one-time fee of $2,500.

The databases are expected to launch within the next few weeks and can be accessed an unlimited number of times from anywhere while using a library card to sign in.

A recent change in the law has allowed transfers within certain budget categories such as personal services, supplies, capital and other services and charges.

The board approved Greenburg to be able to make transfers to keep certain accounts open when needed, so a resolution will no longer be needed to make these transfers.

The board approved the purchase of a new disc repair machine. The current machine was purchased in 2004 and requires a lot of staff time and effort.

"For a number of years we used the machine to keep the collection in good shape," Pat Neuman of the library technical services said.

The machine allows the library to repair light to heavily damaged discs without having to purchase new ones. Since purchasing the last machine over 8,000 discs have been heavily resurfaced.

"You can't just keep throwing (the discs) out and buying new ones," explained Neuman. "It's incredibly cost effective. This piece of equipment pays for itself in no time at all."

The new machine, the Eco Auto-Smart Disc Repair, will coast $4,825.

The board approved the new hire of Bonnie Hemmerling as driver of the Bookmobile. Last month the board had hired someone else for the position, but was seen as not a good fit.

The next library board meeting will take place on July 25 at 6 p.m.

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  • Grammar check, please! This IS a newspaper article about a library, after all ... right?

    -- Posted by Balding Eagle on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 8:05 AM
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