The Whitman County Commissioners recently appointed Ronda Penwell to the Whitman County Library Board of…
Present: Rebecca Dickerson, Bob Bates, Chuck Petras, Rich Chittenden, Steve Balzarini and Kristie Kirkpatrick.
Board chair Bob Bates called the meeting to order at 5:45.
The minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed. Steve Balzarini motioned to approve the June minutes, Chuck Petras seconded and the motion passed.
There were no financial reports as Peggy is on vacation.
Kristie reported on Circulation for June 2014. Traditional circulation increased for the first time in a very long time, climbing by 325 checkouts. Movies, large print and adult NF saw the biggest increases. Branches seeing the biggest gains were Malden, Garfield, Uniontown, Endicott and Colfax , in that order.
Program attendance also saw big increases with staff deserving high praise for their quality programs and handling the increased workloads.
The only area with a marked drop is database usage with rural heritage accounting for the biggest drop of 16,500 uses. Obviously, you have to wonder if last year’s statistic was correct. On a bright note, use of Heritage Quest climbed by 225 uses and Consumer Reports was up by 20. Since digital checkouts are becoming such an important service, Becky asked that usage statistics from the previous year be included to make comparison with current usage easier.
OLD BUSINESS: Kristie reported that the library is contracting with the Port to offer Business Incubation and expanded business resources to residents. The Port is paying $10,000 to WCL for these services. This fall, work on The Center resumes with modifications to the front and adding an entry way from the Center to the library.
Fundraising and grant writing are continuing for the Uniontown Branch Library, including a raffle.
NEW BUSINESS: Supporter of the month for July is Balloon Biz and Hillary Lawson. Kristie thanked board members for assisting in the presentation earlier in the evening. Supporter for August will be Avista who’ve donated to the Center, a number of library renovations, fund countywide summer reading and past library hours for Malden and Lamont. Policy of the month discussion centered upon the open meetings act and a new requirement that all Board members participate in training every 4 years. Kristie will send a direct link for members to take the online class. Additionally, Kristie and Peggy will be taking Open Public Records training.
Whitman County Library recently received two LSTA grant; Rural Heritage Grant Award of $2820 and Broadband Enhancement Grant Award of $10,000. Other recent awards included $10,000 from Avista for The Center façade and $10,000 from contracting services for the Port.
Summer Reading is in full swing for all ages and it was noted that the caliber of countywide children’s programming has been top notch. Kristie praised her staff for their efforts and shared a list of more than 180 Summer Reading supporters whose contributions are most needed and appreciated.
Kristie mentioned an upcoming Teen program that will build a Rube Goldberg Machine. Chuck explained to the group what that is and a discussion ensued about the difficulty in getting teens to read during the summer and participate in Summer Reading. Washington State Employee Credit Union was praised for its donation of a Tablet for a Teen prize and 3 gift baskets for adults.
Board members were encouraged to send one book recommendation/review to Kristie for her Daily News column and to participate in Summer Reading. Tekoa Branch Manager Diane Harp joined the meeting during this discussion.
Diane mentioned that the City of Tekoa has assisted in funding special guests for her Summer Reading programs for the past two years. Kristie will send them a thank you note and add them to the list of future Supporters of the Month.
Kristie shared her recent report to First Wind thanking them for their support of the Oakesdale and Rosalia Branch Libraries and requesting support for the coming year. Kristie also completed her report of her meeting with the Whitman County Commissioners in early spring.
OTHER: Kristie reported that Don Appel has returned to library employment part-time. She also reported that a recent salary study showed WCL to be 20% below library salaries for libraries the size of WCL due to the districts the challenges of operating 14 branch libraries. The district has made progress in raising starting salaries for branch managers and library assistants.
Rich suggested that the library secure book/movie returns from stores like Hollywood Video and Hastings that are going out of business. WCL will keep this in mind as replacements are needed.
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned followed by dinner at the Feeding Station. There will be no meeting in August and next meeting will be September 16 at Colfax.
Kristie Kirkpatrick, Secretary Pro-Tem
Bob Bates, Board Chair
For more information, contact:
Kristie Kirkpatrick at 509-397-4366