The Whitman County Commissioners recently appointed Ronda Penwell to the Whitman County Library Board of…
Present: Bob Bates, Chuck Petras, Rich Chittenden, Becky Dickerson, Steve Balzarini, Kristie Kirkpatrick and Peggy Bryan.
Board chair Bob Bates called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.
The minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed. Becky Dickerson motioned to approve the July minutes, Chuck Petras seconded and the motion passed.
Peggy presented the financial reports for June through August 2014. She presented payment voucher resolution #7-14 totaling $253,060.64. Chuck Petras made a motion to approve the resolution; Becky Dickerson seconded and the motion passed.
Kristie reported that traditional circulation rose slightly for July 2014 and ½ of branches showed increases in usage. Most sizeable increases were in Albion (250% increase!!), Endicott, Malden, Palouse and Rosalia for the largest increases. Children’s program attendance rose by 250 and computer use in branches rose by 650 uses. Digital usage continues to climb.
In reviewing database usage, it was noted that a number of changes are coming to the library’s databases. A to Z Databases (ultimate business and lookup resource) is being added thanks to contract funds from the Port of Whitman. My Heritage USA replaces Ancestry.com in the genealogy department, Powerspeak Languages replaces LiveMocha which is now defunct and A to Z the World is being added (everything there is to know about 175+ countries.) Learn-a-test.com goes away to help afford the language database.
For August 2014, traditional circulation dropped by 12% with every branch showing a decline except Garfield and Malden. Young adult and adult program attendance did see a strong increase as did eBook checkouts.
The Board discussed book donation policies along with the Friends of Whitman County Library and their many contributions. It was decided that Sue Hallett will be invited to an upcoming meeting.
The fair booth was also discussed with questions about the winning photograph. Kristie will report back and also contact Becky at the Community Current for a follow up story.
Kristie reviewed WCL’s most recent branch connectivity grant explaining that last spring, WCL received approx. $10,000 in LSTA grant funding to purchase routers to connect our branches to the high speed fiber backbone that was funded by previous statewide BTOP (Broadband Technologies Opportunity) grants totaling $224 million and in partnership with Noanet and the Port of Whitman. Our technology staff has been working diligently to complete the requirements of this new grant which has a very short timeline.
To date, Oakesdale, Colfax, Albion, Colton, Palouse, Garfield and Uniontown are connected to the fiber. Rosalia should be completed this week. Work still remains in Palouse and Garfield. Challenges remain due to the filtering system we share with Neill Public Library at a great savings to us.
James has seen a number of challenges this summer as Pullman’s IT manager has taken a new job. We rely on the City of Pullman for some networking services and with that position being vacant James has had to fill the knowledge vacuum without any training. WCL technology staffer Don Appel has gone to part-time working Thursday and Fridays.
Kristie reported that she filed a grant application for the Uniontown Library renovation project with the Inland Northwest Community Foundation and also that a fundraising raffle is currently taking place. Goal is to renovate in early 2015.
Avista Foundation was named Library Supporter of the Month for September, noting their support of countywide summer reading each year, $10,000 donation to The Center’s new façade, renovation funding in Colfax, Endicott and Lacrosse, support of Malden branch hours, a lighting project in Oakesdale and more.
Kristie presented resolution #11-14, changing WCL Board meetings to the 3rd Monday of each month. Chuck Petras made a motion to accept the resolution, Steve Balzarini seconded and the motion passed.
Peggy presented resolution #8-14, Budget Revision for 2014. After reviewing the changes, Chuck Petras made a motion to approve the budget revision; Steve Balzarini seconded and the motion passed. Peggy presented resolution #9-14, Budget for 2015. She reviewed the line items in the budget and after a brief discussion, Steve Balzarini made a motion to approve the budget; Rich Chittenden seconded and the motion passed.
Peggy presented resolution #10-14 for the levy amounts increasing property tax for and levy certification for 2015, as required by RCW 84.52.020. Steve Balzarini made a motion to approve the resolution, Becky Dickerson seconded and the motion passed.
Kristie reported that the Colfax Mayor and city administrator have requested a new contract be drawn between the City and the Library District as the current contract dates to 1983. Kristie confirmed that the contract should be modified as the formula previously used to compile Colfax’s annual share of facility costs has been modified over the years. The Board encouraged Kristie to remember that the current contract is very fair, has worked well for 32 years and its intent should remain the same. Kristie reported that any contractual changes will need Board approval and the review of the library’s attorney. She will report back in October.
Kristie shared photos and statistics from all 14 branches for Summer Reading 2014. The theme Fizz, Boom, Read with its STEM focus made for some great programs and guests that included the Palouse Science Center, First Wind, local science teachers and more. Children completing the program chose a book while teens and adults were entered into local and countywide drawings for some great prizes. Thanks especially to Friends of WCL, Washington State Employee Credit Union and CDA Casino for their generosity.
Overall the number of people completing the program grew slightly while program attendance declined by 432 or 18%. Children’s attendance dropped while teen and adult participation grew by 25%. A number of branch locations failed to get any participants in the teen and adult age groups with staff planning to resolve that in 2015.
WCL provided Summer Reading programs at the park in Lamont as well, culminating with a magic show.
Kristie invited Board members to attend Milt Priggee’s presentation as well as marketing workshops in early October.
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:01. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, April 15th at 4 p.m. at the Colfax Library.
Kristie Kirkpatrick, Secretary Pro-Tem
Bob Bates, Board Chair
For more information, contact:
Kristie Kirkpatrick at 509-397-4366