Chesterton Tribune



Westchester Library Board creates young adult librarian position

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Westchester Public Library will soon have a dedicated young adult librarian--the Westchester Public Library’s Board of Trustees approved Library Director Lisa Stamm’s creation of the position at its meeting Thursday.

Stamm said strong libraries commonly dedicate a professional position to designing and implementing programs for tweens (ages eight to 12) and teens (ages 13 to 18). The new librarian will be responsible for tween and teen programs at both branches, youth outreach, creating and managing a teen volunteer group, and collection development for young adult materials.

Stamm said the Thomas Reference Librarian, Thomas Branch Manager, and Hageman Branch Manager currently split these duties, which is unfair to them and means WPL isn’t putting its best foot forward for tween and teen patrons.

The ideal candidate will have a Master of Library Science degree (MLS) and relate well with those age groups. Stamm and Board members agreed tweens and teens are tough groups to attract to the library. “The tweens don’t want to hang out with the kids because they’re too old, but the teens don’t want to hang out with them, so they’re looking for those dedicated programs,” Stamm said.

The position will have a negotiable starting salary of $36,000, and cost an estimated additional $15,183 per year for health and life insurance and contributions to a health savings account and the Public Employees Retirement Fund (PERF). The current budget sustains those costs, as WPL has budgeted for a vacant IT Manager position. Stamm doesn’t plan to hire an IT Manager next year but isn’t eliminating the position, either.

Librarian’s Report

Resident cardholders can again stop in at either branch to pick up a free “We Love Our Library” yard sign while supplies last. Stamm reported she ordered 400 more signs after the first 250 went quickly back in March. The signs, which denote support for local libraries as the State Legislature considers new library-relevant laws, cost a total of $1,800, paid from the advertising line item.

WPL received a memorial donation of $250 from Barbara McLemore in honor of her husband Jim McLemore, who used to frequent the Library, and especially loved the A/V department. Stamm said Jim has been missed around WPL, and staff recall him as “wonderful and sweet.”

WPL’s first ever staff in-service day Sept. 27 was reportedly received well by employees. Employees can sign-up for Hoosier S.T.A.R.T. this month, and Hoosier S.T.A.R.T. representative Todd Williams will be available to help interested employees, according to Stamm. Stamm also reported she plans to have WPL’s new online calendar and room reservation software go live by the end of October. Replacement of the Baugher Center patio and Thomas Branch staff doors is in the works since the Department of Local Government Finance green-lit WPL’s additional appropriation from its reserve funds.

In September, 27,976 people visited the Library. 1,253 people attended 65 programs, and 381 people used meeting rooms.



Posted 10/14/2019







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