Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Westchester Library Board to view new layout at Hageman

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By PAULENE POPARAD

There are some big changes at Hageman Library in Porter, and the Westchester Public Library Board wants to see them in person.

Meeting Thursday, board members agreed to conduct their 7 p.m. Nov. 12 meeting at Hageman. The board usually meets at Thomas Library in Chesterton.

Library director Phil Baugher said Hageman branch manager Suzi Chomel and employees there have rearranged the floor plan. ďI think it really looks great. Itís more open, more inviting, less cluttered.Ē

The Story Hour area is now by the window, and computers and book stacks were moved to enable a better flow. Library Board president Vern Odom said members also can inspect the new furnaces and air conditioning unit installed at Hageman earlier this year.

In other business, Baugher reported Thomas Library restrooms were kept busy with about 70 inquiries for their location during the Sept. 19/20 Wizard of Oz Festival in downtown Chesterton. The two-day library circulation of materials slumped to 1,179 items. 2009 weekend circulation (excluding 4th of July) averages 1,810 items.

Baugher said he believes itís worth being open during Oz Fest to serve WPL patrons despite their difficulty finding a parking space in Thomasí own lots. ďI donít know how they get here,Ē said Odom.

Overall September circulation was up 6.18 percent and up 7.05 percent year-to-date with a total 297,179 items circulated this year. Public service units, each one a single opportunity to serve a patron, were up 12 percent in September and 10 percent year-to-date with 713,743 PSUs recorded.

By unanimous vote with members Karen Nash and Sharon Robbins absent, the Library Board approved increasing the sum of WPLís credit card accounts from $40,000 to a maximum combined $60,000. All charges are paid in full when the bill is due.

The charge limit for the acquisitions manager also was raised from $20,000 to $25,000 and for the administrative assistant from $10,000 to $25,000. The director and head custodian each have a $5,000 charge limit.

Baugher said a problem arose when 15 laptops were ordered last month exceeding the previous $10,000 limit, and that more book ordering is being done online with credit cards. The laptops will be used for staff training and for public computer classes that begin Monday.

A public hearing last night on WPLís proposed 2010 budget drew no comment. A second public hearing and adoption is set for a special meeting Oct. 22. Baugher said WPL received its 2008 property-tax settlement check from Porter County in the amount of $133,000.

The Library Board voted 5-0 to rejoin the Indiana Library Federation at a cost of $2,000 after it was announced ILF will oppose any legislation to consolidate libraries; last year the federation was not so inclined, said Baugher, prompting WPL trustees to withdraw.

The library itself and administrators individually are ILF members. Baugher said he learned at a recent ILF forum that although a library-consolidation bill might be introduced, passage in the coming General Assembly session isnít likely. WPL strongly opposed last yearís consolidation efforts.

On another matter, Baugher said it now appears WPL and other public libraries will not have to test the ink for lead in its Childrenís Department books.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has determined that despite a new law, libraries have no obligation to test. Concern arose over lead in some paint on toys from China, where increasingly books are being published.

Jane Walsh-Brown, assistant WPL director and director of the WPL-operated Westchester Township History Museum, said the museumís current exhibit on the Life and Work of Earl H. Reed is generating a lot of interest.

The exhibit, which ends Nov. 27, includes a gallery demonstration by Stephanie Carnell on Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. Notecards featuring the work of Reed, known as the etcher of the Dunes, will be available at the museum gift shop.

Walsh-Brown also said she is setting up a Facebook page to help publicize the libraryís programs and services.

 

Posted 10/9/2009

 

 

 

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