Alva Public Library connects with students
November 14, 2021
What do elementary students think about the Alva Public Library? Youth librarian Amy Ryerson visited with each of the classes at Lincoln Elementary School to find out. She told the students about the various materials and resources available at the library and asked student to fill out a short survey.
Library Director Sandra Ott talked about the Lincoln school visit during her report to library board members Monday afternoon. Present for the meeting were Chairman Lynn Wilt, Patty Harkin, Len Reed, Marilyn Clyne and Taylor Dowling. April Ridgway and Chris Eckhardt were absent.
Ott said the library will be using a new book labeling system in the youth department. That department has several different sections such as beginning readers, level 1 and 2 readers, and award winners. It could be confusing to decide where to place a returned book.
Ott showed board members several books with transparent colored labels so parents, kids and library employees can see the category at a glance. For example, the beginning reader books will have a green label on the spine.
The library is advertising for a new part-time employee. This will be a seasonal position for the spring semester. They are looking for someone who has graduated from high school and has some post-secondary education.
Ott handed out copies of several library policies and guidelines. Included were the selection policy for library materials, the procedure for material challenge and/or reconsideration of materials in the collection, the meeting room policy, and food and drink guidelines.
Regarding the food and drink guidelines, Ott said the library will allow visitors to bring in food between the hours of 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. along with covered drinks to consume in a designated area on the main floor.
Dowling asked if the library has many requests for reconsideration of materials in the collection. Ott said they have had a few challenges, but after hearing the reasons for the objection and explaining the reason the materials are in the library, they have always reached an agreement for the materials to remain.
Board members discussed the library board meeting schedule for the next calendar year and decided to leave the meetings at 3:45 p.m. on the second Monday of each month. The December meeting will be held at noon on Dec. 13 with a meal served.
Three computer tables to help with social distancing and some new chairs for the magazine area have been ordered using grant funding. Ott said the new chairs will be easier to clean and sanitize.
Library Statistics and Finances
Library board members looked over financial information. Ott said prices for utilities have increased, and she is tracking the item carefully. The library has used a larger than expected portion of that budget item; however, summer cooling costs are usually higher than heat in the winter.
Book checkouts were down in October compared to September, but Ott said this is a normal trend. Movie checkouts have continued at about the summer level; they usually drop off in the fall. Computer use is down because the library is not allowing children to use them right now.
A larger number of books was mailed for inter-library loans resulting in higher postage expense. However, the library’s charge for copies and faxes was enough to cover the postage.
The library has opened up meeting rooms for small groups. There were three meetings in September, two in October, and reservations are being accepted for November. Virtual learning teachers and their students have also been using the library for in person meetings, but those are not tracked by library staff.