Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New projects coming from board meeting

By Laura Schmidt

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — The Plattsburgh Public Library Board of Trustees held a meeting late Oct. to discuss ways to improve the standards of the library environment for the upcoming year.
            Shirley O'Conner, vice president of the Board of Trustees, called the meeting to order on Oct. 27 in the smart room of the public library. Since all of these meetings are open to the public, individuals such as members of the library staff and other representatives were present as well.
            Seven men and women of the board sat at a round table underneath a new lighting fixture the library just installed. The meeting was called to order at 4:32 p.m. by O'Conner.
            The meeting began with a call for concern about a vacant librarian position that needs to be filled immediately. Joseph Dugan, who works in the children section of the library, voiced his opinion on the pertinence of filling the position.
            “I think we should hire the new librarian as soon as possible,” Dugen said. “We could always use more employees to help make the library more functional and fun for everyone.”
            A library page, Don Little, who is responsible for putting books and other items in the correct place and keeping the library orderly, stood behind Dugen's statement. Little explained how the library “is short-staffed enough as it is” and it would be “really great to have new faces around here.”
            After brief whispers, the board unanimously agreed with the statements of all who spoke and decided to make to a priority to begin the process of taking applications and resumes in order to hire a qualified individual.
            Jennifer Creed, a member of the board, started the next discussion of installing an interactive whiteboard for the library and when it will be officially purchased and put in. A few members weren't agreeing completely with the big purchase but others quickly explained how it would be a worthwhile purchase.
            “It would be $1,300 plus installation which would be a bit more than we usually spend on one item,” Kerry Lee, member of the board, said. “But I think it would be a wise investment down the road.”
            “I agree,” O'Conner said. “I believe we should continue through with our current plans to try and get it installed by mid-December.”
            The board went on to discuss things such as the upcoming 2016 budget and how buying the whiteboard, hiring new employees and other expenses may affect the new year.
            The next big expense on their list for the upcoming year is a new security system. The system is rather expensive, about $10,000 to be specific. The board’s resistance seems natural but with certain grants they hope to have the money available within a few months.
            “The new security system is definitely necessary,” Creed said. “The one we're using now has too many glitches and shuts down too much. It isn't safe.”
            The meeting then began bouncing ideas around of how to create revenue for the library. Some offered the idea to extend invitations to frequent visitors to take part in activities held such as small group painting classes and poetry days.
            After another short discussion to brainstorm possible dates for these events, the meeting began to end.
            The board has a lot of big plans towards revitalizing the library and using what resources they have wisely. O'Conner believes 2016 will be “a growing year for the library.” The Board of Trustees meeting will be held Nov. 24 in the smart room of the Plattsburgh Public Library and, as always, all are welcome.


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