Minutes of the October Library Board Meeting

The Ainsworth Library Board held their monthly meeting on October 6, 2021 at the Ainsworth Public Library.  President Phyllis Leach called the meeting to order at 5 p.m.  Notice was given on the posting of the Nebraska Open Meeting Act.  Roll call showed four members present.  They included Todd Flynn, Luke Hitchcock, Phyllis Leach, and Alane Lentz.  Member Stacie Gilliland was absent.  Library Director, Gail Irwin, was also present for the meeting.

Todd Flynn made the motion to approve the minutes of the last meeting.  Luke Hitchcock seconded this with all members voting in favor of.  Alane Lentz moved to approve the end of year claims for payment.  Todd Flynn seconded this with all members voting in favor of.  An update was given on the budget for our new fiscal year starting October 1st.  A list of titles purchased was shared with the board.  The Monthly Library Report for September was shared.  It was noted that the Library employees were invited to a City employee appreciation event on Sept. 24th at the Golf Course but library staff had already made other plans and could not attend.  Discussion was held at this time on closing the Library for Columbus Day like the rest of the city departments.  The Board approved the library being closed on the 11th.  The 2020-2021 fiscal year report will be presented at the next meeting.

The ARPA (American Rescue Plan) Formula Grant was submitted on 9-21-2021.  The check in the amount of $4,196 was received and made payable to the Ainsworth Library Foundation as we had requested.  Invoices and completion of the final report is due before the grant deadline of June 30, 2022. 

The NLC Youth Grant for Excellence application was submitted on 9-24-21. The grant application ties in with the Community Needs Response Plan of our Library.   We requested a total of $2,174 to purchase STEM/STEAM equipment, supplies, and books.  We plan to purchase a table/storage on wheels; Kid Spark Engineering Pathways Mobile STEM lab; Fort Building Kit; 4 pounds of Legos pieces, mini-figure people, and base plates; Alarm/Timer; STEM Books for grade school, middle school, and high school students.  We will be notified around October 29th as to if we were approved for this grant or not.

The 2022 ARPA Library Improvement Grant application was submitted on October 5, 2021.  We are requesting a total of $ 1,428 to purchase Makerspace equipment and supplies.  We plan to purchase a Cricut Mug Press; Button Maker 1.25”/punch cutter; Small laminator for regular size paper and smaller; Wood Burning Kit with Soldering Iron; and supplies for these items as well as the heat press and Cricut Maker purchased right before Covid-19 issues hit.  All of the items were tied into the Community Needs Response Plan of our library; the Community’s Strategic Plan; and the Maker Space Survey completed by local citizens in 2018.  We will be notified around November 1st if we are awarded this grant or not.

A review was presented on the 9/11 Memorial Poster Exhibition on display at our library from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.  A great number of people looked the posters over as well as the display of titles from our collection on this event.  The school teachers were notified of this display as well as the online resources available.  A final report will be submitted soon.

An update was presented on the Author Visit/Book Signing event for local author Bob Ross on September 27th at 3 p.m.   Close to a dozen people attended.  Refreshments were served by the Library Foundation members of Wendy Allen and Marsha Fuchs. A copy of the book “Billy Above the Roofs” was presented to the Library.

Matt Mason, Nebraska State Poet, was at our library on October 4th to present a program.  We had 15 people attend.  The library purchased two of his older books and the poet gave the library his newest title.   Board member, Alane Lentz, stated that his readings were very enjoyable.  Refreshments were served by Foundation member Wendy Allen and Director, Gail Irwin.

The Nebraska Library Commission has renewed the Public Performance Site License for the Nebraska public libraries through the Swank Movie Licensing USA Company.  This will run from October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022.  The board was reminded of the rules the library needs to comply with on this license.

Under meetings and workshops, a review was given on the Thursday Director’s Zoom Meeting held on Sept. 16th, 23rd, and 30th.  It was noted that Wanda Raymond and Gail Irwin would be attending the Nebraska Makerspace Conference in Lincoln on November 2nd-3rd.  The ladies will be on some panels to take questions from other libraries.  The travel, registration, and lodging will be paid by the Innovation Studio Grant.  The Library Foundation Board will be meeting on November 17th.  Library Director will be in Lincoln for the Nebraska State Advisory Council Meeting on the 18th of November.  The two part time staff members will be attending the Fall in Love with Cricut Workshop on November 20th in Grand Island.  Board President Phyllis Leach stated that she would be interested in the workshop in Atkinson on November 10th.  Director will get her registered for this.   The Board would receive 3 CE’s for attending this workshop towards Board Certification. 

Under correspondence, a letter from the Nebraska Library Association was shared.  It noted that the Golden Sower list of 2022-2023 Chapter Book Nominees contains 11 titles instead of the usual 10.  The Golden Sower nominees are chosen through the efforts of a group of volunteer readers from across the state.  One of these readers objected to the inclusion of one title due to LGBTQIA+ content.  An almost-final list was released prematurely on social media and following commentary, the title was replaced on the final list along with the first alternate.  That substitution was made without consulting the full Golden Sower Committee.  The NLA Executive Board became aware of the issue.  Following a discussion, it was determined that the title should be returned to the selection and thus there are now 11 titles.  The NLA wants everyone to know that the Association does not condone censorship, and stands with the American Library Association, Nebraska School Librarians Association, and American Association of School Librarians in that regard.  Items of interest from Library Newsletters and Journals were shared with the Board.

The next meeting date was set for one week later than usual due to Director being in Lincoln on that date.  The board will be meeting on November 10th at 5 p.m.  Since there was no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 5:39 p.m.

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