Minutes of the March Library Board Meeting

The Ainsworth Library Board held their regular monthly meeting on March 2, 2022 at the Ainsworth Public Library.  This meeting was advertised in the local newspaper, over the radio, and on the Library’s website.  President Phyllis Leach called the meeting to order at 5 p.m.  Notice was given on the posting of the Nebraska Open Meetings Act.  Roll call showed four members present (Todd Flynn, Stacie Gilliland, Luke Hitchcock, and Phyllis Leach).  Member Alane Lentz was absent.  Library Director, Gail Irwin, was also present for the meeting.

Stacie Gilliland made the motion to approve the minutes.  Todd Flynn seconded this with all members voting in favor of.  Stacie Gilliland moved to approve the claims for payment which Todd Flynn seconded.  All voted in favor of.  The Monthly Library Report and List of Titles Purchased were shared with the Board.

The Board spent some time on the purchases from the ARPA Formula Grant. Discussion was held on purchase of security cameras and different types to buy.  The STEM items purchased with the ARPA Youth Grant for Excellence was shown to the Board.  The Library Staff will now start programs with them. The ARPA Library Improvement Grant funds have not arrived yet so Director is still working on items to order with it.

A review was done on the Blind Date with a Book program held all of February.  We had a total of 13 readers try a blind date.  Danielle Witte was the winner of the “Love” basket.

For Read Across America Day, the library held a Dr. Seuss Hour on March 1st from 4-5 p.m.  We had a total of 25 attend.  We read several Seuss stories, played some games and activities, plus did a Thing 1 and Thing2 Hand Print Craft.

It was noted that the staff continues to work on the Summer Reading Program as time allows.  Due to the lower numbers of covid-19 in the area, we do plan on holding Toddler Time this year.

The Ainsworth Art Guild has asked if they could hold their Annual Spring Art Show at the Library.  It will be on display from April 9th-30th.  The winning selections will then move on to the state competition.

Some data about library fines was shared with the Board.  Many libraries in the U.S. are not charging fines anymore. The Nebraska Library Commission recently did a short survey asking if fines are collected for overdue items.  The survey received 189 responses.  31% charge fines for everything that is overdue, 11% charge fines for some items or borrower age groups, and 48% don’t charge any fines.  Our library has not been collecting much revenue from fines and the Board may decide to not charge fines when they see how much was collected this fiscal year.

Discussion was held on the library’s Challenges/Reconsideration of Material Policy and our Request for Withdrawal of Material Form.  The Board would like to update the form to include all items found in the library (ebooks, movie, magazine, audio recording, digital resource, game, newspaper, etc.) besides just books and to add the following question: Do you represent yourself or an organization?   Luke Hitchcock made the motion to add the new Library Request for Reconsideration of Material Form to our existing policy and the following four paragraphs to our policy:

Potential Problems or Challenges:  The Ainsworth Public Library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons.  Selection of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the basis of the principles stated in this policy. 

Responsibility for the reading of children rests with their parents or legal guardians.  Selection of library material will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children.

Library Materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and no library material will be sequestered except to protect it from damage or theft.

Although materials are carefully selected, there can arise differences of opinions regarding suitable materials.  Patrons requesting that material be withdrawn from or restricted within the collection may complete a “Request for reconsideration of Material” form which is available at the library.  The inquiry will be placed on the agenda of the next regular meeting of the Ainsworth Library Board of Trustees.

Stacie Gilliland seconded this with all members voting in favor of.

A review was given on the Thursday Director’s Zoom meeting that the Director attended on Feb. 3rd, 17th, and 24th.  It was noted that all staff attended the day long Big Talk for Small Libraries Conference on the 25th.  Library Board member, Alane Lentz, joined the group for one session that day.  Staff had attended a Reader’s Zone Update Zoom Meeting on the 28th.  It was noted that staff plans to attend the Aquatic WILD by Nebraska Game and Parks/Library System on March 8th.  Board member Todd Flynn stated he would be interested in watching a recording of Aquatic Wild if possible.   Library Director will arrange this for him.  Coming up will be the Nebraska 4/H STEM on Reading Connection Zoom Meeting and the State Advisory Council on Libraries on March 18th in Lincoln.

Under correspondence, a response letter from Rep. Adrian Smith was shared.  An email was also shared on the starting of a mail list for Nebraska Makerspaces to network and communicate with each other. 

The next meeting date was set for April 13th at 5 p.m.   Since there was no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 5:55 p.m.

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