Chesterton Tribune



Chester Inc. to audit Westchester Library technology infrastructure

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The topic of conversation was technology at the Westchester Public Library’s Board of Trustees meeting Thursday night.

Library Director Lisa Stamm reported that she has retained the services of Chester Inc. for technology consulting and mapping the library’s information technology infrastructure.

Creating a map of that infrastructure is termed an internal controls technology audit.

According to Stamm’s report, “Its purpose is to create a blueprint of WPL’s internal technologies, including but not limited to assessing backup and recovery procedures, highlighting areas in which efficiency might be improved, identifying access points, evaluating security processes, and determining potential risks.” Stamm said that she spoke with several Indiana library directors who worked with Chester and recommended its services.

In related business, the Board authorized Stamm to join the Northern Indiana Computer Consortium of Libraries (NICCL). The group meets four times a year to share ideas and information on best practices. Membership in the group also includes discounts on certain software, hardware, and support services--including services from Chester. Annual membership is $50.

Stamm said that both the audit and the NICCL membership will help ensure that the WPL stays up-to-date on technology and continues doing the best it can to avoid possible interruptions in operation as well as security breaches.

Librarian’s Report

In her Librarian’s Report, Stamm told the Board that other changes to business operations and some repairs are coming up soon at the library. Hand dryers, a total of eight, and old tile will be replaced in both staff and patron restrooms. Ellis Electric Inc. will remove the old dryers and install new Excel hand dryers for $7,260. The tile will be done by Dennis & Sons builders for $5,500. This work will be completed within the next two months.

Also, the WPL will be ready to accept payments for fines and fees of at least one dollar with credit or debit cards starting this week. Managers will receive training on using the Polaris card machines on May 16, and the machines will be installed by the end of the week.

Stamm reported as well that the April Friends of the Library book sale netted $4,847.21. The Friends held a breakfast on May 5 at which they presented a check for $7,000 to Stamm to support programming efforts.

The library will be closed for the annual staff luncheon from 12 to 2 p.m. July 18. Stamm suggested that the WPL consider closing the library for a full day in future years to host a staff appreciation and training day. She said the practice, which is common at other libraries, would absorb the luncheon and provide more time to conduct training and team building exercises and recognize individual staff contributions. The Board was receptive to the idea but took no action at this time. Stamm said she would like to have the first staff appreciation and training day next fall if the Board approves.

Other Business

In other business, Stamm has evaluated and made some changes to the WPL Patron Conduct Policy. She first opted to change the title of the policy to “Unacceptable Behavior Policy.” Some of her changes were adding guidance for how library staff should handle issues where a patron’s personal hygiene is disturbing other patrons or staff at the library and removing outdated rules. Patrons can now keep their cell phones turned on in the library as long as they are not breaking one of the other rules in using it.

The Board approved a resolution to renew the nonresident card fee, which is $175. The nonresident card fee applies only to patrons who do not benefit from agreements with other local library systems, according to Board Attorney Terry Hiestand. Hiestand said the fee is really only intended for out-of-state patrons wishing to have a WPL card.



Posted 5/15/2018




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