There's a good reason why Westchester Public Library Board members began
Thursday's meeting by sharing a cake decorated like a book.
It was a good-bye celebration for 15-year member John Corso, who is moving
out of Westchester Township and has resigned his seat effective June 20. He
may continue to serve for up to 60 days until his replacement is named.
Corso said he thought it would take several months to sell his Chesterton
home and he likely could serve out his current term, which ends in March,
but instead the home sold within weeks.
It will be up to the Duneland School Board to name Corso's replacement, but
as is the custom the Library Board will make a recommendation. Anyone
wishing to serve and who has been a Westchester Township resident for the
past two years should contact library director Phil Baugher or a Library
A special board meeting June 23 at 7:30 p.m. was set to review the
Members expressed regret that Corso will be leaving. "Your input on this
board has been very helpful," said Rick Hokanson. Breaking with tradition,
Corso was asked to make Thursday's motion to adjourn typically done by
member Vern Odom.
A second resignation was announced. Minutes recorder Tyler DeMar also will
be leaving; applications for that position are being accepted as well.
Earlier this year assistant library director Jane Walsh-Brown announced her
planned retirement at year's end.
Also Thursday, by unanimous vote the Library Board adopted a resolution
formally electing circulation manager Claire Williams as assistant treasurer
with authorization to approve warrants using board treasurer Nick Tilden's
signature stamp in his absence. The board agreed with member Drew Rhed's
suggestion that the assistant treasurer initial warrants when using the
Board members got their first look at Baugher's proposed 2012 budget that
contemplates 2 percent raises for employees other than himself and divides
Walsh-Brown's previous dual responsibilities between a professional
librarian and a curator of the WPL-operated Westchester Township History
The $2.9 million budget projects spending $430,000 for books, periodicals,
newspapers and non-printed materials such as on-line services, DVDs, CDs,
audio books, downloadable e-books and other related purchases.
The 2012 plan also allows $55,000 for architectural and construction
spending to make the 1975 first-floor restrooms at Thomas Library
handicapped accessible. An upgrade of the Library Service Center's main
restrooms is under way now.
Next year Baugher hopes to make a $435,000 transfer to the Library
Improvement Reserve Fund; he noted with $7.2 million cash on hand in all WPL
funds at the current time, it's the most money the library's had banked
since he became director in 1978.
Library trustees are accumulating funds to build a future addition to Thomas
Library without having to finance the project entirely with a bond issue.
The board was encouraged to see WPL circulation increased overall by nearly
4 percent in May with 153,879 materials circulated year-to-date.
Nevertheless, some key indicators like use of public computers is down.
Board president Claire Jolie speculated the prolonged closure of Calumet
Road for sewer work in downtown Chesterton near Thomas Library has
In other business, Baugher announced the WPL website now links to Ask Rose,
a free homework help site popular with Duneland students. Added WPL homepage
links now include the Tumble reading resources for pre-school through older
Tonight WPL's outdoor Friday summer concerts and film series kicks off but
at the Library Service Center, 100 W. Indiana Ave., due to inclement
weather. Musician/storyteller Lee Murdock will entertain at 7 p.m. with the
PG-rated film "How to Train your Dragon" to follow.
Saturday at 7 p.m. at the LSC the movie “The King's Speech” will be shown.
The R-rated movie detailing England's future King George VI's battle to
overcome his stuttering won four Oscars
Walsh-Brown said openings still are available to participate in the
fifth-annual Westchester Museum history camp, this year July 12-15 with a
focus on railroads. Students entering Grades 4 and 5 are eligible to
The museum, housed in the Brown Mansion on Porter Avenue, will be a stop on
the June 25 Duneland Garden Club garden walk slated from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.