Westchester Public Library director Phil Baugher is proposing a 200 percent
increase in next year’s budget for online services.
Baugher outlined a draft 2014 total budget of $3,051,200 to Library Board
members Thursday. Final action is required later this summer. This year’s
budget is $2,947,903.
The online services fund would jump from $10,000 to $30,000 as a result of
the new internet subscriptions for music, language instruction, magazines
and newspapers available to patrons. They responded in May with a nearly
seven-fold increase in wireless internet users and a 143 percent jump in
online content use.
An additional $45,000 is earmarked for downloadable audio and E-books next
The 2014 impact of implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act on
WPL’s employee health-insurance premium is unknown, explained Baugher, but
that line item has been increased by $50,000 to $325,000 next year.
The director proposed a 2 percent pay raise for employees but none for
himself, saying his annual $89,729 salary is fair compensation.
Most budget categories saw only modest increases, if any. The line items for
books would remain at $260,000.
A plan of service and a revised budget draft will be presented at the July
11 board meeting. In its current form the budget proposes no radical changes
in library facilities, basic library services, staffing or other library
operations, according to Baugher.
Current finances remain strong with $6.9 million in all funds, $6.6 million
of that invested; the spring property tax draw is about to be distributed,
at which time a $64,506 shortfall in the operating fund will be erased.
Among the claims approved last night was a $15,000 annual payment from WPL’s
Leslie Pratt Trust to Duneland School Corp. for a year’s rental of its Brown
Mansion where the libary’s Westchester Township History Museum is located.
The payment includes utilities and internet service.
New Hageman restrooms
It was announced the restroom remodeling at Hageman Library in Porter is
scheduled to begin July 13 and will take an estimated 10 days. A
handicapped-accessible porta-potty will be located near the building for
Baugher said he’s researching the possibility of acquiring a community
information module that would allow development of a database of area
community and non-profit groups as well as the services each provides. The
module could be integrated with the WPL calendar.
This summer WPL will have a Get Caught Reading program where staff will snap
photos of patrons reading, with their permission, and encourage them to
submit pictures of other people reading.
WPL circulation last month and year-to-date show slight increases, it was
reported, more so at Hageman.
So far this year a total 154,015 items have been circulated. “We’re seeing a
lot of people in the library,” said Baugher. Public service units ---
individual occasions of service to patrons --- is up just over 19 percent.
Patron info secured
The board unanimously adopted a revised policy making clear that WPL
circulation and records shall not be made available to any individual, group
or agency of government except pursuant to a valid local, state or federal
process, order or subpoena.
As an example, Baugher said a patron’s home address, email and what they’ve
borrowed at WPL can’t be shared for political or advertising purposes.
The policy explains that circulation records of the library are for the sole
purposes of protecting library property and compiling statistical
information about library use; such records shall not be used, either
directly or indirectly, to identify types of materials used by individual
patrons or to determine the purpose for which a patron requests library
information and materials.
Also Thursday the board, with members Mike Livovich and Drew Rhed absent,
inched toward a final investment strategy after months of discussion.
Agreed was that WPL investments shall be structured to allow maximum
protection under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. program. Indiana has
its own depository insurance fund to cover investors, but Baugher said, “The
goals of our policy --- No. 1 is protection.”
Library attorney Terry Hiestand will do additional research and report next
month. The board is mulling various approaches to maximize return yet