Public Library Board of Trustees approved a draft of the 2020 WPL budget at
its meeting Thursday night.
Lisa Stamm reported the budget hasn’t changed much from last year. The draft
budget puts 2020 operating costs at $3,686,017, which is up from $3,555,142
last year for an increase of $130,875.
Stamm said the main
differences are that she zeroed out the line item for an annual transfer to
WPL’s Library Improvement Reserve Fund (LIRF) due to HEA 1343, new
legislation that limits libraries in Indiana to holding no more than 150% of
their annual operating budgets in reserve funds. Last year, $100,442 was
transferred to LIRF.
Stamm instead put
that money toward increasing the line items for furniture and equipment by a
total of $107,287.
In terms of
materials, Stamm allocated less for CDs due to declining demand, and
increased funding for buying downloadable materials, such as audio book and
ebooks, by 12.5%. The amount allocated for books increased from $275,000 in
2019 to $284,000 in the 2020 draft.
In other business,
the Board approved some changes to WPL’s Unacceptable Behavior policy.
Following patron complaints and littering on the Thomas Branch lawn, Stamm
recommended the policy be updated to require patrons who smoke outside the
Library to stand at least 15 feet away instead of eight feet away, and added
language regarding vaping and e-cigarettes. She also updated the behavior
policy to require that service animals in the Library always be in the care
of their owners and animals cannot be left unattended outside the Library.
The Board also
approved Stamm’s reconfiguration of WPL’s policy on releasing patron records
to law enforcement. Stamm said the new “Confidentiality of Patron Records”
policy replaces two outdated policies, and the new policy is modeled after
best practice language to protect patrons’ information from casual
Dune Acres Lot
Terry Hiestand reported that Dune Acres Clerk-treasurer Jan Bapst contacted
him to say the Dune Acres Town Council may be interested in acquiring a
Library-owned lot in Dune Acres. Hiestand said the lot was gifted to WPL in
the estate of the late Walter Placko in 2014. It’s about one acre, and
comparable properties are selling in the $150,000 range. “I do believe at
this time or sometime in the future it’s still going to be a marketable
site,” he said.
The Board was in
consensus that they’re in no rush to offload the parcel, but will examine
the matter further if a formal proposal is made. Board member Michele
Corazzo had specific qualms about WPL, a public entity, selling or gifting
the lot to a what is essentially a gated community.
2019, “A Universe of Stories,” is in full-swing, with approximately 300
children, 60 teens, and 175 adults signed-up. Stamm said more than 200
patrons attended the summer reading kick-off event at the Baugher Center.
Stamm reported she
created a “Patron Request for Resolution” form that patrons can use to
request a different resolution in certain cases if they’ve lost Library
privileges. Her creation of the form follows her promise to make one
available after a patron’s Library privileges were suspended indefinitely
when he apparently brought drugs into the Library and overdosed in a
bathroom last month.
that the form isn’t to be used for challenging decisions about patron
behavior or complaints, but is a useful tool for cases where extenuating
circumstances come into play. Stamm said last month that the patron involved
in last month’s incident will be allowed to request a restoration of his
privileges after one year.
that WPL will be a U.S. Census job application site Wednesday, June 19 from
9 to 11 a.m. at the Thomas Branch and 1 to 3 p.m. at the Hageman Branch.
U.S. Census staff will be at WPL at those times to help interested people
apply for 2020 census jobs.
In May, 31,018
people visited the Library. 37 programs had 667 attendees, and 289 people
used Library meeting rooms.