Library Board members agreed to consider streamlining their circulation
procedure by having a photo of the library-card holder pop up on the
employee check-out screen to verify identity at the time materials are
The option was
discussed Thursday but no final action was taken. Board members said
provisions could be made for persons who donít want their photo to be taken.
Although a patron
has their own library card, WPL also keeps on file signature cards and
parent-consent forms to allow lending by minors. After decades of borrowing,
WPL circulation manager Claire Williams said there are boxes and boxes of
cards now stored.
president Nick Tilden asked if WPLís computer system could handle adding so
many photos to the circulation program. IT manager Mike Acsbok said it
easily can be done.
Phil Baugher brought up the discussion, saying many librarires have
abandoned collecting and maintaining the signature cards.
Williams, who made
no recommendation either way, said having photo identification would solve
Itís rare but
patrons have had the same name, she explained; some try to use another
personís library card (at times when an outstanding library fine is due);
women and children sometimes do change their last names; and some patrons
are blocked from borrowing.
Williams also said
some libraries ask for a birth date or drivers license number to obtain a
library card, but WPL does not. Board member Kathryn Cochran said if the WPL
circulation procedure is changed, patrons could sign their library cards to
eliminate the separate signature cards.
Board members noted
photo identification on member cards is being used by retail merchants like
Costco, but Baugher said WPLís photos would not appear on the library card
and would be considered confidential information.
Williams said by
having photos pop up, the advantage for circulation clerks would be theyíd
know youíre not your 16-year-old son, your neighbor or a niece.
Baugher noted if a
child or person goes missing while on library property, having their photo
on file would enable staff immediately to begin a search.
abandoning the signature cards but said it would be a lot of work to revamp
the circulation policy; he suggested giving more thought to the matter
before the March 13 meeting.
In other business,
the Library Board discussed and plans to revisit next month an updated
employment policy and procedures. The policy would require employment
decisions be made in a manner that will advance the principles of equal
employment opportunity and affirmative action.
A special meeting
tentatively was set for 7 p.m. Feb. 20 to interview candidates to replace
retiring Library Board member Claire Jolie. The boardís selection would be a
recommendation only to the appointing authority. Member Drew Rhedís term
also is expiring but heís seeking reappointment.
Board members also
agreed that at the next opportunity the position of manager of the WPL
Childrenís Department should be a professional librarian with a masterís
degree is Library Science. Baugher said at one time WPL had five librarians;
now there are three.
He reported the
2014 WPL budget was certified by state tax officials at $3,022,670 with
$2,694,362 of that raised through a $0.1763 property tax rate per each $100
of assessed valuation. The library districtís assessed valuation was set at
Baugher said this
yearís budget is 2.6 percent above 2013 as anticipated and no changes will
be required. In all funds WPL has $7.9 million, most of that in investments.
WPL purchased a new
popcorn machine, used for library films and other events, with a $1,500
donation from the Chesterton-Porter Rotary. Both groups will use the
It was announced
the Friends of the Library donated $7,000 to the WPL adult programs gift