Stronger, more-reliable wireless access points are being installed at
Westchester Public Library facilities so patrons wonít be timed out and
their work session interrupted.
WPL director Phil Baugher said Thursday that patrons will be able to get a
stronger signal available 24 hours a day. In addition, the new wireless
access wonít require patrons to login using their library card number as is
the policy now.
There will be no time limit on WPL wireless sessions. Library officials
noted many businesses including restaurants are offering their patrons
similar wireless access.
Baugher also described additional resources WPL is planning to offer through
its redesigned website beginning next year.
Freegal will allow patrons to download a maximum of three songs per week
from a catalog of over 3 million songs including the Sony music collection.
The songs, which can be downloaded to a disk, computer, iPod or MP3 player,
will not expire. The music will be available to WPLís over 10,000 registered
resident patrons using their library card number, which must be updated
annually to verify a current address.
Libraries are changing how they deliver materials to patrons, said Baugher,
and Freegal is another way to bring content to them.
Also next year an instructional language series will be added offering 13
different languages including Spanish to English lessons.
WPL purchased 10 new backlit, pre-loaded Nook eReaders bringing the Nook
total to 20 for circulation.
By consensus board members with Nick Tilden and Claire Jolie absent
authorized Baugher to have H.J. Umbaugh and Associates submit a proposal to
look at WPL cash management to yield better investment return, and to
analyze library income and expenses over the next three to five years to
determine if adjustments are needed.
WPL currently has $7.1 million in all funds, $4.9 million of that in
The third component of the 2013 study will be to assess whether itís
affordable and advisable to embark on a WPL building project. Expanding
Thomas Library in Chesterton and/or Hageman Library in Porter have been
mentioned through the years and money has been accumulated to help offset
Baugher recommended Umbaugh because the firm worked with the Allen County
Public Library on its library renovation and construction projects.
Recently completed at Thomas Library is renovation of the second-floor
restrooms; fixtures and tile were updated. The first-floor Thomas restrooms
were expanded and made handicapped-accessible earlier this year. The library
opened in 1975.
Baugher reported the upstairs restrooms were closed for last monthís Wizard
of Oz festival and building visitors including patrons were required to sign
for a key for the downstairs restrooms; the key was signed out 82 times over
business, with the Porter County Council having given its approval to WPLís
proposed 2013 budget, the Library Board conducted a public hearing Thursday.
No one commented. A second hearing and budget adoption are slated at a
special 7 p.m. Oct. 25 Library Board meeting at Thomas. Final approval is up
to state tax officials.
It was announced
the Friends of the Library fall book sale is scheduled for the weekend of
Oct. 20 at Thomas. A new banner for the building will promote the sale,
whose proceeds are donated to WPL, and the library has arranged to advertise
the sale on the new Chamber of Commerce LED monument sign at Indiana 49 and
Baugher said WPL
will host an open house Nov. 3 to publicize its departmental services. Those
attending may register for door prizes.
Also planned is
a photo contest with entries to be displayed at the library. The winning
photo will be enlarged and placed in the library; the photographer will
receive an enlarged framed copy.
It was announced
additional security cameras have been installed at the WPL-owned Library
Service Center and at Thomas.