A new downloadable, free magazine-subscription service now is available
through Westchester Public Library’s website.
In the first 10 days, library director Phil Baugher told the Library Board
on Thursday, 51 users had downloaded 356 magazines chosen from the 150
electronic versions of popular magazines.
Increasingly, some magazines like Newsweek are going to online publication
Library patrons with a valid library card are required to login with the
ZINIO magazine service the first time and thereafter each new issue of the
selected periodicals automatically will be downloaded to the patron’s
computer or portable device, or an email notice can be received to signal an
issue’s ready to be delivered.
Baugher said each magazine will keep its place where the patron stopped
reading, and articles can be exported or printed. “We’ve had all kinds of
calls from library directors in the area (about the service),” he told the
WPL will continue to carry hard-copy versions of magazines, newspapers and
publications in its reading room.
Baugher noted it’s taking longer than expected but WPL is working with a
vendor to add the Freegal music library and Rocket Languages databases to
the website as well. “I think (Freegal’s) going to be a hit once the kids
know about it,” said Library Board president Drew Rhed.
Baugher reminded that for younger children, the Tumblebooks link on the WPL
website requires no login and offers many fun and educational activities.
Thursday’s three-hour meeting saw the Library Board authorize spending
$28,118 for new display cases, AV equipment and exhibit panels for the WPL-operated
Westchester Township History Museum in the Brown Mansion. Curator Serena
Sutliff’s year-end 2012 report showed 4,200 visitors and program attendees
compared to 3,842 in 2011.
A second phase of museum improvement, not yet OK’d, would be removing some
walls in the exhibit areas to configure the space better, but that will
require input and approval from the Duneland School Corp., from which WPL
leases the Brown Mansion. The exhibit area is in a later addition and is not
part of the historic home itself.
Baugher said the library should pay for the remodeling and he will consult
with a structural professional and Duneland before bringing a firm proposal.
He also plans to meet with an architect about remodeling the Hageman
Library’s restrooms in Porter to make them handicapped accessible this year.
Restrooms in Thomas Library and the Library Service Center were upgraded
On another matter, board members warmly received Baugher’s proposal to have
custom banners promoting the library properties installed on the
approximately 15 WPL-owned light poles at those sites. Banner design and
purchase costs will be developed.
Community volunteers have until Jan. 23 to sign up at WPL for each to find
people who like to read and help distribute 20 free copies of various recent
books to celebrate World Book Night on April 23.
Two upcoming Library Board vacancies need to be filled in March; members
will meet in two weeks to interview the first candidates. Additional
applications still will be received.
By unanimous vote the Library Board adopted a new meeting-room policy that
clarifies all activities by groups that use the rooms must be free and open
for the public to observe, but not to automatically participate in the
activity, address the group, disrupt the meeting, take group materials or
share their meals or refreshments.
At the meeting’s conclusion the board reconvened as a Board of Finance and
for most of the hour debated whether it should continue having Baugher
invest surplus funds or hire a financial expert; last month Umbaugh &
Associates made a presentation about investment strategies.
WPL has $7.8 million in all funds with about $6 million available for
investment; the money is being retained to help pay for future expansion of
library facilities and reduce needed financing at that time.
Baugher said in 2008 investments made $136,055 in interest but last year due
to the economy only $3,471 although a CD matured this month gaining $38,148.
The focus of the discussion was not so much to maximize WPL’s yield but to
protect the money while invested in the event a bank would fold. WPL
attorney Terry Hiestand said if there’s so much as a wrinkle in the market a
financial advisor could make adjustments immediately. Baugher agreed he
doesn’t have the expertise or ability to do so.
The eventual decision was to have him invest the excess funds for three
months, continue talks with Umbaugh without obligation, and to readopt the
current investment policy for now.