By Al Owens
Meeting in regular session last Tuesday the board of the Helen H. Rayburn Public Library of Lewis County learned that two new computers have been purchased and had arrived that very day.
One is a regular computer to be used in the library. The other is a laptop for use in the Bookmobile. Both of the Dell units were purchased for under $1,000.
The board agreed with Library Director Marilyn Conway's recommendation to hire Jo Esham for 20 hours per week at her current salary. To this point her wages have been paid by a grant from the Experienced Workers Program. That grant may be renewed, and the board will be notified about that by January 29. However, she has done such a good job the library wants to keep her whether the grant is obtained this year or not. No vote was required on the matter since that decision falls under the jurisdiction of the library director.
Board President Carol Gilbert informed the board that Bookmobile Librarian Marjorie Valentine had attended a bookmobile meeting on Friday, January 14.
The board discussed whether to hire someone to act as a backup for the bookmobile in case the regular librarian became ill but the issue was tabled for further consideration.
Conway announced that the new Quick Books check writing system has been installed and is ready for use. The library plans to start using the system beginning February 1.
The board moved to add two days to the bookmobile schedule to divide the long days now being spent at Laurel and Garrison.
The board talked about getting a cell phone to keep on the bookmobile but questioned how effective that would be since so many dead spots exist in Lewis County due to a lack of antennas.
The members decided to borrow one and let the bookmobile librarian use it for about a month to see where it will or will not work, and if the phone can be picked up in enough places to make the idea feasible then the library will get a cell phone. If it won't work well enough the idea will be dropped until the communications problem in the county is solved when more antennas are added in the area.
The board moved to close the public library on Martin Luther King Jr. Day beginning next year.
Conway displayed a check for $636 from the Commonwealth of Kentucky reimbursing the library for part of the health insurance costs. Currently the employees pay 40 percent of their premiums and the library pays the other 60 percent.
The board moved to investigate starting a web site for the library and to do so as soon as someone agrees to set it up.
Helen Rayburn announced that she no longer wants to continue as treasurer of the library board and would like to step down as soon as the current audit is completed. She wants to spend more time promoting the library and the bookmobile. Finding her replacement will be on the agenda for the February meeting.
Rayburn also recommended that the library have the audit done annually rather than every four years.
Gilbert announced that she would like to take Mrs. Rayburn out for a Valentine Dinner on February 11 at 11:00 a.m. at Kenny's Restaurant. All the board members were invited to go along.
Before adjourning Gilbert announced that the next board meeting would be on Tuesday, February 15, at the library at 1:00 p.m.