Library trustees close the book on 2017


BG Independent News

The Wood County District Pubic Library Board ended its year with a peek ahead toward next year’s business.

Library Director Michael Penrod said that students in Shannon Orr’s public policy class are “frantically” compiling the result of the community survey that was sent out. The survey is intended to gather data to help the board in formulating a new strategic plan.

Board president Brian Paskvan said those discussions on the plan will start in early spring. The date, he said, will be determined based on when the most board members can attend.

Penrod said that Orr has reported that response to the survey was good, and the one take away she could share was: “People love the library.”

Penrod also said that the library’s “grand experiment” in ending fines seems to be going well, though, the staff will need to wait to see how it plays out next year before declaring it a success.

Penrod also said he has presented a memorandum of understanding to the Village of Walbridge about the mowing lawns and clearing snow at the Walbridge branch.

Penrod said the village has been doing the work, but with the renovation of the library, the facility now has more parking lot to plow and more lawn to mow.

The library will compensate the village $1,800 if the village council approves the memorandum.

Penrod said the library’s budget is on track to run a slight surplus. As of the end of November with 91.6 percent of the year, the library has spent or allocated 90.9 percent of its budget.

The board held its annual organizational meeting at the beginning of Wednesday’s session.

Paskvan was re-elected president, a post he’s held since January, 2009. Becky Bhaer will continue to serve as vice president, and Nancy Buchanan was elected secretary.

The board will continue to meet the third Monday of each month at 11 a.m. That includes Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents Day, both days when the library will be open. The January meeting will be held only if needed.

The board convenes in the meeting room of the Bowling Green library except in April and September when it meets in Walbridge.

Before the meeting, the library’s annual volunteer appreciation breakfast was held.

Former board member Jane Robb received the The Legacy of 1875 Award, which goes “to a person who exemplifies the qualities of selfless generosity, service to one’s community, and the promotion of literacy that the library’s founders set forth.”

Robb was honored for her role on the levy support group that advocated for passage of levies in 2010 and 2014. She was also a founding member of the John Gibson Award Committee. That award honors a staff member.

The citation states: “A former educator, she brought a unique perspective and understanding of our community’s needs and the ways in which the library could best meet those needs.”

It concludes: “She is truly a champion of this library and its mission.”