Jefferson High School senior Casey Cameron, left, tutors 10-year-old Skyler Osenga, also from Jefferson, at the library after school.
DELPHOS — The Delphos Public Library staff and patrons have been getting used to the changes brought on by the library’s new membership with the SEO Consortium.
SEO, which stands for Serving Every Ohioan, allows the 87 libraries within its ranks to share all materials, putting more than 8 million items within their patrons’ reach. The library staff has been busy making accommodations for the influx of materials from other libraries and helping patrons navigate the new system.
“Everything has gone very smoothly. We recently learned that we had the best move-over rate of anyone SEO has ever had, so we were very pleased,” Director Kelly Rist reported to the library board of trustees on Wednesday. “I took a couple of the staff members to visit a couple other SEO libraries to see how they organize things and we came back buzzing with ideas. We’ve been changing some things. We reconfigured our work area to prepare for the increase in materials coming through. We’ve about doubled, sometimes tripled, what we used to get, since patrons can come in and just go to a computer and do it themselves.”
Rist also announced that the microfilm digital scanners have arrived and will be installed on Monday. The equipment was purchased with donated funds from the Dienstberger Foundation.
The library’s request to put a renewal of its 0.6-mill levy on the May 7 primary ballot was approved. The levy was first approved by voters in 1978 and for the last five years raised approximately $49,000 a year.
Other business included the official renewal of Brad Rostorfer’s 7-year term with the library board.
The annual appropriation resolution was approved, with $890,900 being appropriated from the general fund for library expenditures for the fiscal year, divided as follows: Salaries and benefits- $307,000; Supplies- $31,200; Purchased and contracted services- $64,000; Library materials and information- $136,000; Capital outlay- $32,000 (includes the purchase of microfilm equiment with $14,000 from Dienstberger Foundation); Other objects- $5,700.
The board also approved Rist’s request to grant two more hours a week to each regular staff member to address the increase in workload due to the SEO migration. The board also agreed to allow Rist to seek a part-time library assistant/clerk.
In other news, Rist shared with the board an update on the state budget for FY2014-15.
“We don’t know exactly where we’ll end up because they haven’t seen the actual physical bill yet, it’s only an overview,” she said. “We’re really more interested in the bottom dollar for the libraries. For 2013, they’re putting the public library fund at $345 million. In 2014 they’re saying $359 million, which is a 4.1-percent increase and in 2015 they’re saying around $369 million. So it looks like libraries will be in better standing. It’s not where we were before but at least we’re moving in the right direction.”