Message to the community from Luren E. Dickinson:
Our major roofing project was completed at the end of April as we enjoyed good weather conditions throughout the month. The last phase of the job will be dedicated to the Main Library entrance. This is an additional but necessary expense to correct some preexisting problems, as well as to match the slate with the new slate on the rest of the building. We will conclude this effort May 2 with a walk-around, which will generate the final punch list of missed or incorrectly completed items, and to repair areas that might have been damaged, such as walkways and landscaping.
In the course of the roof restoration project, we discovered a problem with the cupola above the old school entrance facing Van Aken Boulevard. Some of the copper facing on the southwest corner near the top of that structure separated and must be reattached. The only cost-effective solution for this repair and others is to use an extremely long lift mechanism. We will treat this project separate from the roofing project, and we may be able to remove old, unused lightning rod wires within the next two months as part of this process.
Although we experienced long delays in getting our automated profiles changed by CLEVNET, enough of the work was completed so that our new circulation policies could go into effect on April 1. We have eliminated fines from all children’s materials (except videos) and we have increased the overdue fines for adult books from five to ten cents. Another notable change is that we no longer allow children under 10 years of age to borrow videos. Credit card payments were also implemented for the first time this month and we plan to monitor how this and the fine changes affect amounts collected.
There were two false fire alarms at the Main Library during the evenings of April 5 and April 6, which were triggered by a malfunction that has been corrected. We also uncovered what may have been a preexisting problem, whereby the Honeywell system was not properly notifying the fire department. Working with their maintenance people, we were able to reprogram the dialing process and it now works properly. Current evacuation procedures have worked well, but we reviewed and refined our emergency plans in April and will schedule training for staff and fire drills in the near future.
The new Checkpoint library materials security system, paid for through bond funds, will be installed in the Main Library’s Movies and Music area and at Bertram Woods Branch in early May. Part of the security will be special locking boxes for DVDs, which will permit us to return these materials to open shelves rather than to keep them filed, in what has become a cumbersome operation behind the desk. We must wait for an additional shipment of 6,000 DVD boxes before the changeover can be completed. Once that is done, we can increase the limits we have placed on the number of DVDs that can be checked out at any one time. That should help us regain some of the circulation we lost in the transition from VHS to DVD.
We had an excellent response to our Second Annual Teen Volunteer Fair, which attracted 200 people and is designed to benefit both teens and the nonprofit groups seeking volunteer help. Our Teen Center continues to be an extremely busy place with attendance for the first quarter up 49% over the same period last year.
E. Dickinson, Director