A New Century Begins Chapter 5

A New Century Begins

by

Myrna Griffith

 

As the century began with scares of Y2K, fears of many infrastructure failures and many apocalyptic predictions.  At the end of twenty years there would be more fear with a worldwide pandemic than with the former.  The pandemic caused more disruptions, not only worldwide, but also for the library world than the Y2K computer failure that did not take place.

 

During the later days of 1999, the world was anticipating the major dilemma of what was then known as Y2K, and the concerns of major failure of all systems that were operated and maintained via a computer--fears of power interruptions, planes falling from the sky, major interruptions in the banking world, and much, much more.  It would affect hospitals, power plants, government organizations, Y2K was “where computer users and programmers feared that computers would stop working on December 31, 1999.” (World Atlas.com)  The problem was the computer software was set to a two digit recognition of the year and as the year turned from 1999 to 2000, the computer experts did not know how the systems would react.  It caused great anxiety and fear around the world that computer systems would shut down.

 

Business and government technology teams worked feverishly to fix the problem before the end of December 1999. (britannica.com)  As a result, no problems occurred.  Those people who were flying, booked next day flights because of fear the plane would fall out of the sky.  The century began just like every new year, life returned to normal.

 

During the year of 2000 at the Woodward Public Library, the Book Discussion group was going well, afterschool program was offered but no one was attending, and story time was held on Saturday mornings.  It was decided to apply for E-rate which reduces the cost to the library’s internet.  A color printed was purchased, as well as a paper shredder and an electric pencil sharpener.

 

In May, Pat Heifner, Co-Librarian and Amy Clark, Substitute Librarian resigned, and an Open House was held for Pat on May 23.  Judy Grimes was offered the position as Librarian, beginning work on June 23.  Janice Nelson becomes Assistant Librarian.

 

A book discussion group for Fifth graders began after Labor Day and was led by Karen Jamison and Carol Neal, Board Members.

 

After applying for E-rate earlier in the year, Minburn Communications gave the library free access for the year and E-rate gave a 40% off for the phone service and the Internet line.

 

Beginning August 14, the library began opening an additional 3 hours per week.  It was reported in September that at this time period, 63 people came to the library. During the Friends and Neighbors Day on August 14, a voter registration booth was set up by the library and the librarians rode in the parade on a golf cart furnished by Carol Neal.

 

In October, a weeding contract was signed with the State Library to withdraw 18% of the books from the Children’s section and to help pay for replacing with new books.  In November, Judy Grimes receives a Certificate of Recognition of Generous Volunteerism for participating in voter registration day.  A Tour of Homes was held as a fund raiser in November, which included 6 homes and 5 business.  It raised $300.  In December a bubble mirror was purchased to help in one blind area in the library.

 

 

Throughout the year, a steady increase of circulation numbers occurred:

            January 1327               Increase of 170 from the previous year

            February 1341            

            March 1392                 Increase of 51 from the previous year

            September 1601          Increase of 505 from the previous year         

            November 1521          Increase of 373 from the previous year

            December 1123           Increase of 184 from the previous year

 

Donations received in 2000:

·         $150 received from Cargill for the Summer Reading Program

 

2001

 

Circulation continues to increase this year:

January 1556   increase of 229 from a year ago

February 1572 increase of 237 from a year ago

March 1607 increase of 215 from a year ago

April 1455   increase of 262 from a year ago

May 1514    increase of 341 from a year ago

June 2177    increase of 564 from a year ago

The yearly circulation (check outs) from July 2000 to June 2001 was 5989.

August 2092 increase of 55 from a year ago

October 1573 increase of 83 from a year ago

November 1536 increase of 15 from a year ago

December 1159 increase of 36 from a year ago

 

In January of 2001, the Board voted for one of the Librarians to become a Notary Public.  In March two bubble mirrors were installed over the blind areas of the Library.  Librarian Judy Grimes received her Notary Public certification and the library posted signs for free notary public services.  Entry mats were purchased for the Library and installed in April.  That month the Woodward Academy began coming to the Library to clean.  Central regional continues to weed books from the collection with 296 books being culled.  During April it was decided to hire a substitute experienced librarian.

In May, two new computers and two new monitors were purchased.  E-rate was not accepted this year, because the amount offered was $126.  An I Cubs Reading Program was held May 15 through July 28.

In June, two old pictures were put up for sale in hopes of raising $200 and the Summer Reading Program ran June through July.  During July, Mrs. (Christy) Vilsak (former Governor’s wife) came to the library to read to the children.

In the fall Enrich Iowa dollars came from the State Library and was used to purchase new book shelves.  In November, a policy was put into place that computers could be used for one hour, Fax charges would be $1.00 per page, and magazines would be kept for two years before being discarded.  Wire hook ups were made for internet usage during that same time, as well as a new color printer that was purchased and hooked up for computer use. Later in the year, it was decided to charge $.50 for a half page and $1.00 for a page of color printing.

At the end of the year the Tour of Homes was held and raised $361.

Donations received in 2001:

The Friends of the Woodward Public Library Foundation received $10,000 from the Beth Grow Spainhour Latimer estate for the benefit of the Library.

 

2002

 

During this year, circulation begins a steady decline in circulation.  Early in the year a 20% reduction was made to the Library budget.  This meant the Library had to find a way to make up a $4850 shortfall.  An audit visit produced five recommendations:

·         Yearly contract for cleaning services;

·         President of the board sign the paychecks;

·         Books be put in a log book;

·         Second quarter withholding be taken from the paycheck;

·         Cleaning will be by paycheck, not by payroll.

 

Because of the recommendations; the board voted to purchase a program for payroll.  They chose Quick Books to manage the payroll.

 

It is during this year that an increase of the meeting room usage began.

 

Fundraisers begin on April 30, with classes called Lotions, Potions, and Herbs.  A second fundraiser was planned for May 4 which was a Plant Sale.  Both were big successes. The Plant sale raised $342.50, the Herbs class earned $200, with two more classes scheduled.

 

The board made changes to the “Long Range, Goals and Objectives” needed for accreditation.  The library also received $1500 from the Myrna Reynolds Mayfield Trust Fund to help with the budget shortfall.

 

In July a Cleaning Contract was written to begin July 1, 2002.  A Silent Auction was planned for Friends and Neighbors Day, again to help raise money. In June more book shelves were purchased.  Central Library changed the electronic resource from Electric Library, which was no cost, to Ebsco which cost $54 a year.  The switch was made because the schools were using Ebsco.

 

In August, it was announced that Prairieland Herbs would be holding classes to benefit the library.  Martha [?] held a fall plant and seed sale in September as a library fund raiser.  And the Tour of Homes was suspended for the year.  October 20-November 9, 2002, a Home and Garden Party fund raiser was held.  The Library would receive 30% of the sales.  At the same time, a Pamper Chef fundraiser was given by another person in the community with 40% of their sales going to the library. The Silent Auction held during Friends and Neighbors Day raised $1,091.50.

 

At the November board meeting, it is decided that Judy Grimes would be attending the City Council meetings beginning in January 2003.  The Board Meeting time was changed to the first Monday of the month, beginning January 2003, so as not to interfere with the Council meetings.  The Library Board also approves the checking account would be taken over by the City as of January 1, 2003.

 

In the fall of 2002 the library receives $1961.68 from Enrich Iowa and $614.20 from Library Infrastructure.  Both are funding dollars from the State Library of Iowa.  New shelving for the Library’s children’s area would be purchased at a bid of $644 and a new computer and monitor  were to be purchased not to exceed $650, using the Enrich Iowa  Library Infrastructure dollars.  During this time a cassette tape stand was sold.

 

In December the Cleaning Contract was finally finished and signed by Judy Grimes. Lastly, Santa visits were scheduled during story time.

 

2003

 

At the first board meeting of new year, Janice Nelson tendered her resignation.  Her resignation was read and plans began for her replacement.  A part time person would have 7 to 10 weekly hours and would be Judy’s replacement whenever she was away.

 

A fire extinguisher inspection that determined the fire extinguisher was outdated, could not be recharged, and would not put out a paper fire.  A new extinguisher would be purchased at the cost of $58.75.

 

By February, 14 applications had been received for the part time Library clerk position.  Seven were returned and three interviews were conducted.  In the February board meeting an interview committee was formed. In the end, Amy Mueller was hired for the position. Also, a calculator was purchased for $59.  The New Trustee’s Handbooks were purchased from the State Library for $5 each.

 

In the April board meeting, discussion began for 2003 fund raisers: 

 

1.      Plant Sale

2.      Lotion and Potion Classes

3.      Silent Auction during Friends and Neighbors Day

4.      Refreshment Stand at the Friends and Neighbors Day Celebration

 

Judy Grimes from the time she became librarian, attended classes and workshops to improve her skills and knowledge.  This year would be no exception.  She also, continued to attend meetings and different library organizations to increase the Woodward Public Library presence.

 

In May, Amy Mueller received a raise to $8 an hour and Judy’s salary is raised $1.00.

 

Policies continue to be reviewed and updated.  It was decided that anyone could use the computers, not just card holders, and the library would be opened the Friday after Thanksgiving and be closed on Veterans’ Day.

 

The Plant Sale was a success in May.

 

In July, the board voted to request the Friends of the Woodward Public Library Foundation to purchase a new copier and to pay the first year’s maintenance agreement.

 

The Silent Auction fundraiser held August 16-23 was a success, as was the Pop Stand in the park for the Friends and Neighbors Day.  Also, during this month the board began to sell Current magazine as another means to raise dollars.

 

In October flu shots were given by Dallas County Health at the library.  At the November meeting is was stated the Current magazine sales were a success.  In December, carpet cleaning was done by Golden Circle Cleaning for $417.92.  It was also voted this month to spend the Enrich Iowa dollars for library materials and supplies.

 

2004

 

Circulation during 2003 and 2004 began increasing again.  Attendance was increasing and in January Amy’s hours were increased and salaries for both Judy and Amy were increased 50 cents.  New trustees Gina Calonkey, Melinda Greenwood, and Susie Fredrick joined the board replacing Bernie Bustad, Vel Feltz, and Kim Crnkovich. Bernie and Vel resigned after 6 years of service as board members. In May another successful plant sale was held.

 

In June, the library installed the New Sagebrush System for circulation and cataloging.  The Summer Reading Program was held each Wednesday in July.  Also for the first time Library employees were paid for travel reimbursement at the same rate as the rest of city employees.

 

During August, board members once again sold Current subscriptions and held a Fall Plant Sale in September.  Both were successful fundraisers.  A highlight for this year was the Dallas County Library Association put together and sold calendars.  Dallas County has 12 libraries, so each librarian was pictured with a place of importance for that town, one for each month.  Judy’s picture was taken at Picket Fence.  Before the end of the year, Judy was hired to mow the grass at the library for $10 an hour.

 

2005
 

During this year circulation was once again on the increase with just a few dips.  After a year of Accreditation work, the report was sent to the State Library in February.  In March, there was a book signing with author Rosellen Price promoting her book Blood and Vine.  Another Spring Plant Sale was held in May, Youth Book Club was held in April, and a Babysitting Clinic was held in June.

 

In May, Susie Fredrick, resigns from the board and is replaced with Marsha Charlet.  On June 5, the Library held a reception to congratulate Judy for 5 years of service.  For the coming year, both Judy and Amy received a 50 cent per hour raise.  A Silent Auction and a Book Sale held in August were very successful. 

 

During the month of November, the Friends of Woodward Public Library held a successful fundraiser, selling calendars and cookbooks.  Later in the month, the Library helds another book signing, this time for author Kathy Wade.  Lastly, in December raises were approved for Judy and Amy as the board worked on the 2006-2007 budget and awaited the City’s approval of the budget.  Judy’s cleaning wages were also raised from $20-$30.

 

2006

 

Circulation began declining once again during 2006.  As the year began, the board decided that it was time to introduce new fundraisers.  The board would be replacing two board members, as Cindy Godwin and Sue Moran had fulfilled their terms.  In July, they were replaced with Angie Hoyt and Barb Maier.  In April, Judy received her Level 3 Certificate for librarianship.  Once again, the library holds its annual Plant Sale in May. 

 

In August the Board held the annual Book Sale and another Silent Auction.  The year’s Silent Auction was a disappointment and was not successful, as in years past.  It was discussed that maybe the Auction should be held in a different month.

 

2007

 

Circulation                                          Increase/Decrease from Same Month Year Before

January    2088                                                Increase 74

February  1948                                                Increase  332

March      2087                                                Decrease 262

April        1772                                                Decrease 62

May         1891                                                Increase 4

June         2384                                                Increase 113

July          2522                                                Increase 97

August     1922                                                Decrease 198

September not reported                                  Decrease

October   2010                                                  Decrease 3

November 1789                                              Increase 61

December 1576                                               Decrease 138

 

2008

 

In February, new By-laws were written and adopted for accreditation.  This was the year for reaccreditation. The previous year was spent in preparing reports to be filed for approval.  The Library and Board had been approached about selling Friends and Neighbors Day souvenirs.  It was decided to support anyone who was selling them, but that the Library would not be a vendor.

 

The library wanted to purchase a HDTV and looked for discount coupons for the purchase.  It was disappointing to find the library was considered a business, so it was not eligible for a discount coupon, therefore, the plan was dropped.

 

Linda Weyers agrees to serve another term on the Board.

 

The cost of postage would be raised in May, so in April, the board increased the postage budget to $125.  Also, the board took up the issue that the rate of lawn care had remained the same for four years.  An increase needed to be considered due to the cost of gas and wear and tear on the equipment.  Research was done to find the going rate for lawn mowing and it was determined the rate for  mowing should be raised to $15.  Salaries were raised 50 cents for Judy and Amy.

 

After a year of work and submitting the paperwork were in February, the Library received word in June that the Library would once again receive accreditation.

 

The State Library of Iowa announced that the Woodward Public Library has met the conditions of state accreditation as outlined in “In Service to Iowa: Public Library Measures of Quality, 4th edition”. 

 

Achieving accreditation requires a significant, ongoing local commitment

to high quality library services.  Of Iowa’s 543 public libraries, 331 including

the Woodward Public Library are accredited.  The Woodward Library has been recognized for its efforts in all areas of library administration including governance

and funding, staffing, Library collection, services, public relations, and access and facilities.  The accreditation is valid through June 30, 2011.

 

Iowa’s accredited public libraries are recognized for being responsive to their communities and exhibiting excellence in their provision of library services.  Libraries are cornerstones of our communities, as well as the people who use them.  “The director and board of trustees of the Woodward Public Library and the city of Woodward are to be commended for this achievement,” said Mary Wegner, State Librarian.

 

In August the Friends of the Woodward Public Library had yet another successful book sale.

The library finished the labeling of Accelerated Reader books right at the time the school stops using this reading program.  The Library experienced consistent attendance at the Adult Book Club discussion group.  It also has constant and multiply uses of the Meeting Room throughout the year.

 

The Library Foundation group held their annual Silent Auction in late December.  Also, in December the Board accepted the resignation of Gina Calonkey from the Library Board.  For December’s Story Time, Santa made a visit, portrayed by Woodward resident and city employee Steve Gunderson.

 

2009

 

As the year 2009 began, discussion began on the need for a new computer system.  The library accepted bids for a new system.  The city approved the 5% increase budget requested by the Library.  Jim Gough joined the Library Board. In March, the board received a written termination from Judy Grimes for the mowing and the cleaning contract.  The board chose Eugene Grimes to do these two services.  Judy was recertified as Library Director.

 

As special meeting was called late in March to discuss the mowing contract.  It was brought to someone’s attention that an outside contractor doing mowing had to show proof of insurance.  Mayor Ron Chock was contracted concerning the matter.  He stated that ‘proof of insurance for an outside contractor is required’.  Mayor Chock also informed the board that the city would maintain the Library’s grounds at no cost to the Library.  Eugene Grimes’ mowing contract was rescinded and Judy resumed her duties with the janitorial contract.  The Board later approved adding one and half hours to Judy’s time for Library cleaning and maintenance.

 

In May, Nancy Rose joined the library board replacing Gina Calonkey. In June, due to the rising postal rates the postage fund was raised to $150.  In June Babysitting classes were taught by Dallas County ISU Extention.  In July, the city employees received a 3.25% cost of living increase which included the library staff.  That meant Judy’s wage would be $13.42 per hour and Amy’s wage would be $10.33 per hour.

 

The Silent Auction was scheduled for November.  Beginning in November the Woodward Resource Center residents would be allowed to visit the Library under certain conditions and by appointment.  The policy was subject to review at any time.  The new Library Trustee’s Handbook was also distributed.

 

By the end of 2009, the Board were still discussing computer options.  The Silent Auction did extremely well, yielding $795 for the Library and the Board began immediate plans on how to use the dollars.

 

2010

The year began with continued discussion of the need for a new computer system.  The Board decided to visit with the Perry and Adel libraries to find out what systems they were using.  In March Melinda Greenwood resigned from the board.  In May, Woodward Public Library hosted the Dallas County librarians for their annual May meeting.  At the April meeting the board decided to purchase new computers and maintenance from Teknowvation. In May it was announced that Lynn Williams had volunteered to oversee the Summer Reading program.  K-5 would meet on Thursdays, one group at 10 am and another group at 2 pm. The teen group—6th grade and up--would meet on Fridays at 2pm.

 

June was the end of Marsha Charlet’s term and she would be stepping down.  That meant that the Board needed two new members.  Melinda Greenwood had not been replaced. In June, the board discontinued using the services of J & D Computers from Grimes.

 

July began a new term and fiscal year for the board and the library.  Three new board members, Jeanne Arends, Gene Grell, and Terri Danilson began terms, as Nancy Rose had left the board as well.  The Summer Reading Program and a young adult book discussion group under the direction of Lynn Williams was going well.  A 35 cent wage increase was approved for the library staff for the coming fiscal year.  The annual book sale would be held the first weekend in August during the 141 Garage Sale.  The Board began having discussions for the library to have email and for the need of sound and firmware upgrade in the computer setup, including configuring Wi-Fi.  In September, the Foundation purchased a new copier for the Library.

 

In November the Library held its annual Silent Auction and raise $747. The Adult Book Discussion group moved from Cayanne’s to the Library, so the Library would have credit for an adult program.  Planning also began for a Gift Wrapping fundraiser.  It would be held in early December and raised $244.

 

Throughout 2010, the library director attended state and county meetings, to stay current with growing new trends in libraries, and then shared them with the community.  In November Judy Grimes attended a meeting that focused on Internet use for Libraries.

 

Board members during 2000-2010 included:

 

·         Steve Arends                          Bernie Bustad             Linda Weyers

·         Bobbee Lawrence                   Vel Feltz                     Gina Calonkey

·         Karen Weir-Jamison                Cindy Godwin             Melinda Greenwood

·         Carol Neal                               Sue Moran                   Susie Fredrick

·         Angie Hoyt                             Barbara Maier

·         Marsha Charlet                        Jim Gough                   Nancy Rose

·         Jeanne Arends                         Gene Grell                   Terri Danilson