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First day on the job

Gibson Memorial Library’s new director attends board meeting after first day

Gibson Memorial Library Director Aric Bishop discussed his first day on the job and suggested changes to a current library policy Monday evening during the regular board of trustees meeting.

Due to limitations on indoor gatherings in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, the board held the meeting outdoors, in front of the entrance, with members bringing lawn chairs and spacing themselves apart.

Bishop said his first day consisted mainly of learning the systems and helping patrons alongside assistant director Sue Teutsch, who had been filling the role of director since the resignation of David Hargrove in June. Bishop had previously worked as the director of the Osceola Public Library since 2018, and said there were enough differences between the two positions that he is still adjusting to.

“I’m getting used to your budget lines,” said Bishop. “There is a whole lot more for your city budget than there were in Osceola, but there is a handy dandy book that Sue gave me that I’m reviewing.”

Bishop also brought attention to issues with the entrance to the library during heavy rain. Previously a concrete wall had been erected near the steps to prevent overflow from running into the entrance and seeping under the doors, but that wall had fallen over and has yet to be replaced.

“Some water had pooled up here before, and leaked underneath the door,” said Bishop.

The board discussed replacing the wall before flooding becomes a more substantial issue.

Bishop was tasked with updating the library’s genealogy policy, and suggested adding links in the policy to the Union County Recorder’s Office and the Union County Genealogical Society for further resource to patrons. Additionally, the board discussed changing the wording regarding the $3 fee for the service, clarifying that the fee would be applied to each item requested for print, regardless of whether it is an obituary, a photo or some other record.

Discussion was held on instances in which patrons provide the dates of the document and request a virtual scan as opposed to a printed copy. Bishop said he hopes patrons will not be charged in those scenarios, but free-will donations are encouraged.

“I look at it as a service,” said Bishop. “I had a really hard time with the fee part in the first place, because I feel like we should help regardless.”

In other library board news, the board:

• discussed the completion of the roof repairs. The project was completed by Creston Roofing and Siding after it received approval at the city council meeting May 5. The estimated overall cost was $10,214.

• was informed that the library was approved for a grant totalling $1,800 to replace carpet in the hallway and steps.

• began monitoring usage of internet by patrons, both on library devices and personal devices, with the average session time being two hours and 40 minutes.

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