As Logan Library grows, circulation hits all-time high

The board of the Logan Library discussed changes to the building including meeting room rentals and accessibility, as well as budget changes, at their monthly meeting Nov. 10.Because the library now occupies the entire building at 255 N. Main, which formerly held Logan city offices as well, the board has put the building’s northeastern meeting room to use and already has several activities scheduled to use the room, said library director Ronald Jenkins.Jenkins said the library has been hard at work clearing various rooms and filling them with books and shelves, art from the library’s collections that was not previously on display, and office equipment for library employees. One new addition already in place are colorful children’s computers featuring seven times the number of programs accessible to the library’s smaller patrons.Although the library continues to make money for expenses and upkeep from its regular revenue such as online book sales, it recently took a blow in the form of losses in future grant money. The state library association, which grants money under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), will no longer be accepting grant applications nor allocating money, according to an e-mail from state librarian Donna Morris.The change is “because of the budget cuts and the financial position of the State Library,” Morris said in the message.Grants already in place will still be awarded, and applications that have already been received will be processed and awarded as well. Board member Dixie Poole made note of the fact that Jenkins had already submitted a grant application, and applauded his timeliness and proactive approach to securing funds for the library.”As far as I can tell, we’re. . . richer because of (Jenkins’) promptness,” Poole said.Within the library, there is a struggle opposite the lack of funds in an overabundance of volunteers. The library currently has 10 volunteers that are active and they logged 244 hours total between July 1 and Nov. 1, which Jenkins said is the amount of time the new volunteer rules and regulations have been in place.”We have about 20 more interested in volunteering,” Jenkins said, “It’s just a struggle to match things they can do in the library with their schedules and abilities.”Circulation and patronage at the library is also at an all-time high. Jenkins said that attendance at the library usually drops off after the summer, but circulation has been reached more than 80,000 for the fifth month in a row. “My hope is that when they take (these items) home, they actually read them,” Jenkins said.Although all the numbers the library tracks are up, there isn’t money in the budget to add to the staff, so they are still running on a “summer schedule” when it’s nearly the holiday season, Jenkins said.”I call it a good problem. It’s still a problem but it’s good.”Other items on the agenda included the meeting room policy, which had not been changed in over 20 years. It raises the fees for non-civic and educational meetings to rent library conference rooms to between $10 and $35 per hour and addresses what groups can meet when, and for how long, as well as conduct for usage in the library’s rooms. The board discussed minor changes such as a cap on rental costs, set-up and equipment and other changes to the draft and put it on the agenda for action at their next meeting.

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