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Board discusses merger of libraries

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By TRISTA LUTGRING, Feature Writer

TELL CITY – At their Dec. 1 meeting, Tell City-Perry County Public Library board members briefly went over the Nov. 10 minutes from the first meeting of the merger committee. As The News has previously reported, Cannelton Public Library had announced in October intentions to merge with the Tell City-Perry County Public Library in October. Tell City OK’d merger talks at its meeting in November and both libraries have a year to complete merger procedures.

“I thought we had a pretty good meeting,” Library director Larry Oathout told members about the Nov. 10 meeting. “We had some discussion and exchanged information.”

There were some things, he continued, that each group would research before the next meeting, which was was held Dec. 14 at the Cannelton Library.

Items listed on the unapproved minutes that Oathout provided included a plan for committee members to work on completing a sheet of merger pros and cons that would be discussed at the committee’s next meeting. Cannelton committee member Kim Myers volunteered to work on gathering employment numbers, including employee hours, for the CPL employees and Jeff Fuqua offered to check with Cannelton Mayor Smokey Graves about technology available at City Hall.

The group also briefly discussed a possible name for the merged organization. Debbie Seibert will attend the next meeting, Oathout explained, to go over “what she sees as the needs for the technology upgrades for that location.”

Board members were also given a copy of the last budget for the Cannelton Library, to give them an idea of what that library had budgeted and spent so far during the year.

“There are still a lot things to be hammered out before we move forward,” Oathout said.

In other business, Oathout told members the library had received the signed agreement papers from the Hancock County Library that would allow the library to offer services to Kentucky residents who pay a nonresident fee. He planned to send the agreement on to Sylvia Watson, the legal representative of the state library, to look over for approval.

The library staff continues to research and look at new circulation software, Oathout said. Staff members recently looked at updates to the Mandarin circulation that the library currently uses. He also said some staff members would travel to Seymour soon to view how the Evergreen system – another system the library has been considering – works with bookmobiles.

Board members also voted on officers for the next year. Members elected to keep officers as they were; Mickey Fischer will continue to serve as board president, Colleen Smith as vice president, Patsy Alvey as treasurer and Regina Schaeffer will remain board secretary.