Library victim of credit-card fraud

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By Janet Robb

TELL CITY – More than $200 of fraudulent charges were found on the November credit-card statement for the Tell City-Perry County Public Library, Director Larry Oathout told board members Wednesday.

The last time Oathout remembered the credit card being out of library workers' hands was at a restaurant in Indianapolis. He suspects someone took a picture of the card or wrote the number down when the card was handed off to pay for a meal.

The charges, which were for the multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft, were reversed and new cards are being sent, Oathout said. Also, he told members they're debating whether they should get the police involved to see if it happened locally or in Indianapolis.

Bookmobile patrons will have an easier time finding the library on wheels thanks to the help of Google Maps. Oathout said Bookmobile Director Brandi Sanders has used Google Maps to place blue-colored bus icons on the bookmobile's stops.

Patrons can then click on the bus to find out when and where the bus will be at each location. By zooming in, the public can see exactly where the bus will be at, Oathout said, adding they're hoping to link the map on the library's Web site soon.

The Indiana Library Federation has endorsed the Indiana Public Library Coalition's recommendations to help streamline libraries. In December, Oathout told board members the IFL wanted to come up with a plan before they are forced to accept one mandated by the state.

Gov. Mitch Daniels is happy with what the coalition is doing, Oathout said, adding that right now, the plan looks like a "series of proposals." In a Dec. 19 press release, Diane Osborne, Indiana Public Library Association president and a member of the library coalition, said, "We look forward to reviewing and understanding the full details of the governor's proposals for libraries, and how they both align and differ with the Public Library Coalition's positions."

The News reported last month that libraries may also have to go through a process to meet certain standards or possibly lose state funding. He said the Indiana State Library is developing state standards for libraries to meet.

Oathout updated members on Perry County Council members approving a Tell City-Troy Township School Corp. request to borrow $2 million through an interest-free qualified zone academy bond for high-school renovation needs. Previously The News reported that non-elected governing entities have to obtain county-council approval before taking on debt, thanks to House Enrolled Act 1001.

By approving the school board's request, it could have reduced tax levies of all governmental entities by $140,000, including the library.

A worst-case scenario, Oathout said, would have cost the library more than $7,000. However, the director told library-board members that should the library be affected, it would probably only be a small amount.

The board approved a salary schedule for 2009. Oathout will receive $42,682; Assistant Director Paul Sanders, $32,174; Brandi Sanders, $27,030; Bookmobile Assistant Debbie Feix, $21,420; Systems Manager Debbie Seibert, $28,958; Children's Director Lisa Hammack, $25,904; Business Manager Ginger Alvey, $24,347 and Genealogy Director Evelyn Lasley, $23,677. Salaries reflect a 2-percent raise approved by the board in September.

In other business, the library's Teen Advisory Group elected Sam Snyder as president, Brook Birchler as vice president and Ariel Etienne as secretary. The group plans to sponsor a competition for writers of short stories in February.