Mobile library back on all wheels

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By Janet Robb

Mechanically sound again, bookmobile could be back on road this week

TELL CITY - Since October, the Perry County Bookmobile has been in and out of commission, except for stops at local schools, but Library Director Larry Oathout expressed optimism Friday that the rolling library will be back to its normal schedule this week.

As The News reported Nov. 12, problems with the bookmobile's generator limited its stops to only Perry Central and Tell City-Troy School Corp. schools, since these locations have adapters for the bookmobile to plug into.

Without a generator or a power supply, the bookmobile cannot provide lights, heating or air conditioning during stops.

Oathout told the board at its meeting Wednesday that when a generator part was replaced, it didn't work, so a new part was built. When the rebuilt part was placed in the bookmobile, it "blew another part to the generator," he said.

As of press time Friday the bookmobile was on its way to be repaired.

The bookmobile is scheduled to be at Perry Central School Tuesday through Thursday and Oathout said patrons can call the library or the bookmobile office at 547-2661 to see when the bookmobile will resume its normal schedule.

Parking Lot

Oathout updated board members on the library's almost-finished parking lot. At the board's last meeting, concerns were raised about patrons parking in the new parking lot's entrance and exit area.

After speaking with Tom Schipp of Universal Design Associates in Ferdinand, Oathout assured the board that there will be arrows painted and hopes "once the arrows are there, it will alleviate that problem and since the first week, we have had little problems with parking (in the entrance area)."

The board also received its final bill from contractor Ruhe Drainage and Excavation for $14,747, but since the lights are not finished and the arrows are not painted, the library decided to withhold 10 percent of the payment.

The library director said they will submit a check to Ruhe for $13,273 and hold $1,474 until all the work is done.

Board President Mickey Fischer pointed out some of the existing outside lights were out. "I think they did cut some (power) lines when they did some initial digging," Oathout responded. "They are aware of that and are supposed to fix that."

"If it's their fault that those lights don't work, they need to correct it," Fisher said.

New Library System

Debbie Seibert, library systems administrator, recently joined a discovery task force to investigate a statewide library catalog, which would use open-source software, Oathout said.

The system would be similar to one in Georgia where library patrons can go to libraries within the state to checkout books, have access to other library's catalogs and could even initiate interlibrary loans themselves.

Seibert said, in Indiana's system, databases and security would be maintained at the Indiana State Library and individual libraries wouldn't have to worry about backing up their systems since it would be in Indianapolis.

Libraries can also put restrictions on what patrons from other libraries could borrow, she told the board including limiting new books and DVDs to only local borrowers.

The books could also be returned to each library from the patrons' home libraries. For example, if someone lives in Tell City but borrowed a book from the South Bend library, they could return the book to the Tell City-Perry County Library, which would send it back to South Bend.

She added if the library decides to join this system, there is no financial commitment and they can back out at anytime but if they join now, the library would get a bigger discount on the software and other services that come with the system.

In other business, Norma Rogier took her last actions as a board member Wednesday. A member since January 1988, Rogier thanked fellow members for her time on the board. Oathout said one candidate, Mark Rust, declined to fill the position, but said Regina Parker indicated interest.

He told the board he asked her to submit a letter to the Tell City-Troy School Corp. with her intent to serve.

Rogier's seat is one of those appointed by the school board.