Library board discusses new developments and the success of the reading program

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Members of the Moniteau County Library Board of Directors met to discuss various business and reports at the group’s meeting on September 15.

During their meeting, Library Director Connie Walker touched on topics such as early plans for new construction, technological changes, changes to the library shelves, and the progress of the summer reading program. from the library.

While Walker said plans for a new building are still in their very early stages, she is currently collecting names of potential architects to undertake this project. She said she was also in the process of creating a request for proposals, which she would then send out to several architects.

“In this process, we usually do a request for proposal,” Walker said. “We ask (the architects) to come and show us past projects to get a feel for their style. There is usually a public meeting where they come and present, and then we decide who we would like to hire (based on that).”

Walker said she hopes her RFP will be completed by early November as she balances other projects. While discussing the potential for new technologies in the current building, she explained that the Moniteau County Library was fortunate to have received assistance from the Missouri State Library in this effort.

“Looking at a building, we kind of have to rethink our technology – we have a server here, but we may want to go to something that’s on a cloud,” Walker said. “We have the opportunity (to work with) the State Library – they received a huge amount of money from the CARES Act and decided to ask their affiliate, MOREnet (Missouri Research and Education Network), to evaluate free library networks. “

She said this gesture was a “big deal” as this is not the kind of service that is offered too often and she values ​​their opinion. However, this is not the only service the Moniteau County Library has received. Walker said the library had secured a designated donation to replace the shelves in the library’s children’s department. The library will be removing the last of its laminate shelves after purchasing the shelves from the Missouri Vocational Enterprise. This will also be their third order that they have placed with the company, so all shelves will match.

With that in mind, Walker also referred to the success of the Moniteau County Library’s summer reading program. Walker said that in 2021, 406 children participated in the program and the library has received very positive feedback from parents and guardians. As their biggest program, Walker said she was happy to announce that 2,341 children’s books, 3,443 children’s books and 84 STEAM kits were borrowed during this time, with 69 new library cards also issued. .

Walker writes an annual grant application to purchase more books and services from Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant programs, and is optimistic given the polls and comments that have been sent back to the County Library of Moniteau. She said it has been more difficult to navigate their programs due to COVID-19, she hopes the circumstances regarding the success of the library and its services will be easier

“Last year we wrote these grants in the fall, so nobody really knew about COVID, but we had a $ 10,000 grant to work with,” Walker said. “We had no programs, no internal programs, so (we had to work around that) and (the licensors) allowed us to buy a really good laptop for virtual programs. The last two years have been a blast. real challenge and we were able to adapt our program. Hopefully by next year we will get back to normal. “


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