Staff have implemented a new cash handling procedure. This has been a project with many moving parts and lots of training required. Kudos to Lissa Radder for her hard work on getting this going, and to Marilyn Muehlenberg, Linda Karpinski, and the circulation desk staff for taking on extra responsibilities. The City finance department asked the library to update our cash handling procedures to mirror those at City Hall.
The library had record low electricity usage in November and December 2017. Don Murray, building maintenance manager, says this could be due to Utility funding 600 LED bulbs for the library (which use much less electricity) or due to new boiler equipment.
After hearing from many patrons, library staff are working on ‘genrefying’ the adult DVD collection. Within the fiction collection of DVDs, instead of them being organized by title, they will be organized by genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Musicals, Adventure, Drama, Western, World Language, and TV series. The change has been very popular with our many patrons who come in ‘looking for a good Western,’ or saying ‘I need a new TV series’.
Unfortunately, at least three businesses were the target of a marketing scam by a company claiming to be working with OPL. B. Bleck received a box of hundreds of one-page 2018 calendars with a map of Oconomowoc on the back, which also say “Presented by Oconomowoc Library.” The company goes by many names (Universal AdCom and Hometown Productions are a few) and is well-known to the Better Business Bureau and several state attorneys general. The company did the same thing last January, and B. Bleck called them to object. When it happened again this year, B. Bleck called the company again and they requested she send a certified letter asking them to stop, which she did. She called the three businesses that purchased advertising (Reneu Health & MediSpa in Oconomowoc, a McDonald’s in Waukesha, and Horn Bros. Inc. in Muskego) to alert them to the situation, and contacted the city attorney, the police department, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Better Business Bureau.
CONTINUED SYSTEM INVOLVEMENT/AUTOMATION
Patrons can now pay library fines online. After a great deal of work by Mellanie Mercier at Bridges, patrons are now able to pay fines of $5 or more online, with a convenience fee of fifty cents. Library staff will not handle credit cards. Patrons can pay on their own mobile devices or computers, or at any of the catalog or public computers at the library. Patrons just log into their account through the OPL website, and if their fines are over $5, the option to pay online will appear. It’s been a soft rollout, to make sure there are no problems. So far, so good! The library system will provide promotional materials after the soft roll-out, likely in February. Bridges will reconcile the accounts monthly, and for now will issue checks to libraries monthly. The frequency of check issuance will likely be an item of discussion at an upcoming APL meeting (APL=Alliance of Public Libraries, the monthly meeting of Bridges library directors and Bridges staff).
FRIENDS OF OPL
The Friends ad-hoc 125th anniversary party planning committee held its first meeting on Thursday January 25. The next meeting of the Friends board will be Wednesday, February 21 at 7 pm.
The Friends book sale is scheduled for April 27-29, 2018.
The Christmas and New Year’s holiday weekends went smoothly. The first day we were open after New Year’s, circ staff cleared 7 carts of materials from the book drop, and the pick list (items patrons have put on hold, which we ‘pick’ from the shelf) was 42 pages long (usually about 15-24 pages after a non-holiday weekend).
The annual Magazine Giveaway will be held March 17 and 18. This year, it will be held in the Spaulding Room, as the Lyke Room is all booked up with library or community events.
B. Bleck has submitted her annual summation of Continuing Education (CE) activities to the library system, to maintain her library director certification as required by Chapter 43 of Wisconsin statutes. Library directors must re-certify every five years, which makes her ‘date’ September of 2019. Library directors must complete 100 hours of CE in the 5-year period before re-certifying. B. Bleck is well past that minimum.
Promotional materials were included in board packets for “Libraries Transform,” which is a system-wide effort to raise awareness of libraries’ role in their communities, and vice versa. Please see those materials for more details. There are also a few special opportunities for board members to be involved.
- “Because” posters: We have 11 “Because” statements (below). The “because” statements answer the question, “Why do you value the library?” or “Why do you use the library?,” etc. You may have your picture taken with the “Because” statement of your choice. The statements:
- Because more people visited a Waukesha County library than attended a Packers game last year #GoTeamLibrary
- Because for every $1 invested in Wisconsin libraries, $4 return to our communities
- Because 62% of the population can’t be wrong #LibraryCardHolders
- Because listening to books leads to reading books #1000BooksBeforeKindergarten
- Because 1 card gets you over 2,000,000 items
- Because strong libraries build strong communities
- Because learners get ahead
- Because everyone is welcome
- Because audiobooks turn commutes into adventures
- Because you can borrow more than you can buy
- Because books are just the beginning
- "I'm an expert in..." signs: These are fill-in-the-blank signs. You can use a dry erase marker to finish the sentence “I’m an expert in…” however you choose. Please consider posing with this sign so we can show off all the skills our board members have. Maybe your expertise is in:
- Recommending great books to friends
- Planning for the library’s future
- Telling the world about the library
- Or anything else!
- READ Poster station: Jennie Fidler set up a READ Poster station in the teen area for the month of February. There is a backdrop in the teen section in front of which all board members, patrons and staff are welcome to take a selfie. If you would like to participate, I can take the photo and upload it to Facebook or you may do so yourself. Please tag the library and include LibrariesTransform.
Each city department will again present to the Common Council a 5-minute summary of the past and current year. I will present on behalf of the library on Tuesday February 20.
Wisconsin Library Legislative Day will be Tuesday, February 20. I will attend in order to thank our legislators for their support of library legislation this year. Trustees are welcome to attend, as well. Please let me know if you are interested.
The latest issue of Wisconsin’s The Municipality magazine is all about libraries: http://www.lwm-info.org/DocumentCenter/View/1848. There is a piece by the director of the library in Eagle, Alli Chase, as well as a wonderful quote from a City of Waukesha alderman.