MPL approves new circulation policies, fee changes

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

An endowment given to Marshall Public Library has accrued enough interest that some new materials will soon be purchased.

During an MPL Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday, Nov. 13, board members approved pulling the $1,790 interest from a CD to purchase large print books and audio books.

Board members said the principal amount of the CD, which is $5,100, cannot be touched, and it will be reinvested at an interest rate of less than 1 percent for two years.

From Oct. 1, 2012, through this past October, MPL has circulated 4,972 items. A majority of those items include adult fiction, children's easy reading, DVDs, juvenile fiction and adult nonfiction.

One upcoming change that interim Director Wicky Sleight feels could boost circulation is an increase in the amount of items cardholders can check out. Currently, cardholders in good standing have a limit of two movies and two music audio CDs.

Board members approved changing that policy to allow for ten each per household. Additionally, they increased the book limit to 40 per library card.

"We can afford to let more go out," Sleight said, noting books belong to Marshall residents.

Other policy changes made Tuesday evening included allowing children of any age to apply for a library card and charging non-resident borrowers an annual fee of $35 per family rather than $25 when they renew. That decision was made after learning MPL's rate was considerably lower than of several other public libraries.

A draft of the library's long-range plan, which runs through 2015, was adopted by the board. It reflects a goal of increasing the number of cardholders under age 5 by 50 percent each year. The new policy change will most likely help the library achieve that goal.

While several long-term goals include circulation and program participation numbers, staff members plan to work with Saline County Historical Society to digitize local history materials. The first step: learning which materials are actually owned by MPL. Ideally, MPL staff hopes to digitize all materials, but board member John Carton suggested getting legal advice to see if MPL has a right to own the digitized copies of borrowed materials.

Some of the items in the Maggie Duggins Genealogy room belong to the historical society, while others may simply be on loan. A staff report showed the genealogy room saw 46 visitors in October. Visitors came from seven other states and 10 Missouri cities, including Marshall.

In other news, MPL's next book sale begins at 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7. Books will also be on sale during regular business hours Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8-9.

Following the meeting, board members went into closed session to discuss personnel matters. The next regular meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Contact Sarah Reed at

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