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GBPL increasing opportunities for participation, usage in 2018
Board says goodbye to Willems, welcomes Santy
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Retiring Director of the Central Kansas Library System and the Great Bend Public Library, Harry Willems, was honored Tuesday afternoon with a public come-and-go reception. Patrons stopped in to share a piece of cake and wish him well. In October, Willems was awarded the Kansas Library Association Meritorious Service Award for his more than 20 years service to small and rural Kansas libraries as a librarian, consultant and Regional System director. - photo by VERONICA COONS, Great Bend Tribune


Here’s what the Great Bend Public Library Board of Directors discussed on Monday, Dec. 11:

* Heard a department report from Adult Services Supervisor Erin Ferguson.

* Approved the minutes of the previous meeting.

* Approved the monthly financial statement and expenditures, and authorized the filing of the financial statement for the auditors.  

* Heard report from outgoing director Harry Willems concerning update of the by-laws

* Approved schedule of meetings for 2018.

Patrons of the Great Bend Public Library will have more opportunities to participate in reading-centric opportunities in 2018, thanks to the groundwork being laid now by Adult Services Supervisor Erin Ferguson. The library’s Board of Directors heard an update on these efforts at its monthly meeting Monday afternoon.
One way participation is being enhanced is through the GBPL Open Book Club. This group will continue to meet on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m., Ferguson reported. In addition to the live group, an ongoing discussion on will allow those unable to attend meetings to participate.
“This will allow the library to utilize GoodReads to promote our collection as well,” she said.
Also, with declining rates of audio book cassette check-outs, Ferguson plans to complete the de-selection of these offerings in the weeks to come, and the space will soon be devoted to non-fiction DVDs and nonfiction audiobooks. Creating a specific section for these offerings, she said, will make it easier for patrons to find them.
In addition, Ferguson reported small groups of around three or four persons have been attending the weekly 3-D printer classes that started last month, and interest is slowly beginning to build.
A recent relocation of the graphic novel collection from the teen room to the main library has been well received, and patrons are continuing to check out the books. Tracking showed a decrease in check-outs from the teen collection that corresponded with an increase of check-outs from the general collection that occurred at the same time the collection was moved. Board members asked for updates of usage of the Spanish-language collection in a future report.
During the communications portion of the meeting, Board President Bill King presented a gift from board members to outgoing director Harry Willems. Monday was his last meeting, and King noted that his loss will be felt. They also welcomed incoming director Gail Santy, who joined Willems at the head of the table. Willems noted that he has been putting the finishing edits on the new library bylaws, and members will receive a copy of them soon.
Board members asked questions concerning maintenance agreements for the building’s HVAC system, and it was noted that Reliable Heating and Air is continuing to provide service but the library and the Central Kansas Library System are still waiting for figures to be charged for maintenance contract.
It was also announced that the library would hold a reception for Willems Tuesday afternoon to give patrons a chance to wish him well in his retirement.