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GBPL recipient of Whelan Endowment Fund
Three executive sessions for discussion of personnel
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Golden Belt Community Foundation Executive Director Christy Tustin presented the GBPL Board of Directors with a check in the amount of $6,769 from the Don and Phyllis Whelan Endowment Fund. Pictured here are GBPL Board of Trustees President Bill King, Library Director Harry Willems and Tustin. - photo by Veronica Coons, Tribune staff

 Vickie Herl, the Great Bend Public Library’s administrative manager, will celebrate 45 years as a staff member on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. The library Board of Trustees recognized her at the March meeting on Monday. There will be a retirement reception on April 8 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the library, open to the public.
Liz Dukelow, supervisor of Marketing and Technical Services, and Erin Ferguson, supervisor of Adult Services, both presented department reports.
So far in March, the library has participated in two community events. Staff shared information about programming and took library card applications from people who visited their table at Ladies Night at Waters True Value, Dukelow said. At the Spring Expo, staff also manned a table, where several people who stopped by expressed interest in the state library cards and local cards.
Board members thanked Dukelow for her efforts to include up-to-date information in her column in the Great Bend Tribune.
Ferguson shared that with the advent of tax season, staff have been helping patrons with choosing tax forms. Also, the new DVD carousels are proving to be a good investment. Lie their hotel counterparts, these carousels are currently being used to store movies, and in the future Ferguson would like to add television series DVDs. A tech support company which serves libraries is available, so while the new system is pricey, she is confident it will be an improvement for the library staff and patrons.
The board then entered into executive session for 25 minutes for the purpose of discussing personnel issues. Assistant Director Diedre Lemon, and Vickie Herl, and Steve Kummer, the new administrative assistant who will step into Herl’s position upon her retirement in April, were asked to sit in on the session. Upon returning to regular session, Golden Belt Community Foundation Executive Director Christy Tustin presented the board with a check in the amount of $6,769 from the Don and Phyllis Whelan Endowment Fund.
Two year’s ago, the endowment fund was established with the purpose of supporting six organizations the Whelan’s felt were a benefit to the community, of which the GBPL is one. This will be an annual grant to the library, with no restrictions, Tustin said. The board thanked Tustin and discussed how it can publicly express their gratitude for the gift and reach out to remaining family members.
Then, the board went into a second executive session for 25 minutes, which ran over. When the session returned briefly to regular session, an individual, GBPL Children’s Librarian Dayna Ball left the session, and the board entered into a third executive session for 30 minutes, again for the discussion of personnel issues. It is unclear at what point Ball was invited into the executive session. The board then resumed regular session, and no action was taken.
A search of the Great Bend Public Library website staff page did not include a listing of Ball. A source at the GBPL stated that Ball is no longer the Children’s Librarian as of early February. The last meeting of the GBPL Board of Trustees was on Jan. 31, after being postponed due to the mid-January ice storm. At that time, it was decided to forgo the February meeting of the Board of Trustees.
Library Director Harry Willems gave a brief report on the library financial statements and an abbreviated director’s report. The meeting was then adjourned.

Other items of business and discussion included:

Approval of both the January and the February financial statement and expenditures.
Approved minutes of the January meeting.
Crucial Conversations mini-workshop discussion was postponed to a future meeting.
The board thanked Vickie Herl for her service to the board.
It was noted that two positions on the library board will come open as of May 1. Individuals interested in serving may apply through the City of Great Bend.
The next meeting will be at 4:45 p.m. on Monday, April 10, in the director’s office.