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Library late fees to halt in March
new slt painting
Several paintings from the Kansas Room at Great Bend Public Library have been moved to other locations in the building. This painting of sunflowers is in the hallway by the copy machine. The Kansas Room is being remodeled.

Great Bend Public Library plans to do away with late fees in March, even though the new policy on overdue materials hasn’t been written. The plans were discussed Monday when the GBPL Board of Directors met.
The board approved ending late fees at its January meeting, but board member Marla Davidson asked for a correction to the minutes of that meeting. The amended minutes will show that the board also expects Library Director Harry Willems to write a policy for dealing with overdue items. That policy may include a suspension of check-out privileges until items are returned.
Willems said he is still working on a policy and will email it to board members this month, for approval at the March 14 meeting.
In other business Monday, board member Karen Ekberg was invited to apply for a second four-year term on the board when her first term expires on April 30. Appointments are made by the mayor.
Williems did not have a monthly financial statement this month, but did comment on the contract for maintenance of the new HVAC system. The old heating, ventilation and air conditioning system maintenance cost was $9,000 a year. “I expect it to be considerably cheaper,” he said of the contract for the new system.
The director also commented on the remodeling of the Kansas Room, which was approved in January. Books and paintings have been removed and placed elsewhere in the library.
Four nice oil paintings by the same artist were rearranged into an attractive display in the room. A Birger Sandzén painting that graced the Kansas Room has been moved to a secure location until it can be hung in a prominent place.

New microfilm reader
Willems said the Friends of the Library group has agreed to provide $2,500 toward the cost of a new microfilm reader-printer. The oldest one is hard to find parts for and yearly maintenance is now $700; it will be donated to the Barton County Historical Society. A newer reader has some features that only work on Windows XP. Those features will again be available with the new reader, which is expected to cost $6,000 to $7,000.
“It will be more versatile with search capabilities,” Willems said. People will again be able to scan an item and email it as a jpg.