Otis library meeting Monday
By Jim Misunas
OTIS — The Otis Community Library Board will sponsor a public meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Otis High School library to discuss the future of the community library.
The Otis Community Library will apparently be forced to relocate in mid-August after the Otis city council voted 4-1 recently to move the library out of the city building. The Otis Community Library, 122 S. Main, has been in the same building at Otis city hall for 40 years. The city of Otis has provided space and paid utilities.
The library regularly serves more than 200 patrons. Wireless Internet access is available along with three public computers. The library is open from 7-9 p.m. Monday; 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday and Saturday; 1:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday; and 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 5 p.m. Friday.
The Otis Community Library Board received the news it would no longer be welcome at city hall through a certified letter from City Clerk Patricia Stieben. The letter explained the library had 30 days from July 15 to relocate. Larry Krestine serves as city librarian.
“I would have loved to speak in behalf of the library,” said Lois Wagner, library board chair. “But we knew nothing about it. I was totally stunned when I got the letter.”
The letter stated after August 15, “the city will no longer be responsible for payment of any employment wages or workers compensation or liability or property insurance premiums. The city council has determined this would give you adequate time to make arrangements for a new location and the movement of all property from the city-owned building to that new location and arrange to acquire an Employers Identification Number and Insurance coverage.”
Wagner said the library intends to remain open. If the library moves, books must be moved to a new location. Monday’s meeting will show whether there is local support for the library. Wagner said it was unclear whether the city would continue providing financial support for the library if it does move to another location.
“We need input from the community on how to fund the library,” she said. “I would be lost without our library. I read a lot.”
Otis Mayor Roger Brack said the decision was made so city hall has space to expand operations.
“We like having a library in town, but the main reason we are doing it was to expand the city hall,” Brack told The Hays Daily News.