By T. Scott Boatright
The Lincoln Parish Library Board of Control approved closures for 2023 while also discussing LPL meeting room policies, including reservation forms, during a short meeting on Thursday in the Jack Beard Room of the LPL.
Board Chair Amy Miller, Vice Chair Jan Canterbury, and board members Richard Durrett, Sandra Dupree and Deborah Gilliam helped provide a quorum and passed the motion on 2023 library closures while member Eric McCullough joined the meeting right after that vote was conducted.
“I just adjusted last year’s closures to the dates for 2023,” said LPL Director Jeremy Bolom. “It’s the same holidays that we’ve been closed on. You sometimes have to adjust when a holiday falls on Sunday, but it’s still pretty much the same as we’ve been using.”
Bolom said that while one meeting room is currently closed due to some water problems, he did request the LPL Board room be allowed to be used if requested.
“I put that on there because that room is hardly utilized at all,” Bolom said. “And I’ve done a little tweaking on the wording in some places to make it all clearer.”
Bolom said he also added provisions to penalties if rules are not abided by.
“We call that teeth in the legal world,” Miller said.
Bolom said that he learned at a library director training session last week that if there aren’t consequences for following guidelines, then it’s not really a policy.
“And (for reservation requests) I put in a required purpose of the meeting, because people weren’t putting that in there to try and slide things in that we don’t want to have happen,” Bolom said. “Meetings in these rooms have to be free, open to the public/organizational type things – nothing to make money can be put on in the Events Center.”
The vote to approve the new forms was also approved unanimously.
Bolom told the Board that LPL visits and circulation numbers continue to be more than they were in 2021.
“We’re up around 1,200 (visits) from last July, but I’m surprised because of the (COVID) pandemic,” Bolom said.
Bolom also told Board members he attended a two-day “boot camp” for library directors last week at the State Library in Baton Rouge.
“I had been before, but it was good to hear it again,” Bolom said. “It was training about Board functions, what the library laws are, how to maintain facilities and that kind of thing, how the taxes work – all kinds of stuff.
“The interesting parts were some of the things I found out that we don’t do absolutely correctly, so I’m going to be addressing those moving forward.”
Bolom said part of that was when Board meeting minutes should be published.
“I was told that we should publish them whether they’ve been approved or not,” Bolom said.
Bolom said that censorship and first amendment issues were also discussed during his training.
“All of that is starting to happen across the state and country, so I was glad to hear some professional guidance being discussed about all of that,” Bolom said.
Bolom also told Board members that September is ‘Library Card Sign-Up” month and that he’d like to hold and is starting to plan a meet-and-greet for the public to allow them to get to know LPL staffers and hopefully increase use of the library.
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