Book worms

Students of Sunset Elementary visited the Kendall Young Library earlier this month to encourage reading.

Classes visited the library in a field trip for about 20 minutes and had the opportunity to check out books from the library. Library director Angie Martin-Schwarze said at the library board of trustees meeting that the trips have encouraged those students and their family members to become library card holders with 55 new cards assigned since last week.

“We’re very excited about this partnership,” Martin-Schwarze said. “More kids are getting into the library, staff have the chance to tell them about upcoming programs and I anticipate this will carry into the summer so more kids will be likely to come back then.”

Martin-Schwarze said Linda Williams, curriculum director at Webster City schools, encouraged teachers to take the trip out to the library. Martin-Schwarze said the school is encouraging literacy amongst families by encouraging them to read together.

Martin-Schwarze also spoke about a number of upcoming events at the library. The Festival of Chocolate, scheduled for Jan. 27, is taking entries until Friday. She said that deadline may be extended based on interest.

Digital download classes at the library have seen about six to 12 people per session. The classes show how to use digital devices, such as tablets and phones, to access the library’s digital services. Martin-Schwarze said 61 people have signed up for Zinio, a digital magazine service the library now offers.

The library board also reviewed their circulation policy. As of Feb. 19, items will be checked out from the library on a three-week basis, down from four weeks. However, library patrons will be able to renew items up to two times if there is no one on a waiting list for that item.

Since the library is now allowing renewal of items, Martin-Schwarze said the grace period after an item is due has been moved down to one day. The maximum fine on overdue items has been decided at six dollars. That is slightly over the fine limit to check out books at the library, which is five dollars. At five dollars or more, patrons will not be able to check out items at the library until their fines are paid. Martin-Schwarze said the library will work with patrons as the new policy comes into effect.

“We will be very forgiving as people become adjusted to this,” Martin-Schwarze said.

The library board also reviewed the 2012 budget and set the budget for 2013. The library’s anticipated income for this year is $728,914 and their budget is $701,656.