Jacksonville's summer reading programs a success
The Jacksonville Public Library Board of Trustees met Aug. 22 to review the Children’s and Adult Summer Reading programs.
The Jacksonville Public Library Board of Trustees meets at 4:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.
Here's the meeting's agenda, as provided by the board:
MINUTES OF THE JACKSONVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD MEETING
August 8, 2016
The regular meeting of the Jacksonville Public Library Board of Directors was held
August 8, 2016 in the library’s conference room. Present were President Mary
Fergurson, Noel Beard, Craig Albers, Forrest Keaton, Katie Weeks, Kevin Eckhoff and
Library Director Chris Ashmore. Absent were Robert Underbrink, Ted Roth, and
Fergurson called the meeting to order at 4:31 PM.
President Fergurson expressed her condolences on behalf of the board to Betsy and
Pat Kennedy on the loss of their son.
It was moved by Albers and seconded by Beard that the minutes of the July board
meeting be accepted as submitted. Motion carried.
It was moved by Eckhoff and seconded by Weeks that all financial reports be approved
and that all properly approved bills for August in the amount of $57,153.03 be paid out
of general funds as funds are available. Motion carried.
At this point, Fergurson also reported on the latest Endowment Fund Report.
July was another great month at the Jacksonville Public Library. Both the Children’s
and Adult Summer Reading Programs wrapped up at the end of the month. They were
each very successful with large numbers of participants.
While Chris battled kidney stones, he was still able to accomplish many things. The
library’s anti-virus software, Symantec Endpoint Protection, was upgraded to a newer
version that will work with Windows 7, 8, and 10. End of support for Windows 7 is
January 2020. Between now and then, the library will be replacing most of its
computers and thus moving to Windows 10 with the new computers. Chris upgraded
several of the library’s newer computers to Windows 10 while the upgrade was still free
so that they would not need to be replaced by the end of life for Windows 7.
The Key Ring App was corrected so that patrons searching for the Jacksonville Public
Library could distinguish it from the library in Jacksonville, Florida. After downloading
the App, patrons then search for the Jacksonville Public Library that says IL and has our
library logo to distinguish it. All they have to do then is scan in their library card and
they can then use their phone to check out if they do not wish to carry their card. Chris
sent out a press release about this new service, but nothing has been published at this
In the good news department, the library passed its annual elevator inspection without
having to add any new features or apply for a variance. Chris met with Craig Albers on
July 26th to discuss strategies for improving the appearance of the library grounds.
Several possibilities were discussed and Chris is beginning to pursue those options.
On Thursday July 14th, the library hosted its second Travelogue Program of the
summer. Andriy Chukin gave a fantastic presentation on his home country of Ukraine.
About 25 people attended the program and were not disappointed.
Chris was also busy with a lot of planning for fall events and activities. There was a
meeting at the library with representatives from MacMurray College and Illinois College
to discuss a theme and possible films for the upcoming third annual Humanities Film
Chris also began booking acts for the upcoming Music Under the Dome season. This
season, the plans are to feature local artists to show the amazing talent right here in the
Jacksonville area. At this point, we have three acts scheduled. Along these same lines,
several area musicians, most of whom have performed at the library in the past, are
planning a fundraising concert to raise money to buy an upright piano to give to the
library to use for our concerts. Plans are just now underway, but we are hoping we
might have this by next spring so that it can be used in some of the upcoming season’s
concerts. This event will bring great publicity to the library and its concert series and I
have no doubts that people will be willing to donate at such a benefit.
Other things keeping Chris busy in July were reviewing library policies; continued
planning for the Bookstock Music Festival on October 1; organizing the upcoming Book
Club season; helping maintain the library’s web site and Facebook page; and
maintaining the day-to-day operations of the library.
In July, Hillary worked on organizing the upcoming Antiques Appraisal event with
Antiques Roadshow appraiser Mark Moran. Last year’s event was an overwhelming
success and many patrons requested that the program return. She worked with
Children’s Librarian Cindy Boehlke on the Books on Wheels Bookmobile, which will
conclude on August 15th. She also organized and shipped back issues of the
Jacksonville Journal Courier to be microfilmed and continued local history research on
Dr. Alonzo H. Kenniebrew, the early 20th century physician whose Jacksonville surgical
hospital was the first African-American owned surgical hospital in the United States.
Hillary answered several reference and reader advisory queries as well as answered
research questions about Jacksonville history and genealogy, including assisting
patrons with microfilm and Special Collections resources. She created the August
newsletter and distributed it to several different media and social service outlets in the
area. She continues to contribute to the Shelf Life newspaper column each week.
In July there were 880 items borrowed from other libraries; 542 items were lent to other
libraries; and there were 681 reciprocal circulations.
The Circulation Department has continued to provide great customer service to all
Jacksonville Public Library patrons. The Adult Summer Reading Program was in full
swing throughout the month of July and proved to be a very busy time for all staff and
patrons. There were 220 participants this year which is over twice as many people as
last year. Fifteen weekly and grand prizes were awarded, all of which were donated by
local businesses. Some examples of the grand prizes were a $250 gift certificate to be
used at International Eye Care towards glasses or contacts and gift certificates to Leo’s,
Jones Meat Locker, The Look, Our Town Books and many more. Each patron was
given a prize for reading their first 5 books and with the higher number of participants,
more prizes had to be purchased than in previous years. We received great feedback
from patrons and this year’s program was a great success due to promotion by
circulation staff. As always, there were many more applications for library cards and the
foot traffic from the children’s Summer Reading Program made its way up to the adult
desk. Sarah sent a second round of thank you letters to the businesses who donated
to Summer Reading to let them know how well it went.
Homebound patrons received a bonus with their book deliveries in July -- Diane shared
cookies leftover from all the baking she did for the Morgan County Fair. The Adult
Summer Reading program ended with 34 homebound participants turning in a total of
355 books read. Prizewinners were Joyce Kreger with 40 books and Sue Dawdy who
completed 30 books.
Diane attended the Morgan County Professionals for Senior Wellness meeting at
Heritage Health on July 7. On July 29, she met with Becky Woiwode, Executive Director
of Cedarhurst Assisted Living and Memory Care, for a tour of the facility. Regular book
deliveries to Cedarhurst will start in mid-September if their official opening date stays on
The July issue of "ASSOCIATES: The Electronic Library Support Staff Journal" featured
an interview with Diane in the "Spotlights" section.
The Knollwood Book Club discussed "Cowboy Life" on July 8, while the Jacksonville Area
Senior Center Book Club on July 19 focused on "Amish Life" and popular authors of
Amish fiction/romances. Diane also met with residents at Balsam Terrace/Spruce Manor
on July 14 to talk about library services.
Now that the big weeding project is completed, Thomas Clatterbuck started shelf shifting
in the Large Print area to make shelving easier for staff members and access to the books
better for our patrons. It looks good!
July was a busy month in Youth Services as the second half of the Summer Reading
program began and ended. There were movies, science programs, story times, science
times, Garden club, Lego Club, an animal program, a magician and a really great
juggler. The kids made Thing 1 and Thing 2, pillows, race cars and sand art. It was a
busy, busy month, but also a lot of fun! The kids also made slime and a bubble snake.
They also blew up some soda with Mentos and made a bouncy ball.
The Summer Reading Program winners this year were:
Kindergarten – 6th grade 1st place was a tie between Naomi and Elijah Glaenzer.
Kindergarten – 6th grade 2nd place was a tie between Hannah and Nicholas George.
Kindergarten – 6th grade 3rd place went to Akash Sudhier.
Pre-Kindergarten 1st place went to Rachel George.
Pre-Kindergarten 2nd place went to Thea Laumakis.
Pre-Kindergarten 3rd place was a tie between Jayce Sexton and Kaegen Taylor.
Teen winners were Madden Delaney and Elena Ferraro.
The Grand Prize winner for Pre-K was Charlie English who received passes to
Ergadoozy in Springfield. The Grand Prize winner for K-6 was Carter McNeeley who
will enjoy a trip to Chicago.
Things continued to operate smoothly in Technical Services. Diane Darnell efficiently
kept up with cataloging. Heidi and Kim Pohlman processed materials. Volunteer Linda
Little continued to work on special projects and assist where needed.
Building and Grounds
Albers and Ashmore reported on their discussion about improvements to the
appearance of the library’s grounds. Ashmore has a meeting with Mayor Ezard and
Head of City Maintenance Terry Chumley set up for Wednesday August 10. After
discussing things with the City, Ashmore will move on from there and report back to the
board on the plans made for better upkeep of the library grounds.
Ashmore reported on upcoming library events that will provide the library with good
publicity. He discussed the last Travelogue program, the Antiques Appraisal Event,
Music Under the Dome, Book Club, and Bookstock, A Backyard Roots Music Festival.
Ashmore also reported on plans for a fundraising concert by area musicians to raise
money to purchase a piano for the library. Discussion ensued.
FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY
Ashmore reported on the July Friends of the Library board meeting. At this meeting, the
board discussed plans for a concession stand at the Bookstock Music Festival, naming
their annual Friend of the Year, adding new board members and different ideas for
having used book sales.
A sympathy card for the Kennedy family was passed around for signatures.
A discussion was held on whether Ted Roth should remain on the board while he is
recovering from his recent stroke. Ted offered to step down if the board so wished.
The consensus of the board was that they were fine with keeping Ted on the board
while he missed meetings, so long as the Mayor was ok with this. Chris will contact
Mayor Ezard for his opinion.
Ashmore reported that the library received a $5,000 bequest from the estate of Alma
Phebus to be spent on books and computers.
Eckhoff made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:32 PM, seconded by Beard. Motion
Respectfully submitted by Chris Ashmore