A Welcome to Our Blog

Greta Southard spent thirteen years as the Executive Director of the Public Library Association (PLA), based in Chicago, Illinois.  A Graduate of Indiana University, Greta Southard currently serves as the Director of Boone County Public Library. She lives in Union with her husband and two sons.

Greetings! Welcome to our new blog designed to keep you informed about the latest projects and happenings at Boone County Public Library.  This blog is another avenue for us to share information with you. It gives us the opportunity to write a little more than we can on our social media pages or in our newsletter. As stewards of your library, we are accountable to you and we want to keep you informed. In this day and age, we all need to be aware of how our tax-funded organizations are run.

Blog entries will be written by staff members who share a passion for the Library and the community and will be posted twice a month, typically on the first and fifteenth. You can access the blog on our website, watch for links to it on our Twitter and Facebook pages or subscribe to RSS feeds.

Did you know that in Kentucky, services are provided to communities by independent taxing districts? Each county creates the institutions that their particular community wants. Boone County Public Library is one of these taxing districts and was voted into existence by taxpayers on November 6, 1973.

Recently, State Auditor Adam Edelen released a comprehensive report on the special taxing districts in Kentucky (http://auditor.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx). His report is helping agencies across the state look at how they do things and how they report to the community. The report mentioned that the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) and the Kentucky Association of Public Libraries have put a great deal of effort into providing the public with as much transparency and accountability as possible. Good governance is important for every agency, including the Library. Boone County Public Library secures approval from KDLA for all appointments to the Board of Trustees and files an extensive report with them each year. The Library’s annual report details both the Library’s financial statements and performance in terms of circulation, programming, and usage of facilities. You can find a copy of this report and our Annual Report to the Community on our website at http://www.bcpl.org/library/board/

As a special taxing district, Boone County Public Library does have the ability to tax, but only within strict state statutes. The Library keeps money in a reserve fund which allows us to complete repairs and take care of remodeling issues without borrowing money until the tax revenue arrives, five months into the fiscal year. Because of the reserve account, the Library has been able to fully fund construction projects without taking on debt.

Our librarians and trustees have state certification and we have policies in place, which are regularly reviewed, that govern operations, ethics and finances. We work very hard making sure that we are an ethical, efficient and economical part of this community.

Because of the huge economic downturn, every business is rethinking how they do things and the Library is no different. We are constantly looking for ways to expand our services to you without adding more cost. One of the ways we’ve been doing this is by training our current staff in more than one role so they can work anywhere within our six locations. This has enabled us to have more staff members available for community outreach projects and makes better use of the talent we already have inside our buildings. We’ll be sharing information with you about some of these exciting outreach projects in future blog posts.

Did you know that a Library is an indicator of the vibrancy of the community? Many indexes such as Money magazine and School Match use the quality of local libraries as criteria in rating quality of life in local communities. Realtors use the library as a sales tool and community planners use it to attract new businesses to town. We work very hard to make sure your library adds to the quality of life in this community.  Walk through our doors and you’ll find lifelong learning opportunities, cultural events, art displays, relaxation activities and so much more.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments about this blog and, of course, answer any questions you may have. Feel free to email me at: director@bcpl.org

Keep an eye out for our future blog posts; who knows, you might discover some things you never knew about your library!

–Greta