Library board OKs 2023 budget, receives circulation report

The Jackson County Public Library board of trustees approved the 2023 budget at its regular meeting Monday at the Seymour Library.

The library’s operating fund budget for next year is $2,898,350.

During the meeting, the board also approved 2023 closing and board meeting dates, an after-hours children’s program on Jan. 20, insurance rates starting Dec. 1 and changes to the property building use policy.

Board President Dan Davis appointed Jaime McRoy, Eunice Lacey and Don Myers to the nominating committee. Committee Chairman McRoy will bring a slate of officers to the November meeting for a vote at the December meeting. New officers would start their positions in January.

The board also heard a report from Circulation Manager Christina Hime, who said staff interactions have changed with the public since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hime said for a long time during the pandemic, they just had the drive-thru window to interact with people. Now that people are coming back into the library, she said it has been nice to see faces.

“Our (library) cards are only good for two years, and so we see an influx when people need to renew their online services,” she said. “I love that because then you actually see that people are using it, and that’s a conversation we don’t necessarily have because we’re about the physical items at the front desk.”

Hime said they have two stacks of card applications because people have started to come in since this summer, and they’ve issued a lot, so people are using the library.

She said the circulation staff wants patrons to have an enjoyable experience, otherwise, they might choose to not come back.

“We try to make sure we’re small town, and it’s nice to acknowledge people and let them know the library is a nice, safe place to be,” she said. “If you don’t find what you’re looking for, we want people to feel comfortable telling us they need help.”