News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

January 19, 2010

Vigo Library to join colleges’ catalog system

Collection will be linked with ISU, Rose, SMWC

TERRE HAUTE — The Vigo County Public Library will soon be joining with local colleges in a single electronic card catalog system.

The library board voted without opposition Tuesday evening to approve a “memorandum of understanding” with Indiana State University, St. Mary-of-the-Woods and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to share a single library reference database.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” said Nancy Dowell, director of the Vigo County Public Library. The library expects to “go live” with the new reference system in early to mid-August, she told the board during its monthly meeting at the main library branch downtown.

ISU, Rose-Hulman and The Woods already share a joint electronic reference system. The VCPL is simply going to join that system, Dowell said. The move will save the library money by allowing it to eventually drop its current reference system provider, she said.

Also at Tuesday evening’s meeting, the library board discussed a proposal to provide salary increases or one-time bonuses to library staff. Under the proposal, staff earning less than $50,000 annually would receive a $1,000 bonus for 2010. Staff earning more than $50,000 would receive a 2 percent raise and hourly staff would receive a pay increase of 50 cents per hour.

At least seven library staff members earn more than $50,000 per year, according to the 2009 report of the Vigo County Taxpayers Association.

Some board members questioned whether raises for staff would be viewed by the public as appropriate when many other public and private entities are freezing salaries or cutting staff.

“We took our hit last year,” said William Bruce, president of the board, speaking of cuts in staff and the closing of library branches. Library employees also experienced cuts in their medical insurance benefits in the current year, Dowell noted. Nevertheless, board members questioned raising salaries in the current economic climate and the board voted to postpone a decision on salaries until next month.

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    March 12, 2010