OZARK-DALE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees
May 18, 2016
Members Present:

Earl Hyers, Chairman
Marie Black
Imogene Mixson
Marian Jenkins
Beverly Raley

Also Present: Sandra Holmes, Library Director
Ron Steensland, Lead Consultant, LibraryMax
Chris Wisham, President, Friends of the Library
Donna Snell, Bookkeeper
Mr. Hyers called the meeting to order.
Remarks by Chairman. Mr. Ron Steensland of LibraryMax was welcomed to the meeting.
Regarding the municipal elections for the City of Ozark to be held this summer, Mr. Hyers stated
that the Mayor and all 5 council seats are up for election. Everyone needs to contact those
running for office with regard to the needs and support of our library. Also, there will be
programs held in September at the library in conjunction with Auburn University. This is a grant
from the National Endowment of the Humanities to present discussion sessions on World War I
and the Vietnam war. Mr. Hyers and Lou Hennies will be attending workshops beginning June
28-30, 2016, in Auburn. Ozark was 1 of only 6 communities chosen to participate after the
Library Director wrote a letter of support.
Minutes. On motion of Marie Black, seconded by Beverly Raley, the April minutes were
approved by the Board.
Circulation/Financial Reports. Circulation of materials is up a little from last year.
Attendance is o.k. Our budget expenses are in line with the half-way point of the fiscal year.
Sandra Holmes reported that the Spring Break Programs were well attended and that internet
use is very high. Employment search on computers is also very high.
The drop in the number of borrowers from April 2015 to April 2016 was due to a purge of the
list.
Mr. Hyers stated that he had asked for figures on attendance at the Ozark Civic Center and
was told an estimate of 15,000 to 20,000 people annually. The library’s average annual
attendance is 144,000 which is more than 3 to 4 times as many.
Imogene Mixson stated we should try to find out what the best, most modern formats for
communicating our services are so that all citizens will be able to understand and be involved in
the library services and special events.
Sandra Holmes stated that during the month of April, a total of 3,190 people hit our
employment site. Since there is no employment office in Dale County now, people regularly use
the library as a means of applying for jobs and unemployment benefits. Mr. Hyers stated that

even though the Aviation College is the appropriate site for employment services, most people
are using the library instead.
Mr. Hyers stated that there are other services we provide that are not available anywhere else
in Dale County. Our library book sale room is the only book store in Ozark and Dale County.
Discussion was held about getting these facts and figures out to the public. Perhaps a fact sheet
could be handed out, mailed with newsletters and/or with thank you notes to donors, etc.
Mr. Steensland stressed that it is very important in an election period to meet with the
candidates for office one-on-one and give them a “bullet point” list of facts about the library
services and the community’s needs that we meet. Perhaps just a simplified fact sheet could be
drawn up. Mr. Hyers stated that he already has a meeting set up with Mike Barefield, candidate
for Mayor.
Discussion was held with regard to a recent meeting with Mark Blankenship, Chairman of the
Dale County Commission. His concern is that there are other libraries in Dale County that the
citizens of the County are using and also that the Commission is funding. Each town library in
Daleville, Midland City and Newton are city libraries and receive the funding separately from
the towns and Dale County Commission and also their part of State Aid funds is allocated on a
per capita basis. The Ozark-Dale County Public Library State Aid funds are based on per capita
less the number of people served by these town libraries. The Director stated that the patrons of
Daleville, Midland City and Newton libraries are allowed to also get a library card for the OzarkDale County Public Library; but, that patrons who hold our library card are not allowed to use it
in the town libraries. Houston County has a countywide system of libraries.
Mr. Hyers stated that in no other area, except Elba, are United Way funds given to a library.
Our library was able to apply for and meet the qualifications of being a United Way agency. We
have been a United Way agency since 1997. Mr. Steensland stated that our Library Board also is
unique in that it has the authority to own and take title to property.
Sandra Holmes stated that the budget is in good shape to date. We have an overage of travel
and the travel expense may need to be increased. Our library will be working with the Daleville
city library to offer art classes as a part of their summer reading program and Ruth Rosentrater
will be going there to teach. Mr. Steensland stated it is important to think of travel expense also
as training for staff and Mr. Hyers suggested that the budget item be changed to Travel and
Training Expense. Beverly Raley stated that Pokeman has educational value and is something
that has endured and grown over time.
Sandra stated that the Summer Reading Program this year is Ready, Get Set…..Read! Mr.
Eutsey helps us with the cost of printed T-shirts and these are paid for by the Friends of the
Library. The Friends has also contributed to the cost of the Summer Reading Program.
The Amazon on-line book sale account balance is at $23,000. Roberta Hyers is working on
updating the on-line listings.
Sandra stated that the library received a grant for items targeted at helping children and youth
considered at-risk. It was used to purchase books and a large selection of DVD’s on subjects for
building good moral character, avoiding drug use, etc. These grants are made available every
year. Also, in June Dr. Covin, a Psychologist, will give a program for parents and children with
ADD and/or ADHD. Also, programs are being done through the Juvenile Court System. When
Stuart Smith takes office from Judge Steagall, these programs will continue. Information will be
published letting the public know about these programs.
Beverly Raley asked how these programs can be coordinated with the Boys and Girls Club.
Marion Jenkins stated that with the programs offered by the East Gate Summer Day classes, the

Boys and Girls Club, the Library and various church Vacation Bible Schools, the children can get
several weeks of continuous activity during the summer. Our goal is to keep children off the
streets and learning during the summer months.
Sandra Holmes stated that the recent adult coloring class was well attended.
Marion Jenkins stated that the help the Library offers in teaching people to use their electronic
tablets and smart phones is important and very welcome.
Mr. Chris Wisham as Smart Start representative was welcomed to the meeting.
At this point, the meeting was turned over to Mr. Ron Steensland, Lead Consultant of
LibraryMax, LLC. Mr. Steensland told the Board that the Community Analysis and
Recommendations document they had received was a preliminary draft report and was the firm’s
first best effort. Updates, corrections and changes will be made before the final report is
presented to the Board and to the Ozark City Council and Dale County Commission.
The meetings with focus groups comprised of local residents were good. They are the voters
in these communities and their ideas and needs are important to elected officials. Some of their
ideas and recommendations may not be possible or feasible, but all must be considered. The
report will contain opposing ideas and opinions, but both were expressed and considered. The
goal was to gather ideas. The Executive Summary at the beginning of the report is an overview
of their effort to do what the Library Board had asked them to do.
Mr. Steensland said that they met with the staff of the libraries in Daleville, Newton and
Midland City. Only one of these libraries is in a building built solely as a library. It is in
Daleville and they already have outgrown it and there is no room for expansion. Midland City
has a store-front building converted into a library and the Newton library is in a historic building
along with their city hall. He stated that he was impressed with what was done with very little
funding and also that the Mayor of Newton attended a focus group meeting and was interested in
the library.
Mr. Steensland said that they had met with the Mayor of Ozark and also the Chairman of the
Dale County Commission. He learned that the library is thought of in terms of being Ozark’s
library. The Commission Chairman wanted the library to commit to helping the other libraries in
Dale County with technology issues, etc. Mr. Steensland asked the Mayor and Chairman if they
would be able to fund a new library with a bond issue. He was assured that their bonded debt
amounts are low and they would be able to.
Mr. Steensland suggested that the Board not focus on replacing this library building alone, but
to look at funding for all the library buildings in Dale County. This might be a way of uniting the
City and the County in an effort to enlarge and modernize all the library facilities. The issue is to
get the City and County to agree to commit funds so that other sources of funding like the
Wiregrass Foundation and private donors can be contacted. A mistake is made when a gradual
increase in funding is not put into writing when budget issues are discussed. Capital monies
cannot be used for operating expenses and when new libraries are built, like the two new ones in
Dothan, the cost of operation increases. He recommended that the amount of per capita funding
be re-evaluated and possibly increased. Comparisons should be made to get a basis for
recommendation.
Imogene Mixson stated that we cannot rely on benefactors and that often large donations are
earmarked for special use and do not help with the everyday operation costs.
Ron Steensland said that we should not only work to improve our building, but to improve
our funding as well. He said that a national standard for library spaces is 1 square foot per
capita. This would mean Dale County should have 50,000 sq. feet of library space. As for

funding, he recommended that we should benchmark libraries that are similar to this one.
Criteria should include computer usage, children’s programs, etc. Look for similar sizes in the
state-wide population.
Marie Black stated that the lower portion of Dale County is experiencing growth from the
new industries being located there and that will bring in people as new employees who will need
schools, library services, etc. Imogene Mixson said we need to be sure to cite this industrial
growth as a factor in expanding the library. She said we need to try to anticipate and be able to
address any issues, potential problems, options and solutions beforehand to be fully prepared
when requesting funding.
Chris Wisham asked how much money was spent building the two new libraries in Dothan.
Earl Hyers replied that the downtown library is 22,000 sq. ft. and the Westgate library is 13,000
sq. ft. and both were built at a cost of $214.29 per sq. ft. The cost was $7.5 million. The City
paid 2.5 million; the County 1 million; Wiregrass Foundation 3 million; and 1.7 million was
raised from donations. The amount over is capital monies and cannot be used for operating
expenses.
Mr. Steensland and Mr. Hyers said that the results of the analysis thus far show that to
rehabilitate the existing building or do nothing at all is no longer possible. In order for the
requests of the citizens to be met, more space will be required.
Sandra Holmes stated that we must set high standards and not settle for less than the best for
our community.
Imogene Mixson asked what should be included in a building for a library. Ron Steensland
said that Phase 2 of the consultant group’s task would be to allocate space in buildings. He also
stated that the participants of the Focus Groups consulted had asked for a copy of their reports.
Mr. Hyers said the process would be to go to the City and County governments and see what
they will do in the way of funding, then see what the Wiregrass Foundation will fund and then
ask for contributions from citizens. Mrs. Mixson said it is important to keep the members of the
Focus Groups involved in the process and keep them informed. Mr. Hyers said that the final
report from the Consultants will be made public.
Chris Wisham asked what the Focus Groups stated that they would like to see in improving
the library. Ron Steensland said that his impression was their concern with what would actually
work and be most effective. They said that a new building would be best; however, he had seen
a movement toward adaptive re-use of existing buildings. Mr. Hyers stated that other places had
used school buildings, etc. for other purposes. Ron Steensland noted that one of the Focus
Group suggestions was to consider the empty Van Heusen building. Placement of the library
according to traffic and pedestrian patterns was discussed. Ron Steensland said that the library
staff must be involved in building planning. They are the ones who will know and understand
what will work the best. He said your staff is your best advocate.
Item #3 in the consultant’s report recommended that the library pursue ways and means with
the Alabama Public Library System of digitizing the Genealogy records.
Item #4 of the report was discussed concerning helping the other libraries in Dale County.
This will cut into our operating funds if we share staff and resources. We can publicize the
Alabama Virtual Library more and other benefits available. Sandra Holmes stated that funding
for the AVL has decreased.
Item #5 directed at a security system to reduce loss of books by theft should be carefully
looked at with regard to cost.

Item #6 – the Consultants recommended all libraries in the County work cooperatively.
Sandra said that we allow other town citizens to get a library card (without charge) and check out
books from here, but the town libraries won’t allow our library card holders to check out from
their libraries. We will let them get our library card, but all these libraries don’t have the same
computer software system. Ron Steensland said we would need to check with our software
vendor to determine what can be done so the systems will work together. If you have a onecard/one-system, you will have to think about handling books that are returned to the wrong
place. Sandra Holmes said this does happen occasionally with school and other libraries, but we
incur the cost to return them.
Regarding Item #7 of the report, Ron Steensland stated that education is the foundation of a
library’s purpose.
Discussion was held with regard to reaching out to school librarians to get them to coordinate
with our library. Sandra Holmes said that we do contact them all for their required summer
reading list to ensure we have a quantity of those books available. Mr. Hyers suggested we
invite the school librarians to a get together for a program here at the library. Marian Jenkins
said we should include the local college librarians, also. Imogene Mixson said that since local
colleges have libraries, it would be good to meet with them to exchange information on what
books they have to avoid duplication. Marian Jenkins said we should improve networking to
find materials that a patron might need in other libraries and get them on loan.
Imogene Mixson stated that we need to try to anticipate questions as to how we can reduce
duplication and try to be prepared for questions and areas of concern.
Item #8 addressed the Focus Groups concern with the low salaries and lack of benefits for
library employees. Sandra Holmes said that each year APLS takes nominations for certain
standards and we are not eligible to participate because we do not offer employee benefits.
Ron Steensland said that before they prepare their final report to the Board, he asked the
Board Members to submit any additions, corrections or omissions to the preliminary report to
Mr. Hyers.
Imogene Mixson said that we do receive a special allocation each year, but it is not definite
that we would always receive it. Sandra Holmes said that we do provide services to the Nursing
Home by speaking there and taking books to the residents on a regular basis.
In summary, Sandra Holmes is to check on what makes up the $6.69 per capita funding
amount and also to explore the possibility of a single library card system for all the libraries in
the county. We need to talk with Rick McInturf to have a vocational development meeting with
school and college librarians.
Mr. Hyers is to check on the City of Ozark’s salary scale.
The Friends of the Library are to visit the new libraries in Dothan to get information on their
building usage and services.
Ron Steensland said the final report will come after his meeting with Mr. Hyers. They are to
meet to go over the architect’s plans that have already been drawn up for renovation of the old
WalMart building space.
The meeting was adjourned by the Chairman with the next meeting to be held on Wednesday,
June 15, 2016. This will also be the budget meeting.
Respectfully submitted by __________________________
Approved by Secretary ____________________________