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Taxpayers buy iPads for library board

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Director says $3,500 purchase will save on paper, printing

By Meaghan Downs

The Anderson County Public Library’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously during its Dec. 17 meeting to purchase five iPads for library board business as the board transitions to a new paperless policy.
Trustees, with the exception of absent board member Martha McNaghten, voted to give library Director Pam Mullins the purchasing authority to buy five computer tablets to be used solely for board business by trustees.  
All library board members would be allowed to take home the devices between monthly meetings to review board documents, according to library board president Bryan Proctor.
Along with McNaghten, Mullins was also absent during Tuesday night’s meeting, with librarian Pam Marks filling in for the director during the board meeting.
According to an e-mail from Mullins, board members will likely be receiving iPads purchased from library capital outlay funds.
Depending on the protective case chosen for each device, Mullins said, each tablet will cost $650-750 each including an extended warranty.
Mullins said the board’s new paperless policy — the impetus for purchasing the iPads — would save the library time and money.
Trustees will be able to more easily and effectively access documents, Mullins said.
 “Above and beyond eliminating the cost of the paper and ink for printing all the documents, it will also save the time required to organize and distribute the information prior to meetings, to organize and file the information after meetings, and to search for and retrieve documents when needed in the
future,” Mullins said in an e-mail.
The paperless policy was first discussed at the board’s November meeting, with a first draft presented by librarian Pam Marks at the December meeting.
The board tabled the final approval of its paperless policy until its January 2014 meeting.  

Library requests funds in governor’s budget
 for construction grant
Library board president Bryan Proctor updated his fellow trustees on a letter sent to Gov. Steve Beshear to request room in the state’s budget for library construction grants.
According to Mullins, other libraries across the state have also requested the same through letter campaigns to the governor’s office.
“Previous state budgets had included funds for the Public Libraries Facilities Grant Program,” Mullins, who was absent during the December board meeting, said via e-mail. “These funds are how many libraries have been able to renovate, expand, or build new facilities. For the last several years no funds for this program have been included in the state budget so library supporters throughout the state are requesting that the governor include appropriations to fund the program once again in his upcoming budget proposal.”
The construction grant program is separate from the state aid libraries receive, Mullins said. State aid accounted for approximately 1.27 percent of the library’s total revenue, according to an audit of the library’s 2012-2013 fiscal year budget.  
“Planning for the future, it was definitely a good idea for us to send a letter,” Proctor said during last Tuesday’s meeting.