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SEO Consortium keeping library busy, part-time employee hired PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, March 14, 2013 12:52 PM

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DELPHOS — Checking in and out materials and assisting patrons in finding what they need is the norm for a library worker. Cathy Hellman at the Delphos Public Library does the same but for patrons throughout Ohio.

Since the local library joined the SEO Consortium, giving patrons access to millions of items free of charge from 87 libraries in Ohio, Hellman has been kept busy finding and packaging materials at a frantic pace.

Library Director Kelly Rist reported to the board of trustees Wednesday that on a single day in February, 324 items were prepared for the interlibrary loan program.

“We average about 150 packages per day and our average pull is 200 items,” Rist said.

The packages are picked up by a courier service for delivery to the respective library.

The SEO (Serving Every Ohioan) Library Center, located in Caldwell, supports a consortium of 87 systems at 198 physical locations throughout 45 counties across Ohio using the OPLIN network.

The power of this consortium resides in resource-sharing among consortia members, allowing small and rural library systems to have access to millions of items for their patrons.

The center houses, maintains and supports a centralized shared-catalog database that includes over 6.9 million items with a patron database of 905,000-plus borrowers.
Rist also asked and was granted permission to send Hellman and another employee to an SEO users group meeting in Newark on May 16.

Trustees also discussed the upcoming 0.6-mill levy on the May 7 primary ballot. The levy was first approved by voters in 1978 and for the last five years raised approximately $49,000 a year. Advertising, paid for from donations and other outside funding, was the main topic. Trustee Jane Rutledge prepared several fliers with information about the levy for her peers to choose.

Sarah Brotherwood will be the newest part-time library employee. Following an executive session, trustees agreed to hire Brotherwood for 20 hours per week at $9.25 per hour plus a $3 per hour stipend after a 90-day probationary period. Brotherwood is a Delphos native and worked in the Ohio State University Book Repository and at I&K Distributing.

Fiscal Officer Janet Bonifas voiced her concerns about upcoming change to health care, stating the board may need to consider adjusting the stipend to employees. The board said they would learn more about how the new health-care system will affect the library’s workforce.


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