Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Library Director

Last night the Buhl library board hired a new library director and a library assistant. The two new employees will be trained by an Arrowhead Library System employee on the overall library system and will get a lot of assistance from the library board on the specifics of the Buhl Library.

Our library will be open 35 hours a week, but the specific hours have not been set yet. Our hope is that the new employees will open the library November 28, but that is pending due to a couple of new employee requirements that must be met first.

So next week you can run to the library and get your fix of books, magazines, online research and general socializing with other Buhl residents and our new librarians.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mining Effects Dollars

Like most Iron Range cities, Buhl receives money from mining that is labeled "Mining Effects" money. This year that amounts to $30k that must be spent within Buhl on things that helps Buhl and other communities. During the October 27 2011 meeting, the council voted to spend $14,779 rehabbing Well #1. This well provides water to the city and needs maintenance.

The other $15,221 was designated to the recreation department. There are many things the rec department would like to accomplish including repair of the baseball fields, making a winter sledding hill, buying more playground equipment. I attended a rec board meeting last night (Nov 2) and there were lots of ideas on how to best spend some of that money for the kids. If you have ideas, post them here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

On to the Library

Been awhile since there was a new post, but I am going to try to get this going again. I am on the library board now, and we are looking for a new Library Director. The board spent a couple of meetings discussing many aspects of the library like the number of hours of operation, the budget, types of employee/employees, job descriptions and a lot of other things. We came to a few decisions and left some others open.

First the new Library Director. We are looking for a part time 20-30 hour per week person that can run the library under the not so direct supervision of the library board. The Director should have a lot of energy, be outgoing, and have some experience in a library setting. Our thoughts are that the new Director will assist us in hiring another employee, a roughly 15 hour per week library assistant. Using two employees will help with library hours and continuity if one of the employees decides to take another job at some time in the future.

One of the things we didn't discuss but an idea that another bright person had was to integrate the library and recreation department on some level. Moving that idea forward, it might be possible to have our second employee also work for the recreation department part time and be a Buhl recreation director. We have great volunteers in Buhl that handle our recreation department now, but it's a lot of work and we seem to burn the volunteers out quick. A paid recreation director could take a lot of the pressure off the volunteers.

The library board has initially decided to continue the 35 hour per week library schedule, but we are going to strictly monitor the usage and try to find the best days and times to serve the residents. It won't be easy.

We aren't sure if we can stay in the Arrowhead Library System in 2012 since we will not meet the MN State mandated maintenance of effort. The maintenance of effort is the amount of money that the City of Buhl must give the library, based on the amount the City gave the library the previous year. We will be short about $7000, and the Arrowhead Library System could kick our library out of their group of libraries. Time will tell.

I think my old posts were too long, which made it tough for me to write. So I am going to make shorter posts from now on. Let me know what you think.