Library staff cites high volume of computer use 8/12/2014

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Library staff cites high volume of computer use

By John Howell

Batesville head librarian Alison Bentley, newly-appointed First Regional Library Director Ed Hughes and library youth director Doris Mason appeared before the city’s mayor and aldermen August 5 to ask for continued annual funding support in the 2015 budget.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Batesville facility is seeking $208,000 from the city to help fund its operations, a $2,000 increase from the prior year, Bentley said.

Services at the Batesville library include use of 20 desktop and five laptop computers, tablets available for checkout.

“Anyone who thinks the library is a book warehouse–come see us,” she said.

Bentley said that a survey of library computer users found that over 70 percent had no other access to the internet available.

“I guess that over half on any given day are looking for jobs,” Bentley said, replying to a question about computer use for job applications. “It’s just about impossible to apply for a job without computer access now,” she added.

Mason told the mayor and aldermen that over 2,900 children had enrolled in the recently-completed summer reading program with over 2,200 having read five or more books during the summer.

Joining library staff members were library board members Sara Trotter and Glenda Bailey and library volunteer Gail Norris.

City officials took no action on the budget request. Budget requests will be taken under consideration during special budget meetings this month.

In other city business:

• During a public hearing, aldermen unanimously approved a three-year variance for a service station building on the Public Square where old metal siding was replaced with new without having applied for the variance prior to the installation. The Batesville Planning Commission (BPC) turned down the request from Shannon Caine on behalf of building owner Janelle Baker, citing previous denials of metal siding use from other variance applicants. Aldermen placed the three-year limit as a compromise;

• Richard Monroe received a three month variance that will allow him to conduct “trade days” on Fridays and Saturdays at his Highway 51 North location near the railway overpass. BPC recommended the variance. Monroe said the variance would allow him time to “give it a try;”

• Calvin Dixon received a variance that will allow use of the commercial building on Hwy. 6 West once known as the Major Place for church meetings. Dixon said the building would be used for meetings only until the church can build its own facility;

• Aldermen voted to ask the planning commission to reconsider a sign variance request from Red Med about a lighted sign at its facility. Alderman Eddie Nabors recommended the reconsideration after BPC meeting minutes stated that a member had asked to change her vote on the variance;

• Alderman unanimously approved a motion by Nabors to name the walking trail at Trussell Park after Robert Lightsey. Nabors said that he had spoken with the late Batesville Parks Director’s widow and children who approved the gesture. Nabors said that he would follow with presentation at a later meeting of an appropriate marker to be placed at the walking trail;

• Aldermen also agreed to name the short connector road next to Zaxby’s the Dr. D. W. Whitaker Drive. The name memorializes a Batesville physician who practiced in the first half of the 20th Century. Descendants presently living in Batesville include grandchildren Jim Whitaker and Julie Whitaker Lange.