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Monroe County Public Library to Open New Branch

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The Monroe County Public Library has plans for opening a third branch. Library Director Sara Laughlin explained the long-term project to the Monroe County Council at a Council meeting December 9th. She said it would be at least several years before the new branch would open. The Library currently has two branches, one in downtown Bloomington and the other in Ellettsville.

Laughlin said she believes the Library is not adequately serving all County residents. She showed the Council a map indicating the percentage of residents with Library cards throughout the County.

Laughlin went on to say the next branch would probably be located in the southwestern part of Monroe County. She said that is the fastest growing area and she thinks the development of Interstate 69 will only further that trend.

Laughlin made the statements during a presentation about a $2 million loan the Library plans take out. The loan would include money that could be spent on land for a new branch as well as funds for an addition to the Ellettsville library, new equipment at Community Access Television Services and other expenses. Several members of the Council, including Cheryl Munson and Lee Jones, said they were excited about a third branch.

The Council later voted unanimously in favor of the $2 million Library bond. Later in the meeting the Council heard a request to expand the staff at the County’s Youth Services Bureau. The Bureau runs the Binkley House Emergency Youth Shelter among other responsibilities. For months Bureau Director Kim Meyer has said her staff is overworked. She asked for two more full-time staff members and extra hours for a third position. Council President Geoff McKim said the County could run into trouble with the fund it uses to pay for many of the Bureau’s activities.

The County just raised the rate for the Juvenile County Option Income Tax earlier this year to provide more funding to youth services. The Council later voted to approve the new positions.

Monroe County Public Library Awarded the Indiana Library Federation Programming Award

The Monroe County Public Library has been awarded the Indiana Library Federation Programming Award. The Indiana Library Federation is a member-driven organization that promotes the professional growth of Indiana libraries and is made up of librarians, library staff, administrators and trustees. According to an Federation’s press release, the Monroe County Public Library won the 2014 Programming Award for its successful, creative, and contemporary program efforts. In particular, the library’s programming during Disability Awareness Month during March, 2014 was the culmination of two years of focused efforts by library staff and others to better serve those in the community with disabilities as well as their families and received honorable mention. In the library’s 2015-2017 Strategic Plan the library pledged to improve services to the underserved disabilities audience. This was an effort conducted in partnership with the City of Bloomington,The Indiana University Center for Disabilities and Community, The IU Health Bloomington Hospital Children’s Therapy Center, StoneBelt ARC and local disability services agencies. A working group of library staff, approved by the library trustees, was established to conduct research, collect feedback and make recommendations as to how to expand the library’s capacity to serve patrons with disabilities. They addressed such issues as physical barriers to the library, creating a web page focused on disabilities services, and coordinating staff development on such issues.

Daily Local News – December 2, 2014

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana recently filed suit against The GEO Group, a Florida company that privately runs the New Castle (Indiana) Correctional Facility; The Environmental Protection Agency has recently been under fire from Indiana politicians and government agencies for its enforcement of new limits on carbon dioxide emissions from coal and oil-fuel power plants; The Monroe County Public Library has been awarded the Indiana Library Federation Programming Award; The Monroe County Plan Commission held off on adopting new rules for rural areas at a meeting November 18th; The Bloomington Utilities Department is spending $38,000 to deal with energy issues at its headquarters on Miller Drive.

FEATURE
Kathleen Falk, the Regional Director for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services appointed by the Obama Administration in 2013, serves as the Midwest’s connection to the Affordable Care Act. She stopped through Bloomington today in an event hosted by Nancy Woolery, Health Projects coordinator for the City of Bloomington. Information about the open enrollment period here, in today’s community report.

CREDITS
Anchors: Casey Kuhn, Chris Martin
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy, Jack Hannek, Cathi Norton and Anson Shupe
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Ryan Stacey, edited by Dan Withered, in partnership with the Monroe County Public Library and The United Way of Monroe County.
Our engineer is Anna Legge
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Joe Crawford
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

MCPL Board appoints new library director

The Monroe County Public Library Board of Trustees recently appointed Marilyn Wood as library director effective February 2nd, 2015. She will succeed Sara Laughlin who will retire at the end of this year after seven years as director. Wood is a native of Brown County, Indiana and holds both  Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Indiana University. She began her career in a variety of capacities in the Indiana University Library system. Prior to joining the Monroe County Public Library in June, 2012 as Associate Director,   Wood worked at Harvard University during the years 2005-2012 as Associate Librarian of the Harvard College for Collection Management. An MCPL press release states she intends to continue the library’s efforts to seek various partnerships and contacts within the Bloomington community as well to offer job-embedded staff development to improve library services and keep up with 21st century versions of library and literacy skills.

Director of Monroe County Public Library leaving early next year

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The director of the Monroe County Public Library is leaving her post early next year. Sara Laughlin announced her retirement September 17th at a meeting of the Library’s Board of Trustees.

Laughlin says she has confidence in the Library’s current staff to manage the Library in the years to come. She told the Board there is still plenty to do before she leaves.

The Board also held a hearing on the Library’s budget for next year. The $8.2 million budget requires deficit spending, but financial officer Gary Lettelleir said that shouldn’t be a problem.

Lettelleir said the Library also has roughly $3 million in cash reserves.

Daily Local News – April 18, 2014

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Local property tax issues are cutting into the revenues at the Monroe County Public Library; A local nonprofit wants to build two hydroponic greenhouses in Bloomington on land formerly owned by RCA; The Soften our Hearts tour is coming to Bloomington on April 27 to present a show of compassion and support for those experiencing the plight in Syria; Recently a large collection of memorabilia and audiovisual materials from the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame was donated to Indiana University by Mary Perry Smith; The Indiana Department of Transportation contractor Crider and Crider Inc. plans to begin work along the shoulders of State Road 37 this Monday, April 21st, according to a press release from the department.

FEATURE
The Environmental Protection Agency is working on a set of greenhouse gas emission regulations that would affect coal use nationwide. In Indiana, coal
accounts for over eighty percent of the energy used across the state. What these new standards mean for Indiana is still in question, but some statewide trade associations are expecting it to be bad for business. On the other hand, the standards could help wean Indiana off its excessive coal use. Correspondent Casey Kuhn spoke to Jodie Perras of the Sierra Club and Scott Bowers of the ISA, a group that represents electricity distributors, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

VOLUNTEER CONNECTION
Local organizations scout the listening area for service help on Volunteer Connection, linking YOU to current volunteer opportunities in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Helen Harrell, Chris Martin
Today’s headlines were written by Chelsea Hardy and Jalisa Ransom,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Casey Kuhn.
Volunteer Connection is produced by Wanda Krieger, in partnership with the city of Bloomington Volunteer Network.
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Our editor and engineer is Drew Daudelin,
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – March 28, 2014

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Federal regulators are hearing from Monroe County officials about the environmental perils of Interstate 69; The president of the Monroe County Public Library’s Board of Trustees expressed concern March 12th about changes to the bus routes in Bloomington; Bloomington Fire House Station Number 2 will host a groundbreaking and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new organic sustainable garden on Wednesday, April 2nd; Scottish Tartan Day is once again coming to Bloomington next month, hosted by the Scottish Society of Greater Bloomington; This weekend in local sports.

FEATURE
Petition: Land Swap Could Save B-Line Woods
Obamacare has been under much scrutiny lately, especially as the registration deadline approaches, and there aren’t as many young, healthy people signing up as was projected. Correspondent Casey Kuhn explored why this might be the case, and how to make signing up for individual healthcare as painless as possible, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

VOLUNTEER CONNECTION
Local organizations scout the listening area for service help on Volunteer Connection, linking YOU to current volunteer opportunities in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Helen Harrell, Nick Tumino
Today’s headlines were written by Jalisa Ransom and Ruben Solis,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Casey Kuhn.
Volunteer Connection is produced by Wanda Krieger, in partnership with the city of Bloomington Volunteer Network.
Our engineer today is Drew Daudelin,
Editor is Drew Daudelin, Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – January 10, 2014

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The Bloomington Police Department is seeking tips regarding four bank robberies that have occurred in Bloomington since December 4th; The Bloomington Blood Donation Center will have extended hours next week, to offset the shortfall in donations caused by the recent snow and cold temperatures; Last week the Monroe County Board of Zoning Appeals gave a homeowner permission to build an addition on his house despite concerns from a neighbor; The main branch of the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington was closed virtually all day Wednesday due to a water leak;Monroe County residents can now sign up for notifications from the new Monroe County Alert system.

FEATURE
The Future of Hoosier Energy
A state law enacted in 1985 requires bi-annual electricity demand studies to be conducted and turned in to the state’s Utility Regulatory Commission. The State Utility Forecasting group has just released the latest study, and concluded that electricity demands are set to plateau and electricity rates are on the rise. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh spoke with Douglas Gotham, director of the State Utility Forecasting Group, about the results and their implications for the future of Hoosier energy, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

VOLUNTEER CONNECTION
Local organizations scout the listening area for service help on Volunteer Connection, linking YOU to current volunteer opportunities in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Helen Harrell, Roscoe Medlock
Today’s headlines were written by Lauren Glapa and Michael Glab,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Sarah Hettrick.
Volunteer Connection is produced by Wanda Krieger, in partnership with the city of Bloomington Volunteer Network.
Our engineer today is Alycin Bektesh,
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – December 13, 2013

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The state of Indiana has temporarily extended its Healthy Indiana Plan; The Monroe County Public Library is considering raises for some of its managers; New research from Indiana University has found that science journal citations reveal an industry bias against women;

FEATURES
Bloomington’s Baha’i Community
This fall, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, issued another fatwa, or religious edict, against the Baha’i community. The Baha’is are the largest non-Muslim religious minority in Iran. Indiana University graduate student Sudeshna Chowdhury spoke to Baha’is in Bloomington, to learn about the local Baha’i community and hear its reactions to the persecution, for today’s WFHB feature courtesy of American Student Radio.

VOLUNTEER CONNECTION
Local organizations scout the listening area for service help on Volunteer Connection, linking YOU to current volunteer opportunities in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Helen Harrell, Roscoe Medlock
Today’s headlines were written by Lauren Glapa,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Sudeshna Chowdhury.
Volunteer Connection was produced by Alycin Bektesh, in partnership with the city of Bloomington Volunteer Network.
Our engineer is Nick Tumino,
Our Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

New Library Renovations Will Cost More Than First Anticipated

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A third phase of renovations at the Monroe County Public Library may cost as much as half a million dollars more than first projected.

That’s according to information put forward during a work session for the Library’s Board of Trustees on September 11.

A representative for the project’s architect, Christine Matheu, presented the cost estimates to the Board.

But before the financial discussion, Matheu went over a schematic design of the renovated Library.

“We have met with staff and special interests groups from the project,” Matheu says.

The renovations include the addition of a new teen center, which Matheu said would have a cafe area as well as a space for socializing.

“Current logic on these spaces is that you downplay the books and you up-play technology, social interaction and collaborative and creative work,” Matheu says.  “All these things  teenagers respond to in the way they learn and it’s a way to get this demographic back into the library.”

The renovated library is also planned to include a digital creativity center, including spaces for recording music and editing film.

“Right now we’ve planned for a recording studio and a performing space,” Matheu says, “This is primarily for musicians and filmmakers, and the media lab is for people collaborating together. “

When the Board approved the architect’s contract earlier this year, the estimated cost of the renovations was $780,000.

But the project designed by Matheu’s firm is estimated to cost somewhere between $1.1 and $1.3 million dollars.

Library Director Sara Laughlin said she likes the plan, and she has ideas about how to trim some of the costs.

But even if the cost is considerably more than was budgeted, Laughlin said there is still money to complete the entire project.

“Even if it’s the high number, we’re still $244,000 off for what we have set aside,” Laughlin says, “We have enough money to do the whole thing and have some left over. I think we should bite the bullet and do it.”

All the costs are rough estimates because the Library has not yet put the project out to bid.

The Board is scheduled to vote on the budget for the project at its regular meeting September 18.

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