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Board looks at expanding Stutsman County Library

The James River Valley Library System Library Board discussed expanding the Stutsman County Library and creating a hub for adult programming.

"In order to remain viable, the Stutsman County Library needs to expand its outreach," said Joe Rector, JRVLS director. "... we have got to position ourselves to actually bring people into our library."

Part of the issue is that the James River Senior and Community Center, the other tenant in the county library's building, is moving to the site of the old Jamestown Hospital.

The building's bathrooms are in the senior center's space, and the senior center had allowed the general public to use them.

If a new tenant moves into the building, which is owned by Stutsman County, that tenant may or may not allow the public to use those bathrooms -- making keeping the library there difficult if not impossible.

Instead, Rector suggested, the Stutsman County Library could potentially expand, renting two or more additional rooms in its building to both assure access to the bathrooms and allow the library system to expand its services.

Expansions could potentially include expanding collections, centralizing all the large print books in the system at the Stutsman County Library, adding some technology, creating a space for people to sit and read or use their laptops and making a meeting room for adult programming, such as speakers and seminars.

"I'm not talking about things that are high budget," Rector said. "We have local writers right here. We have artists here."

Stutsman County Commissioner and Chairman of the library board Dale Marks said no other tenants were currently looking at the space vacated by the senior center.

Potential costs of the project for the library system would include maintenance and utility expenses of the additional space.

"I'm just concerned, if we don't get the space we're missing a big opportunity, but we could be boxing ourselves into a corner if the wrong entity gets the space and we're unable to get the agreement (to use the bathrooms)," Rector said.

The library board agreed to investigate the matter further and get estimates of what additional space would cost.

The matter will likely be discussed at the board's next meeting at 4 p.m. Oct. 10 in the basement of the Alfred Dickey Library.

In other news Wednesday, the library board:

* voted that most library employees would receive 5 percent raises in 2013. Two employees will receive 9 percent increases and one will receive a 6 percent increase, all due to multiple increases in duties for their positions.

The total cost of salaries and wages for 2013 will be $290,617, which is lower than the budgeted $305,000.

* is searching for six volunteers to serve on the Library Foundation, the fundraising arm of the JRVLS.

Currently the foundation is nearly defunct, and its two remaining members do not have a quorum. Additional members can be added, however, if people can be found for the positions.

Anyone interested in serving should call Rector at 252-2990.

* voted to table adding air conditioning to the basement of Alfred Dickey Library until January.

Bids for the issue came in at more than $10,000 for wiring and the air conditioning itself.

* accepted a bid from Otis Elevator Company for $21,914 for elevator repairs and replacement of its power source.

* accepted a bid of $11,260 from D & D Roofing of Aneta, N.D., to replace a section of Alfred Dickey Library's roof.

* affirmed revision of the overdue materials policy, changing it to a 5-cent per-day charge for each day something is overdue.

The board also affirmed charging a $30 fee for library cards for people who live outside of Stutsman County.

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453

or by email at