Library to use $15K grant for Big Read Month


DeKalb Library Director Dee Coover updates City Council members on the status of the library’s 2014 fiscal year Monday at the council meeting in the DeKalb Municipal Building, 200 S. Fourth St. Coover spoke about DeKalb’s Big Read Month in October and she told council members the groundbreaking ceremony for the DeKalb Library expansion was a success.

By Jackie Nevarez

Mayor John Rey has proclaimed October Big Read Month as part of a library project that has earned a $15,000 grant.

The DeKalb Public Library received the grant in May from the National Endowment of the Arts. Rey named October Big Read Month at a City Council meeting Monday night.

Big Read Month

The annual grant is awarded nationally to 77 recipients, with the DeKalb Public Library, 309 Oak St., being one of three facilities that has received the grant for eight consecutive years.

Big Read Month is a series of events where the library’s goal is to give away copies of its selected book. “A Wizard of Earthsea” by Ursula K. Le Guin, a story of a boy’s time in wizard school, was chosen as the Big Read Month selection. Free copies of Le Guin’s book may be picked up at the library.

Fantasy Festival, the kickoff for Big Read Month, is 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 4 at DeKalb High School, 501 W. Dresser Road. The festival will include games, crafts and a costume contest.

Library Director Dee Coover said Jesse White, secretary of state and state librarian, signed a check to the library for $11.6 million, the “jump start to [the] expenditure campaign” for the library in January. The $11.6 million grant was the most money the state has awarded a public library, Coover said. The library will use the grant to fund its expansion from 19,000 to 60,000 square feet, according to the library’s website.

The library’s patron count has increased 50 percent since 2007 and there has been a 226 percent increase in programs, and 30,556 patrons came into the library last month, Coover said.

“Libraries are becoming the cultural centers of communities all across the nation,” Coover said.

Policy language disagreement

Finance Director Cathy Haley made a presentation on Resolution 2014-092, adopting certain financial management policies, after a Finance Advisory Committee review of the policies over the past months.

Fifth Ward Alderman Ron Naylor questioned the use of “should” and “shall” in the policies. Naylor referenced a policy which states, “The City Manager should submit an annual budget to the City Council which is within the City’s ability to pay.”

“… Shall would be more appropriate as well as throughout that document,” Naylor said. “Shall is mandatory; should is permissive.”

Haley said the language was changed by the committee level.

Rey said he suggested Haley and the committee review the language of the policies. The resolution was rescinded and will appear at the next City Council meeting, Oct. 13.