The Archbold Community Library Board voted to purchase a new $8,000 microfi lm reader at its meeting, Thursday, July 15.
The board voted 3-1 to purchase the new machine. Jed Grisez voted against; Judi Rupp, Diane Tinsman, and Sandy Wyse voted in favor.
Board members John Bamonte, Helen Row, and Corinna Miller were absent.
The board needs a replacement because the current 15-year-old machine has broken down for the second time in recent weeks, said Joyce Klingelsmith, library director.
She said the only company that services the machine is based in Detroit, Mich. The last service call required a part that was less than $10, but the service call cost close to $400 because the technician had to drive from Detroit.
Having a way of reading microfilm is important, because the library has 90 rolls of microfilm, which contain every copy of the Archbold Buckeye.
One option is to have the individual rolls of microfilm scanned by an outside company. The microfilm images are then converted to computer data, making a database that is computer searchable. For example, one can request the computer to look for the word “carp,” and the computer would locate every time the word appears in the database over more than 100 years of newspapers.
But that option would cost $15,000 to $16,000. The cost of the software required is $3,000.
Some board members suggested only doing a few years at a time. Klingelsmith said there would still be the $3,000 upfront software cost.
The board also considered repairing the old machine again, while saving for the digitization service. Klingelsmith said the old machine is not reliable, and as many as two to three people a week want to view the microfilm.
The new microfilm reader makes digital images, which can be emailed or printed using a computer printer.
Grisez said he was opposed to spending $8,000 on the new reader, when the money would be better spent on the digitization service.
“It’s not worth spending $8,000 on something that gets us only halfway there, and technology is getting cheaper all the time,” he said.
The library board had money in the equipment and furniture fund that covers the $8,000 purchase.
Rupp asked if the board should wait to make a decision, but Klingelsmith said she could not wait until the September library board meeting.
Tinsman asked if the $8,000 machine would do the job. Klingelsmith said it is more reliable, and would serve the needs of library customers.
The board also discussed a recently purchased printercopier scanner. The library can now scan documents for library patrons. The cost of that machine was about $4,600.
Jennifer Harkey, library fiscal officer, said revenue exceeded operating expenses by $1,122 during May.
However, in June, expenses topped revenues by $7,891.
Part of that was attributed to the purchase of the new printer-copier-scanner, and part to an emergency repair on the air conditioning system.
One of the air conditioners failed completely and needed replacement; another required repair.
State officials approved the proposed record retention policy, and permission was given to destroy old records. The records will be digitized prior to destruction.
The board also discussed the issue of hours of operation for the library. Library hours were cut last year to save money.
Klingelsmith said the library staff did not want to change from the current hours, because full-time staff would lose hours. She said there are no repercussions from being closed on Fridays.
Plus, Klingelsmith said she did not want to expand hours, only to have to revert to fewer hours if revenues fall short.
Rupp suggested waiting until more board members were at the meeting before discussing the question.
Klingelsmith said she was contacted about a quote that appeared in this newspaper’s article about the May board meeting.
The article quoted her as making a comment about the Evergreen library.
“Although I don’t remember my exact words, the quote attributed to me reflects poorly on the Evergreen library, and gives a false impression of my attitude toward the Evergreen library.
“Any comment by me regarding specific libraries was made in the context of a broader discussion… I don’t feel it was necessary to include a quote about one library, especially a quote that appears to disparage that library.”–David Pugh