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Library board to discuss Nov. 21 whether to move meetings to later time

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Campbell County Public Library System Board of Directors Board Chair Sage Bear said she’s working to get the meetings scheduled at a later time in the evening.

Currently, the board holds its regular monthly board meetings at 4 p.m. the fourth Monday of the month, except for holidays. Some community members have requested during public comment periods at past library board meetings that the board meets later since the 4 p.m. time conflicts with many people’s work schedules.

“I have one board member that has young kids and child care was an issue,” Bear said. “But I think she has that figured out.”

She said that at its next board meeting, Nov. 21, the board will discuss moving the meetings to a later evening time on Mondays. At that meeting, which will take place in the Wyoming Room of the Gillette library, 2101 S. 4-J Road, Gillette, board members will also finish discussing library policy for younger children and begin revising the collection development policy, she said.

The meetings are almost always at the Gillette library. May and October meetings are typically held at 4 p.m. at the Wright Branch Library, 305 Wright Blvd., Wright, but the Oct. 24 meeting took place at the Gillette library.

At the October meeting, the Campbell County Public Library System Board of Directors approved a statement that it will no longer be associated with The American Library Association, or ALA.

It also decided to change its mission statement from this

“Our mission is to provide diverse cultural opportunities for reading, learning and entertainment to all citizens of our community. We lead the way to a universe of information with personal service and technology.”

to this

“Our mission is to provide diverse cultural opportunities while reflecting community standards. We strive to provide opportunities for reading, learning and entertainment for all citizens of our community. We lead the way to a universe of information with personal service and technology.” [emphasis County 17’s]

The board approved a new policy for the Teen Room, which features young adult literature. Under the new policy, the area is geared toward seventh graders through 12th graders. Teenagers must use inside voices and appropriate language and refrain from giving public displays of affection. They need to respect staff, library property and other library patrons.

Parents are responsible for library materials chosen by children and teens, according to the policy.

“Staff are not responsible for items checked out by children and teens but are readily available to help our youth to find books and information teens are looking for,” the policy said.
The old policy is pictured below.


The former policy, seen at 12:26 p.m. Nov. 4 near the elevator that lowers people from the main floor of the library to the Teens Room. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

Changes to children’s policy relate to supervision.

Bear said parents need to understand that not all library materials are appropriate for all children and there should be signage at the library and information on the library’s website that tells parents that that’s the case.

Board Member Chelsie Collier said signage should inform parents that they’re required to watch their children in the library. She said babysitting isn’t in librarians’ job descriptions.

Campbell County Public Library System Executive Director Terri Lesley said staff supervises behavior.

Board Member Charlie Anderson said that if the reason to change the policy is to deal with concerns about some books in the Teen Room and the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders aren’t going to the Teen Room to get those books, he doesn’t see a reason to change the policy.

“It sounds like we’re solving a problem we don’t have and restricting a lot of kids from being in the library and restricting a lot of parents from being able to let their kids come to the library, like they’re doing right now,” he said.

The board tabled the discussion until the November meeting.

Campbell County Public Library is hiring a Youth Services Coordinator and a Youth Services Specialist. The application deadline for each position is 5 p.m. Nov. 16.

The Campbell County Public Library Teen Photo Challenge ends Nov. 14.