An announcement was made to library board members during their bimonthly meeting. According to Andrew Hunt, library director, Bonlife intends to open Saturday.
“They are going to try and offer a little different menu than what they do at their café on Inman,” Hunt said. “They have a little more freedom due to the kitchen space here.”
Lasater’s Coffee and Tea closed on Oct. 31, 2012. Tara Watson Brown, library board chair, said the quick transition was beneficial to the library.
“This is sad news, but good news on the tail end,” Brown said.
Added Hunt, “I have received positive feedback from those who have heard about the change. Apparently, Bonlife already has a pretty good following.”
Board members also received an update on the library’s e-books. Hunt passed out a sheet on “The Big 6.” These include the top six publishers: Hachette, MacMillan, Penguin Group, HarperCollins, Random House, and Simon & Schuster.
“Some of the struggles libraries are facing in relation to some of the main publishers is they are making it difficult for e-book purchases,” Hunt said. “For example, sometimes an e-book can only be checked out 26 times before it must be purchased again.”
The problem is publishers often charge libraries 300 percent more for the e-version of a book. The paper Hunt passed out to board members estimated 90 percent of bestsellers are not available or have restricted access. An increasingly technology-centered population is interested in e-books which the library is finding difficult to provide.
Recent statistics reveal the library serves a community population of 100,055. The Cleveland Bradley County Public Library is currently second in the region for circulation and downloads at 7,702. Blount County is at the top with 14,762.
Circulation and downloads have reached a grand total of 93,761 in the region since June. This is the first time the libraries have consistently hit above or near 10,000 in circulation. Cleveland Bradley contributes almost 2,000 to the number every month. These statistics are provided by the Ocoee River Regional Library.
Almost 1,500 books and e-books were added to the library between September and October. According to Hunt, 800 books were withdrawn from the shelves due to wear and tear. He also reported the community rooms were used 100 times over the two months.
Board members agreed the library is very blessed. They have seen a great turnout from the community. Promotions on events have been made by the library and will continue to reach out to the public.
Additional news discussed by the board included:
- Human Relations Committee has chosen to shelve the discussion of post-65 insurance at the present time.
“We are not doing anything in this area, at this point in time,” said Steve Robinson, board member. “…We do not want to close our minds to it, but feel it is too risky to step under a potential obligation we cannot quantify.”
This insurance would only be applicable for library staff who are 65 and older.
- Board members approved Hunt to request proposals for radio frequency identification systems. Trips are currently being planned to libraries with RFID systems in place. Hunt has also asked these libraries for their opinion on RFID.