The Olney Public Library is a city library supported by property taxes from the citizens of Olney.


The Olney Public Library shall provide materials and services for the educational, cultural, and recreational requirements of the community, recognizing diverse and special needs without discrimination.  As a social institution, The Library also exists to bring people together in groups and in understanding.  The Library shall vigorously promote its function in the community, provide full access to a broad variety of material and information, including that beyond the local collection, and function with efficiency and courtesy to provide a pleasant environment.  The Library shall welcome cooperation with other community organizations and institutions to further these goals.  The services of the Library shall be defined by the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights, section, 1-6.

Library Staff

Judy Whitaker, Library Director, after retiring from 38 years of teaching and working at the library part time joined the library staff full time in 2003.  She inherited her love of books and reading from her mother and enjoys sharing stories with others, especially the children.  If you want to book an author signing, hold a meeting, schedule a library tour, offer suggestions for the library, make memorial requests, or just talk about books – Judy is there for you.

Shelley, Library Clerk, joined the library in August of 2013 as one of our new full-time library aides. She is originally from Olney and enjoys working with genealogy & baking.  If you have a question about something from your family’s past, just ask Shelley.  She might not know the answer off the top of her head but she will work to find it!  If you need help finding a cookbook, a true crime/mystery or a biography.  Shelley is the lady to talk to.

Chris, Library Clerk, joined the library in July of 2013 as a part-time library aide.  She also currently works for the school district as a bus driver.  Chris is a very eclectic reader so you can ask her about almost any book.

Kathryn, Library Clerk, joined the library in August 2013 as well. Possessing a Library Assistant Certificate and Associate’s in Para-education, Kathryn is also a published author with one book available on Amazon and more on the way. She also writes reviews for books on Goodreads and for the library newsletter. In her free time, Kathryn enjoys reading (of course!), writing stories, playing video games, and LARPing with her friends. Her favorite books include Frank Herbert’s Dune, Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn, and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic book series.

Kristi, Library Aide, joined the library in August 2016 as a part time library aide. Kristi will be glad to serve you with her positive, happy smile. We look forward to seeing her creative nature help the library continue to grow.

Board of Trustees

PresidentVice PresidentSecretaryTreasurer
Charles RobertsCharlotte BruceCrystal TroutMarie Riggs

Sarah BrittonDan ZuberSheila RitterBridgett McKinney JensenDan Eagleson

Board Meeting Policy

Regular meetings of the Library Board are held the second Tuesday of each month in the Library.  The meetings begin at 5:30 p.m. unless posted.  Notice of the meetings is also posted in the Library and at City Hall.  Special meetings are posted at least 48 hours in advance.  All meetings of the Board, except executive sessions, are open to the public.

Minutes of closed meetings will be kept by the Board. A copy of the minutes will be reviewed by all Board Members who were present at the closed meeting before the next open meeting.  A member will recommend approval of the closed meeting minutes by the Board during the open meeting.

After being approved, the minutes will be sealed in an envelope, labeled, and dated.  This envelope will then be placed in the Library Board’s safety deposit box by one of the authorized Board officers.

Any amendments in the Library Use Regulations and the rest of the Olney Public Library Handbook of Policies are made during Board meetings.

Board Meeting Minutes

May 9, 2017
May 9, 2017 Minutes

I. Call to Order – Roll Call
_____The monthly meeting of the Olney Public Library Board of Trustees was called to order by President Charles Roberts, May 9, 2017 at 5:30 PM.
_____a. Present – Those board members present included Crystal Trout, Charles Roberts, Sheila Ritter, Charlotte Bruce, Dan Eagleson, and Dan Zuber.
_____b. Absent – Marie Riggs, Bridgett McKinney Jensen, and Sarah Britton
_____c. Others Present – Judy Whitaker, Library Director and Peggy Eimer, Library Bookkeeper

II. Recognition of Visitors and Public Comments
_____No visitors were present

III. Secretary’s Report & Approval of Previous Minutes
_____The minutes of the April 11, 2017 meeting were reviewed. Sheila Ritter made a motion to approve these minutes. Crystal Trout seconded the motion. Measure carried.

IV. Treasurer’s Report & Approval of Bills Payable
_____The April 2017 Treasurer’s Report was reviewed. Sheila Ritter made a motion to approve the report. Dan Zuber seconded the motion. Measure carried.

V. Committee Reports:
_____Policy/Bylaws Committee – A discussion was held concerning the final revision of the Library Board of Trustees Bylaws policy. Dan Zuber made a motion to approve this final draft as presented. Dan Eagleson seconded the motion. Measure carried.
_____Building/Grounds Committee – Attention will be given to the following maintanence issues: tree in SW corner of library grounds near the parking lot, outside benches, library sign, curbing, and frequent sewer blockage.
_____Public Relations/Marketing Committee:
_______________Public Relations (Marketing) Committee Report
______________________________May 2017
_____Committee Members: Sarah Britton, Sheila Ritter, Crystal Trout, Judy Whitaker
_____Summary of the last year
_____• A major project of the PR committee has been the organization of the 911 Memorial Project, spearheaded by committee member Sheila Ritter. The planning will continue until October of 2017 as the dates of the memorial visit are October 12-14, 2017. This has been a great opportunity for the library PR committee to interact with other organizations/leaders in our community, and has and will continue to give us visibility and make a positive historical contribution to our community.
_____• The library and special events have been promoted through the Olney Daily Mail, 92.9 Radio, and the Chamber of Commerce TV site.
_____• The library staff has worked to keep the webpage up to date with special events and news of the library.
_____• Our newsletter has been published monthly with distribution at the library as well as some copies being emailed upon request.
_____• Fliers have been distributed at the local schools for special events pertaining to children.
_____• Posts have been made regularly on the library’s Facebook page.
_____• Events and activities have been added which have been extremely successful, such as coloring for adults and our recent grandparent event.
_____Marketing Goals for the next year:
_____• The library PR committee plans to develop a Corporate Identity policy for our library so that there is a consistent image/color/mission statement which is published on all marketing materials, press releases, etc.
_____• The library PR committee plans to implement a “Did You Know” campaign for the next 12 months. The purpose of this campaign will be to educate the local taxpayer of services they may not know exist at our library – to WOW them with what we have to offer, (ex. Did you know we have free WIFI and computers available for use, Did you know we have new releases in large print, Did you know we have a notary on staff, Did you know about online yearbooks, etc, etc) “Did you know” will be a section in our newsletter every month. We will also do “Did you know” Facebook posts and “Did you know” press releases when time allows. “Did you know” bookmarks will be printed periodically on card stock (in-house) and placed at the circulation desk.
_____• The library PR committee would like to expand the reach of our monthly newsletter, placing it in Dr. offices, dental offices, RMH waiting rooms, the courthouse, Roll With It Bakery, Ophelia’s Cup, etc. We would like to ask the assistance of the BOD to deliver copies to places that you frequent. This will increase our visibility to those that currently do not visit the library. We will also try to expand the email list to which we are now sending our newsletter. Judy will place a sign-up sheet at the circulation desk. We will add local community leaders and teachers that we should be communicating with to our eblast list.
_____• The library PR committee feels that we should send a press release to the local newspaper and radio at least monthly to stay in the eye of the Olney taxpayer. Some months the topic is obvious, for example, summer reading program, Christmas program, 911 Memorial, etc. Months when we don’t have an event to promote, press releases could have the theme of “Did you know” about unique services we offer in more detail.
_____• We are going to explore the possibility of listing new releases that are now available at the library in our local newspaper, either weekly or monthly. The librarian’s annual report to the BOD shall be condensed to layman’s terms and submitted to the newspaper each year to educate taxpayers about our facility.
_____• A current push in the marketing and sales world is reaching our aging population. The library PR committee feels that we should also try to market specifically to this group. Olney’s aging population could see our library as a meeting place, giving them access to information, entertainment, and social opportunities. We saw the success of our grandparent event recently and our winter coloring events. Thoughts to expand on our “senior” offerings are: classic movie nights (monthly), knitting group, cards, programming interesting to seniors, etc.
_____Budget considerations for PR:
_____• If emailing the newsletter becomes popular, 100+ recipients, we may need to subscribe to an email blasting service like Constant Contact or Mailchimp.
_____• If the local newspaper is not willing to print new release availability for us, is it worthwhile to take out a small ad to promote this information? We are interested in the BOD’s opinion about this.
_____• We may consider expanding our social media to include Instagram and Twitter. If we do this, we may need to pay for training/services for our employees to make this effective.
_____• We feel that keeping the website current and relevant each year is necessary. We may need funds to upgrade/improve our site with a designer annually.

VI. Friends of the Library
_____The Friends of the Library met April 17 at the Holiday. At this time the group decided to meet semi-annually and to call an executive meeting if the need arises. Officers for hte 2017-2018 are as follows:  President Alice Mullinax, Vice-President Julie Bunn (subject to her acceptance of the office), Treasurer Cindy Zerkle, and Secretary Sarah Britton. Next meeting will be scheduled in the fall.

VII. Librarian’s report
_____April Statistics:
_____1. Door count of 3,435 for 24 days with a daily average of 143
_____2. Book drop count of 648
_____3. Computer use registration 57
_____4. Multi-purpose room 3 used times with no charge
_____5. Multi-purpose room rented 2 times
_____6. Proctored 7 tests
_____7. Attended Parent Advisory Committee meeting at RCES
_____8. Attended Grandparent Support Meeting at RCES
_____9. Family Literature group visited the library with 12 in attendance
_____10. One book signing was held at the library
_____The library sponsored 8-week weight loss contest ended April 13 with 6 teams participating. Each member of the winning team earned over $50.00 for their efforts.
_____On Tuesday, April 18 I attended a Member Day program in Effingham. This event was hosted by IHLS and SHARE administrators. It was a busy and very rewarding day of networking, brainstorming ideas, and being introduced to new literature and library trends.
_____I have been viewing various webinars for the library. A recent session included ideas for library decor, signage, space utilization, to name a few.
_____The library hosted a Grands outing on Sunday, April 23. Thanks to Sarah for a suggestion to have an event for grandparents and grandchildren. There were over 200 people in attendance. We hope to make this an annual even sponsored by the library.
_____The Richland County Heritage Foundation hosted a program at the library about George Rogers Clark April 30. A park ranger from the National Memorial in Vincennes gave a very informative program about Clark’s journey through this part of the country. There were 55 attending this event.
_____The library received a check from the City in the amount of $6,566.35. This represented the second and final payment of the City Grant for books which was $2,815.99. The remaining $3,750.36 was Corporate Replacement Tax funds.
_____Plans are being made for the library’s 2017 summer reading program – “Reading by Design”. Program participants are reading to support the Olney Arts Council this year. We would like to engage some local personalities in our activities this year. If you have any suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated. Events and reading challenges are being planned for the very young, teens, and adults.
_____Polaris upgraded their program in April. One new feature of the upgrade is noted on the patron’s check out receipt. Now the patron can see what they have saved by using the library’s collection versus purchasing the book personally. It also will keep a running tally of the money saved by the patron since implementation of this feature. This is a good advocacy strategy for libraries.

VIII. Correspondence, Communication, and Public Relations
_____A note was received from The Interact Club or Richland County High School thanking the library for their participation int he plastic cap drive. The Club collected enough caps to obtain a park bench and a picnic table to be placed at Rotary Park in the near future.

IX. Unfinished Business
_____None was reported at this time.

X. New Business
_____An accounting of any excess revenue was given. Following discussion, it was decided to carry over excess revenue in these areas: Special Building Reserve – $19,000 and Special Account $10,000. The remaining revenue excess of $5,804 is being considered to remain in the General Fund. This will be addressed again in the June meeting.

XI. Executive Session
_____Nothing to report

XII. Adjournment
_____At 6:52PM Dan Zuber made a motion to adjourn the meeting.

April 11, 2017
April 11, 2017 Minutes

I. Call to Order – Roll Call
_____The monthly meeting of the Olney Public Library Board of Trustees was called to order by President Charles Roberts, April 11, 2017 at 5:30PM.
_____a. Present – Those board members present included Crystal Trout, Bridgett McKinney Jensen, Charles Roberts, Sheila Ritter, Charlotte Bruce, Sarah Britton, Dan Eagleson, and Marie Riggs.
_____b. Absent – Dan Zuber.
_____c. Others Present – Judy Whitaker, Library Director and Peggy Eimer, Library Bookkeeper

II. Recognition of Visitors and Public Comments
_____No visitors were present.

III. Secretary’s Report & Approval of Previous Minutes
_____The minutes of the March 14, 2017 meeting were reviewed. Sarah Britton made a motion to approve these minutes. Sheila Ritter seconded the motion. Measure carried.

IV. Treasurer’s report & Approval of Bills Payable
_____The March 2017 Treasurer’s Report was reviewed. There were two extra bills including one from the City of Olney for HRA expenses in the amount of $33.00 and the other from Baker & Taylor in the amount of $277.23 for books. Sheila Ritter made a motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report and pay the extra bills. Bridgett McKinney Jensen seconded the motion. Measure carried.

V. Committee Reports
_____Finance Committee – The Finance Committee met March 21 at 4:15 p.m. to discuss progress on the 2017 – 2018 budget draft. It was decided to recommend increasing the dollar amount in four line items. The committee discussed purchasing different types and brands of tablets for use in the library to train staff and patrons on the use of these devices. Grant funds will be sought to help with these purchases. It was asked that the condition of the library’s current sign be placed on the April agenda for discussion.
_____Public Relations/Marketing Committee – Sheila Ritter reported on the meeting of the 9/11 committee between the Olney Rotary and Library representatives. The group decided to apply for a Johnsie Fiock Fildes Foundation grant to help with the cost of the 9/11 mobile exhibit. Julie Schrey of the Holiday motel has agreed to reduce by half the cost of lodging required by the contract. It was decided that any excess funds collected for this project will be donated to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation which provides the exhibit. Lauren McClain suggested that a Facebook page be started soon focusing on the 9/11 exhibit. Other grant options were discussed if more funds might be needed. Final tasks and details were discussed, but the general consensus was that the project is moving along well. The next committee meeting is schedule for Wednesday, June 7.
_____Policy/Bylaws Committee – The revised draft of the Library Board of Trustees Calendar of Tasks document was discussed. Bridgett McKinney Jensen made a motion to accept this document as presented knowing that it will continue to be a work in progress. Marie Riggs seconded the motion. Measure carried. Copies of the current policy manual pages 11-13 were distributed and will be on the agenda for discussion at the May meeting.
_____Planning Committee – The Planning Committee met April 7 to conduct a review of the revised 5-year plan. From this meeting the committee recommended that the current plan be dissolved in order that a new plan can be structured and implemented – a plan that will focus on the continued vitality of the library as a community and public space. The committee feels that a new plan should focus on was the library will need to grow and change in order to meet the needs and changing interests of our patrons and community. A focus on upgrading and integrating helpful technologies must be imperative. The committee is asking the Board members to consider the ways we can ensure our library remains a vital community hub in the present and moving into the future. A brief discussion brought forth ideas including establishing realistic goals and unit of measurement, perhaps develop a 3-year plan rather than a 5-year plan, and that the plan be webpage friendly.

VI. Friends of the Library
_____Summary of April 17, 2017 meeting – Next meeting will be scheduled in the fall.

VII. Librarian’s Report
_____March Statistics:
__________1. Door count of 3,709 for 27 days with a daily average of 137
__________2. Book drop count of 562
__________3. Computer use registration 71
__________4. Multi-purpose room 4 used times with no charge
__________5. Multi-purpose room rented 3 times
__________6. Proctored 8 tests
_____The library applied for assistance with our telecommunication fees for the coming year through the 471 E-Rate request. The funding we receive for our voice services is down to 20% and will probably not be offered after this year. We also receive funding assistance for our internet services.
_____The Board had decided to make a donation to the library’s collection in memory of Kathy Wilson who served on the board for several years. After talking with family and friends we purchased a book about African violets and also one about wallpapering. Both subjects were of interest to Kathy. The family has been made aware of your donation.
_____The Friends of the Library decided to hold their annual book sale next fall due to scheduling difficulties. The library has had several inquiries from the public about books they had collected for the book sale. Therefore the library is accepting books which we are making available to the public at great prices.
_____Arrangements are being made for the Grandparents/Grandkids outing planned for Sunday, April 23 from 1:30-3:30 at the library. Flyers were distributed to the students at the elementary school and St. Joe School. Announcements have been sent to the Olney Daily Mail, radio station, area TV station, library web page and Facebook. We are asking people to pre-register if possible. Activities for that day include reading together, playing board games, decorating cookies, balloon twisting, and face painting. I attended the RCES Grandparent Support meeting April 6 to promote the outing and our 2017 summer reading program.
_____Remember to mark your calendar for the George Rogers Clark presentation being held at the library Sunday, April 30 at 1:00. The program will feature information about his long winter journey through this area.
_____The library received a Corporate Replacement Tax check in the amount of $1,472.25

VIII. Correspondence, Communication, and Public Relations
_____Correspondence was received concerning the Summit Bancshares annual meeting and the Library’s Proxy vote for Bank Board members. Julie Hearring and Bruce Peters were listed as candidates for board positions. Sarah Britton made a motion to approve these candidates and Marie Riggs seconded the motion. Measure carried.
_____The renewal premiums for health insurance through BlueCrossBlueSheild of Illinois have increased from $618.69 to $634.62 per month. These new rates go into effect May 1, 2017.
_____The Library was awarded an FY2017 Illinois Public Library Per Capita Grant in the amount of $7,077.25. Over $9.4 million is being awarded this year to Illinois public libraries serving 11,777,310 patrons at a rate of $0.77644 per resident.

IX. Unfinished Business
_____Budget amendment – Carrie Winter Trust Funds and 175th Anniversary Donation. Sheila Ritter made a motion to approve this amendment. Sarah Britton seconded the motion. Measure carried.

X. New Business
_____A brief discussion was held concerning condition of the existing library sign. The Building/Grounds Committee has been asked to look into this matter along with the broken curbing and library outside benches.
_____The final draft of the 2017-2018 budget was discussed. Sheila Ritter made a motion to accept this document. Dan Eagleson seconded the motion. Measure carried.
_____A slate of Library Board officers was presented as follows:
__________President – Charles Roberts
__________Vice-President – Charlotte Bruce
__________Secretary – Crystal Trout
__________Treasurer – Marie Riggs
_____Sheila Ritter made a motion to approve these persons for office. Dan Eagleson seconded the motion. Measure carried.

XI. Executive Session
_____Nothing to report.

XII. Adjournment
_____At 7:05PM Sheila Ritter made a motion to adjourn the meeting.

Friends of the Library

The Friends of the Olney Public Library met for the first time October 21, 2004 to organize a group which would channel public support for the library.  Their mission is to focus attention on library services and the facility.  The Friends provide program assistance for adults and children, both entertaining and cultural in nature.  They recruit funds from local sources to support library activities through their annual book sale and membership drive.  They have purchased new carpeting, furniture, computers, and more.

The Friends are a dedicated group who volunteer their time and talents in numerous ways.  Membership information is available at the library or through Friends members.