Poppies spring up around the Truckee Meadows
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Washoe County Library Board and County Commissioners met to discuss Library's future plans.
Media Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Nancy Leuenhagen

Reno, Nevada. Feb. 24, 2015. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. Videos of County Commission meetings are replayed regularly on WCTV (Charter Ch. 193). You may also watch videos-on-demand online.

Discussion of Washoe County Library System Facility Master Plan: Item 15. Collaborative Design Studio and Godfrey’s Associates presented the key findings and recommendations from the Final Library Facility Master Plan to the Board of County Commissioners. After a five month process of evaluating library facilities and gathering public feedback, the Washoe County Library System has a plan to work from as it looks to the future of library service over the next 30 years. The plan addresses both the short-term and long- term building needs and includes recommendations for branch updates as well as locations, hours of operation and service focus areas.

The Master Plan also addresses the renovation of some of the existing libraries and the need for more space, for example a new building to serve the North Valleys. The plan also recommends increasing operational hours and improving technology at several branches and looking at after-hours access options including lockers.

The Plan will be available in each library branch for the public to review. It is also available on the Library’s website. The PowerPoint presentation is attached.

Washoe County Commissioner Kitty Jung, who also serves as the Liaison to the Library Board of Trustees said, “We need to continue to look at ways to explore public and private partnerships, like the model that exists at The Reno Town Mall and Sierra View Library with owner Rob Rothe. That partnership has allowed the library to remain a rent-free tenant for the past six years and we need to explore more of these types of relationships in the community.” 

Discussion of Washoe County Library System’s Strategic Plan for FY 2015/16-FY 2019/20: Item 16. All public libraries in Nevada must publish a five year Strategic Plan, and Washoe County Library System’s Draft Plan was presented before the Board. The plan supports the Library’s vision that “All Washoe County residents benefit from the Library’s support of literacy and self-education.”   

The strategic objectives include: delivering great service that meets individual and community needs, raising awareness of the positive difference libraries make; and improving the library’s organizational health.

Discussion regarding Washoe County Library System’s FY 2015/16 budget requests: Item 17.  Commissioners also heard a report on the upcoming budget priorities for the year which include increased funding for library materials, expanding service hours and targeted technology updates. The Library plans to use funding to increase both customer satisfaction and perceived safety among patrons and staff as well as reducing expenditures in the Library’s Expansion Fund for its overall fiscal health

Presentation on Sierra View Library’s activities and programs and Friends of Washoe County Library Booksales: Item 18. Friends of Washoe County Library Board President Dan Erwine and Vice-President Sunny Solomon updated the board on the fundraising efforts of the volunteer organization Friends of Washoe County Library. With an average of 13,000 volunteer hours worked, this group donated $140,000 to the Library System in 2014.  

Friends Vice President, Sonny Solomon, said “Our libraries are the last bastion of democracy and bookstores can’t offer what our libraries do.”

Managing Librarian for the Sierra View Library John Crockett gave a presentation about Sierra View Library’s Activities and Programs which include computer classes for the public and the launch of bilingual story time starting on Saturday, March 7, at 10:30 a.m.

Cash donations from Grace Church to benefit the Kids Kottage: Item 6.M.3. Through their Year-End Giving campaign, Grace Church donated $102,300 to the Kids Kottage.

"Grace Church is a large and generous congregation and I want to personally thank them for their donations," said Alice LeDesma, the Children's Coordinator for Washoe County Social Services. "This money will help refurbish Kids Kottage and make it more of a home for the children staying there."

The Kids Kottage provides shelters where police or social workers bring children after they have been removed from their families due to neglect and/or abuse. They house up to 82 boys and girls, who range in age from one day up to 18 years old. Most children at Kids Kottage are there because their families are suspected of severe abuse or neglect. However, some children are placed because noone is available to care for them during parental incarceration or hospitalization.

Grace Church Senior Pastor Dan Frank said he and his congregation fully support Kids Kottage and wanted to help Washoe County's youngest citizens.

"We never set out to get recognition," said Frank. "This donation is something that God put on our hearts to do. We feel strongly about children at risk in Washoe County and we are happy to give sacrificially."

Washoe County Commissioners proclaim March 2015 Social Worker Month: Item 5. Washoe County employs more than 100 social workers that dedicate their time to strengthen individuals, families, and our community. In honor of social workers, the Board proclaimed March 2015 as Professional Social Work Month in Washoe County and the Board acknowledged the Social Work Paves the Way for Change campaign.