The planned new Grove City Library remains at the forefront of the Southwest Public Libraries' priorities in the coming year.
At its regular meeting Jan. 14, at the Westland Area Library, 4740 W. Broad St., the library board of trustees voted 5-0 to accept the 2014 goals proposed by Director Mark Shaw.
Board President Lisa Leasure and Trustees Kay Byrad, Jill Billman-Royer, Donna Carter and Janet Shailer voted in favor of the proposed goals. Trustee Pattie Moncman was absent, and the board has a vacancy.
Of the eight goals submitted by Shaw, three of them pertain to the new Grove City Library, set to be built at the intersection of Broadway and Grant Avenue in Grove City's Town Center. Those goals are: Leading the design process for the new library, gathering input and feedback from stakeholders and holding periodic information sessions; planning for the library's groundbreaking ceremony; and overseeing the construction of the new library.
Shaw said an architect for the new library will probably be named within a month. The library also will hold periodic open houses for interested groups and individuals to look at progress to date on the design and give feedback.
"We will start with those (open houses) as soon as we have something concrete to show, and then have one at every significant point in the design process," Shaw said.
There is no target date yet for the new library's groundbreaking, Shaw said.
Other goals for 2014 include continuing to build community partnerships, overhauling personnel policies, working with Franklin County library directors to lobby for additional public library funding from the state, working with county libraries to promote the concept of one universal library card and reconfiguring the interior space at Westland Library.
A universal library card, Shaw said, would ideally allow a patron to walk into any member library of the Central Library Consortium, which Southwest joined in 2013, and use any card they possess to check out materials and use other resources.
The CLC Governing Council is set to discuss the issue sometime early this year. Among the CLC's members are Columbus Metropolitan Library, Grandview Heights Public Library, Pickaway County District Library, Pickerington Public Library and the Worthington Libraries.
"SPL supports this idea because a consortium can be about more than resource sharing but also cooperative data sharing," Shaw said. "From the patron's perspective, if they possess a library card, it should be able to be used at any library they can foreseeably access."
Shaw said it would save patrons from having to apply for new cards at each library, streamlining the process and creating a more user-friendly experience.
"We think there definitely is support for pursuing this," he said.
The board is still accepting applications through Friday, Jan. 24, for the vacant seat left by the retirement of longtime board member Richard Curtiss earlier this month.
To apply for that term, which expires at the end of 2015, send a letter of intent and resume to: Board Member Search, c/o Mark Shaw, director, Southwest Public Libraries, 3359 Park Street, Grove City, 43123. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and residents of the South-Western City School District.
Interviews for applicants are scheduled to be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, in a special board meeting. The board will recommend a candidate to the South-Western City School District Board of Education, which has final say on the appointment.