The State of the Monroe Free Library

| 25 Jan 2018 | 01:29

Editor’s note: Following a tumultuous period in the governance at the Monroe Free Library last year, The Photo News asked library officials for a state of the library assessment and prognosis. Here is it:

— If 2017 was the year Monroe Free Library (MFL) got back on the tracks with a complete Board of Trustees, a vote of confidence from taxpayers for increased funding and with committees actively working to run things smoothly, then 2018 is sure to be the year MFL moves down those tracks full speed ahead.
Executive Director Marilyn McIntosh reports there are some exciting new initiatives at the library, including a Virtual Reality Rig (VR), 3-D printing and free passes to nine metro area and local museums. Convenient online program registration started in 2017, and sign language for children, sensory programming for autism and access to thousands of e-books and audio books are among the many services MFL offers.
State-of-the-art activitiesComing this week, for example, students in grades five to 12 are invited to the library from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27, to play games and explore a whole new digital world using the library’s state-of-the-art Virtual Reality Rig.
And in an informative demonstration session from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 29, families and young tinkerers are welcome to check out the library’s 3D Printer. You’ll see how it works and learn what software you can use to create your own 3D models.
Driving by MFL, you may have noticed that there’s a new flagpole installed in a well of landscape blocks and plants at the end of the driveway. This Eagle Scout project was constructed in October by Kenny Hoyt to earn that rank, the highest in the Boy Scouts of America. Hoyt is a member of Troop 540.
“Music at the Library” brought local students and musicians to the library in two fund-raising efforts and plans are to expand the concert programs into a series this year. The board is also looking at ways to expand and improve the back yard area behind the building so more events and programs can be held there.
The first year of MFL’s new Board of Trustees generated several improvements in the library’s by-laws, financial record-keeping practices, and needed upgrades through the buildings and grounds committee’s work.
Board of TrusteesHeading into 2018, the Board of Trustees annual elections were held in January, and Monroe resident Barbara Cullum, a library volunteer and retired physical therapy assistant, was nominated and voted to fill one of four expired terms.
The 2018 board members are Patricia Shanley, president; Charles LeViseur, vice president; Casey Auerbach, treasurer; Jack Adkins, recording secretary; Diane LeViseur, corresponding secretary, Theresa Schommer, Denise Harris, Anne Marie Buckley, Elizabeth Walsh, Donna Deming and Barbara Cullum.
Shanley said the Board of Trustees is committed to creating a positive work environment for the staff, and recent union negotiations were amicable and quickly resulted in a successful contract. She added that the MFL Board is determined to make all of its activities transparent and its programs of the best possible quality for the public.
If you are interested in serving on the board or volunteering, get in touch by calling 783-4411 or email MFL through the web site at