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Shelby County Public Library to have new online video training

The fountain and the plaza at the Shelby County Public Library is one of many renovations and additions recently completed.

By JOHN WALKER - jwalker@shelbynews.com

Patrons of the Shelby County Public Library now have access to services through the library’s website.

Soon, the website will have video tutorials on how to make full use of those resources.

Janet Wallace, library director, reported to the library’s Board of Trustees about the Niche Academy.

Founded in 2014, the Utah-based company offers online video training to show library users how to do things like put a book on hold using their desktop or laptop computers, or mobile devices.

And it’s not just for library patrons, Wallace said.

“We could develop training for staff on this,” she told the trustees meeting Tuesday evening at the library, 57 W. Broadway St.

According to the Niche Academy’s website, the library in Anderson uses the tutorials to show patrons about language-learning tools and streaming music.

The library in Houston uses it to teach patrons about the tools in the library’s maker space, including 3-D printers, learning tablets and a 5-string bass guitar, the website states.

Wallace said following the meeting that the subscription to use the Niche Academy costs the SCPL $750 annually.

A link to the site should be posted soon on the library’s website at www.myshelbylibrary.org.

In addition, Wallace reported to the library trustees about her recent meeting with state budget regulators. 

“We do have to decrease our budget,” she said.

To stay under the constitutional property tax cap, the library will need to cut about $44,000 from this year’s spending plan and slightly more than $13,000 from next year’s budget, Wallace said.

Due to some staff member departures, and new hires making less, there is enough money in reserve that no cuts should be needed this year, she said. The trustees voted 6-0 to approve the cuts.

Turning to other matters, the trustees voted unanimously to renew the library’s “Food for Fines” policy that allows patrons to pay off fines with donated food items.

Also the trustees discussed including artwork displays in the library’s “Displays and Handouts” policy.

Paintings and other works could be hung on the slotted wall in the Carnegie East Wing, 33 W. Broadway St., but the trustees had questions about allowing the sale of the artworks.

And, after more than two years of work, the library’s renovation is “99 and a half percent done,” Wallace said, with just a few miscellaneous items like ceiling tiles left to finish.

She thanked everyone involved for making the renovation happen.