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Finances dominate library meeting

With no quorum present Halifax County/South Boston Public Library board members could take no action when they met Tuesday afternoon at the South Boston Public Library.

However, the meeting provided Library Director Joe Zappacosta an opportunity to update board members on various library system finances.

According to Zappacosta, the annual fund drive is now at $5,500 and continuing.  Board members agreed this was “great” for the first year.

Board members also were updated on the financial report, statistical report and strategic plan quarterly report.

Zappacosta brought up an issue he is concerned about involving both libraries having issues with accepting checks and not accepting credit cards.

“We shouldn’t stop accepting checks completely,” said Chairman Bee Edmunds Espy.

Board member Lisa Crews agreed, adding a majority of patrons still use checks and seldom carry cash.

The library director said the libraries’ overall circulation is up, but Zappacosta believes board members “should still have a strategy for fixing the numbers in Halifax.”

In other business, Health Information Specialist Ratia Kirby spoke to board members about the health advocacy program, which is a Virginia Tobacco Commission grant program that will lose funding in Jan. 2014 when the grant runs out.

According to Kirby, the program is funded through the tobacco commission and the VCU Massey Cancer Center and provides a free website with extensive, reliable and accurate health information including information about local, regional and national community health resources and advocacy groups about a specific medical condition or diagnosis. 

The program also allows access to books, and through the grant funded position, Kirby is available at the two local libraries on Tuesdays and Thursdays to answer questions, assist or help develop questions to ask healthcare providers. 

“If you know of anyone or any group that is interested or have any ideas, let me know,” said Kirby.

Zappacosta told board members the artwork displayed in the library has been there for years, and he was thinking of displaying local artists’ work for a period of time at the two libraries. 

Crews, an employee of Halifax Regional Health System, said the hospital displays photos that employees have taken, and some look “almost professional.”

Board member Becky Donner suggested Zappacosta speak with the Halifax County High School teachers to see if any students had art to display.

“These are all great ideas. We’ll look into that,” said Zappacosta.

The next library board meeting will be held Tuesday, April 9, at 4:30 p.m. at the Halifax Public Library.