"Our 2013 children's summer reading program was pretty successful," said Spring Valley Public Library Director Dianne Sikkink, addressing the Spring Valley Public Library Board of Trustees last Thursday evening. "We had a total of 110 children registered, and when the reading logs were turned in, we had 73 logs turned in. We also had a total of 383 story-time hours logged. We'd like to thank all the local businesses that contributed some very nice prizes."

The board acknowledged the retirement of longtime library catalog assistant Marcia Stephen, who will retire Sept. 30 after three decades of service at the library. Sikkink stated, "She started at the Carnegie, and she's a walking catalog. She'll be sorely missed. We're having an open house for her next Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the fireside room, and the public is invited to say thanks."

Board member Mary Ann Schultz spoke next about the library's replacement for Stephen. "The library assistant catalog position is filled - it's exciting, and the committee has done a lot of hard work. We had 17 applicants and chose five to interview. We decided that Klarissa Schoppers was the best fit."

Sikkink added, "She'll start on Sept. 23, and she'll be taking circulation training for most of the week. We'd like to welcome her as one of the team."

That said, the director pointed out that scheduling changes will be made for library staff in order to better serve patrons and accommodate assistants' schedules. Sikkink stated that the library is pleased to accept a new children's computer from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Fund (SMIF) and that it will be introduced to young patrons in coming weeks, but that it first needs some software updates because of a glitch. She thanked SMIF for investing in the area's children.

"We're excited about having it...we'll introduce it during Thursday morning early childhood family education story time, and we have quite a few parents who bring their children to the library on Saturday mornings, too," said Sikkink. She went on to cite that the 2013-2014 budget is almost complete and that there was little change in the amount, estimated to be a 3 percent increase at $175,649.

The board thanked Gene Ramaker for repainting the back door railing and for constructing more storage for DVDs at the checkout desk, board member Shirley Gangstad for attending a Spring Valley Kiwanis meeting as a guest speaker, and Steve and Mary Ann Schultz for donations made in memory of Lillian Arett and Elizabeth Schultz.