Carla Ladd, owner of Ladd K9, and her faithful companion Vixen, educated local children on bite prevention and how to approach unfamiliar dogs as part of Paws to Read!, the summer reading program that began Wednesday at the Spring Valley Public Library. PAULA VAGTS/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
Carla Ladd, owner of Ladd K9, and her faithful companion Vixen, educated local children on bite prevention and how to approach unfamiliar dogs as part of Paws to Read!, the summer reading program that began Wednesday at the Spring Valley Public Library. PAULA VAGTS/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
"Our computers are eight years old, and in terms of computer life, these are very elderly," said Spring Valley Public Library director Jenny Simon, speaking of the patron computers that serve numerous library visitors each day but are still operating on Windows XP, an operating system no longer supported or updated by Windows and thereby susceptible to crashes that can't be fixed.

Simon, addressing the library board last Thursday night, stated, "We don't get updates or support from Windows, so the SELCO representative has said that the computers - which are often all full - could last until January, or they could last until next week. It's coming, and once they go, they go.

"There's nothing SELCO can do to help us. But there are different options, like leasing or purchasing new computers, and there are purchasing groups that can get us a lower rate, or we can lease them from SELCO. SELCO would be the ones to talk to us about this and provide all the installation and management, so we could contact them to see if they're available to come to the next meeting."

Simon related that she'd already explored the costs of new computer towers, finding that they start at $788 each, and that she'd done so simply to be prepared for the inevitable, with the hope of reusing the monitors if at all possible.

Board members agreed that the immediacy of the need is a good reason to put word out to SELCO and organizations that might benefit the library, voting to invite a SELCO tech representative to the July meeting since there is no August meeting.

Next, the director shared the need to cut a rug...without dancing. The carpeting in the children's corner of the library has become loose enough in places to cause library staff and patrons to trip on it, posing a hazard, as has the carpeting behind the checkout desk. Simon had inquired of a carpeting company whether the carpet could be simply stretched and put back down, but the carpeting company gave her the bad news that since the carpet is glued to both the flooring and the extra-cushiony pad underneath in the children's section, the prospect of stretching it isn't viable - the carpet needs to be replaced, repaired or covered to maintain safety.

The estimate Simon received from the company starts at about $3,000 just for the children's circle, but that the cost of buying plastic office mats to bridge the gaps behind the checkout desk is $60 each. The board granted Simon permission to research the options available and to obtain more quotes.

The summer reading program is off to a very good start, as the "Paws for a Good Book" theme has meant that children have been excited about seeing animals at the library, beginning with Carla Ladd's trained dogs last Wednesday afternoon. Simon reported that there were 70 children and 30 adults in attendance at the program and that presenters are lined up for the rest of the summer.

"It was crazy, busy fun, and it went great," she said.

Simon related that she enjoyed the welcome party held in her honor last Monday, June 16, in spite of the very inclement weather, and that she's excited to be a part of the library staff.

"The staff has been a great, I've been welcomed wonderfully, and the transition is going well," she said.

Finally, the board thanked Joe and Rita Bezdicek and Jim and Rita Ryan for their memorials given in honor of Eleanor Flattum, and Larry and Mary Grems for their memorial honoring Alice Mae Johnson, and Dale Wondrasch and the Spring Valley Veterans of Foreign Wars for the donation of a new American flag to fly over the library.

The Spring Valley Public Library is located on the corner of Jefferson and Washington in Spring Valley and is open Monday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Services offered include book, e-book, video and audio checkout, public Internet computers, wireless Internet access, and assistance with finding answers to just about any question one might have. For more information, contact the Spring Valley Public Library at (507) 346-2100, or just stop in.