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Library eyes e-book effort

November 27, 2012
By WARREN SCOTT - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

WELLSBURG - Officials with the Brooke County Public Library have asked the county's school board to consider teaming with them to make e-books available to local children.

Mary Kay Wallace, the library's director, and Ruth Lewis, president of the library board, asked the Brooke County Board of Education Monday to consider contributing with subscription costs for a provider of e-books and other digital materials.

Wallace said it will cost about $13,720 per year to subscribe to the West Virginia Digital Entertainment Library Initiative, a service supported by 11 public libraries in West Virginia, including the Mary H. Weir and Ohio County libraries.

She said the cost for another service, West Virginia Regional Electronic Audiovisual Download Service, is about $3,500 per year, but WVDELI offers a greater selection of books, as many as 850,000, and a shorter waiting period for them to be downloaded.

Wallace said the service also would be compatible with that offered by the Mary H. Weir and Ohio County public libraries.

At an earlier Brooke County Commission meeting, she said Rik Rekowski, Mary H. Weir Library director, said the Weirton library's board has agreed to make its computer server, software and staff available for the transfer of digital materials, saving the Brooke County Library about $2,500.

Wallace suggested the board might split the yearly cost with the library and would have input into the books that are ordered.

She told the school board, "This would be a great service you could render to your educational community."

Assistant Superintendent of Schools Marty Bartz, who learned of the library's efforts as Brooke County Commissioner, said the school district has run into complications when trying to purchase its own e-books.

He told the board, "I think the contribution on our behalf would probably be no different that what we're trying to do with e-books now."

Bartz acknowledged some logistics, such as providing e-readers to the students, would have to be worked out.

Board President Jim Piccirillo said the board has been considering ways to upgrade technology at the schools' libraries and will discuss it at a special work meeting set for 5 p.m. Wednesday at its office at the board's office at 1201 Pleasant Ave.

Other issues to be discussed Wednesday include the school district's 10-year comprehensive educational facilities plan, which calls for the replacement of its middle and primary schools with fewer and new facilities; use of funding from a lease of school property for natural gas drilling; ticket prices and senior passes for athletic events and the superintendent's contract.

In other business Monday, the board:

Approved the sale by auction of three school buses, for a minimum bid of $2,500 each; and two vans and a Blazer, each for a minimum bid of $500. Asked about the values for the latter three vehicles, Transportation Director Ron Staffileno said they are based on their value as scrap metal because the three are in poor condition.

Approved the hiring of the following: Bryan Kosikowski as assistant swim coach for Brooke High School; Braden Shaw as wrestling coach for the high school; Douglas Groves as a bus driver; Patty Welling as executive secretary for the special education office until the current secretary returns to work; Tiffany Rosnick and Brittany Fuller as lifeguards for the wellness center; Adeline Johnson as substitute aide; Dana Taylor as substitute nurse; and Stephen Seminsky and Jerome Anderson as substitute custodians.

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