SHERIDAN — While many other libraries in the state have assistant directors on staff, the Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library has no one to take the place of the director in case of leave or emergency.
The Sheridan County Public Library System board of trustees discussed developing a plan to delegate the responsibilities of library director Cameron Duff in times of leave, whether that leave is a two-week vacation, an emergency or death.
“At this point there isn’t anyone who’s identified to do that,” Duff said.
In other libraries these duties would usually fall to an assistant director or building manager, but the Fulmer Public Library has neither of these positions.
The library did have an issue with this a few years ago when Duff was in the hospital. Some duties fell to administrative assistant Beth Tyser, but Duff said he still worked from his hospital bed.
The board decided against creating a middle management position, for reasons including a tight budget.
The budget also comes into play when discussing delegating duties to library employees. Some duties, for example handling financials, no one but Duff has the experience with and would need to be trained.
“It’s not only identifying someone but you have to train them,” Duff said.
“And if you haven’t heard me say this enough, we’re stretched thin, so adding more training time on to learning my duties isn’t feasible.”
Currently, if Duff leaves, a manager is assigned for each day, but it’s the unforeseen daily duties that worry Duff, like if a guest wants to speak to a supervisor.
No decisions were made Wednesday.
The Fulmer Public Library also has about $2,000 in unpaid overdue charges. The charges are mostly from 2014 to 2017, with some overdue fees dating back to 2013.
Board treasurer Dick Shackelford said the overdue charges total about $73,000 in materials that have not been returned to the library.
“My feeling is you’ve got 5 percent of the people stealing from 95 percent of the people,” Shackelford said.
The board’s main goal is to get the materials returned to the library. The issue will be on their quarterly agenda.
Sheridan County Commission chairman Steve Maier informed the board that the county has found an appraiser for the property at 429 W. Alger St.
The building was gifted to the library board of trustees before ownership was returned to Sheridan County. The county has agreed to put any money from the sale toward the library.
Maier said they’ve had multiple inquiries about purchase.
“I’m hopeful that once we get the appraisal done we can move ahead and have a purchase completed and turn some money over to the library,” Maier said.