Friday, November 17, 2006

Changes afoot at Ketchum library

Men on library board for first time ever

Express Staff Writer

The Ketchum Community Library is distributing its first-ever report publicly disclosing its operating income and expenses, plus revealing that for the first time in its 51-year history men have been added to the traditionally all-female board of directors.

As evidence that more change is afoot at the library, the board has reverted to 17 members from a high of 45. The library was founded in 1955 by 17 women.

All the changes come after years of reported tension on the board and unsuccessful attempts to make the library operation more transparent. However, according to library sources, a mini-revolt led to the sharp reduction in board makeup to achieve a more workable policymaking and fund-raising group.

Library director Colleen Daly, who was hired a year a half ago, said the changes reflected "steps to make the library more professional."

The new male directors are Ken Lewis, a richly credentialed Portland, Ore., attorney and part-time Sun Valley resident who was a 1996 Clinton appointee to the Presidential Commission on U.S. Pacific Trade and Investment Policy; John Leonardo, a retired corporate executive who has lived in Ketchum since 1987; and Bill Lowe, retired Wall Street financial executive and current chairman of the Sun Valley Performing Arts Center, who has lived in the Wood River Valley since 1982.

Other directors are Chairwoman Ann Taylor, vice chairs Norma Douglas and Karen Pressman, and Shirley Anderson, Laura Feldbaum, Annie Fuller, Linda Kennedy, Marcia Kent, Lila McLeod, Barbara Mead, Beverly Reeves, Ann Scales, Carol Sinnott and Jena Thrasher.

In addition to serving as a report to the community, the brochure is aimed at generating new financial donations—at least $500,000 per year to meet operation costs.

Daly also announced 2007 dates for the library's two biggest fund-raising events—the Moveable Feast, to be held at the library on March 11, and the Home Tour, set for Aug. 11.

In the financial report for 2005 operations, the library lists $923,428 in expenses—32 percent for the main library operation, 15 percent for children's and young adult programs, 12 percent for reference services, 9 percent for administration and the remainder scattered among information technology, programming, regional history and building and maintenance.

The Gold Mine thrift store was the main source of income—55 percent of the total. Individuals and foundations provided 18 percent of the revenue, while the endowment and events brought in the remainder.

Daly said the library services remain totally free to the public and accepts no funds from government agencies.

As of Oct. 30 this year, some 120,000 people had visited the library for the year.

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