Vigo County Public Library Employees Start 2020 with a 2.7% Raise.

Vigo County Public Library To See Small Wage Bump For 2020

Vigo County Public Library Employees will be getting a raise in 2020. The Library Board Members were presented with 2020’s Resolution on Wages and Benefits at the Dec. 16th meeting.

Full-time Vigo County Library staff with an annualized wage of less than $50,000 will get a $1,350 a year pay raise. Employees earning more than that will see a 2.7% raise. All part-time employees will receive a $0.50/hr increase in 2020.

The lower the current wage, the bigger the percentage of increase was the policy again for Leadership at the Vigo County Public Library.

City employees and county employees are all getting a 5% pay increase for 2020. City and County employees will see those raises across the board at all pay levels.

A Masters Degree in Library Science is required for a starting non-exempt Librarian with starting pay now at $38,200. Continuing education is an additional requirement.

The VCPL Board of Trustees were also presented with the Decembers Directors Report:



VCPL staff members will participate in a full day Staff Institute on Friday, December 13.  The day will begin with opening remarks from Executive Director Kristi Howe.  Jan Michelsen, attorney with Ogletree Deakins in Indianapolis, will conduct a keynote session for all staff on preventing workplace harassment and discrimination. The Terre Haute Police Department will conduct an all staff session regarding police protocols, an update on the opioid epidemic, and Live PD. At noon, staff members will gather in the main lobby and join retirees and board members for lunch and the recognition of three retirees and employees reaching 5, 10, 15, 20, & 30 year milestones in 2019.   The remainder of the day will be filled with conference-style sessions including presentations on legislative advocacy, harm reduction kits, 2020 census, DCS, FSA, podcasting, and more.  At the conclusion of the Staff Institute, Kristi will provide information to staff regarding 2020 wage adjustments and what’s new for 2020. LEUs have been approved by the Indiana State Library for certified staff members attending the programs. 

During the United Way Workplace Drive, a fundraising activity included voting for a management team by staff to “Wig-out for the United Way!” The following management team members will be wearing a wig all day during Staff Institute: Heather Rayl, Garrett Brown, Dennis Shepard, Lauri Chandler, and Susan Jakaitis.  



Librarian Raina Konazeski was invited to the 2019 ILF conference, to present a 15 minute Art Hacks presentation as part of a focus on special library programming.  In preparation for the ILF conference, Raina presented two sessions as VCPL Staff Association programs.  All sessions were well attended.  Staff enjoyed having the opportunity to participate in an Art Hacks project and learn about how contemporary art can be used to level the playing field for all artistic levels.  Many attending the ILF presentation took copious notes and posed questions with an interest in developing their own similar programs.

For the Art Hacks November program at VCPL, the art style studied was a variation of splatter painting with manipulated watercolor on canvas. The featured artist was Lee Krasner, a leader for woman in Abstract art.


On November 20, Heather Rayl and Luke Gentry participated in a Poverty Simulation for Indiana State University Occupational Therapy students. In this simulation, Heather, Luke, and the other volunteers played the roles of community resources, such as homeless shelters, banks, employers, schools, and various social and government services, as well as those who might profit off of those in poverty, such as payday loan businesses and pawn shops. The students were given roles to take on – for example a single father, taking care of three children, or a set of grandparents responsible for a sick child – and had to make do with the resources available to them. The students used this experience to gain a measure of insight into the lives of the people they will be serving in the future.


On November 20, the Sycamore Readers finished the semester of coaching elementary grade readers.  The service will resume on Feb 3. Application forms are available on the VCPL website at


The movie, “A Private War,” shown on November 13, brought one customer to tears over how inspiring it was and how realistically it was filmed, with actual footage from wars. She said it was heartbreaking and gave her goose bumps. The film was based on the true story of a woman leader in the world of journalism, Marie Colvin, who went to the most dangerous war zones to bring back the human stories and their trauma to remind people of the tolls of war. There was a great conversation after the movie about how Colvin was a true leader. 


The Friends of the Vigo County Public Library hosted their Annual Holiday Sale the first weekend in

December. They raised more than $3,900 with sales, donations, and 20 new memberships to help support Library resources, programs, and services. The Friends will continue their monthly sales in 2020, with the first sale of the year scheduled for February 1 & 2.



Carolyn Clark, Nicole Norris, Luke Gentry, Sarah Trover,   and Kendra McCrea-Bailey, representing four different departments, had an excellent time hosting the holiday train at Deming Park on December 2.  Christmas in the Park kicked off on this night with the lighting ceremony, fireworks, and a candy cane hunt. More than 200 guests rode the train for free while enjoying complimentary hot chocolate and cookies baked by Baesler’s from the VCPL. It was a great way to ring in the holiday season.



Dinosaur’s Christmas” was the theme chosen for Deming Park’s Christmas in the Park event this year. On December 9,the display was awarded second place and $1,500 for VCPL. The staff members who made this display come to life were Sarah Trover, Jeff Crews, Dennis Shepard, Nicole

Norris, Raina Konazeski, Brandy Bridgewater, Amber Stinson, Troy Switzer, Janet Hatcher, and Logan Knight. In addition to design, construction, and painting of materials, a piece of equipment was built to program the lights to go along with music and then broadcast over the radio.  

VCPL participated in a tree decorating contest open to local non-profits as part of Miracle on 7th Street. Library staff created a tree entitled, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” that featured baby bottles, bibs, pacifiers, receiving blankets, etc.  After the event, the items were given to Bethany House for mothers in need.

Miracle on 7th Street also had a window

decorating contest, and Jeff  Crews and Sarah Trover created an entry for VCPL.  This display won the “Best Holiday Spirit” award for spotlighting the importance of giving this holiday season. The tree is full of toiletry items, such as combs, soap, toothbrushes, deodorant and more, that will be distributed to the homeless in our community.



On November 1, the Special Collections department unveiled their new exhibition on the life of Ed Howard, who was the director of Vigo County Public Library from 1968 to 1979. The exhibition explores Howard’s life as a Japanese prisoner of war in World War II through his influential and progressive career as a librarian and library director.  Arguably, Howard’s greatest achievement was leading VCPL 

from the Emeline Fairbanks Memorial Library to the current building at Seventh and Poplar streets.  To better illustrate this moment in VCPL history, SPC featured the original architectural model of the VCPL building in the Howard exhibition.  SPC is pleased to honor Ed Howard’s legacy as a leader and a military veteran through the months of November and December with this exhibition. 



At an iPad outreach program at Brownstone, one of their volunteers happened to be in the area where VCPL was providing iPad instruction.  The volunteer commented that she recognized Ashley Wadsworth and had come to a resume class at the Main Library.  After making some changes to her resume, she had attended a meeting downstairs with a job agency and was hired!  After that, she told a few others about how to do their resumes in Word, based on the class she had attended.


On the evening of November 25, local residents watched and discussed curated TED Talks in Haute

Create. The talks focused on Women in Leadership, Creativity in Leadership, Successful Leadership Skills, and Leadership in the Workplace.   Several Tech Team members were given credit for selecting the talks prior to the public viewing.  At the conclusion of the evening, attendees discussed what they had learned.  



One of the West Branch’s popular programs,

Soapworks, was led by Librarian Sharon McConnell.  People of all ages gathered to make soap and fold decorative cardstock into gift boxes for their finished products. The participants mixed the soap base, colors, scents, and special additives that were available, including cocoa butter, orange peel, eucalyptus, and vitamin E oil. Once attendees created the soap mixture they wanted, they poured the soap into molds to set while they made their boxes.


West Branch Librarian Sharon McConnell  and Youth Services Assistant

Librarian Kateri Tuttle, who is one of the creators of the Terre Haute Rocks Facebook group, teamed up to present a holiday edition of the popular rock painting program. Participants used acrylic paint to decorate rocks which they can either keep for themselves or hide somewhere in the community for others to find and enjoy. 

In November, the West Branch held a weekly Maker Hour where youth were shown how to create using simple machines and technology. The first week, Ashley Wadsworth from the Tech Team brought the Osmo® iPad app for the participants to create physical drawings from digital images and vice versa. For week two, Sharon McConnell taught the participants about Rube Goldberg machines, often complicated devices that are set up to perform simple tasks, like the board game Mousetrap. The final Maker Hour was designed to let the youth create machines that move using rubber band power. All three organized projects had specific

instructions and guidelines, but they also all allowed participants to be creative and use their imaginations and trial-and-error to complete the tasks.



The first meeting of the Dive into RPGs (Role Playing Games) program on December 3 welcomed 6 teens to a collaborative storytelling game in which the players take on a fictional character to experience and interact with an imaginary, fantasy world. These games create a perfect playground for encouraging five core competencies of social and emotional learning: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Each teen was encouraged to choose their character’s name, gender, and physical characteristics, which allows players to experiment with various aspects of their identity without real-world risk or repercussions. When a player referred to another player’s character with the wrong pronouns, the others were quick to correct them on their pronoun usage. They also monitored each other’s general behavior and language, ensuring that everyone was treated espectfully. RPGs let the players take an active role in an epic fantasy adventure.  One teen stated, “this is more fun than video games.”


Wiggle Worms Storytime is presented by Neal Steichen, the newest Assistant Librarian in the Youth Services Department.  After his first storytime, a grandmother called Youth Services with these kind words: “We thought that Neal did such a great job during his Wiggle Worms story, especially since it was his first storytime! We were really happy to have him doing it because we always love storytime when we come, but having a guy do it was special for my grandson, and he really enjoyed seeing a positive male role model doing storytime.” 



Amber Stinson – attended PRSA Meeting: Podcast Forum; December 4, 2019; Indianapolis, IN; $12.48.


Stroud, Austin T. – Separation from the full-time salaried exempt position of Director of Public Services in the Administration department effective November 25, 2019.


Weaver, Robert D. – Express Personnel temporary assignment in Maintenance ended December 2, 2019.

Isom, Robert H. – Express Personnel temporary assignment in Maintenance begins December 23, 2019.


See Attached Statistics Report

Respectfully submitted

Kristi J. Howe                                                                                                                         Admin AG

Main Library Hours

Mon–Thur: 9am – 9pm
Friday: 9am – 6pm
Saturday: 9am – 5pm
Sunday: 1pm – 5pm

West Branch Library Hours

Monday: 12pm – 8pm
Tuesday: 10am – 6pm
Wednesday: 12pm – 8pm
Thursday: 10am – 6pm
Friday: 10am – 6pm
Closed Saturdays & Sundays

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