Library JPA in line for changes
Slim chance exists for opening on Mondays
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By Jud Snyder  October 4, 2013 12:00 am

Sonoma County’s public library system was set up in a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) back in January 1975. It included four cities: Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Healdsburg and Sonoma plus the unincorporated areas of the county. Since then, four cities have been added including Rohnert Park-Cotati, Guerneville, Sebastopol and Cloverdale.

For the first time in 38 years, the JPA could be changed. It’s called First Amended and Restated Joint Powers Agreement, and its proposals are being circulated to member libraries this month.

Thus far, no major changes are proposed and it could be called a “modest amendment.” Copies of it are available at the RP-Cotati Library. The basic mechanics of the library will remain, such as checkouts of books and DVDs, delivery of requested books to other libraries plus requests to RP-Cotati, computer times are available, children’s programs, Friends of the Library bookstore and use of the Armando Flores meeting room.

Probably the main question library users have is will the library soon be able to open Mondays? 

According to Nancy Kleban, RP Library branch manager, “The proposals in the amended JPA included this possibility, but it might be difficult.

“Currently, we’re on a 40-hour week  schedule, and if we propose going to 44 or 48 hours it would require approval from both Rohnert Park and Cotati city councils, for the city pays salaries of branch managers and paid staffers. It would also have to be approved by a two-thirds majority of the county library commission,” she said.

The implication was obvious. In these days of municipal budget deficits, unemployment and nationwide economic recession, the two hurdles have influence on proposed changes in library hours.

Meetings are still being held on proposed amendments to the JPA. The next one is Monday, Oct. 7 in Santa Rosa. In addition, the county library panel has what they call a “road show,” a traveling exhibit with PowerPoint displays explaining the proposed JPA amendments. It will be in the RP library Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 4 p.m. and is open to the public. 

“We also have plans to have the computers and reference library shift places,” said Kleban. “This would have the computers in the back section and the reference book section closer to the main lobby.

“Also in our plans will be a special display of books on tribal casinos and gambling. It will include books on the history of tribal casinos, how they came into existence and books on playing poker, blackjack and baccarat.”

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