LAB alive and well

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By Claude Lewis

BRONSON - The reports of the death of the Library Advisory Board have been greatly exaggerated, it appears.

During the April 22 County Commissioners meeting, talk about possibly dissolving the nine-year old committee surfaced.

Once five-people strong, the LAB has recently dwindled to just one - chairman Dave Kendall.

Usable ideas from the LAB were few and far between, according to Levy Chief Librarian Bonnie Tollefson, suggesting its days may be numbered.

Friends of Library groups have been credited with working closely with each of the five libraries in the county to accomplish goals.

But then at this past Tuesday's BOCC meeting, Kendall rose and spoke, telling how he is willing to try to revive the LAB.

Shortly after Kendall's time at the podium, the Commissioners OK'd the appointment of Michele Jones to the LAB, giving the resurgent group two members.

Plans to recruit three new LAB members were also announced.

And LAB is alive and well.

District 2 Commissioner Nancy Bell raised a few questions.

"What are the responsibilities of the Friends of Library and the Advisory Board?" she asked. "If it's necessary to have two groups, how will one facilitate the other?"

Toni Collins, who was part of the original LAB which created an independent library system for Levy back in 1999, also voiced concerns.

"We have five unique libraries serving five communities," she pointed out. "The Advisory Board needs to have a better liaison with the directors and friends."

The five communities are Chiefland, Williston, Bronson, Yankeetown and Cedar Key.

Kendall represents Williston and Jones Bronson.

Tollefson, who came to Levy from Columbia County two years ago, would rather have a LAB work more closely in the communities and bring issues to each library instead of working as a watchdog for the commissioners.