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The Moniteau County Library Board of Trustees met last week, discussing items ranging from the library's annual report to the potential of Little Free Libraries coming to California.

The library's 2020 annual report showed new patrons and use of the library computers were down compared to the previous year, likely products of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite some decreases in areas such as this, the library's website analytics saw a boost; web traffic was up 31 percent, with the library website garnering around 11,000 page views.

As for bringing Little Free Libraries — community "take one, leave one" book exchanges — to the community, library director Connie Walker said she is working with Central Missouri Community Action and the city of California on bringing the idea to fruition.

Walker said the plan may be to start with a handful of public bookcases in California, then eventually expand throughout the county at a later date. Walker specifically named Latham, Clarksburg, McGirk and Jamestown as some examples of other towns throughout the county that could be expanded to later on.

In the meantime, Walker said organizations in California have been reached out to as of last week's meeting about sponsoring a bookcase.

The library's winter checkout challenge had 76 participants registered, as of last Wednesday's meeting. Walker said the goal was to shoot for around 150, fairly close to the library's roughly 185 participants in early 2020.

Other items of importance at last week's meeting included approval of the library's summer reading program grant for $8,000, and the board made plans to work with county schools on creating kits to make Valentine's Day boxes. The board also agreed the library should continue to mandate mask use as the pandemic continues.

The Moniteau County Library Board of Trustees' next regular meeting is set for Feb. 17.

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