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Health advisor updates library board / March 14, 2013
Members of the Halifax County-South Boston Library Board heard Tuesday from Ratia Kirby, Health Information Specialist, who works at the two county library branches.

Kirby, whose work is provided through a Virginia Tobacco Commission grant and funding by the VCU Massey Cancer Center, works one day each week at the Halifax Library and another at the South Boston library.

“I’m there,” she told board members “to help answer questions about specific health problems or to help find the proper healthcare provider so that residents may better understand their diagnosis, treatment plans and prognosis.”

Kirby is also available to address civic clubs or groups on health care questions.

The grant that underwrites Kirby’s position runs out in January of 2014, and the library hopes to be able to get more funding to continue the program which has been very successful.

The board was unable to muster a quorum, so no action was taken during their monthly session at the South Boston Library. Members did, however, have a lengthy discussion about their practice of accepting checks in lieu of cash, since the library branches have had several checks returned, creating problems with collecting the funds from the returned checks.

The library currently does not accept payment by credit card, either. The board will continue to consider alternates, but in the interim the library will still accept checks.

Another issue brought before the board involves the bareness of some of the walls in both libraries. Director Joe Zappacosta said staff would welcome art that local artists might want to put up for public display.

Library staff would not be in a position to handle any sales of the art, but would welcome the opportunity to display artworks publicly if asked to do so.

Statistics for the month showed that for the month of February, the Halifax Library had a total circulation of 3,306 items while South Boston’s circulation reached 8,960 items.

Sixteen programs were presented to 77 people in Halifax, while 36 programs were carried out for 219 people in South Boston.

Zappacosta was pleased to report that over $5,500 had been collected during the library’s recent fundraising drive. He also reported that he is continuing to discuss the possibility of locating the county courthouse’s Law Library at the Halifax branch.

He is meeting with members of the local bar association within the next few days to get their ideas on relocating the contents of the Law Library, now housed at the cramped courthouse interior.

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