Library’s promotional purchases questionable
After attending Boulder City Library Board meetings over the past several years and reviewing billing sheets presented at the meetings, along with concerns from other library members and/or library personnel, I decided to request and review the history of purchases of promotional items made by the library.
On March 10, 2016, I submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the board of the Boulder City Library requesting information concerning promotional items purchased and incentives received from three vendors. At the April board meeting I received the library’s purchase history for the three vendors for the past four-plus years. I contacted the vendors to verify the invoices and I evaluated the information.
Here are the facts:
Total Purchases: Creative, $89,959.79; RDJ, $17,644.83; ProSource, $5,468.50; total $113,073.12.
Incentives: Creative, $2,553 (26 gift cards included); RDJ, $465 (15 gift cards included); ProSource, approximately $240, (six gift cards); total $3,258. Incentives were reflected on invoices (except for one invoice which appears to have been altered).
Shipping for all three vendors totals $4,027.63; finance charges total $625.04.
What I find questionable are 25,000 book markers purchased at a cost of $14,560.21; 2,700 senior health and safety pocket sliders purchased at a cost of $5,566.75 and advertised on the internet for $1,425; and 3,350 book and tote bags purchased at a cost of $10,649.96.
Many additional items were purchased in large quantities, overpriced, never distributed and are now stored at the library.
There also were incentives that were not accounted for, including eight tangible items and approximately 30 gift/Visa cards.
I have presented this report to all board members, pointed out my concerns and made suggestions for improvement.
The board members were very attentive and have assured me they will be implementing some new procedures which will eliminate the past irregularities.
Special thanks to the board members and the library staff for their help.