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Mead Public Library Board Meeting Minutes

July 15, 2015  630 pm   Mead Library


Members Present:  Jenny Carritt, Sara Nicola,  Denise Patocka

Members Absent:  Kristi Kavan, Mary Laughlin

Library Staff Present: Laurie Van Ackeren, Lori Moseman

Trainer Present: Scott Childers, Nebraska Library Commission


Scott was welcomed and introduced.


Call to Order and Monthly Reports

Meeting called to order 6:30 pm with motion by Nicola and second by Nicola. Vote unanimous.


Minutes of June meeting read by Nicola and Patocka. Motion to accept minutes as read made by Nicola and seconded by Carritt. Vote unanimous.


June 2015 financial reports from Village Clerk reviewed. Line item balances discussed for utilities, wages, programs, office supplies, repair/maintenance,  professional fees,  insurance, materials, technology, and schools/training. Annual fee from Biblionix entered into record and Patocka inquired why copies of other library bills not provided in folders. Board decision from June meeting on folder contents reviewed. Motion to accept Village financial reports as submitted made by Carritt and seconded by Patocka. Vote unanimous.


Unfinished Business

Moseman reported on plan to install Microsoft Office suite on two public computers and Norton anti-virus software on three computers so stations ready for public use by start of school year. website as vendor, cost estimated at $58. Board discussed and tabled issue. Childers suggested asking Friends of Library to fund updates. Moseman inquired about use of library credit card for this purchase, if approved in future, and Board indicated staff could request card from Village Clerk.


Van Ackeren presented second bid for repair of library front door and book drop cover. Determined two bids not comparable as one used steel and other wooden door. Options for obtaining third bid were reviewed and matter tabled. Van Ackeren directed to re-contact first bidder to obtain quote on steel door for consideration at August meeting. Possibility of future fundraising for this special project suggested.


Board did second reading of  staff’s 2016 budget recommendations. All line item totals evaluated and discussion focused on: staff’s request for time to complete administrative tasks, anticipated technology expenses, email from Village Clerk regarding new insurance premium amount, deferred maintenance needs, professional training including National Library Association (NLA) conference attendance, and trend of utility costs.  Motion to accept budget document with amended line item totals made by Patocka and seconded by Nicola. Vote unanimous.


Van Ackeren reported 10 am meeting on July 20 scheduled with Ed Schroeder, Village Accountant. Board directed staff to share approved budget request at session. Questions to be asked of Schroeder include: (1) what is exact amount Village contributes to library each month and where is it reflected on Profit and Loss statements? and (2) are building repairs such as front door covered in General Fund and, if so, how should they be accessed for library use?


New Business

Moseman and Van Ackeren updated plan of work and answered questions regarding progress on goals. Patocka asked why 25 hours of work time per week not adequate for staff. Moseman and Van Ackeren explained challenges of trying to learn how to carry out duties outlined by Board (i.e., day-to-day operations, serving patrons, handling finances, managing collection, cleaning building, planning and offering programs, etc.) and, at same time, sorting through past records to find Board policies, researching budget to develop proposal, learning about accreditation process, updating operating procedures and forms, being trained to weed collection, preparing materials for Board meetings, etc.) Staff said both new to positions, community, and each other, and hired just prior to start of village budget process and summer reading activities, and, although not sure how previous staff met expectations, daily effort being made. Was decided staff would re-prioritize goals/projects since time has not been available within 25 hours per week to address some. Patocka stated Board would take back minutes of meetings in order to help staff time constraints and offered to work on development of forms, if needed. Van Ackeren requested Patocka’s assistance to review Amazon account to determine whether it is Amazon Prime. Moseman and Van Ackeren asked Board to provide list of local businesses to serve as potential partners/ sponsors for library activities.


June library reports including daily record, member amount saved, petty cash, and Overdrive use entered into record. Patocka asked about number of patrons in library and staff referred to daily record and Moseman stated visits tend to come in clusters. Traffic continues to be tracked on hourly basis by staff to gather more information. Four-question survey on library hours, collection, programming, and physical space implemented by staff on July 14 read into record by Van Ackeren. Number of Mead patrons utilizing Overdrive was reviewed and Childers offered to provide device training for the program in future as strategy for increasing use.


Wording of draft volunteer policy discussed and edited. Board voted unanimously to approve policy with amendments. Motion made by Patocka, with second by Carritt. Some suggestions for ways volunteers could help with workload identified. Current focus of volunteers on weeding in Children’s (E) section, re-shelving returned books, and alphabetizing DVD collection. Patocka asked library staff to add additional monthly report detailing volunteer activities and time.


Information about new sidewalk in front of the library shared, but no details or date for completion available. Library to remain open to public during process and patrons will enter using back sidewalk, if needed, depending on location and timing of repairs. Notice will be made via Facebook and lawn signs.


Copy of Mead’s 2013 application for accreditation provided to each Board member along with copy of Board’s current policies including: Board bylaws; circulation; collection development; computer and internet use; emergency and adverse weather conditions; finance, inventory; Library Bill of Rights; library duties and responsibilities; marketing; opening and closing duties; overdue, damaged, and lost materials; Patriot Act; and unattended children. Future Goals, Strategic Plan, and Technology Plan also provided to members. Process used to locate and organize policies shared by Van Ackeren and Moseman. Moseman asked Board to review documents and provide staff with copies of more recent or additional policies. Suggested future review of policies be completed in brief segments at four remaining Board meetings in 2015 to meet accreditation requirement for yearly review. Staff indicated new policy on document retention and destruction needed to improve library file cabinet storage.


Patocka made motion to close business portion of session, approve next Board meeting on August 12 at 630 pm, and move on to training content. Motion seconded by Carritt and passed unanimously.


Childers began training by reviewing current state statutes on library governance including 51-211 on powers and duties of library boards. Explained statue had been interpreted incorrectly in some cases and clarified how content affects budgeting negotiation and implementation process with Village. Following discussion, Board approved sharing amended 2016 budget proposal with Village Clerk in preparation for August hearing. Patocka to represent Library Board at meeting and Moseman and Van Ackeren to provide documentation and rationale for proposal as required. Childers suggested Board also inquire whether other Village governmental bodies receive benefits such as attending conferences, and, if so, advocate for similar opportunities for library.


Van Ackeren shared list of collection materials identified for purchase, including items requested by patrons during last six weeks. Childers pointed out data, along with Mead’s amount spent on materials compared to  peers (near bottom of grouping), and turn over rate useful for budget presentation. Noted if Village Board cuts budget multiple times over accreditation period, may be viewed as lack of continuation of effort and library might receive less money from state. Patocka suggested additional research be completed on positive impact of small town libraries on communities, (i.e., amount of patron savings report shows how much money library saves individual tax payers each month.) Van Ackeren mentioned Big Talk for Small Libraries, NLC presentation, might contain some information. Patocka suggested asking Friends to provide all moneys earned from last spaghetti feed now and when $500 already verbally committed to collection purchases will be available.


Childers answered question from Moseman on how Fair Labor Standards Act impacts library staff’s work hours. Stated law prohibits staff volunteering time on assigned tasks to employer. Library staff directed by Board to work only assigned 25 hours per week total and, with Board approval, events such as CE training or spaghetti feed. 


Moseman inquired about public meeting compliance and indicated, in transition of new staff, agendas for last two meetings not posted outside of library. Board informed staff public notice of meeting and agenda to be placed in library and at Post Office. Childers indicated should be done at least 24 hours before meeting time in order to comply with open meeting laws.


Childers shared copies of Working Together: Roles and Responsibilities Guidelines. Stated library should not regularly use Friends funds for covering daily operations or purchase of materials. History of Friends group, current membership, meeting process, recent special projects funded for library, and financial status as a foundation discussed. Childers encouraged, in future, liaison members begin to attend other’s Board meetings and financial information and goals of both groups be openly shared. As first-step in fostering increased collaboration, Van Ackeren and Moseman to talk over with Friends model described in Working Together: Roles and Responsibilities Guidelines.


At 9 pm, Childers indicated total 6 CE hours general Board and budget training and total 4 hours staff CE credit approved for session. Childers to help staff submit and verify amounts. Patocka inquired whether all 20 CE credits for Board requirement could be earned in similar on-site sessions and Childers said yes. Moseman requested additional accreditation training and Childers agreed to be available for session in near future. 


Meeting ended 9:10 pm.


Submitted by Van Ackeren and Moseman