March 20, 2008 Library Board Minutes


MARCH 20, 2008




President Deborah Herbert called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.



Board Members Present:  Teressa T. Delph, Darrell J. Durham, Deborah A. Herbert, Theodore R. Kolman, Lawrence S. Sanders (6:10 pm)

Board Members Absent:  James E. Best (excused), George H. Sewell (excused)

Director:  Ishwar Laxminarayan

Administrators Present:  Vicki Baldwin, Jim Delaney, Mike Way

Others Present:  Donna Smith, Administrative Secretary.  Public attendance sign sheet attached to official minutes.  Lorraine Butchart and Patty Snoblen were present as well.


Consent Calendar:  Moved by Teressa Delph, supported by Darrell Durham, that the consent calendar be approved as presented, inclusive of the minutes of the Board Retreat (February 26, 2008) and the Regular Meeting (February 28, 2008), as well as the Gifts and Donations and Personnel Actions.  Motion carried unanimously.


Public Forum:  The meeting was opened for public comment.  There were no comments at this time.


Current Bills:  Moved by Darrell Durham, supported by Teressa Delph, that the Board approve the current unaudited bills for January and February 2008. Motion carried.


Financial Reports: Moved by Theodore Kolman, supported by Darrell Durham, that the Board approve the unaudited financial reports and fund reports for January and February 2008.  Motion carried. Deborah Herbert sought clarification on the variance in line item 987, Materials-Prior Year. After discussion, it was agreed to adjust the materials budget line items downward to reflect the difference in this account. We will continue this discussion at an upcoming Finance Committee meeting.   In response to Darrell Durham’s question on the expenses in line item 975, Building Additions and Improvements, Mike Way responded that it was due to unexpected repairs made to the existing boiler in Carnegie.


Committee Reports:

Facilities Committee: Darrell Durham reported that the Facilities Committee met on March 6 to tour the Hayes building.  A group of developers interested in revitalizing the building has approached the library to lease space to expand library programs and services.  Minutes of that meeting are on file in the Board packet.  The next Facilities Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 4:00 pm.


Finance Committee:  Deborah Herbert reported that the Finance Committee met on March 18 to review the data line and telephone costs and the Universal Service Fund program and how these affect the library.  Minutes of that meeting are on file in the Board packet. Ishwar expanded on the explanation of our study of the technology upgrade. The next Finance Committee meeting will be Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 2:30 pm. 


Personnel Committee:  Teressa Delph reported that the Personnel Committee did not meet in March.  The next meeting is April 17, 2008 at 4:30 p.m.


Lawrence Sanders was excused at 6:39 p.m. to attend the Woodlands Library Cooperative meeting in Albion.


Director’s Report and Activities:  Ishwar stated that the library was invited by Congressman Tim Walberg to attend the Small Business Expo at the Alro Steel Conference Center March 7.  Debby Sears and the Reference Department set up a display at the expo.  We have been asked to host a follow-up seminar on small business information resources at the library.


Ishwar explained the rationale for why the library is exploring a technology upgrade and how it will enhance the operation of the public and staff computer systems.


The Library also attended the Women’s Expo this past weekend.  We heard a lot of very positive comments about the library as well as interest in Word Wise, The Big Read and other programs.


Ishwar encourages Board members and staff to attend The Big Read celebration on March 28 from 6 – 8 pm at the Ella Sharp Museum. He also asks attendance at the Inauguration of the Early Childhood Learning Center, 2nd Floor Childrens at Carnegie on April 12 at 1:00 pm.  Marty Griffin will be attending to aid in the ribbon cutting.


The House Appropriations Committee approved a $12 million budget for state aid for libraries which will need to make its way through the process before going into effect.  Fran Amos introduced an amendment to the Workforce Development bill to make libraries eligible to receive funds that are distributed by local Michigan Works for the purpose of workforce development training programs.


Several staff will be attending Public Library Association conference next week.


Patty Snoblen, Meijer Branch Manager, was in attendance to bring the Board up to date on the happenings at Meijer Branch.  Patty has been the manager at Meijer for the last 6 years of the branch’s 25 year existence and is the only branch that is open 7 days a week from September to May.  Meijer has an active Friends group. Circulation and programming statistics continue to climb.  Yoga is a very popular class as well as computer classes.  Patty uses the mobile lab for training.  Patty offers free resume help as well.  Patty will be meeting soon with the Facilities Committee regarding a possible coffee shop at her branch..


Old Business:  The Big Read: Ishwar stated that there are two programs being held tonight at Carnegie as well as other programs going on through out the month.  Several book discussion groups are also meeting to discuss Bless Me, Ultima.  Amy has already applied for the 2009 grant through the NEA.   


Poetry Contest:  Donna Smith reported that the award ceremony plans are wrapping up.  Winning poems have been prepared for the booklet designer.  Sara Tackett obtained the gift certificates we will use for prizes.  We have extended an invitation to Senator Schauer to speak at the ceremony and give out awards; awaiting a reply. Donna has also asked the Friends to sell booklets again this year for $3 each.


Other:  No other business was reported.


New Business:   Woodlands Library Cooperative:  Lawrence Sanders will report next meeting. 


Other: No other new business.


Communications:  Joyce Betz received a very nice thank you for teaching computer classes from Ms. Janine Cauthon.


Public Forum:  The meeting was opened for public comment.  There were no comments at this time.


Moved by Darrell Durham, supported by Theodore Kolman, that the meeting be adjourned at 7:10 p.m.  Motion carried unanimously.


Respectfully submitted,



James E. Best