May 22, 2008 Library Board Minutes


MAY 22, 2008




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



Board Members Present: James E. Best, Teressa T. Delph, Darrell J. Durham, Deborah A. Herbert, Theodore R. Kolman, Lawrence S. Sanders (arrived 6:09), George H. Sewell

Director:  Ishwar Laxminarayan

Administrators Present:  Vicki Baldwin, Jim Delaney, Elaine Piper

Others Present:  Donna Smith, Administrative Secretary.  Public attendance sign sheet attached to official minutes.  Lorraine Butchart, Mary Frey, and Jeff Reichel were present as well.  Scott McLain, Markowski & Company auditor and the family of Pam Burt were guests.


Consent Calendar:  Moved by Teressa Delph, supported by James Best, that the consent calendar be approved as presented, inclusive of the Gifts and Donations and Personnel Actions.  Motion carried unanimously.  Ishwar noted that there was a Senate Budget Hearing on May 8 where the public libraries made a push for an increase in the amount of state aid that would be designated to libraries.  Last year the figure was $10 million; the House recommended $12 million following all the advocacy efforts this years.  Unfortunately, the Senate scaled it back to $10 million, this being the recommendation from the Senate Appropriations Committee.  A conference committee may meet to discuss and try to compromise those amounts in the near future.


Public Forum:  The meeting was opened for public comment.  There were no comments at this time.  At this time, Deborah Herbert read and presented a proclamation in memory of Pam Burt who passed away on April 2, 2008. Pam’s family was present to receive the proclamation.    


Current Bills:  Moved by George Sewell, supported by Darrell Durham, that the Board approve the current unaudited bills for April 2008. Motion carried. 


Financial Reports: Moved by Darrell Durham, supported by George Sewell, that the Board approve the unaudited financial reports for April 2008.  Motion carried. Ted Kolman commented that the income from estimated tax revenues were omitted and should be the difference of what is expected and what was received to date.  The difference should remain an asset in the liability column on the balance sheet.  Scott McLain explained that at the end of the year we set up deferred tax revenues and a liability for those revenues because taxes are not due until February 20.  The county starts remitting December’s taxes on January 15 and every 15 days through May.  In May the county pays the delinquent tax which is normally a large installment.  Vicki reversed the entry in January and handling it either way would be correct; but if the Board requests, the amount can be reduced as the payments are received.  The board sent this to the Finance Committee for discussion and final resolution.


Committee Reports:

Facilities Committee: Darrell Durham reported that the Facilities Committee did not meet in May.  The next Facilities Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 5, 2008 at 4:00 pm.  Darrell added that we may not need to have a meeting in June so it may be canceled.


Finance Committee:  James Best reported that the Finance Committee met on May 15. Juli Kolbe, Jackson County Director of Equalization, and Scott McLane, Markowski & Company Auditor were in attendance.  Minutes are on file in the current Board packet.  The next Finance Committee meeting will be Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 1:00 pm to review the cost analysis by branch.  All Board members are invited to attend. 


Personnel Committee:  Teressa Delph reported that the Personnel Committee met today at 4:00 pm and adjourned at 5:40 pm.  The next meeting is June 12, 2008 at 4:00 p.m. Minutes of today’s meeting will be included in the June 12 Board packet.


Director’s Report and Activities:  Elaine Piper reported that the mobile planetarium program was held April 16 through 18 and was very successful.  Elaine stated that we collaborated with three schools, Flora List, Hanover, and Grass Lake, with a total of over 1,000 kids participating.  This was a science and astronomy theater-in-the-round so was too large to put in any of our facilities.  Many notes of thanks from the children and teachers were received. 


The Jackson Citizen Patriot featured Sara Tackett having a book discussion with a group from the Youth Center.  This was a project funded by a grant through the American Library Association targeted to engage teens in the value of reading.  There were some very touching stories from the teens involved.


Last weekend was a very successful Word Wise with Elizabeth Berg.  Congratulations to Elaine Piper.  Jim Best attended and was very pleased and impressed with the organization of the program.  Several articles appeared in the newspaper featuring this event.


The library has submitted a grant proposal was submitted to the United Way for the new Data Network and we are optimistic of the outcome of the proposal.


Hanover continues to attract large audiences for popular programs.  There were 81 children watching the Bee movie.


Deborah Herbert shared a 10 year old’s comment about Story Fest.


Mary Frey updated the Board on activities at the Spring Arbor Branch.  The branch participates in the SAU Learning Faire annually and displays the Jackson Camera Club photos. The branch also has a writers group, knitting classes, a book club, and hosts several family programs throughout the year.  Their Friends group is very active and is very supportive of the branch and programming.  Recently they provided the branch with a new CD display organizer. Mary presents to the SAU Child Literature class twice and has several patrons from the Senior Center visit the branch.


Old Business:  Presentation of Proclamations: The presentation was made in the Public Forum section.


Poetry Contest:  Donna Smith reported that the poetry award ceremony was Monday, April 28 at 6:00 pm at the 1st United Methodist Church.  MaryAnn Sewell and Pat Beffel sold 85 poetry books.  Rep. Mike Simpson presented the awards to the winners and gave a short talk. There were approximately 230 children, parents, grandparents and teachers in attendance.  Homemade cookies and punch were provided by Claudia Taylor and the 1st United Methodist Church Women.  Four of the first place winners appeared on the Bart Hawley TV show to talk about their poetry writing experiences and Donna spoke with Bart about the library’s role in the contest.  Thank you to Sara, Amy, and Vicki for their help.  Ishwar thanked the Board members for attending all these events as it goes a long way to motivating us to go over and beyond what we do.


Other:  No other business was reported.


New Business:   2007 Audit:  Scott McLain attended the recent Finance Committee and gave a detailed review of the audit, so tonight he gave a quick overview.  Scott reminded the Board and staff that on January 1, 2009 we will begin reporting on GASB 43 and 45, in which the library has already completed an actuarial study.  Scott recommended that this fund be set up by October 1, 2008.  Moved by James Best, supported by Lawrence Sanders, that after a recommendation of the Finance Committee the Final Audit of the 2007 Financial Statements be approved as presented by Scott McLane, Markowski & Company.  Motion carried.


Fines and Fees Schedule:  The Fines and Fees Schedule was moved to the agenda for June 12, 2008.


Technology Update Status:  Ishwar stated that we have secured approval from Universal Services Funds (USF) for funding technology improvements throughout the district.  Work on the system will begin July 1.  A formal motion to the Board will be presented at our next meeting.


Board Policies and Procedures Draft:  Deborah Herbert explained that we are at the final stage in updating our Board Policies.  Deborah recommended that the policies be encoded with a cross reference to the procedures where applicable.  Ishwar indicated that the policies and procedures will eventually be put on the staff intranet.  A hyperlink will be included for quick cross reference.  Ishwar asked the Board to continue reviewing the documents.


Summer Board Meeting Location:  Donna Smith explained that in the past the summer meetings were held at Eastern branch, but with the rising fuel costs and mileage expense, scheduling them at Carnegie may help save on expenses.  A discussion took place and it was the consensus that the Board meetings would be held at Carnegie if space was available.


Ishwar mentioned that the Spring Arbor University’s Gainey School of Business is conducting a small business plan competition. In collaboration with SAU, Debby Sears will be teaching a course on “How to do Research.”  The presentation of awards will be held at the Carnegie library’s auditorium on July 12 as the university wanted the ceremony to be held at a public entity in downtown Jackson.


Woodlands Library Cooperative:  Lawrence Sanders reported that Woodlands is closely reviewing its services given the difficult economic times.  They are also looking into holding interactive workshops using CD’s as well as hosting workshops on genealogy and training.  After this review process, the co-op may refund a portion of state aid to libraries   Ishwar added that this is contingent on receiving the second installment of state aid.  Ishwar explained that the state aid proposal from the State Librarian was met with a significant amount of opposition from librarians throughout the state.


Other: No other new business.


Communications:  Deborah Herbert stated that several communications were included in the packet. 


Public Forum:  The meeting was opened for public comment.  Sarah Harbison, summer Intern from Jackson Citizen Patriot introduced herself. She is attending Michigan State University majoring in journalism.  Ishwar announced that Amy Sayles will be leaving the library effective June 5.


Moved by Lawrence Sanders, supported by James Best, that the meeting be adjourned at 7:15 p.m.  Motion carried unanimously.


Respectfully submitted,



James E. Best