October 23, 2008 Library Board Minutes


OCTOBER 23, 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, Lawrence S. Sanders, George H. Sewell

Board Members Absent:     Theodore R. Kolman (excused)

Director:  Ishwar Laxminarayan

Administrators Present:  Vicki Baldwin, Jim Delaney, Elaine Piper, Mike Way

Others Present:  Jean Dailey, Administrative Secretary; Skip Freysinger; and Donna Smith.


Consent Calendar:  Moved by James Best, supported by George Sewell, that the consent calendar be approved as presented, inclusive of the Gifts and Donations and Personnel Actions.  Ishwar Laxminarayan requested that Jim Delaney update the Board on the MERS Retiree Health Funding Vehicle Trust that was approved at the previous meeting.  The paperwork has been executed and the investments appear to be in pretty good shape.  Motion carried unanimously. 


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


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


Financial Reports: Moved by Teressa Delph, supported by James Best, that the Board approve the unaudited financial reports for September 2008.  Questions were offered and answered regarding keeping some line items below budget. Motion carried.


Vicki Baldwin presented a report on Cost Comparison for Telephone Services for 2006 through 2008.


Committee Reports:

Facilities Committee: Darrell Durham reported that there hadn’t been a Facilities Committee meeting since the last Board meeting. 


Finance Committee:  James Best reported on the Finance Committee which met on October 16, 2008.  The minutes are in the board packet.  Items discussed were the materials budget and proposed budget adjustments. The next meeting will be held on November 6, 2008 at 3:30 p.m. in the Auditorium at Carnegie.  The full Board is invited to attend the next meeting.


Personnel Committee:  Teressa Delph reported that the Personnel Committee had met and that the minutes were in the packet. 


Director’s Report and Activities:  The Director’s Report is in the Board packet.  Ishwar spoke briefly regarding legislation pending in Lansing which will impact property taxes.  The article regarding penal fines which was in the Jackson Citizen Patriot was also discussed.  Ishwar and Deborah Herbert will schedule a meeting with Judge Mazur to discuss this issue.  Technology options as presented in Kathy Schoening’s report were discussed.  The Data Network site is up.


The statistics for September 2008 were reviewed.  We continue to show a modest increase over last year.  Computer usage is starting to increase again after instituting the new policy in the spring.


Skip Freysinger was present to speak about the Grass Lake Branch.  He presented a Power Point Slide presentation featuring information about the branch, programs and activities including:

·         History - Postcard from 1910/11 of the building. (Library moved in 1946.)

·         Spring Expo Table and Information

·         Planetarium (400 children participated)

·         Easter Extravaganza (held at MI Photographic Arts)

·         Warriors Trail Days (held at High School for 8th graders)

·         Grass Lake Road Construction Project and Library Remodeling (shelving)

·         Paul McCormack – 2 sessions

·         Puppet Show

·         Magician Joel Tracy

·         Heritage Day Book and Bake Sale in late September, and

·         Participation in the long-term Strategic Planning for Grass Lake Schools (Skip was asked to be the presenter for the group to the school board next Monday.)


He also shared statistical information about library programs and usage in comparison to all JDL branches and answered general questions from the board.  Ishwar stated that Skip is a really good ambassador for the Jackson District Library in Grass Lake.


Old Business:  Young Poets Contest 2009: Jean Dailey reported that the Young Poets Contest 2009 will be held in conjunction with the Big Read.  The informational packet that was included with the board information has been distributed to over 300 educators in Jackson County including public and private schools, home educators associations, colleges and all library branches.  She also commended Vicki Baldwin for her success in recruiting sponsors for this event.  Donna Smith informed the board of the Big Read kick-off event to be held at Lincoln School on February 28, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.  We will have some 1930’s trucks that will be parked at the kick-off location in keeping with the “Grapes of Wrath” theme. 


Other:  No other old business was reported.


New Business:   2008 Budget Adjustments: Information regarding the 2008 Budget Adjustments was included in the board packet.  All line items were reviewed and adjustments are proposed as needed.  The board discussed the proposed adjustments. Moved by George Sewell, supported by Lawrence Sanders, to accept the adjustments to the 2008 Budget as presented. Motion carried.


JCP Editorial:  “Will libraries find best path with vote?”:  The board discussed the editorial from the Jackson Citizen Patriot regarding the millage request. They also shared comments received about the editorial and the article that appeared in the Sunday, October 19, 2008 edition of the paper. 


Brooklyn Exponent Editorial:  “Say Yes to Library Operating Proposal”:  The board discussed this unsolicited positive editorial.


Closed Session:  At 7:10 p.m., it was moved by George Sewell, supported by James Best, that the Board go into a closed session to consider the Director’s evaluation.   Motion carried.


At 7:45 p.m., the Board returned to regular session.  Moved by George Sewell, supported by James Best to approve the unanimous recommendation of the Personnel Committee to renew the Director’s Employment Agreement, and their salary recommendation.  Motion carried.


Woodlands Library Cooperative:  Larry Sanders reported that the Woodlands Library Cooperative meets quarterly and that there had not been a meeting since he last reported.


Other:  No other new business.


Communications:  Deborah Herbert stated that several communications were included in the packet.  Ishwar reported that he had received a donation of $2500 from the A.P. Cook Foundation which will be designated for Technology.  The Board received a letter from Mary Frey and wish her well in her retirement after twenty years of service to the Jackson District Library.  There was also a short general discussion regarding online comments to recent articles and Voice of the People letters.


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


Moved by Lawrence Sanders, supported by George Sewell, that the meeting be adjourned at 7.53 p.m.  Motion carried.


Respectfully submitted,



James E. Best