MONTGOMERY-FLOYD REGIONAL LIBRARY SYSTEM
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
April 20, 2016
Board Members Present:
Margaret Christle – Chair
Alison Armstrong, Vice-Chair
Cynthia Saunders, Secretary
County and Affiliate Liaisons Present:
Ellen Hall, Montgomery Friends of the Library
Linda Devito, Floyd County Board of Supervisors
Mary Biggs, Montgomery County Board of Supervisors
Board Members Absent
County and Affiliate Liaisons Absent:
Gail Billingsley, MFRL Foundation
Kit Haggard, Floyd Friends of the Library
Staff Members Present:
Paula Alston, Library Director
Ruthie Bellman, Recorder
Paula recognized the Board by presenting books that are placed in the collection in their individual names. She thanked them for all of their work with the Board.
Ms. Alston congratulated Board Chair Margaret Christle who was voted Montgomery County Teacher of the Year.
Call to Order: Trustee Margaret Christle called the monthly meeting of the MFRL Board of Trustees to order at 7:15 p.m., on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at the Christiansburg Library.
Roll Call: Ms. Christle
Acceptance of Agenda: A motion was made by Trustee Natalie Cherbaka and seconded by Trustee Alison Armstrong to accept the April 20, 2016 agenda. The motion passed unanimously.
Approval of Minutes: The motion was made by Alison Armstrong, seconded by Ginny Gardner and the board voted to approve the March 16, 2016 minutes.
Public Address: None.
Unfinished Business: Feasibility Study
The Board received a copy of the RFP for the Feasibility Study. Library Director Paula Alston asked for comments and suggestions for wording, etc.
The study will be out for bid for 30 days. It will go out to two firms and a couple of other companies that are earmarked. We have $35,000 budgeted for the study which only includes Blacksburg and Christiansburg Libraries. Trustee Larry Spencer and Ms. Christle along with Ms. Heather Hall, Procurement Manager and Steve Phillips, General Services Manager from Montgomery County and Ms. Alston will be the committee to work on this project. We asked for one original and 4 copies of the study. We are asking for 19 copies of the final approval to go to the Library Board members, the Board of Supervisors, Ms. Alston, Ms. Hall and one each to the Town of Blacksburg and the Town of Christiansburg.
Ms. Alston asked Board members if there was anything to add to the study that has not already been covered. She stated that we are looking for some sense of the direction that these two libraries should go. The prevalent questions are if we should renovate, build, or re-build and if so, where?
Ms. Alston stated that the useful life of a library is about 20 years. We will check to see if there was a feasibility study done for the current Christiansburg Library. Ms. Alston suggested the board look over the RFP and send suggestions or comments to her. Mr. Spencer said that they should do a specific status of the current buildings as part of the evaluation. Trustee Karen Drake suggested that this will help with the Board of Supervisors in their decision making on this. Ms. Cherbaka offered that this will make the statement of need a bit more clear.
Mr. Spencer made the motion to move ahead with the RFP for the Feasibility Study, Ms. Armstrong seconded the motion and a roll call vote was taken. The motion passed unanimously.
Roll Call Vote
Margaret Christle X
Alison Armstrong X
Natalie Cherbaka X
Karen Drake X
Ginny Gardner X
Curtis Jones X
Cynthia Saunders X
Larry Spencer X
New Business: None.
Ms. Alston reviewed the Accomplishments for FY16 with the Library Board. These will directly coincide with the Evaluation of the Director.
After review of the Accomplishments and brief discussion, the Board was pleased with the accomplishments of the library system.
Report of the Director
We have completed nine months of the fiscal year and should be at 72% of budget.
We are in good shape in Floyd.
We are doing better on revenue collections since we dropped the library fines on the revenue report. We did not estimate for passport fees at the beginning of the fiscal year. We will do that for FY17. We hope to ask the county for the overage at the end of the year.
We received a letter from Unique Management Solutions that effective June 15, 2016, they will no longer be able to report fines to the credit bureaus. They do not see this as an issue and the consensus among libraries around the state using UMS is that most will take a “wait and see” approach. Ms. Alston recommends we do this as well. We will then reassess the effectiveness of UMS for us in January of next year to see if we continue to use them. We have made money, but we are also getting our materials back. We pay $8.95 per account.
We added Niche Academy in March. (MFRL Academy) This is the service that offer videos to demonstrate how to use various databases or download books. Patrons are able to navigate to it from our elibrary page. There is a little blue “HELP” slider on the right side. It is now called “MFRL Academy.” We have had well over 1,000 people view the videos in the last two months.
My Heritage is a new database. We do not have the stats on it yet. We are working to get them.
Programming / Collection
Ms. Alston showed an example of the Nature backpack we are making available in conjunction with LVA and Virginia State Parks. We have 10 backpacks available to patrons and currently nine are checked out. There was an article in the paper last weekend about the backpacks.
The Backpack Program in Meadowbrook will continue this summer. Branch Supervisor Cindy Minnick has made some changes for this year’s program. It will run from June –August 4. This year they will do it on Tuesdays at the Library and will run the in library program the same as last year.
On Thursdays, they will take the library van and tent and set up at the Mountain View Community Mobile Home Park in Shawsville, as well as the Riverview Mobile Home Park in the Lafayette area. They will be passing out bags of food to families with kids, have crafts for the children, and the VA Extension office will also be participating and handing out healthy snacks. They will take Little Library books so the kids have a book option. On the last day, kids will receive school supplies provided by the Ladies Circle in Christiansburg and Advantage Title of Christiansburg as well as a few other private donors. Children will also receive a free book from donations, hardbacks from Soho Center that targets libraries that participate in feeding programs. The school will send out announcements all summer via their phone tree and the schedule will be in the LINCLetter. Ms. Minnick has lined up volunteers to pack the bags and will be shopping at Feeding America with the funds that they receive to make their dollars go farther. She will be meeting also with Feeding America to make sure that we are still up to code for storing the food. Funding for the Backpack Program will come from the Shawsville Lay Ministerial Association, Shawsville Ruritans, Mt. Valley Charitable Foundation, and the Blacksburg Kiwanis. Ms. Minnick worked with Debbie Pluckett who is in charge of the Backpack Program for EastMont Elementary School and she said the donors supporting the Backpack Program at the school will continue to support it in the summer months for the library.
Ms. Alston has had two requests to have fine forgiveness periods. One request was for during the Summer Reading Program (SRP) for teens. Sarah Pahl, Youth Services Coordinator description of the program is to have the teens be asked to complete a Bingo sheet for the Summer Reading Program. Bingo is achieved by completing five activities in a row. Activities range from reading to attending programs. Teens that get Bingo can turn their card in for a chance at a grand prize awarded at the end of SRP. (Amazon Fires, one per branch.) Ms. Pahl would like to offer teens an additional incentive. In addition to completing Bingo, teens that write three Book reviews can choose from either fine forgiveness for up to ten dollars or be entered in another raffle (for a different prize, to be determined). These incentives will only be redeemable once.” The Library Board agreed that this would be an acceptable avenue for fine forgiveness for teens.
The other was a request from the Blacksburg Library to have a fine forgiveness week during either National Library Week or Library Card signup week, which is in September. After some discussion the Board agreed not to move forward with a fine forgiveness program at this time.
There was a second request from a patron who would like us to consider a three week check out for new material and a four week check out for older items. We’ve had two weeks for new and three for older throughout the duration of Ms. Alston’s tenure with the library. After much discussion, the Board agreed to leave things as they are and remind the patron that she can renew the materials she has (as long as there is no prior hold placed on the item.) Ms. Alston will speak with the patron and let her know.
Ms. Alston reminded the Board of the All Staff Day to be held on April 29. The committee that planned the day has asked that everyone bring an item to be sent to the Women’s Resource Center.
Facilities / Technology
We are having more air conditioning issues in the Christiansburg Library. A part has been ordered and should be in next week. It is the unit that covers the front desk area and part of the adult section of the library
Jessie Peterman will be receiving $400 from the Floyd Rotary Club to buy a new train table for the children’s area. The table they currently have is very popular but old, very dirty and missing parts.
The IT staff have replaced network switches in Christiansburg and Floyd and have reimaged all public computers in Meadowbrook and Blacksburg to update the web browsers and plug ins.
Our Lexis Nexis subscription, which is paid for by the law library fund and only on one computer in Blacksburg, expired in January. We don’t get the renewal notices so it took a few days for us to realize we no longer had access to it, then a few weeks to find our rep again. It is now working but we don’t have access to stats. Chris Elledge is working to rectify that.
Ms. Alston pointed out that our website slider area is now larger and only features slides promoting services, not programs. We also have the next three days of programs listed on the front page. There is a new engine driving the calendar entries.
We have had some internet connectivity issues over the last 30 days. Our DNS server became unstable. The server is the Virtual Machine/Server. The unstable DNS caused system wide outages. The upshot to this is that we may be replacing the server soon since downtime is unacceptable. Our goal is to provide consistent, fast internet access for our patrons. The fast part has also been an issue of late so we are looking into the cost for providing more bandwidth, too.
Mr. Elledge has been encouraged to replace the current server. He is also checking into the cost of increasing band width from Citizens.
We currently have two Circulation Specialists positions vacant, one in Christiansburg and one in Blacksburg. We are not looking forward to the departure of Jenny Barrowclough, the Assistant manager in Christiansburg. Her husband finished his PhD and found a job in Illinois. Ms. Barrowclough has been a creative and dedicated employee for almost five years. She gave us three months’ notice so we are delighted to have her until early July.
A bag of marijuana was found on the floor of the Blacksburg Library by the display unit. The police came and picked up the item for evidence / storage.
A Blacksburg patron was viewing pornography on the public computers. Staff reminded the patron of the library policy. The patron ceased using the computer immediately and voluntarily. The patron has been banned for three months.
A Christiansburg patron has been asking other patrons to use their phones and also has used the circulation desk phone. He also has been observed getting uncomfortably close to young female patrons. Staff will observe him and call the non-emergency police number if the issues consist.
Executive Committee: Did not meet.
Development Committee: Did not meet.
Leadership Committee: Did not meet.
Policy 101 Registration of Patrons
This policy has been revised adding Radford University and including the City of Radford.
Ms. Drake made the motion to accept the revision, Trustee Curtis Jones seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.
Policy 107 – New River Public Libraries Cooperative (NRPLCoop) Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement
Ms. Drake made the motion to accept the policy as revised, Ms. Armstrong seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.
Policy 115 – Patron Behavior
After discussion and a few revisions to be made to the policy, Ms. Armstrong made the motion to accept the policy with the revisions Ms. Gardner seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.
Policy 303 – Community Rooms
The Community Room policy was revised by allowing alcoholic beverages be sold in libraries for fundraising library programs only. It also clarifies the equipment that is available to the public and adjusted some of the wording to be more clear. Ms. Armstrong made the motion to accept the Community Room Policy with revisions as stated, Ms. Gardner seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Policy 304 – Solicitation
Ms. Drake made the motion to continue the matter of the Solicitation Policy, Ms. Armstrong seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.
Floyd Friends of the Library:
The Floyd Friends of the Library held joint meeting with Montgomery County Friends of the Library.
Montgomery Friends of the Library:
The Garden Tour will be July 9. All gardens to be toured will be in Blacksburg this year. The event will be held from 9:00 – 5:00. The plan is to advertise broadly. We would like to raise $6000 from this event.
The Montgomery Friends added a line on the membership form to add additional donations. Donations of around $3,000 were received by the Friends by adding the line.
The membership software company that is used by the Montgomery County Friends of the Library has gone out of business. We will have to find a new software program before October.
The next Foundation meeting is May 5.
Motion to adjourn
Trustee Cynthia Saunders motioned to adjourn the meeting and Ms. Drake seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 9:16 p.m.
Approved by the Library Board
Cynthia Saunders, Chair
Ruthie Bellman, Recorder