Floaters and Flinkers

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Wednesday, April 30, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Blacksburg Library

What’s a flinker you ask?  Why it’s an object that doesn’t just float on the surface of water, but it doesn’t sink to the bottom either!  Come learn about buoyancy, boats and submarines, or just have fun with water!  At this Early Release Day Program, you’ll each have the chance to make your own boat, your own flinker, and your own submersible.  Now’s the perfect time to get hands-on experience with marine engineering concepts.  Open to All Ages.

Tim Kaine Email Project

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473px-Tim_Kaine,_official_113th_Congress_photo_portrait    Exciting news from the Library of Virginia! Staff there are currently working on a project that will make former Virginia governor Tim Kaine’s emails available to the public, and they are actually the first state archives to do so for a former political figure. Yes, that’s right. You can now view all of the daily minutiae sent between Kaine, his colleagues, and his constituents. But, you can also find very valuable information if you’re researching a particular event that occurred during his term as governor of Virginia from 2006-2010.

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Category: Library


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Monday, April 28, 6:30 p.m., Christiansburg Library

A drop-in knitting and crocheting club for ages 11 to 18.  Experience and materials are not required.


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Monday, April 28, 1:00 p.m., Christiansburg Library

A club for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Art enthusiasts ages 8 through 12.  This month we’ll focus on wind energy with a special guest from 4-H.  Registration is required.

TAG Meeting

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Saturday, April 26, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Blacksburg Library

Have you grown out of the children’s section and want a space of your own?  Join us as we develop our ideas for the Teen area and create cool new programs that cater to your interests.  Participating in our Teen Advisory Group will also count as volunteer hours.  After all, you’re helping to make the library a better place!

March 19, 2014 Library Board Meeting Minutes





March 19, 2014


Board Members Present:

Karen Drake, Chair

Alison Armstrong

Natalie Cherbaka

Ginny Gardner

Anne Page

Ann-Margaret Shortt

Larry Spencer


County and Affiliate Liaisons Present:

Mary Biggs, Montgomery County Board of Supervisors

Kit Haggard, Floyd Friends of the Library


Staff Members Present:

Paula Alston, Library Director

Ruthie Bellman, Sr. Programs Assistant


Board Members Absent:

Margaret Christle

Darlene Richardson


County and Affiliate Liaisons Absent:

Gail Billingsley, MFRL Foundation

Mary North, Montgomery Friends of the Library

Lauren Yoder, Floyd County Board of Supervisors


Call to Order:  Chair Karen Drake called the monthly meeting of the MFRL Board of Trustees to order at 7:03 p.m., on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at the Jessie Peterman Memorial Library.


Roll Call:  Ms. Drake


Acceptance of Agenda:   A motion was made by Trustee Natalie Cherbaka and seconded by Trustee Alison Armstrong to accept the agenda.  The motion passed unanimously.


Approval of Minutes:  The motion was made by Ms. Armstrong, seconded by Ms. Cherbaka and the board voted to approve the February 19, 2014 minutes.


Public Address:  None.


Unfinished Business:

Review of Director’s Evaluation Form

The executive committee recommended a few adjustments to the director’s evaluation form.  They suggested that several of the annual goals should be weighted instead of a yes or no.  The rest of the trustees agreed.  The evaluation will be given to board members at the April meeting and a copy emailed to them. Once the evaluations are completed, they are to be sent to Margaret Christle.  At the May meeting the board will go into a closed session to discuss the results of the evaluation.  The board members were asked to make detailed comments on the evaluations.


There were some questions about some of the goals listed on the evaluation.


In regards to the goal “Create a dedicated outreach coordinator position or provide a more coordinated effort to deliver service to the community” Kit Haggard, Liaison for the Floyd Friends, asked how the libraries deal with checking out books to institutions.  Books are checked out to an institution card.  Sr. Program Assistant Ruthie Bellman takes books to Warm Hearth and checks them out to the residents so there is a record of which resident has what book.  This has been successful in the past year.


Also, there was a question about expanding the Little Libraries.  The books and items in the Little Libraries are free to the public.  Anyone can take a book from the Little Libraries and not return the book.  The books used to stock the Little Libraries are either donated or discarded books.  Nothing comes from the collection.  Mary Biggs suggested we check with hospitals to see if we could put little libraries in there.


Regarding the Books for Babies program, we are considering giving the Books for Babies kits to mothers who use the Free Clinic.  We may ask DSS to assist in distributing them.


Another question was asked about the click and pledge option on the foundation page of our website. The Foundation will provide the link to their “click and pledge” account.


Ms. Armstrong moved to make the eight goals weighted and keep them as they are currently worded.  Trustee Anne Page seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.


New Business:  None.


Director’s Update:


Ms. Alston met with Dan Campbell on February 27.  Trustee Ann-Margaret Shortt and Ms. Alston attended the Floyd County Board of Supervisors budget meeting on March 11.  It seems they all have a better understanding of our budget.  The possibility of an increase to the budget is still an unknown.


Ms. Alston will be appearing before the Blacksburg Town Council on March 25.  Anyone requesting more than $10,000 has been asked to come and speak.  Ms. Alston will use the opportunity to thank them for their donation this year and to explain what we will use the donation for.


Ms. Alston will be attending the Town of  Floyd council meeting on April 3 and the Town of Christiansburg council meeting on April 8.


The Montgomery County budget is tight this year.  No addenda items were granted this year.    Ms, Alston will be meeting with Marc Magruder in the Montgomery County Finance Department tomorrow to see what can be done about getting the needed SIRSI server.  The current server is eight years old and if it should crash we will lose everything.  It could take more than a year to recover.  This would be a one-time expense.


Programming / Collection

The Library of Virginia picked up their scanning equipment from the Floyd library in February.  We set a new record while using their equipment—over 13,700 images for a total of 157 gigabytes. And we still have more to scan.  We have asked the Friends of the Library for a scanner to continue this work.


Facilities / Technology

Here is the latest word from Citizens concerning our phone system, “We believe the e911 issues have been resolved.  We will do some more testing once we port some numbers into our system but the test number we are using now is working beautifully.  We are working with Verizon now to complete the Porting Process (integrating their Verizon Software into our Billing system etc…) we hope to have that finished very soon.”  They are working on a time frame on what numbers to start porting and in the meantime, they have credited our account for the services we are not receiving fully from them


We have added a self-checkout computer in Floyd.  It has a touch screen.  It is one that the IT staff created using shareware provided by a large library system.  Several Floyd patrons got on Facebook to let us know they appreciated the personal touch of having staff check out their books.  Branch Supervisor Cathy Whitten did let them know it’s not mandatory to use the self-checkout, It is just there for their convenience.


The remaining tables for Blacksburg should be in next week.


Staff and Trustees

The board has been invited to the kickoff of the Storywalk at Christiansburg Library.  It is scheduled for April 16 at 11:00 a.m.


The Spanish Welcome Brochure is completed and now in all libraries.  Also, a new combined Friends of the Library / Foundation bookmark is available. The board received a copy of the brochure and a bookmark.




There were two incidents this month to report.


The first incident happened at Jessie Peterman Library.  A staff member found two people in the parking lot having a spat.  The employee called the Sheriff and they left.


The second incident took place at Meadowbrook Public Library.  A 15 month old child along with his mother and grand-mother were playing in the fenced playground area.  Somehow the child got away from the adults, got out of the fenced area and fell through a separate fence down an embankment and into the creek.  The women got him out of the creek and brought him to the library.  Staff called 911.  The paramedics treated the boy for bruises and scratches.  They also suggested that the mother take the child to the emergency room.  The mother refused to take him.  The mother made the comment that that is a “lawsuit waiting to happen.”  Ms. Alston met with Steve Phillips, who will send a crew out to block off the old fence.


Ms. Armstrong moved to adjourn the meeting and Trustee Ginny Gardner seconded the motion.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:31 p.m.

Approved by the Library Board

Ginny Gardner, Secretary

Ruthie Bellman, Recorder


Category: Board, Meeting Minutes

Mother and Daughter Book Club 1.0

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Thursday, April 24, 6:30 p.m., Christiansburg Library

A book club for girls in 4th and 5th grade with their moms. This month’s selection is City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrauRegistration is required.

Grow Your Own: Planting seeds with kids!

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Wednesday, April 23, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., Blacksburg Library

Digging in the dirt can turn into a lifetime of love and respect for nature. Children love to plant seeds in the soil and watch them grow into flowers and vegetables.

Watch a child pull a carrot from the earth, brush off the soil, and take a bite, or see the anticipation in the eyes of a youngster creating a bouquet of flowers she grew.

SEEDS-Blacksburg Nature Center Educator Rose Peterson will read a children’s book about gardening and provide a craft.

Little Scientists, Stem for Preschoolers

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Tuesday, April 22, 11:00 a.m., Blacksburg Library

Explore and discover with a science-themed story and hands on experiments.  This program is for children ages 3-6 years old and has moved to the story time room.

April 16, 2014 Agenda




Meadowbrook  Library

7:00 PM


April 16, 2014


Call to Order


Roll Call/Quorum


Acceptance of Agenda


Approval of Minutes

-          March 19, 2014 minutes


Public Address


Unfinished Business


New Business

-          FY 2014 Library goals

-          Director’s Evaluation

-          Possibility of moving Floyd County employees to Floyd County plan


Report of Director

-          Financial Report

-          Statistics

-          Programming / Collection

-          Facilities / Technology

-          Staff / Trustees

-          Other


Committee Report

-          Executive

-          Development

-          Leadership

-          Policy

-          Floyd Friends of the Library

-          Montgomery Friends of the Library

-          MFRL Foundation








Dates to Remember:



v  April 20, 2014 – Spring Holiday, Libraries closed

v  April 24-25, 2014 – Director at Graves Mountain, State Library Director’s meeting

v  April 28-May 5 – Library Director on A/L

v  May 25, 2014 – August 31, 2014 – Libraries closed on Sundays

v  May 26, 2014 – Memorial Day, Libraries closed

v  June 23, 2014 – Library Director off

v  July 4, 2014 – Independence Day, Libraries Closed

Category: Agenda, Board