MONTGOMERY-FLOYD REGIONAL LIBRARY SYSTEM
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
October 28, 2015
Board Members Present:
Margaret Christle – Chair
Alison Armstrong, Vice-Chair
County and Affiliate Liaisons Present:
Mary Biggs, Montgomery County Board of Supervisors
Lauren Yoder, Floyd County Board of Supervisors
Kit Haggard, Floyd Friends of the Library
County and Affiliate Liaisons Absent:
Gail Billingsley, MFRL Foundation
Mary North, Montgomery Friends of the Library
Staff Members Present:
Paula Alston, Library Director
Ruthie Bellman, Recorder
Cathy Whitten, Jessie Peterman Library Supervisor
Kafi Howard, Blacksburg Town Engineer
Terri Morris, Floyd County Administrator
Call to Order: Trustee Margaret Christle called the monthly meeting of the MFRL Board of Trustees to order at 7:00 p.m., on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at the Jessie Peterman Memorial Library.
Roll Call: Ms. Christle
Acceptance of Agenda: A motion was made by Trustee Alison Armstrong and seconded by Trustee Ginny Gardner to accept the October 28, 2015 agenda. The motion passed unanimously.
Approval of Minutes: The motion was made by Trustee Curtis Jones, seconded by Ms. Armstrong and the board voted to approve the September 16, 2015 minutes.
Public Address: Floyd County Board of Supervisor’s Representative, Lauren Yoder introduced Terri Morris to the group. Ms. Morris is the new Floyd County Administrator.
Unfinished Business: None.
Presentation by Blacksburg Town Engineer regarding the Huckleberry Trail
The town is making plans to expand the Huckleberry Trail past the library on Draper Road. The Town received funding from VDOT and revenue sharing to continue the trail. This is currently in the preliminary stages.
Director Paula Alston invited Blacksburg Town Engineer, Ms. Kafi Howard to the October Library Board meeting to explain the project to Board members. Ms. Alston asked the Board members to review the project and determine what impact it may have on library operations. There are plans for a continuance to the old middle school property. The trail would go across Draper Road and up Miller Street past the cleaners.
There would need to be a retaining wall built between the library and the trail. The wall would need to be 4’ tall in order to make the slope along Draper Road flat. The wall will most likely be built out of stacked block. The entire wall will be below the patio with a railing to protect anyone from falling and to deter skateboarders, etc. There will be a disconnected area between the library and the wall that will need to be landscaped and maintained. Ms. Howard stated that there is money for landscaping. When the wall is in place, the emergency exit on the front of the library will still be functional. It will not be blocked. There are no plans to eliminate the current sidewalk.
Trustee Karen Drake asked about the possibility of putting a Storywalk in along the trail. The Storyboards are too large so it would not be feasible to put a Storywalk in. Trustee Larry Spencer asked if the proposal has been approved by the town and Ms. Howard answered that it has been approved. The land is listed as belonging to the Library Board, however, it really belongs to the Board of Supervisors.
Ms. Armstrong made the motion to approve the extension of the Huckleberry Trail on the Draper Street side of the Blacksburg Library, contingent on landscaping. Trustee Larry Spencer seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Once passed by the Library Board, the extension plan will go to Steve Phillips, Montgomery County General Services Director, for review. The final review would be the Board of Supervisors and the County Attorney.
Jessie Peterman Programming
Branch Supervisor Cathy Whitten thanked everyone for coming and mentioned how nice it is to have the opportunity to have Board members visit.
The DMV to Go is executing about 90 transactions at each visit. They are coming almost monthly.
There will be an Herb series in conjunction with the Wild Gardeners of Floyd on November 8. They will be showing patrons how to create a family medicine chest using local materials.
Jessie Peterman Library has been hosting Big Screen Classics on Sunday afternoons and this has been going well.
Nancy McIntyre, an octogenarian who raised a wolf cub, will be talking about her book called Rush of River Over Rock on November 16.
There will be an eReader and Tablet Petting Zoo on November 23 for patrons to have hands on experience before Black Friday.
Report of the Director
We have completed three months of the fiscal year and should be at 24% of budget.
Montgomery County expenditures for September Repair and Maintenance in the amount of $876 was used to get the chairs re-upholstered in Blacksburg. This should have come out of last year’s money, however the bill was delayed.
The merchandise for resale line item refers to items that we sell (headphones, thumbdrives.) Those items used to be placed in the office supply line item. Montgomery County has asked it be listed as merchandise for resale. We have done the same in Floyd County.
Currently we are good on both fines and paper in revenues.
Unique Management System collection report shows that 563 patrons were placed into collections in FY2015 and just under half of those accounts were cleared.
Ms. Drake noted the decline in circulation and library visit numbers and asked if other libraries are seeing the same trend. Ms. Alston answered that others are seeing the same decline noting that for MFRL we are not seeing students in the libraries as in past years due to online access. Also, teachers are not assigning library tasks as they have done in the past. Ms. Christle concurred stating that the public schools are experiencing a decline as well. Ms. Alston mentioned that the library’s focus is on programming to bring the community in. She feels a new building is the only thing that will bring up stats. Ms. Drake wondered if the recession recovery is causing the decrease in numbers.
Programming / Collection
On September 29 we had seven people trained to be passport acceptance agents. This will make applying for passports available in the Blacksburg, Christiansburg and Jessie Peterman libraries. We have not heard when we will be able to start. We still need to purchase the supplies, but getting the training under our belt was a major hurdle. Ms. Alston emailed the State Department to find out what comes next. We are looking into buying a passport camera for the Jessie Peterman Library. Trustee Curtis Jones asked what the fee for photos will be. Ms. Alston responded we will charge whatever CVS is charging for the photos. Ms. Drake asked if the library keep any of the fees for passport applications. Ms. Alston replied that the library keeps $25.00 per application. That fee is set by the State Department.
We partnered with several other libraries in the area for The Big Read and featured the book The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. They have sent moderators to the book clubs to help facilitate this. All book groups read the book this month and we hosted a panel of Vietnam vets on Monday. They talked about the things they carried, their impressions of the war and how they feel about it some 45 years later. There were 52 people in attendance. Students from a history class from Virginia Tech were in attendance but most notably, at least half the audience was Viet Nam vets. It was apparent that this is still highly emotional for them. One gentleman brought items that he carried. Several veterans talked about what they carried. BIG READ goes through November 14. Tim O’Brien will close the program at Tech that evening and tickets are free.
Read to Guess was held on September 3 at Floyd with 10 children reading. Guess is a most patient Doberman.
Pirate Day at the Blacksburg library (in September) had 77 kids talking and acting like pirates.
CeCe Bell put on an illustration clinic at the Christiansburg library and had 36 people in attendance. She and her husband Tom Angleberger both presented programs at VLA last week. Ms. Alston noted that they did a great job.
The Science in a Bag program had 15 participants on Saturday, September 12 at Meadowbrook, which is a great number for a Saturday program.
For the first time in the seven year run, Meadowbrook cancelled Fall Harvest due to rain.
The Nannie Hairston Oral History project is moving along well. Business Manager June Sayers continues to look for additional money to use to finish the project once all the interviews are conducted. Ms. Sayers has discovered in all her dealings with Nannie that she has a treasure trove of memorabilia and documents concerning the civil rights movement in this area and nationwide. There is some concern that once Nannie is gone, all of these items will disappear. Through Ms. Sayer’s connection with Dr. Cline, they are in discussions with Ms. Hairston and the Special Collections department at Newman Library to see if they would be willing to take the items should Ms. Hairston be willing to donate them. If she agrees, leaving her legacy at Tech will be a great accomplishment for her and the library. The book will be a nice end result. We still need about $7500 for the project. Ms. Sayers has asked for $2,000 from the Friends. Ms. Alston asked the Board to let us know if they are aware of any available grants. The county has a new person who has access to a grant database.
Facilities / Technology
The County has hired a new HR director. Her name is Stacye Broce. Stacye is a native of Blacksburg, and worked for UXB International in Blacksburg since 2005. Prior to her service at UXB, she worked with Anderson & Associates, Inc. She has degrees from Bluefield College and Virginia Tech.
We had seven new leaks in the Christiansburg Library that came with the hard rains the week of September 29. There was just one leak reported in Meadowbrook and there were several leaks reported in Blacksburg. Floyd had one leak.
We have raised the $5000 we needed for the frog sculpture in Meadowbrook. It was delivered yesterday. We are now working on the donor plaque with Sign Systems The cement pad for the statue was poured a couple of months ago. Hopefully it will be installed soon. We will let the board know when it will be unveiled.
Another sign we are working on with Sign Systems will replace the large overhead sign leading into the Children’s area at the Blacksburg Library. We have wanted to make it more appealing and inviting for a while and Ms. Alston wants to incorporate the children’s area underwater theme. Duncan Hall, a staff member at Blacksburg, created a design that has a ship incorporated into the book from the library logo. Ms. Alston approached Sign Systems to see if they can create it.
Staff and Trustees
Meadowbrook hired one person and is still looking for one. We re-advertised the job this week.
A job advertisment for the Christiansburg Library supervisor has been placed on the VLA jobline and on joblines in West Virginia and Tennessee. We will begin reviewing applications in early November. The preferable candidate will be someone who can come in from another library system who can look at things with fresh eyes.
Blacksburg and Floyd are currently fully staffed.
Ms. Alston discussed a press release from Petersburg Library about their director, Wayne Crocker, winning the James A. Partridge Outstanding African-American Information Professional presented by the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. Ms. Alston nominated Mr. Crocker for this award. Petersburg is a disadvantaged area with the Library being housed in 110 year old house. Mr. Crocker formed a foundation in 2005. They were able to receive $6,000,000 from the town and raised the final $8,000,000 for a new library.
Ms. Alston was awarded The Elizabeth M. “Libby” Lewis Award for 2015 at the Directors Meeting last week. The award is named for the former director of public library development at the Library of Virginia, and is awarded annually to the Virginia library director who most embodies the qualities of enthusiasm for, nurturing spirit and love of libraries. This award was selected by Ms. Alston’s peers and was a great honor.
Christiansburg Library received a comment card that read – “Please pay employees $10 – $12 an hour. They do Great work!”
In Blacksburg a child cut herself with children’s scissors. She received first aid from staff.
At Meadowbrook, a patron cut her finger on an outdoor plant. She received first aid from staff.
In the Meadowbrook courtyard some teenagers were jumping on the old wooden bench and it fell apart. The teenagers are fine. We have $1,000 from Mt. Valley to replace the bench.
Executive Committee: Did not meet.
Development Committee: Ms. Armstrong thanked members for donations for the auction baskets (we should have 4 baskets this year.) Ms. Christle thanked Ms. Armstrong for doing the legwork on this.
Leadership Committee: Did not meet.
Policy Committee: The Policy Committee met tonight. They will have policies to discuss at the December meeting.
Floyd Friends of the Library: Has pre-approved the budget.
Montgomery Friends of the Library:
The Montgomery Friends had their annual meeting two weeks ago with a good program presented by Chelsea and Bill Adams. Ms. Adams read her poetry and Mr. Adams accompanied her on the guitar. The Friends elected a new president, Ellen Hall. Ms. Hall will start her term in January. She is a retired university librarian.
MFRL Foundation: The Basket auction is next Thursday, November 5. The event will be held at VTLS in the CRC in Blacksburg. We will mail out tickets to Board members. Ms. Alston encouraged members to show up early to help if possible.
Ms. Alston would like to consider moving the 2016 Auction to the Blacksburg Library also possibly changing the event to a Friday night. Ms. Alston thanked Ms. Armstrong for putting the baskets together and Ms. Christle for donating stays at her Grayson County cabin as two of the auction items.
Motion to adjourn
Ms. Armstrong motioned to adjourn the meeting and Ms. Drake seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
Approved by the Library Board
Cynthia Saunders, Chair
June Sayers, Recorder