February 20, 2013 Library Board Meeting Minutes




February 20, 2013

Board Members Present:

Ann-Margaret Shortt, Chair

Alison Armstrong

Natalie Cherbaka

Margaret Christle

Karen Drake

Gene Hyde

Anne Page

Darlene Richardson


County and Affiliate Liaisons Present:

Mary Biggs, Montgomery County Board of Supervisors

MaryAnn Hinshelwood, MFRL Foundation

Kit Haggard, Floyd Friends of the Library


Staff Members Present:

Paula Alston, Library Director

Ruthie Bellman, Sr. Programs Assistant


Board Members Absent:

Ginny Gardner

County and Affiliate Liaisons Absent:

Mary North, Montgomery Friends of the Library

Lauren Yoder, Floyd County Board of Supervisors


Call to Order: Chair Ann-Margaret Shortt called the monthly meeting of the MFRL Board of Trustees to order at 7:05 p.m., on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at the Christiansburg Library.


Roll Call: Ms. Shortt


Acceptance of Agenda: Trustee Gene Hyde made the motion to approve the agenda; Trustee Alison Armstrong seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously and the agenda was passed.

Approval of Minutes: The motion was made by Trustee Darlene Richardson, seconded by Trustee Margaret Christle and the board voted to approve the January 16, 2013 minutes.

Public Address: None.


Unfinished Business: None.


New Business: The board discussed the self-evaluation tool that has been in place for the past six years. Several of the members had researched other self-evaluations. Members will email Ruthie the evaluations they have found. The Leadership Committee will review them and then put together information to create an updated form for the board.


Report of the Director:

Financial Report

We have finished the seventh month of the FY and should be at 58% of the budget.


Ms. Short and Director Paula Alston presented the Floyd budget to the Floyd County Board of Supervisors on January 22. The budget shows in increase to the telephone line item for costs incurred by the new phone and email system. The personnel line item shows a 3% increase for staff. The Board was not completely aware of how our budget works so this gave them the opportunity to ask questions. Ms. Shortt, Trustee Ginny Gardner and BoS liaison Lauren Yoder have been advocating to the other four Board of Supervisors members.


Earlier this month, we heard from the VLA lobbyist who reported that at the state level, both the senate and the house included proposed increases in funding for State Aid to Public Libraries in support of the recommendation from VLA. VLA had requested $1.25 million in increased State Aid for digital information resources. The Senate included $1,000,000 in increased funds for State Aid to Local Public Libraries for FY 2014 in its budget amendment recommendations, almost all we asked for. The House included an increase of $250,000 for State Aid in 2014.


The House and Senate typically compromise near the middle of any differences and, if this is the case this year that would mean an increase over $600,000 in State Aid would be in order. Whether it affects our state amount or it is used just for digital resources remains to be seen. It’s just that this is the most positive movement we’ve seen out of the General Assembly in years.


The unknown in all of this is how the sequestration will affect Virginia’s budget. Ms. Alston believes we can assume that with cuts in federal spending in Virginia, there would be some impact on the revenues that the state takes in and thus cuts are likely in the state budget next year — but no way to know where. It is assumed all state agency budgets would be cut and so State aid is always vulnerable.


The State Library was recently asked by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for the impact of federal sequestration to libraries in Virginia, since it would mean a 5 percent reduction in our Library Services and Technology Act or LSTA allotment, and this is what they reported to them this morning: “Sequestration would mean a reduction for Virginia of $187,000 in LSTA grant funds. We would have to reassess the databases that we license and offer free of charge to every library and public school in our state, most likely reducing the offerings and refocusing on the public library resources since all Virginians can use a public library. Databases would then only be available to students with public library cards. There would no longer be IP authentication within the school buildings. The Library of Virginia also uses LSTA to digitize unique manuscripts and photographs documenting Virginia’s rich history and we would have to reduce the digitization budget accordingly if this cut to LSTA funding goes through.”


We will continue to see a decrease in Blacksburg’s door count due to the fact that the church that used the community twice a day on Sundays for the last decade has built its own building and stopped using us in mid-December.


We are including proctoring statistics now. We are also including our patrons who sign up for OverDrive each month.


Programming / Collection

Christiansburg offered a blood drive with Virginia Blood Services in January. We had 24 donors. They were thrilled and are scheduled to come back every other month during 2013. Ms. Alston suggested that if members were blood donors, they might consider donating at the library.


Members also received an invitation for the reception for Nannie Hairston this Sunday at 2:00 p.m. It is open to the public but we mailed invitations to the Board of Supervisors and the Town Councils. We believe Delegate Rush will be here, a representative from Senator Warner’s office and possibly Doug Wilder. We have a resolution from the Board of Supervisors as well as letters from Senators Kaine and Warner.


An article about CeCe Bell and her book Rabbit and Robot was given to members. It was named as an ALA Theodor Geisel honor book. The Geisel award, names for Dr. Seuss, is for outstanding early reader books.


Facilities / Technology

Ms. Alston addressed a document regarding “active shooter” that was given to board members to review. This is a revision to our Library Emergency Action Plan or LEAP, which was approved by this board in August 2010 and endorsed by the two county administrators. The LEAP is a document to guide staff through most emergency situations. What it is lacking is a section on how to handle an active shooter. This write-up was coordinated by Steve Phillips at the County and will be in their emergency plan.


This month Ms. Alston reviewed this plan with management staff and looked at the active shooter part and discussed it. They also watched a YouTube video put together by the City of Houston that many locations are using as a training video. Ms. Alston has asked management staff to review the LEAP and to watch the Houston video with their staff members and discuss it. Management staff should review and discuss the plan annually with staff members as part of their training on how to deal with emergency situations.


Ms. Alston will bring the entire plan back later in the spring to approve the revisions after we see if our phone numbers will change due to our new phone system. At that point, she will email the plan to board members to read in its entirety before asking for it to be approved again.


Chris Elledge, Linda Spivey, and Yanni Cooper attended training at LVA that was an update to their e-readers and other technology tools ‘petting zoo’ training. They also picked up new components for the zoo. Mostly e-readers that they can loan for several weeks to other libraries were included. Meadowbrook is already taking advantage of this.


Citizens is hoping to have the approval they need to release the fiber to Meadowbrook by early March. The fiber is connected to the building; it is just not hot at this point. Once the fiber is a go, they will be able to start work on installing our phone system. They are currently working on obtaining an interconnect agreement with Verizon to port our phone numbers into their system.


Lauren Yoder reported to Ms. Alston that they will be replacing one of the old heat pumps at Jessie Peterman Library now and hope to put the replacement cost of the second one in their 2014 budget.


Staff and Trustees

Blacksburg interviewed for their fulltime Library Service Specialist position in the last few days and has selected a candidate who will start February 26. Chris Elledge will start his interviews for the fulltime computer specialist next week.


Ms. Alston reported that Mary Biggs has once again been appointed as our liaison with the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors. Ms. Alston is delighted to have Ms. Biggs join us every month and shared appreciation of the relationship we have with Ms. Biggs and the Board.


The March board meeting will be held at the Blacksburg Library. This is the meeting where we will invite Blacksburg and Christiansburg Town Councils as well as the Board of Supervisors to come for a desert reception in their honor. Margaret Christle and Anne Page will organize the deserts. Ms. Alston and Ruthie Bellman will be in charge of decorating and sending invitations out. Invitations will go out next week.


There was an incident at the Blacksburg Library earlier this month that involved a stolen backpack. The owner of the pack was studying at a table and had it taken basically from under his feet. It involved several people who had entered the library 15 minutes before and had made a staff member and a member of the Friends of the Library uneasy because of their odd behavior.


One of the people checked out a video game so we had a name, but as it turns out it was a stolen library card belonging to a wife of Pearisburg police officer. The Blacksburg Police Department is working with the Pearisburg Police Department to solve the issue. The backpack was valuable to the patron as it contained books in Chinese that he was using to study for the SAT exam. It did not have any electronics in it.



There were no reconsiderations this month.

Committee Reports

Executive Committee – Did not meet.


Development Committee – Did not meet.


Leadership Committee – Did not meet.


Policy Committee – Did not meet.


Floyd Friends of the Library

Floyd Friends are meeting quarterly.


The membership drive has recaptured as many as last year and also there have been many who have signed up with higher dollar amounts. Memberships are also received throughout the year. Several who signed up are interested in serving on the board.


Montgomery County Friends of the Library

Ms. Alston will speak with Mary North to inquire about having a member of the Friends attend the Library Board meetings.


The Barter Theater presentation of Miss Nelson is Missing will be held on March 9 at 2:00 p.m. It is first come first serve and seats cannot be saved.


Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library Foundation

The Library Foundation is meeting quarterly. The last meeting did not have many there as the weather was not good and deterred folks from attending. They had a representative from the Community Foundation there to speak about fundraising and donor recognition. She has agreed to come to the March 18 meeting.


Mr. Hyde moved to adjourn the meeting and Ms. Armstrong seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 7:57 p.m.

Approved by the Library Board

Gene Hyde, Secretary

Ruthie Bellman, Recorder



Category: Board, Meeting Minutes

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