May 15, 2013 Library Board Meeting Minutes




April 17, 2013

Board Members Present:

Ann-Margaret Shortt, Chair

Alison Armstrong

Natalie Cherbaka

Margaret Christle

Ginny Gardner

Anne Page


County and Affiliate Liaisons Present:

Mary Biggs, Montgomery County Board of Supervisors

Lauren Yoder, Floyd County Board of Supervisors


Staff Members Present:

Paula Alston, Library Director

Ruthie Bellman, Sr. Programs Assistant


Board Members Absent:

Karen Drake

Gene Hyde

Darlene Richardson

County and Affiliate Liaisons Absent:

Kit Haggard, Floyd Friends of the Library

MaryAnn Hinshelwood, MFRL Foundation

Mary North, Montgomery Friends of the Library


National Library Week / National Volunteer Week Presentation

Director Paula Alston presented Board members with books that have been added to the collection in their names in honor of National Volunteer and National Library Week. The National Library Week proclamations from both counties were given to the board in their board folders for review.


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, April 17, 2013 at the Meadowbrook Public Library.


Roll Call: Ms. Shortt


Acceptance of Agenda: Trustee Margaret Christle made the motion to approve the agenda; Trustee Ginny Gardner seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously and the agenda was passed.

Approval of Minutes: The motion was made by Trustee Anne Page, seconded by Trustee Allison Armstrong and the board voted to approve the March 20, 2013 minutes.


Unfinished Business:

Board Self-Evaluation Form

The board discussed the possibility of revising the board self-evaluation form. The Leadership Committee reviewed a self-evaluation from another library for comparison. Ms. Gardner said the two documents were similar. The questions were mostly the same, but with slightly different wording. The decision was made to keep the current self-evaluation and revisit it again next year. Ms. Alston will get more evaluations to look at from her peer Directors.


New Business:

Accomplishments and Goals

Ms. Alston reviewed the goals with accomplishments that have taken place in FY13.


Trustee Natalie Cherbaka commented that she had concerns with the amount of snow that accumulated on the roof in Blacksburg and how it is situated in a way that ice and snow can fall off of the roof on to the sidewalk on the Clay Street side of the library.


The new phone system will be installed in this order: Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Jessie Peterman and Meadowbrook. Meadowbrook will mostly likely not be connected to fiber until mid-summer.


The digitizing the Floyd Press was also discussed. We have been denied permission from the publisher to digitize. Mrs. Gardner commented that the group that owns the Floyd Press was recently purchased by Warren Buffet’s company and perhaps board members should write to Mr. Buffet. Ms. Alston said that a State Library employee who leads the newspaper project will research the copyright holdings of the Floyd Press.


Director’s Evaluation Form and Process

Ms. Alston reviewed the director evaluation form and the process for completion. The board will receive an email copy of the form. Please fill out and return to Karen Drake by May 1. Each block needs a score or checkmark; please add comments.


Report of the Director:


We have finished the 9th month of the FY and should be at 75% of budget.


Montgomery County voted to raise the tax rate to $ .89 and the personal property rate will increase by $ .10. This will allow the county to set money aside for future school building.


Floyd County has been holding public hearings and work sessions. Floyd County Board of Supervisor’s liaison to the library board, Lauren Yoder said the Board of Supervisors should be setting the tax rate next week. They have discussed raising the amount for the library. He said it may not be as much as requested, but it should go up.


We received a nice surprise in the mail today in the form of a check from the Margot Sebba estate for $2889.99. Ms. Alston read a bit of the note that came with the donation. “Margot believed to never doubt that a group of sharing, caring and serving people, as yourselves, can achieve the impossible. She believed the wise spread their wings and embrace the winds of change. And the winds of change will blow you away or take you to new heights. ‘Enough of talking: let’s get on with it!’ ”


We’ve had both vehicles in the garage this last week. The van had a broken brake line and the Escort had an exhaust leak. The van is 10 years old and the Escort is 16 so they are not going to last too much longer.


Mary Biggs Montgomery County Board of Supervisor’s liaison to the library board said there was not a budget for replacing the vehicles at this time.


The question was raised about security issues in the libraries. Ms. Alston stated that the library as an emergency action plan in place and we have recently added an “active shooter” section. Staff have been trained on the plan and have viewed the “Run, Hide, Fight” video created by the city of Houston. We had a panic button installed in Blacksburg in February. Also, Ms. Alston will be meeting with a library interior designer tomorrow in the Blacksburg library to discuss reconfiguring the front desk to enable staff to face the front door so they are better able to make eye contact with patrons entering the building.



The board reviewed the statistics.


Programming / Collection

Blacksburg sent staff members to Price’s Fork Elementary School and Head Start for their outreach this month.


Christiansburg celebrated women’s history month with a trivia contest and an activity table.


Meadowbrook’s Prom dress Extravaganza had 46 eager teens to try on donated dresses and win prizes. Meadowbrook Branch supervisor Cindy Minnick mentioned that they are still helping girls with dresses. She showed a poster of pictures created Linda Spivey.


In Floyd, the 4-H Cloverbuds gardening program for children met three times with a total of 70 in attendance. It is taught by the Master Gardeners.


Christiansburg donated a box of children’s books to CHIP of the New River Valley for their program. The folks at CHIP were most grateful.


We have a weeding schedule so that we do not neglect any one section of the collection. This year we are scheduled to weed the 800s, 900s, biographies, adult fiction, teen fiction and A/V.


Snapshot Virginia will take place tomorrow, April 18.

Facilities and Technology

Christiansburg has had issues with their alarm system and one door in the children’s area. Weather causes the door to react and trigger an alarm. They have completely bypassed the door in an effort to prevent Branch Supervisor, Pamela Hale from getting calls at 2:00 a.m. The building also continues to struggle with roof leaks. Every new rain storm brings on a new leak. We have requested that the building be considered for reroofing in the upcoming budget year.


VACORP performed risk control assessments on the three Montgomery County libraries. In all three libraries, they found two common infractions: not having every outlet covered with a child safety cap and not having exit signs within the stacks to direct patrons to the nearest exit. We have ordered a small supply of the caps and are looking for a supplier where we can buy them a couple hundred at a time. As for the exit signs, the inspector suggested we check with the fire marshal to see what the code states. Ms. Alston is going to contact the fire marshal for the two towns in May. The inspector was very complementary about the Meadowbrook building, saying the maintenance and housekeeping staffs were doing an “awesome job” on a facility that is as old as the Meadowbrook building.


For the other two libraries, Ms. Alston mentioned the violation and the corrective action. In Blacksburg: sprinkler clearance in the attic. Any item placed on top shelves should have between 18-24 inches of clearance between the sprinkler head and the item. We moved the boxes from the top shelves.


Space heaters: we were using unapproved space heaters in small areas. Those have been removed from the building and replaced with ceramic heaters.


Electrical panel clearance: we had a cardboard box stored in the area of an electrical panel and it has been removed.


Paint storage: we have several gallons of paint in the attic; we are purchasing a paint locker to store them in.


In Christiansburg, we also had an issue with combustible material stored in front of an electrical panel. The material has been removed.


In the adult area, we have an OPAC at the end of a book range and an extension cord running from the computer to the wall 18 feet away. This one has not been corrected yet but will be as soon as IT has time on their schedule to move it. We will push the computer to the wall for the time being.


Staff and Trustees

Staff day was a great success. Ms. Alston thanked the board again for allowing the libraries to close. The training sessions were very good. All the afternoon sessions were conducted by staff members. The staff appreciated seeing Mr. Meadows and the four library board members who were able to attend.

Our computer technician, Jason Finnigan, started on April 1. Chris Elledge has already been impressed with his skills and knowledge. There will be a learning curve as he is indoctrinated into the library world but by all appearances, he is going to be a quick study.



There was an incident at the Blacksburg Library with the same patron who has complained about the County maintenance men. This incident involved the housekeeper at Blacksburg who stepped out of the building to smoke at 6:30 a.m. The patron asked him to smoke elsewhere. He moved but not far enough. Words were exchanged. We discussed with housekeeping supervisor, Jack Raffensburger, that we do not allow patrons to smoke in front of the libraries so even at 6:30 a.m. it is not good for staff to be smoking there. Housekeeping was not aware of our policy.


In Meadowbrook we had a child attempt to stand on a display shelf and the support underneath broke and he stumbled. He scratched his arm. Mrs. Minnick’s husband was able to weld the support piece back together.

At Christiansburg we had a minor hit and run in the parking lot. A pickup backed into another car, then left. The owner of the car called the police.



A patron put in a consideration of the DVD Candy. The patron did not request that the movie be removed from the collection; she simply wanted to give her opinion about having a movie that glorifies illegal drug use. The committee reviewed the reconsideration and recommended that the movie be retained in the collection.


Committee Reports:

Executive Committee – Did not meet.


Development Committee – Did not meet.


Leadership Committee – met via phone and email regarding the Board Self-evaluation form.


Policy Committee – Did not meet. They are scheduled to meet in May.


Floyd Friends of the Library – Met in January.


Montgomery Friends of the Library – The Barter Theater event was a success. There were 477 in attendance. The annual meeting of the combined Floyd and Montgomery Friends will be April 20 at the Christiansburg Library.


MFRL Foundation – Met with the Executive Director of the Community Foundation at the March meeting. They are researching ideas for a signature fundraising event.


Ms. Gardner moved to adjourn the meeting and Ms. Page seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 8:17 p.m.

Approved by the Library Board

Ann-Margaret Shortt, Chair

Ruthie Bellman, Recorder

Category: Board, Meeting Minutes

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