May 15, 2013 Library Board Meeting Minutes




May 15, 2013

Board Members Present:

Ann-Margaret Shortt, Chair

Alison Armstrong

Karen Drake

Ginny Gardner

Gene Hyde

Darlene Richardson


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

MaryAnn Hinshelwood, MFRL Foundation


Staff Members Present:

Paula Alston, Library Director

Ruthie Bellman, Sr. Programs Assistant

Cathy Whitten, Jessie Peterman Library Branch Supervisor


Board Members Absent:

Natalie Cherbaka

Margaret Christle

Anne Page

County and Affiliate Liaisons Absent:

Mary North, Montgomery Friends of the Library


Call to Order: Chair Ann-Margaret Shortt called the monthly meeting of the MFRL Board of Trustees to order at 7:03 p.m., on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at the Jessie Peterman Memorial Library.


Roll Call: Ms. Shortt


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

Approval of Minutes: The motion was made by Trustee Alison Armstrong, seconded by Trustee Ginny Gardner and the board voted to approve the April 17, 2013 minutes.


Unfinished Business: None.


New Business: None.

Report of the Director:

Financial Report

We have finished the 10th month of the FY and should be at 83% of budget.


Trustee Karen Drake asked about the status of the van. Director Paula Alston responded that the van had another mechanical issue today, which appears to be a blown gasket. MaryAnn Hinshelwood, liaison to the MFRL Foundation asked what the van is used for. Ms. Alston responded that it is used as a courier between the four libraries and the Government Center on a daily basis, Monday through Friday. Ms. Alston further explained that the van is a 2003 and has approximately 173,000 miles on it.


We are doing okay with the sale of paper, but not with collection of fines. This is due somewhat to e-books and downloadable audio, as there are no fines with these items. Ms. Shortt asked if ebooks are more expensive to purchase. Ms. Alston answered that they are. With discount, an average hardback book costs the library $15.00; the average eBook can be as high as $75.00.



The board reviewed the statistics for the month of April. There were no questions.


Programming / Collection

Branch Supervisor, Cathy Whitten reported that Assistant Branch Supervisor, Lori Kaluszka, met with Lisa Pluska, the Director of Instruction for Floyd County Schools to discuss our databases. She was impressed with Tumblebooks for the younger children that gives them online / screen experience. This will help prepare them for third grade SOLs which will be done on computer. Also, she liked Universal Class. She said that possibly some of these courses could be offered for class credit for students.


Ms. Whitten also shared information about upcoming programs at Jessie Peterman Library. Money wise, which will include couponing and information on understanding your credit scores; a program by Barbara Pleasant on organic gardening; and Ham Radio by David Larsen. We will also take part in a program offered by the Library of Virginia to provide scanners for a period of time to scan items in the genealogy room to digital format.


We received two awards from the Virginia Public Library Directors Association meeting in April. The Prom Dress Extravaganza won for the Outstanding Young Adult Program for a population over 100,000. Also, the Sharing America program won the Outstanding Adult Program for a population over 100,000. Congratulations to Cindy Minnick and June Sayers for their awards.


Sarah Pahl, our children’s librarian, talked to students at Christiansburg Middle School and the Gifted Advisory committee, to promote the Summer Reading Program to 80 students and 160 students/parents respectively.


We will soon have two new online services. The first is Zinio which offers online magazinesthat can be read on an iPad, phone or other devices. The Library of Virginia is providing the platform plus 50 of the most popular titles to all public libraries around the state. We can add additional content and may at some point, but first Ms. Alston plans to gage our usage.


The other service is called OneClickDigital by Recorded Books and will provide additional audio books that patrons can download to MP3 players, phones and computers. This will provide new and older titles. The new titles will be available in the one title/one user, similar to OverDrive. The older titles will be available in multiple user format.


Facilities / Technology

We are currently upgrading the wireless in each building. Ms. Alston mentioned that we have received an anonymous donation for $2100 for the Meadowbrook Library. This donation will provide the two wireless routers for Meadowbrook. Branch Supervisor Cindy Minnick will use the rest of the donation to refresh the teen collection and provide gaming equipment for a gaming cart. MFRL will buy the cart and the donation will purchase the TV and the equipment. Ms. Alston mentioned many thanks to the donor for such a generous donation.


We have replaced three public PCs in Blacksburg and 10 public PCs in Christiansburg

We had a circ terminal in Blacksburg that failed and it happened to be the one that controls the reservation system and the print management. The library was without public computers for a few days but a new computer has been installed and all is well.


Systems Administrator, Chris Elledge, has been testing the inventory system and we will start an inventory of the A/V after the Summer Reading Program ends in July. Mr. Elledge also installed the last two electronic signs in Christiansburg and Floyd.


Mr. Elledge is investigating new self check out computers for Blacksburg and Christiansburg. We will use our eRate money to purchase them. Our current machines, made by 3M, are at least 8 years old and workhorses. However, they are out-of-warranty workhorses and periodically go on strike.


In the past three years we have benefited from a service call eRate Central. It was originally funded with Gates money so only a few libraries around the state had access to them. eRate is complicated, there are many forms and when filling them out you are dealing with three different fiscal years at once. If you do something wrong, they are likely to not fund you that year. eRate Central did our forms for us, got us filed on time and correctly and all that needed to be done was have Ms. Alston sign them. The Gates money for this service is gone and the Library of Virginia would like eRate Central to provide the service to the rest of the state. In order to fund this, each library will be charged 7% of their eRate earnings. For us, that is approximately $1,400. Well worth it to us to keep this service!


A request for purchase for a new roof for the Christiansburg Library went out last week. Ms. Alston is hopeful it will be replaced in the next few months. Last week, with all the heavy rains, they were running out of trashcans.


In Meadowbrook, Ms. Minnick has requested that the door from the children’s area into the courtyard remain locked at all times. It is currently unlocked at 10 a.m. and locked at 5:00 p.m. They do not have a clear view of the door and for safety reasons Ms. Alston agrees that it should stay locked. It would be marked as emergency exit only and eventually have a crash bar installed. The board agreed the door should remain locked and Ms. Alston will contact Ms. Minnick to inform her of the board’s agreement.


We have corrected all the issues discovered during our OSHA inspection in March. The OPAC computer in Christiansburg has been moved. Our biggest violation was probably our need for appropriate paint storage. We now have a paint locker in the Blacksburg Library. It will be moved upstairs and the paint stored inside soon. Once this has been done, Ms. Alston will contact the fire marshal for a voluntary inspection.


Blacksburg Branch Supervisor, Elizabeth Sensabaugh and Ms. Alston met with two different library interior companies to discuss redesigning the circulation desk in the Blacksburg Library. We have already shortened it by removing an unused section and moving the self-checkout machine along the wall with the holds. Ms. Alston would like to have these other items done in that Library:

  • Have a smaller footprint for the circ desk – U-shaped
  • Turn the desk so the primary computer used by staff is facing the front door. This will enable the staff to be able to greet people as they come in and make eye contact with them. This will mean moving the existing queuing line.
  • Position the desk in front of the door to the back workroom so it will not be easily accessible to anyone other than staff
  • One solid surface of the counter, not broken into stations
  • Install more useable space under the desk in terms of drawers and cupboards
  • Possibly an in-desk book drop to alleviate the issue of the books not sliding down the shoot that is 18 inches long
  • Along with the desk, replace the 10 heavy wooden tables. They have had a long life and they are beaten up. They are very heavy. We have configured three of them for electricity but it is definitely a home job. We would like to replace those with 10 or so lighter, smaller tables, wired for electricity, that we can scatter around the library, over the electrical floor boxes instead of lined up in a row.
  • We also have thoughts of moving some of the collections around, especially magazines and newspapers in order to open up the library a bit and get a majority of our soft seating around the windows.


Ms. Shortt asked if the book return drop at the Jessie Peterman Library could be looked at and possibly be re-evaluated in its security. The design of the shoot allows for smaller hands to reach in and be able to take items that might be still in the shoot.


Ms. Drake asked when the collection at Blacksburg will be moved. Ms. Alston answered that it will most likely take place within the next year. Suggestions were made to invite a school group, rotary club, Corp of Cadets from VT or even trustees come and help with the moving of the collection.


We want to ask the Board of Supervisors for the money for the desk. We may also ask the MFRL Foundation to hold a fundraiser to help with the costs. The cost will be approximately $60,000.

Staff and trustees

The management staff had a Strategic Plan brainstorming session yesterday. Some great ideas are developing from that session. Ms. Alston hopes to do another session with them next month and then work on revising the plan in July. She would like to include the board in the conversation with the draft of the staff ideas before a vote is asked for. Ms. Alston requested the Board’s input in the process. The Library of Virginia would like revisions to our Strategic Plan prior to August 1, but we can request an extension. The board agreed they would like to be involved in the process. There will be a discussion on what staff generates in the August meeting and the goal will be to approve the Strategic Plan at the September meeting. Ms. Alston will ask for an extension for November 1.


Ms. Alston reviewed information regarding records management that was handed out to members. The board requested we have someone come in and speak about what is required to meet the regulations for records management correctly.


Ms. Alston will be working on Saturday, June 15 and will be off on June 17 to work the Blacksburg Rotary Club’ golf tournament. She will not be taking annual leave.

She also reminded the board that she will be on annual leave May 23-27. She will be available by phone if she is needed during this time.



There were three incidents this month.


First, our courier witnessed a bit of parking lot rage between a handicapped bus and who was waiting for passengers and a patron who thought he should be where the bus was. He blew his horn, which encouraged the bus driver to back up enough to let him pass.


The second incident did not happen on library property but staff handled it well. A woman, walking up Preston Street, tripped on the uneven sidewalk and fell. She caught herself with her hands and knees and hurt her wrist. She came into the library and rested in the ladies room. Staff called the paramedics and they took her to the hospital for x-rays.


The third happened in Christiansburg and involved someone who felt faint. Staff got her to a chair and she perked back up. Staff called her son to drive her home.



There were no reconsiderations.

Committee Reports:

Executive Committee –Did not meet.

Development Committee – Did not meet.


Leadership Committee – Did not meet. Will meet next month.


Policy Committee

Policy 303 – Community Rooms has been revised and was reviewed and updated by the committee. Ms. Drake made the motion to accept the policy as revised, Ms. Armstrong to approve the policy as revised. A roll call vote was taken and Policy 303 was approved.


Roll Call Vote: Aye Nay

Ann-Margaret Shortt X

Alison Armstrong X

Karen Drake X

Ginny Gardner X

Gene Hyde X

Darlene Richardson X


Ms. Drake asked if forms need to be filled out again after they had been filled out online. The answer is that they should not be filled out twice, but they do need to be signed. A suggestion was made to insert a box on the online form that says “by clicking here you agree to the terms of the contract.”


Policy 110 – Proctoring Services

The Policy Committee reviewed the Proctoring Services policy and the board agreed to send it back to the library supervisors for more discussion and research.


Floyd Friends of the Library

Will meet on July 11 at 3:30 p.m. The request of a netbook for the Jessie Peterman Library to use for the Summer Reading Program has been made.


Montgomery Friends of the Library

The Garden Tour is scheduled for July.


MFRL Foundation

The next meeting of the Foundation will be June 3 at the Jessie Peterman Library. The foundation is looking for a new board member and working on ideas for new fundraisers.


Ms. Alston reminded the board that the Board Self-Evaluation should be completed by June 10 and returned by mail or email to Ms. Alston.


At 8:26 p.m. Ms. Drake moved that the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library Board enter into a Closed Meeting as stipulated in the Agenda under Section 2.2.3711 Code of Virginia, discussion, Consideration or Interviews of Prospective Candidates for Employment; Assignment, Appointment, Promotion, Performance, Demotion, Salaries, disciplining or resignation of specific Officers, appointees of Employees of Any Public Body, seconded by Mr. Hyde and the Board voted unanimously to enter into a Closed Meeting.


Roll Call Vote: Aye Nay

Ann-Margaret Shortt X

Alison Armstrong X

Karen Drake X

Ginny Gardner X

Gene Hyde X

Darlene Richardson X


Return to Open Session

Ms. Drake moved, seconded by Ms. Richardson, and the Board voted unanimously to return to open meeting at 8:48 p.m.


Ms. Gardner moved to Certify that the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library Board members in Closed meeting, to the best of each member’s knowledge, discussed only public business matters lawfully exempted from open meeting requirements by Virginia law, and only such matters as are identified in the Resolution to enter into Closed Meeting, seconded by Mr. Hyde, and the Board voted unanimously certification of Closed Meeting.


Ms. Gardner moved to adjourn the meeting and Ms. Richardson seconded the motion.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:52 p.m.

Approved by the Library Board

Gene Hyde, Secretary

Ruthie Bellman, Recorder



Category: Board, Meeting Minutes

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