August 14, 2013 Library Board Minutes





August 14, 2013


Board Members Present:

Karen Drake, Chair

Alison Armstrong

Natalie Cherbaka

Margaret Christle

Ginny Gardner

Anne Page

Darlene Richardson

Ann-Margaret Shortt


County and Affiliate Liaisons Present:

Mary Biggs, Montgomery County Board of Supervisors

MaryAnn Hinshelwood, MFRL Foundation


Staff Members Present:

Paula Alston, Library Director

Ruthie Bellman, Sr. Programs Assistant


County and Affiliate Liaisons Absent:

Lauren Yoder, Floyd County Board of Supervisors

Kit Haggard, Floyd Friends of the Library

Mary North, Montgomery Friends of the Library


Call to Order:  Chair Karen Drake called the monthly meeting of the MFRL Board of Trustees to order at 3:17 p.m., on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at the Blacksburg Library.


Roll Call:  Ms. Drake


Acceptance of Agenda:   Trustee Alison Armstrong made the motion to approve the agenda; Trustee Darlene Richardson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously and the agenda was approved.


Approval of Minutes:  The motion was made by Trustee Darlene Richardson, seconded by Trustee Alison Armstrong and the board voted to approve the June 19, 2013 minutes.


Public Address:  None.


Unfinished Business:

Floyd Budget

Director Paula Alston discussed the Floyd budget for fiscal year 2014.  Ms. Alston asked the Board to look at the initial budget that she and Trustee Ann-Margaret Short took to the Floyd County Board of Supervisors in December 2012.  Some of our costs have risen in the last several years; our telephone costs are going up in this fiscal year due to the new phone system and increased bandwidth.  Since our budget was cut by 10% in 2011, we have had to zero out several line items, omit sending staff to any training that required registration fees, have Montgomery County pick up more of the cost for some of the shared items like dues, vehicle repair, the print management system used in all four libraries, travel and salaries for regional employees and books that are rotated to Jessie Peterman, all of which Floyd County benefits from.  We have also slashed the starting book budget to $24,000.  We presented two budgets to the Board of Supervisors.  The first FY 13-14 proposed budget of $209,136 is to cover telephone costs.  The second proposed budget for FY 13-14 of $213,466 is to cover the telephone and the cost of a 3% raise for staff.


One of the things we do when we put the budget together is to ask Floyd County what salary increase they expect to give their staff so that we can match that.  They did not know in December, so we used 3% and that is the figure in the second proposed budget for FY 13-14.  In the spring, we were informed that Floyd County staff received a 3% increase this year.


The figure we received from Floyd County in June was a $3,000 increase to the amount from previous budgets.  The increase is much appreciated, and it helped but it did not cover the increase to the phone line item.


The current budget Ms. Alston is proposing to the Board works with the amount Floyd County approved.  In order to cover the increases we are facing and to give our Floyd County staff a raise, we have zeroed out several more line items and taken another $1,100 out of the book budget.  One line item unfunded is for the maintenance and repair of office equipment.  This is the line item we use to replace computers, servers and other IT items.  We have been augmenting this line item with Gates grant money from three years ago.  However, there will come a time when that is gone.


What Ms. Alston is proposing for staff salary increases is that we use the Montgomery County matrix of 3, 2, or 1% depending on time in service for the Floyd County Staff.


Ms. Shortt made the motion to accept the budget proposed by Ms. Alston that will cover the increases we are facing and will give Floyd County staff a raise with the same matrix of 3, 2, or 1% depending on time of service.  Ms. Richardson seconded the motion and a roll call vote was taken.  The motion passed unanimously.


Roll Call Vote:

Aye     Nay

Alison Armstrong                X

Natalie Cherbaka                 X

Margaret Christle                 X

Karen Drake                         X

Ginny Gardner                     X

Anne Page                            X

Ann-Margaret Shortt           X

Darlene Richardson             X



Ms. Drake asked if closing Jessie Peterman Library more often would free up more money.  Ms. Alston replied that the only way to do that would be to cut staff hours.


Trustee Cherbaka asked what the overriding mission is for the regional system.  Ms. Alston stated that we receive more funding from State Aid because of having the regional system.


After brief discussion, the board agreed to check the numbers to see how much Montgomery County financially covers Floyd County.  We can also cut everything that is rotated to Floyd County.


New Business:

Board Committee Appointments

Policy Committee:  Anne Page, Darlene Richardson, Ann-Margaret Shortt

Development Committee:  Karen Drake, Natalie Cherbaka, Alison Armstrong

Leadership Committee:  Ginny Gardner, Margaret Christle, new member (yet to be appointed)



Report of the Director


Financial Report

We have finished the first month of the fiscal year and should be at 8% of budget.


The insurances are paid in full at the front end of the fiscal year so those line items will be showing close to 100% obligated this month or next.


The three 570 line items on the financial statement are line items that are funded only when we need to pay something out of them.  The line item for furniture and fixtures is showing the money for the circulation desk at Blacksburg, the motor vehicle line item is for the new van which should arrive soon, and the lease/rental line item is the lease on the copiers.


Floyd carry forward money was made in July; we had $8,946 left in our operating and maintenance line item and $6,977 left in revenues.


The money left in the book budget for Montgomery County will roll over.  Our revenues (fines and fees) are down.  Any other funds left on the table usually become “carry-forward” funds in Montgomery County.  We haven’t heard about this carry forward yet but we are hopeful to be able to keep it.


We completed FY 2013 at 97.5% in Montgomery County and 96% in Floyd County.  We were over by 6,000+ in both counties in our revenues however, we missed our fine collection estimate by 15% in both counties.



We are off to a good start, with circulation and door counts up a bit in several of the libraries.

Our eBooks and downloadable audio counts continue to increase.  Our decrease in circulation for the last couple of fiscal years is keeping in line with what is happening around the state with libraries that did not open new buildings.  Everyone is experiencing a decrease of between 5 and 10%.  Ours decreased by 3% from FY2012.




Programming / Collection

The Summer Reading Program was completed at the end of July.  New this year was online registration encouraged by Library of Virginia in order to give the Department of Education more statistics to show the relationship between children who read during the summer and their readiness for classes in the fall.  Librarians have been saying for years that there is a correlation but we did not have statistical proof.  This is designed to give us the proof.


In Christiansburg and Blacksburg, we allowed both paper and online registrations, but in Floyd and Meadowbrook, we only wanted them to use the online version.  It seems to have hurt our statistics a bit and hopefully the Library of Virginia will make adjustments to the process as they receive the data.  There is a three year commitment to collect the statistics.


Christiansburg started their “little library” service in July.  They have placed racks in the Christiansburg Recreation Center and the Aquatic Center with books for people to take.  These are donated books and it is not a swap.  We don’t necessarily want people to swap because of a concern that they may drop off more than the site can handle and will make it harder to get a good count.  They will refresh the books every week.  In July, 72 books were taken.


This year, we will be stepping up our outreach efforts to daycares and assisted living/nursing homes, adding more eBooks, improving our wireless, creating quiet comfortable places for patrons to enjoy, and promoting books-by mail for the blind and handicapped.  Also, we will offer storytimes 6 days a week in Blacksburg and 5 days a week in Christiansburg.


Ms. Alston emailed the board in July about an ex-employee who wrote a letter to the Roanoke Times, commenting on the fact that libraries were asked to promote the Affordable Care Act (ACA.)  Libraries are not being asked to promote the ACA, only help people find the website, navigate around the site if they are confused and assist with their computer skills if those are lacking.  The American Library Association (ALA) is working in conjunction with the Institute of Museums and Libraries Services (IMLS) and Webjunction to provide resources and training.  Our staff is in the process of being trained.


Facilities / Technology

The re-roofing of Christiansburg Library started in July and continues today.  They did experience a rather serious leak two weeks ago on a Friday night when we had a torrential downpour.  The leak was located where they had stopped for the day which left a weak spot between the old roof and the new roof.  Unfortunately, it was over the musical CDs and we lost 130 CDs.  We have filed an insurance claim with VACo.


The State Fire Marshal inspected Jessie Peterman Library in Floyd on August 9 and Meadowbrook Library on July 12.  We had a few hits but nothing critical.  We have to pay $51 per hour for these two inspections.  That includes their drive time, inspection, report writing and any research they need to do.   We will have these two libraries inspected every two years.  We are on the schedule for the Blacksburg and Christiansburg Fire Marshal to inspect those buildings on an annual basis.


Christiansburg had their inspection and fire drill on July 12.  Again, we have a few items to correct and most have been completed.  In Blacksburg, we are waiting on just a few more items to be finished and we will be ready for a re-inspection there.


The Town of Blacksburg has five maintenance bike racks they will be placing around town.  They have approached the Blacksburg library requesting to put one there.  Ms. Gardner made the motion to allow the Town of Blacksburg to place one of the bike racks at the Blacksburg Library, Trustee Margaret Christle seconded the motion and the motion passed with one abstention.


Staff and Trustees

Several comments from board members have been made that the scanning and emailing of publicity items for their review was preferable.  We are getting much more coverage by the News Messenger and even though their circulation is lower, we are happy with the coverage. Ms. Alston wants Board Members to know about it since there is no way to keep up with whether board members have a personal subscription to that newspaper. We are doing our best to get information about our programs in the hands of our patrons.



A child fell at the Blacksburg Library and injured his chin. Staff helped get the bleeding covered and the mother took the child to the hospital.


There was an incident in Blacksburg with a tutor in the quiet study room and another patron’s child crying.  The tutor went and spoke to the parent directly.  The parent was upset by the conversation.  The tutor was asked by staff to come and speak with library staff with complaints and not to other patrons directly.


A Jessie Peterman patron attempted to pick up an interlibrary loan from the hold shelf without checking it out.  Staff stopped the patron; he paid for the ILL and checked out the book.


In Christiansburg, a gentleman in distress briefly lost consciousness. Staff and other patrons assisted him until EMS arrived and took him to the hospital.


In Blacksburg, a patron with an NRPLCoop card but not registered in our system, wanted to check out some DVDs.  She was unwilling to register the card and was very ugly with staff, using foul language and hurling insults before she left the building.

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

The Floyd Friends have been selling used books through Better World Books.  This seems to be going well.


Montgomery Friends of the Library

The Montgomery Friends looked into a program similar to Better World Books to sell books, but after more research decided not to pursue it at this time.


The Garden Tour was a big success.


The Friends of the Library want to give the libraries more money.  Pamela Hale, Branch Supervisor for Christiansburg Library is going to try to use some of this money and put on a series of concerts.


Montgomery Floyd Regional Library Foundation

The foundation is working on the Bountiful Basket Auction.  The event will take place November 7 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, building II.  Tickets for the event are $10.00 per person.  They hope to make this an annual signature event.


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

The meeting was adjourned at 4:39 p.m.

Approved by the Library Board

Ginny Gardner, Secretary

Ruthie Bellman, Recorder


Category: Board, Meeting Minutes

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