September 2013 Library Board Minutes





September 18, 2013


Board Members Present:

Karen Drake, Chair

Alison Armstrong

Natalie Cherbaka

Margaret Christle

Ginny Gardner

Anne Page

Darlene Richardson

Larry Spencer


County and Affiliate Liaisons Present:

Mary Biggs, Montgomery County Board of Supervisors


Staff Members Present:

Paula Alston, Library Director

Ruthie Bellman, Sr. Programs Assistant

Cathy Whitten, Branch Supervisor


Board Members Absent:

Ann-Margaret Shortt


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

MaryAnn Hinshelwood, MFRL Foundation


Call to Order:  Chair Karen Drake called the monthly meeting of the MFRL Board of Trustees to order at 7:04 p.m., on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at the Jessie Peterman Library.


Welcome to new member:  Ms. Drake and board members welcomed Mr. Larry Spencer to the board.


Roll Call:  Ms. Drake


Acceptance of Agenda:   Trustee Ginny Gardner 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 Anne Page and the board voted to approve the August14, 2013 minutes.


Public Address:  None.


Unfinished Business:

Library Emergency Action Plan

The plan was reviewed in the spring.  A section on an active shooter has been added to the plan.  This is based on the RUN-HIDE-FIGHT video from Houston, Texas.  In light of the events this past Monday at the Naval Yard in Washington, D.C., staff will be reviewing the document in an effort to keep our staff members ever vigilant.


Trustee Alison Armstrong made the motion to accept the Library Emergency Action Plan with revisions.  Trustee Margaret Christle seconded the motion and a roll call vote was taken.  The motion passed unanimously.


Roll Call Vote:

Aye     Nay

Alison Armstrong                X

Margaret Christle                 X

Karen Drake                         X

Ginny Gardner                     X

Anne Page                            X

Darlene Richardson             X

Larry Spencer                       X


Floyd Budget

Expenses that are incurred for a combination of Montgomery County libraries and Jessie Peterman Library are split at 85% for Montgomery County and 15% for Floyd County.  The questions of how much money is spent by Montgomery County to cover the excess of the 15% for Floyd County and how to address this were raised.  There are several items in question, namely maintenance on the existing van, rotation items, and training for staff.


All expenses for van maintenance have previously been covered by the Montgomery County portion of the library’s budget.  After some discussion by the board, this will now change.  Fifteen percent of the maintenance expenses will be covered by the Floyd County portion of the budget.  There is a gas allotment from Floyd County for the van and the library car.  Floyd County did contribute 25% of the cost of the new van.


Rotation items, mainly audio visual items, are covered with the 85/15 split in the budget.  We have previously continued to rotate items between counties, even after we spent all the money allotted to the Floyd County line item.  We will now stop rotating once the allotted amount has been exhausted.


Jessie Peterman Library employees have no funding for training opportunities.  Also, Floyd County is not paying any portion of expenses for training and travel for Director Paula Alston and other regional staff members.


It was noted that we do receive donations from all the towns.  Also, we receive in-kind services for garbage disposal and recycling from the Town of Christiansburg; recycling, parking lot maintenance and landscaping from the Town of Blacksburg.  Floyd County covers garbage disposal and cleaning of the building, as well as building maintenance for the Floyd Library.  Montgomery County covers the cleaning and all maintenance issues for the three Montgomery County buildings, as well as parking lot maintenance and landscaping for Christiansburg and Meadowbrook.


Ms. Alston addressed a question that was asked by Trustee Natalie Cherbaka in the August 14 meeting.  Ms. Cherbaka asked what the benefits are of being a regional library system.  Ms. Alston answered there is more state aid for regional systems.  Also there is resource sharing: one director, IT staff, cataloging, and library software as examples.   Ms. Alston stated that if the Jessie Peterman Library were to separate from the regional system, they would need their own director with a Master’s Degree in Library Science.  When compared to two other libraries in the state with approximately the same population of Floyd County, one has a budget similar to Floyd’s, the other, Radford, has a budget four times the amount we receive from Floyd.  Ms. Alston reminded the board that the purpose of the discussion is not to break apart the regional system but to strategize how to help Floyd County realize they need to fully support their library.  This includes funding raises for the staff members who work in the Floyd County, live in Floyd County and receive their benefits as part of Floyd County.  Montgomery County is our fiscal agent so they do write the paychecks for the Floyd employees, but the money for those paychecks comes from Floyd County.


The board asked that we do an accounting of how much money that Montgomery County has contributed on behalf of Floyd County.   In this accounting we should remember that Floyd County contributed one-quarter of the price of the new van and they did recently repair the 30-year old air handling system.


It was suggested that we arrange a meeting between the two counties’ Boards of Supervisors via the County Administrators to discuss these matters.  This will help make them aware of the numbers of people who use the Floyd County Library and give the Library Board the opportunity to ask that the Jessie Peterman employees receive the same treatment as other Floyd County employees.  Trustee Larry Spencer mentioned that the Administrators know their budgets and should be able to begin to address these issues.


Ms. Drake suggested we continue working on this and mulling things over.


New Business:

Courier Position

Jessica Tabor, the courier for the system, was promoted to an LSS at Christiansburg Library.  She will spend 20 hours working in the LSS position and 10 hours working in Technical Services.  She was a 30 hour person and she was allowed to keep those extra 10 hours.


John Martinkosky had been our substitute courier and is willing to do the run 4 days a week.  He has a scheduling conflict on Thursdays.  We will do a modified run on Thursdays, moving items between Christiansburg and Blacksburg and collecting money.  We are going to try this on a trial basis and see how it works.  Sometime after Christmas, we will reevaluate and see if both parties are happy with the way it is working.  If we are, we’ll offer him the job; if not, we’ll look for someone else.


The Courier position is currently a classified position, a 106 on the pay scale, with a range of $9.71 – $15.05 per hour.  Ms. Alston would like to declassify the position.  John currently makes $8.75 an hour as a sub.  If he wants the job permanently, we would keep him at that level.  If we hire someone else, we would probably start them at 8.50.  The position is a physical one but not necessarily too demanding.  He probably moves 50 bins a day with an average weight of 20-25 pounds.


Ms. Richardson made the motion to declassify the Courier position and have the beginning pay set at $8.50 per hour.  Ms. Cherbaka 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

Darlene Richardson             X

Larry Spencer                       X


Strategic Plan Update and Goals

Ms. Alston referred the board to the Strategic Plan Goals for 2014 that she previously had emailed to each of the board members.  She reviewed these with the board.  After brief discussion Ms. Richardson made the motion to accept the Strategic Plan Goals for 2014 and have them added to the Strategic Plan.  Ms. Armstrong 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

Darlene Richardson             X

Larry Spencer                       X


Report of the Director


Financial Report

We have finished the second month of the fiscal year and should be at 16% of budget.  We have not heard officially about our Montgomery County carry forward funds yet, but we are hopeful to be able to keep them.  The Floyd County gas line item is incorrect and will be corrected.



Circulation went up in Blacksburg, Christiansburg and our e-books statistics continue to climb.


Programming and Collection

Last month Ms. Alston mentioned Christiansburg and their “little library” service they started in July at the Christiansburg Rec Center and the Aquatic Center.  These are racks with books for people to take.  We use donated books to stock the racks and it is not a book swap.  We do not want people to swap because then we cannot get a good count. Also, we do not want people to think they can bring several boxes and drop them off.  Christiansburg staff refreshes the books every week.


Several members of the Friends of the Library board had some concern that we would be infringing on their book sales with the argument that if people can get books for free, why would they want to come into the library to buy a book.  The little library movement is country-wide and is just another way to put books in the hands of our residents. It is a way to encourage reading and educating one’s self anywhere and anytime.  We believe it is as an extension of the services we already provide.  Ms. Alston met with the Friends of the Library board on Tuesday and had a great discussion.  She answered their questions and realized there was support from President, Mary North and several others.  They now understand why we are doing it.  Their book sales remain strong and the belief is that we are serving two different markets.


In keeping with our goals for this year, we want to expand the program.  The Friends of the Library gave us some suggestions as to where we could place little libraries, and some ideas about having someone build an outdoor little library, since that is mostly what the rest of the country is doing.


We received a copy of four documentaries and a $1,200 stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a program called Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle. We will show the documentaries and follow with a discussion.  These powerful documentaries are The Abolitionists, Slavery by Another Name, Freedom Riders, and The Loving StoryFreedom Riders received an Emmy in 2012, and The Loving Story and The Abolitionists have been nominated for Emmys in 2013.


Blacksburg Library also received a $500 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for Civil War programming.


Ms. Alston directed board members to flyers in their folders regarding upcoming programs at the Christiansburg Library.  Also, there was a copy of the annual report for FY13.  This year we featured Floyd on the cover.  This is the 4th in the series.  We have now featured each of the four buildings during a different season on the annual report.


Christiansburg Library received a NACo award for their Science and Art program.  Ms. Alston attended the Board of Supervisors meeting where she was presented with the award.  While she was there she thanked the Board for their contributions toward the new cargo van, the new desk at the Blacksburg Library, and the new roof at the Christiansburg Library.


It was requested we send copies of the annual report to all of the localities. Ms. Alston visits each of the localities annually and takes copies of the annual report to hand out when she goes.  We will look into sending them out sooner, as she visits usually in the spring.

Facilities / Technology

The re-roofing of Christiansburg Library was completed in August.  The next week we had a torrential downpour and no leak was detected. Mary Biggs, liaison from the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors asked if there was a warranty on the roof.  Ms. Alston will find out and report back to the board.


We have corrected all items on the four Fire Marshal reports


Our new van will be delivered on Friday.  We have an estimate to letter the side of the new van.    It will take a few days for Sign-A-Rama to finish so it is anticipated to be on the road late next week.  Ms. Alston showed the board a proof of what the finished product will look like.


The circulation desk for Blacksburg has been ordered. We are waiting on a schedule for when it should arrive and when the installation will take place.


We are having some issues with connecting the rest of the library system up to the new phone system.  Floyd should be online by next week.  Christiansburg and Meadowbrook are taking longer because Citizens is having a difficult time getting clearance from Verizon to import the numbers.  They are required to do this by the FCC but unfortunately it seems they do not have to do it in a timely manner.


We are also having an issue with the wireless connection in the four buildings.  After struggling a bit, we discovered the problem is routers—one in each building.  Chris Elledge has one more idea to try and if that does not work, then the routers will need to be replaced.


Staff and Trustees

Ms. Alston welcomed new Board member Larry Spencer.  Mr. Spencer’s orientation was completed on Tuesday with Ms. Drake and to Trustee Ginny Gardner attending as well.


At today’s Montgomery County Leadership team meeting with County Administrator Craig Meadows, there was the start of a conversation about how to handle non-class part time positions.  Karen Edmonds with Human Resources suggested using a pay step plan similar to what we have now.  This is a start.  There were no conclusions reached, but now that it is on the table, Ms. Alston will keep pushing for the next step.


Tomorrow afternoon Ms. Alston will be meeting with some of Ms. Cherbaka’s students in her ISE Design class at Virginia Tech.  They have taken us on as a project to study the cost effectiveness of implementing RFID in the libraries.


Ms. Alston will be attending the Library Director’s meeting next Wednesday in Williamsburg, followed by VLA on Thursday and Friday.



Blacksburg had an incident of a child bumping his head on a table in the children’s area.  The mother was aware of the situation and no further response was needed by staff.


Blacksburg also had an incident with a patron losing a document when the computer the patron was using timed out because the mouse had not been touched in a period of time that exceeded the five minute limit.  The patron was very upset.


Christiansburg had a patron who made inappropriate comments to a young woman.  The man was identified.  We will consider banning him with the next incident.


Reconsideration –None.


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 still using Bookholders with some success.


Montgomery Friends of the Library

The garden tour cleared $7,900.00.


MFRL Foundation

Save the date of November 7 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. for the first annual Bountiful Basket auction at the VCOMII building at the CRC.  This will benefit some immediate needs for the library but will also go to build the endowment.


Foundation members are collecting items and creating themed baskets, based around a book, for either a silent auction or a live auction.  Tickets for admission to the event will be $10 each and will go on sale soon.  We are still looking for large ticket items for the live auction so if you know of someone with a vacation home who could donate a week, or something else large, please let Ms. Alston know.


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

The meeting was adjourned at 8:32 p.m.

Approved by the Library Board

Ginny Gardner, Secretary

Ruthie Bellman, Recorder





Category: Board, Meeting Minutes

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