October 16, 2013 Library Board Meeting Minutes





October 16, 2013


Board Members Present:

Karen Drake, Chair

Natalie Cherbaka

Ginny Gardner

Anne Page

Larry Spencer


County and Affiliate Liaisons Present:

Kit Haggard, Floyd Friends of the Library

MaryAnn Hinshelwood, MFRL Foundation


Staff Members Present:

Paula Alston, Library Director

Ruthie Bellman, Sr. Programs Assistant

Cindy Minnick, Branch Supervisor


Board Members Absent:

Ann-Margaret Shortt

Alison Armstrong

Margaret Christle

Darlene Richardson


County and Affiliate Liaisons Absent:

Mary Biggs, Montgomery County Board of Supervisors

Lauren Yoder, Floyd County Board of Supervisors

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 7:09 p.m., on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at the Meadowbrook Public Library.


Roll Call:  Ms. Drake


Acceptance of Agenda:   Trustee Ginny Gardner made the motion to approve the agenda; Trustee Anne Page seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously and the agenda was approved.


Approval of Minutes:  The motion was made by Trustee Anne Page, seconded by Trustee Natalie Cherbaka and the board voted to approve the September 18, 2013 minutes.


Public Address:  None.


Unfinished Business:


Floyd Budget

Paula met with the Floyd endowment committee two weeks ago and explained how the budget process works, some of the issues we are seeing and to get their ideas on how to handle it.  One suggestion was to meet with some of the members of the Board of Supervisors individually to give them a full update on the issue.  Also, to talk statistics with them, let them know how many people use the library and the areas where we are financially lacking; spreadsheets should be used and maybe compare our budget to other departments within Floyd County.  Then maybe once individual meetings have taken place, meet with the board as a whole.


The Board is in favor of these suggestions and wants to be sure that the library concerns are communicated to the Floyd Board of Supervisors.  We should do some research and look at stats from other Floyd County Departments to see how we compare.  Ms. Alston will ask for a copy of the Floyd County budget.


When we plan meetings with Board of Supervisors members, Ms. Drake wondered who should attend.  The board was asked to think about this and report back.  Also, if there are other ideas please send to Ms. Alston.


New Business:

VLA Legislative Agenda Endorsement

Ms. Alston asked the board to endorse the legislative agenda for the Virginia Library Association.  Once endorsed, she will send it to both Counties so they can include it in their agendas that will go to the General Assembly.


There are two agenda items:


The first is to strengthen state funding for public libraries for digital materials.  VLA is asking for a total of $2.5 million over the next two fiscal years so that they can purchase additional materials on a state-wide basis and provide public libraries with more digital material.  Currently they are providing eBooks, digital magazines through Zinio and several databases for us.


The second is to support the Library of Virginia.  When the state cut state agency budgets in the past, the Library of Virginia received severe cuts.  This hurt their ability to complete their mission.  They are the keepers of all the Governor’s papers as well as other historical documents, artifacts and newspapers.  They provide records management for the state and are the premiere research facility for the Commonwealth.  The General Assembly should do all in their power to restore the strength and luster to the Library.


Trustee Larry Spencer made the motion to endorse the VLA Agenda for 2014.  Ms. Gardner seconded the motion and a roll call vote was taken.  The motion passed unanimously.




Roll Call Vote:

Aye     Nay

Natalie Cherbaka                 X

Karen Drake                         X

Ginny Gardner                     X

Anne Page                            X

Larry Spencer                       X


Report of the Director


We have finished the third month of the fiscal year and should be around 24% of budget.



Ms. Drake asked how MFRL compares to other libraries in the state in circulation numbers.  Ms. Alston said most libraries are down in circulation from 2 to 10 percentage points.


Programming / Collection

Christiansburg Library is working with Parks and Recreation for the Town of Christiansburg on “StoryWalks.”  A story walk is literally a story on a walking path.  Our StoryWalk will be along the path in the park behind the Christiansburg Library.  The story will be on 18 posts and the first and last post will include information about the national StoryWalk Project, the library and the Parks and Recreation department.  They will line the path from the beginning of the park to where the park ends, at our parking lot.  The posts will mostly be on the side of the path with the playground, except for the last bit that touches the property of our neighbor — those will be on the other side.  The posts will be about 3feet tall and the plexi-glass that covers the pages will be angled down.  There will be a little exercise/movement activity included on each page.    The Parks and Recreation Department will cover the cost of the posts and install them.  We would like to switch out the stories every month.


There is not a date for the kick off yet.  The posts most likely will not be installed until March because of the cold ground in the winter.  We will ask our maintenance people to paint a kid-friendly crosswalk between the park and our sidewalk.  Ms. Alston believes this is a great collaboration between the library and the town.  Kudos to Jenny Barrowclough, Assistant Branch Supervisor for Christiansburg Library for discovering StoryWalks.


We had Blacksburg staff at Gobblerfest at Virginia Tech on September 6.  They talked to over 300 students and signed 97 up for new library cards.


Facilities / Technology

We have upgraded/replaced the old and failing Windows 2000 Domain Controls (servers) at each branch.  We are currently running windows 2008 R2 Server as an “in between” as there is no direct upgrade from 2000 to 2012.  These will be upgraded to Server 2012 at some point in the future.


We have also upgraded the Wireless from “home” grade devices to proper business class devices.  We have implemented staff wireless that allows staff laptops to use the staff network.  Patron wireless is now separate from our network.  We put in multiple access points to provide better coverage.


We have replaced the old routers that were no longer compliant with today’s standards and were not able to communicate well with patron wireless devices.  We segmented out networks such as staff, phone, public, and guest wireless.  This will allow future provisioning (rationing) and better monitoring of network bandwidth.


Floyd is now operating with the new phone system.  Training went smoothly and staff did a fabulous job with the learning curve.  Citizens Phone Company is still working with Verizon to get the Verizon numbers imported for Christiansburg and Meadowbrook.


There has been more rain and still no leaks in Christiansburg, thanks to the new roof.  Maintenance staff did a wonderful job repairing the wallboard where there was damage.  And all the stained ceiling tiles have been replaced.


The new van arrived in late September and Sign-A-Rama put the new lettering on within a week of its arrival.  It looks very good.


The county gave us a 1997 Ford Escort five years ago when we requested a car to get the IT staff and the Children’s librarian around the County.  It is now rusted through and the garage says it will not pass inspection.  It is due for inspection in February so we will drive it until then, and surplus it.  It has 117,000 miles on it.  Ms. Alston would like to request a replacement car through the FY 2015 budget process.


We got a quote to install security cameras in Christiansburg, using a system similar to what we have in Blacksburg.  This includes four stationary cameras and a monitoring computer where it copies the images to a hard drive.  We have always lost material at the Christiansburg branch, so one of the cameras will be right over the DVDs.  This is a cheaper solution than door security. Ms. Alston has requested that the County cover this expense since it is building related.  We have not received a response yet.


We’ve had several door issues at the Blacksburg Library.  The community room door did not shut all the way and we have gotten that repaired.  Also, the front entrance door would not shut all the way unless pushed.  That was repaired by Carolina Door, but it took almost a week to have this completed.


The Christiansburg STEMA programs on robotics had 46 participants. Members from the robotics club, both high school and middle schoolers, were on hand to demonstrate their robots.  Members of this club will be back in November to help kids build a robot out of Legos.


Christiansburg library staff members were on hand for the Food Truck rodeo in downtown Christiansburg on September 27.


Meadowbrook sent staffer Cathy Espley to EastMont Elementary to demonstrate Literati to fourth and fifth graders.  Over the course of 4 days, she saw 193 students.


Lori Kaluszka gave a database presentation to Floyd Elementary sixth graders and later to staff at Floyd Elementary.  We are getting out to the schools and spreading the word about our databases.


We had an issue with the electronic sign in Blacksburg.  The thin computer behind the TV gave out.  The part was under warranty and it just took a bit of time to get it replaced.  It is now up and running again.


Staff and Trustees

Ms. Alston attended the Montgomery County Rotary Club meeting on October 9 to talk about the library and she is scheduled to visit the Blacksburg Hosts Lions Club on October 29.


Historically, we have closed the libraries at 5:00 p.m. between Christmas and New Year’s.  Ms. Alston asked the board if:  1) they would like to continue that practice;  2) would they consider closing at 5:00 p.m. on Monday December 23; 3) would they consider closing at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 3?  This would involve Monday and Thursday of Christmas week and Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of the next week.


We follow the County’s schedule for holiday closings and they follow the state schedule.  The Governor has been known to include an extra day at the last minute.  If that happens, the County routinely includes it.  Ms. Alston’s process is to confer with the Board chair and together they decide if we will follow the modified State/County schedule.


Ms. Gardner made the motion to close the libraries at 5:00 p.m. from Monday December 23 through Thursday, January 3 (with the exception of the days closed.)  Ms. Page seconded the motion.  A vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously.



There was one incident this past month.  A patron in Blacksburg felt faint after giving platelets.  Staff gave her something to eat and 20 minutes later she felt better and was able to walk out.  We applaud her for the fact that she is a regular platelet donor.


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 had their quarterly meeting last Thursday.  They pre-approved the money to be donated for libraries for 2014.  The book sales are going strong.  There are no activities planned in the near future.  Kit Haggard, President of the Floyd Friends reported that a longtime supporter, Jackie Vangunten, has passed away.


Montgomery Friends of the Library

The Friends of the Library annual meeting will be Tuesday, October 29 at the Blacksburg Library.   Author Ann Goette will be speaking.


MFRL Foundation

President Mary Ann Hinshelwood shared that the foundation had received a donation from the Floyd Friends of the Library in the amount of $2,500.  This donation will make the Floyd Friends a Title sponsor for the Bountiful Basket Auction to be held on November 7.


Ms. Hinshelwood mentioned that she had received a question from a patron asking why we are buying a new circulation desk and other furniture for the Blacksburg Library, but cutting hours in the Floyd library.  This question was prompted by the donation mailing that went out a few weeks ago.  Ms. Alston answered that the two counties have different budgets.  The Floyd library had their budget cut by Floyd County by 10% in 2011.  This is the reason for the cut in hours at Jessie Peterman Library.  Ms. Hinshelwood will respond to the patron’s question.


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

The meeting was adjourned at 8:18 p.m.

Approved by the Library Board

Ginny Gardner, Secretary

Ruthie Bellman, Recorder




Category: Board, Meeting Minutes

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