December 18, 2013 Library Board Minutes





December 18, 2013


Board Members Present:

Karen Drake, Chair

Alison Armstrong

Natalie Cherbaka

Margaret Christle

Darlene Richardson

Ann-Margaret Shortt

Larry Spencer


County and Affiliate Liaisons Present:

Mary Biggs, Montgomery 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


Board Members Absent:

Ginny Gardner

Anne Page


County and Affiliate Liaisons Absent:

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 7:08 p.m., on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at the Christiansburg Library.


Roll Call:  Ms. Drake


Acceptance of Agenda:   A motion was made by Trustee Margaret Christle and seconded by Trustee Ann-Margaret Shortt to amend the agenda to add a resolution for MaryAnn Hinshelwood. The motion passed unanimously as amended.


Approval of Resolution for MaryAnn Hinshelwood:

Trustee Darlene Richardson made a motion to approve the resolution to honor MFRL Foundation President MaryAnn Hinshelwood’s many years of service to the library.  Ms. Armstrong seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.  Ms. Hinshelwood has served the library since 1984 in many capacities throughout the years.  Ms. Drake presented the resolution to Ms. Hinshelwood thanking her for her faithful service to the Library.  Ms. Hinshelwood will be moving out of the area in April.



New Business:


Floyd Childress, Jr. Memorial

Mr. Floyd Childress passed away recently and the family has requested donations be made to the library in his memory.  To date, we have received $600.00.


Staff Day 2014

Staff day is scheduled for April 11, 2014 at the Jessie Peterman Library in Floyd.  One of the main speakers will be Wanda Osborne from EAP who will be sharing tips for handling patrons with issues, mostly mental. Our other guest speaker will be Scott Crawford from MemberOne Credit Union who will be discussing customer service and marketing.  Other topics will be Christian Fiction and genealogy databases.  Director Paula Alston requested that the board close the library on April 11 for Staff Day.  Ms. Richardson made the motion to allow the libraries to close on April 11, Ms. Armstrong seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.


Holiday Schedule

Our holiday schedule is based on the Montgomery County schedule, which is based on the state schedule; if the Governor gives extra time off, Ms. Alston will confer with the Board chair to determine if the libraries will be closed.  This year the original schedule did not include Monday December 23 but two weeks ago the Governor determined the state offices would be closed on that day.  Montgomery County is closing also.  Ms. Alston conferred with Ms. Drake and decided to close the libraries on that day as well.


Ms. Alston asked the board to approve the 2014 Holiday Schedule as it currently stands.  Ms. Shortt made the motion to approve the holiday schedule, Ms. Cherbaka seconded the motion and the motion to approve the 2014 Holiday Schedule as it stands passed unanimously.


Montgomery County Budget

Ms. Alston reviewed the Montgomery County FY2015 Budget with the board.


A question was raised about the Gates Grant.  We received grants from the Gates Foundation three different times.  The initial grant was to purchase public PCs for all the libraries and was in the late 1990’s.  Approximately five years later, we received another grant to update software.  The third grant was in 2008 where they determined, based on the poverty level around Floyd and Blacksburg, that we needed more public PCs in those two libraries.  That grant was for almost $50,000 and had very few strings attached.  The Gates Foundation has moved on to polio and world health issues but we are forever hopeful that they will come around to public libraries at some point in the future.


We always begin the year with $187,530 in the book budget and after the start of the next fiscal year, it will increase somewhat based on purchase orders roll over.  In years past, we have used any carry forward money we have to augment the book budget.    It is possible that we may not have access to carry forward money in the future.  We may have the opportunity late in the fiscal year to ask that our salary money (the bulk of our carry forward money) be shifted to other line items.  We may need to ask for an increase to the book budget line item in the future. A decent book budget for a library system of our size should be around $250,000.  Currently we have $227,000.00.    We immediately use approximately $100,000 at the beginning of each fiscal year for standing orders and magazines.


We are going to request $10,950 to replace the SIRSI server and migration the data.  The current server is antiquated and needs to be replaced.  If it should crash, it will be devastating to our operation.  This happened in Chesapeake about a year ago and they are still recovering.  They lost everything.  Ms. Cherbaka suggested that we add a line about the consequences of a total failure to the budget form.


Also, we are looking to upgrade the Digital Services Specialist position from a grade 110 to a grade 115.  He handles all of the website coding, updates and changes, technology zoo, training for digital resources, public training, new databases from the state, staff training, etc.


One of the goals of the County Administrator is to have a Master Plan for Parks and Rec and for the library.  He would like to have the study done together to see where we should go next in relation to facilities and services.  The total cost for the study is estimated to be $60,000, which will be $30,000 per entity.  It may cost more, but if we don’t put it in the budget process, it will be overlooked.  Mr. Spencer asked why we would do this together. The Parks and Recreation Departments are often looped together with libraries because they have a similar mission.  Ms. Alston said it is to take stock in what we have and see what the county’s needs are.  The feasibility study would be done by a consultant.


Maintenance issues are handled by an email to Steve Phillips listing major projects. Last year we had several items, including roofing the Christiansburg Library which was completed.  Issues for FY 2015 include a crosswalk with painted in the parking lot between the library and the park;  external electrical outlets in the amphitheater behind the Christiansburg Library, more outlets in the Community room and pavers to make a path to get around to the amphitheater.


Blacksburg’s outside doors need to be replaced.   Meadowbrook has no requests.


A car has been requested to replace the Escort that has been taken off the road for safety reasons.  We are currently using an older van from the motor pool.   Ms. Alston is requesting a small SUV.


Circulation Specialist starting pay is $8.54 per hour.  We are lower than Washington County ($11.50 per hour), Franklin County (over $11.00), Blue Ridge Regional in Martinsville and the schools ($10.00 per hour).  The starting rate of pay has not increased in the last 10 years.   Minimum wage has increased 30% over this time period, but our starting salaries have not.  We would like to ask that our lump sum be increased to allow increases for Circulation Specialists and the courier.  The only other choice to increase their pay would be to cut back on hours.  Also, we would like to address compression for the folks who have been here for years to increase their pay accordingly based on longevity.


Ms. Drake asked how often are employee positions being turned over and how long does it take to get the new person trained versus advertising and lost time.  Ms. Alston said there is a 90 day training period.  However, it can take almost a full year to get them completely trained with the intricacies of the job.


The lump sum is currently at $211,000, but with de-classifying the courier position there will be another approximately $10,000 in the lump sum.  The three department heads with the majority of non-classified employees met with Karen Edmonds and Marc Magruder in October.  The Library wanted to see a county-wide step plan, similar to what we have, but after discussion, it was determined that there is not one plan that fits all.  The committee made the recommendation to the County Administrator that when classified employees are given a raise, the county will increase the non-classified lump sum for each department.


Ms. Drake made the comment that when the Executive Committee met recently, it was noted that paper sales and fines are declining and perhaps increasing fines it should be considered.  This will be sent to the Policy Committee.


Ms. Cherbaka made the motion to accept the Montgomery County FY15 Budget.  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

Darlene Richardson             X

Ann-Margaret Shortt           X

Larry Spencer                       X




Floyd County Budget

We have not received budget instructions from Floyd County yet.  We feel we need to ask for $244,000 for the FY15 year.  The most we have ever received from Floyd County was $224,000.


Staff looked at the salaries for the Floyd County Library employees.  There are no other jobs in Floyd County that are similar to the library positions, so we used the Solid Waste Department as a comparison.


Starting pay for Manager of Floyd County Solid Waste is $33,686; the manager of the Jessie Peterman Library has 10 years’ experience and is making $34,195.  So, if that Library Manager with 10 years of experience was also a grade 13 on their pay plan, she could possibly be making over $40,000.


The Floyd County Solid Waste Assistant Manager starting salary is $29,736.  The Library Assistant Manager is making $25,835 after five years on the job and almost three years in the position.


We compared the LSS position in the library to the EMS Clerk on the Floyd County pay chart.  Our LSS start at $9.00 per hour and the EMS Clerk starts at $11.35.   A grade 2 Floyd County Solid Waste equipment operator starts at $9.90 and we start our CS’s at $8.34.  As you can see, the salaries do not come close to matching even the Floyd County pay scale.   The eligible Jessie Peterman employees do receive VRS and health insurance from Floyd County.


Ms. Christle asked if the Floyd County Supervisors understood that these employees are actually Floyd County employees?  Is the confusion because their paychecks come from Montgomery County? Do they feel Montgomery County is responsible to give raises and to fix this?  The Floyd Board of Supervisors gives the regional library a lump sum and it is up to the library as to how we spend it.  It’s just that in the past they have not given us enough money to pay the employees a decent salary that is comparable to what others in the Floyd County government earn.


The question was asked, what makes the library employees Floyd County employees?  Ms. Alston responded that technically, they are not because they are not on the Floyd County pay plan.  All the employees who work in Montgomery County libraries are on the Montgomery County pay plan or are non-classified employees of Montgomery County. The Floyd County Library employees are not on either pay plan.  But, the money to pay the Floyd County Library employees comes from Floyd County.  Montgomery County is only the fiscal agent per the contract that was signed in 1975.


It was decided that Ms. Alston, Ms. Shortt and Trustee Ginny Gardner should schedule individual meetings with the Dan Campbell, Floyd County Administrator and then Board of Supervisor members to explain the situation.  They will include simple bullet points, the comparisons that have been discussed in this meeting, and information as to what being a regional library means from the perspective of the state library to try to help them gain a better understanding of the situation.  Mr. Spencer suggested we also include an information sheet that shows that the request of how $240,000 will effect Floyd County library services.  Then if we receive $230,000 then what services will be cut.  If $220,000, then what will be cut and so on.  The board will need to see how each cut / loss of income to the library will affect the community / county as a whole.


Ms. Drake suggested that we email faithful donors to bring community members up to date about what is and what is not happening.  Patrons do not fully understand.  We should begin with Floyd Endowment members.

Report of the Director




We have finished the month fifth of the fiscal year and should be at 41% of budget.


We have been given access to 60% of our rollover money. The Board of Supervisors approved this Monday night.  For us that is $31,436.  Instructions were to use it for onetime, non-recurring items, non-personnel and will not result in future funding in FY 2015.  We must spend the total before June 30, 2014


Ms. Alston submitted the request to cover the items we would still like to do complete the modest renovation of the Blacksburg Library.  Six more tables, new shelving for the self-service holds, lap top tables, a handyman to rebuild the inside book drop and trim it to match the desk, and items to add to the children’s area.


Ms. Alston believes this may be the last year for carry forward funds in this fashion.  A majority of our carry forward funds are in salaries.  We may be able to reallocate those monies before the end of each fiscal year.


Programming / Collections

Meadowbrook deployed their first Little Library.  The Little Library in located in Dr. Hemphill’s clinic across from the library.  In the first 2 weeks, they had 24 items taken so it was well received.


Facilities / Technology

The new circulation desk is installed in Blacksburg, along with 2 tables, a credenza behind the desk, a new matching coffee bar and base for the self check out machine.


Staff and Trustees

Ms. Alston emailed the information from Kim Armentrout giving the website, login and password for the trustee academy to Board members.  She encouraged members to take a look at the courses and take them as part of the professional growth as board members.


The budget hearing for the Governor’s 2014-2016 biennial budget is scheduled for Friday, January 3 at 12:00 Noon in the Graduate Life Center at VT should board members want to attend.  The budget is showing no increase to state aid.  Our state aid went up $900 based on the preliminary figures, but state wide it is flat for FY 2015.



At Meadowbrook, we had a staff member trip and fall on the pavement.  We called the Nurse hotline and all is well.


Committee Reports

Executive Committee

The executive committee met about the budget.


Development Committee

Did not meet.


Leadership Committee

Did not meet.


Policy Committee

Did not meet.


Floyd Friends of the Library

The next meeting is January 9 and the membership drive will be the last week in January, 2014.


Montgomery County Friends of the Library

The 2014 requests from the libraries were approved by the Friends.


MFRL Foundation

The Basket Auction netted $10,000.  Gail Billingsley headed up the effort along with others and it was a huge success.  The 2014 Basket Auction will be scheduled for the first week in November.  The foundation hopes to double the number of baskets.


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

The meeting was adjourned at 9:03 p.m.

Approved by the Library Board

Karen Drake, Chair

Ruthie Bellman, Recorder


















Category: Board, Meeting Minutes

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