January 2014 Library Board Minutes





January 15, 2014


Board Members Present:

Alison Armstrong

Natalie Cherbaka

Margaret Christle

Anne Page

Darlene Richardson

Larry Spencer


County and Affiliate Liaisons Present:

Mary Biggs, Montgomery County Board of Supervisors

Lauren Yoder, Floyd County Board of Supervisors


Staff Members Present:

Paula Alston, Library Director

Ruthie Bellman, Sr. Programs Assistant


Board Members Absent:

Karen Drake, Chair

Ginny Gardner

Ann-Margaret Shortt


County and Affiliate Liaisons Absent:

Gail Billingsly, MFRL Foundation

Kit Haggard, Floyd Friends of the Library

Mary North, Montgomery Friends of the Library


Call to Order:  Vice Chair Margaret Christle called the monthly meeting of the MFRL Board of Trustees to order at 7:05 p.m., on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at the Christiansburg Library.


Roll Call:  Ms. Christle


Acceptance of Agenda:   A motion was made by Trustee Allison Armstrong and seconded by Trustee Anne Page to amend the agenda to add a resolution for retiring Christiansburg employee Karen Martin. The motion passed unanimously as amended.


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


Public Address:  None.


Unfinished Business:


Floyd County Budget

We received the instructions for the Floyd budget late last week.  The deadline for the budget is January 24.  The board reviewed the budget again, noting that there is a need to increase the lump sum from Floyd County to be able to increase the salaries of the Jessie Peterman employees.  A comparison was done to other close localities and their pay scales, as well as a quick study of comparable positions from the Floyd County pay scale.  Jessie Peterman employees make considerably less than these and a salary increase is needed.


Director Paula Alston plans to schedule meetings with Floyd County Administrator Dan Campbell and then with other Board of Supervisor members individually to talk about the budget.


Trustee Darlene Richardson made the motion to accept the Floyd County 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

Anne Page                            X

Darlene Richardson             X

Larry Spencer                       X


New Business:


Approval of Resolution for Karen Martin

Trustee Larry Spencer made a motion to approve the resolution to honor Christiansburg Library’s employee Karen Martin for her 29 years of service to the library.  She will retire March 31, 2014.  Ms. Page seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.   The board will invite Ms. Martin to the February Board meeting to present the resolution to her at that time.


March Reception for Floyd County Politicians

After a brief discussion it was agreed that the board will host the Floyd County Board of Supervisors along with County and Town Officials for a reception at the Jessie Peterman Library. This will take place March 19 with a very brief board meeting to be held prior to the reception.  Ms. Alston will speak with Trustee Ann-Margaret Shortt and Trustee Ginny Gardner to discuss plans for food for the reception.


Mary Biggs Vice-Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors

Ms. Alston congratulated Ms. Biggs on her new position as the Vice-Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, as well as being added to the Governor’s Transition Team.   Ms. Biggs thanked everyone for the congratulations and said that the meeting with the Governor’s Transition Team went very well.  The Governor-elect was there and listened intently.  The library along with other community services were discussed.


Report of the Director



We have finished the sixth month of the fiscal year and should be at 50% of budget.


This week, we received the form from Blacksburg so we can submit our fiscal year 2015 donation request to them.  It is due January 31.  Ms. Alston has the form for Christiansburg with a due date of February 1 and has mailed the request to the Town of Floyd.


Good news on the state front.  There have been several bills introduced to increase state aid.  One bill that has been introduced would increase it by $1,000,000 and another by $1,500,000.  These are in the very preliminary stages but are cause for excitement.  It could mean an increase for us between $9,000 and $15,000.   Board members received a point paper explaining the importance of public libraries to be used in advocacy with state representatives.



There is a noticeable difference in the attendance number for children’s program.  We have craft tables in each library and we have previously counted those in the children’s programs which  inflated our actual program numbers.  We are itemizing the crafts on internal documents now.  They will always be reported on the branch board reports that are sent in the Library Board Packets.


Programming / Collection

Christiansburg moved one of their little libraries out of the Christiansburg Recreation Center to the reception area at the Department of Social Services location on Pepper’s Street, in Christiansburg.  They are expecting it to be successful there.  In the first 30 minutes, several children’s book and one adult book had already been taken.  We will be taking more children’s items to that location.


We had book Christmas trees in Blacksburg, Christiansburg and Meadowbrook.  They are always popular.  There has been such positive response from the one in Christiansburg that we may leave it up and decorate it for other holidays throughout the year.


Facilities / Technology

The Christiansburg Library once again experienced leaks with the rain last Thursday and Friday.  The roof is still under warranty so it is up to the roofing contractor to do the repairs.  He was out on Tuesday to take a look at it and was back with workers to seal the leaks today.


Blacksburg had a power outage a few weeks ago when a tree fell on a power line, which meant our phones were down both in Blacksburg and Floyd. SIRSI was also down system wide since the SIRSI server is located at the Blacksburg Library.  We had a power surge in Floyd in December that wiped out a surge protector but did not harm the four computers plugged into it.


We were not as lucky in Meadowbrook when another surge there took out the electronic sign TV.  We did not file an insurance claim since our deductible is the price of a TV.  The TV has been replaced and now has surge protection.  There appears to be no building wide surge protection in Meadowbrook.


We are setting up a meeting between Citizens, the county purchasing department and library staff to determine why they have not completed the phone system installation.  They have been saying it is an issue with Verizon but it has been a year since we signed the contract so we want a few more answers.


One complaint we have had from our patrons who use our online services is that their library cards expire and they are no long able to download a book or place a hold.  We are now able to send an email message one month before their card expires reminding them to renew it at one of the libraries.  Cards expire every two years. Chris Elledge ran a report and found that 24% of patrons now have emails on file.  This is up from 8% a couple of years ago.  We are also looking into having the ability to email check out and payment receipts.


We have two new self-checkout machines in Blacksburg and Christiansburg, replacing the 10 year old machines that have been patched together for the last several years.  We will take the best of the two old machines to Floyd to test the market there.


Staff and Trustees

There are two other library related bills before the general assembly that the library community is tracking. HB 992 as an amendment reads, “Nothing in this section shall prohibit a locality from adopting an ordinance that prohibits firearms, ammunitions, or components, or a combination thereof, in libraries owned or operated by the locality.”  This bill has been sent to the House Militia, Police and Public Safety subcommittee #1 Information.


The second is  SB384 reads, “provides that any adult who is convicted of an offense prohibiting proximity to children, when the offense occurred on or after July 1, 2014, shall as part of his sentence be forever prohibited from knowingly and intentionally having any contact whatsoever with children that are not in his custody on the premises of any place that he knows or has reason to know is a public library.”


Mary Ann Hinshelwood has been named the 2013 Citizen of the Year by the Blacksburg Rotary Club.  She will be presented with the award at the meeting in Blacksburg tomorrow.



There was one incident with a patron who displayed erratic behavior.  He approached two teenage girls telling them not to come into the library.  One of the girls called her mother who called library staff to report the issue.  The man also came in and talked with staff with erratic conversation.   The man has been identified by camera footage, the police have been contacted and the man is banned from the library.  The police knew who he was and will find him and serve the banning paperwork on him.




There were no reconsiderations this month.


Committee Reports


Executive Committee – Did not meet.


Development Committee – Did not meet


Leadership Committee – Did not meet.


Policy Committee – Met and are working on some items.  Nothing to report at this time.


Floyd Friends of the Library

Minutes from the October Floyd Friends meeting were distributed in board member’s folders. Our wish list was approved.  The total amount is $4,125.


Montgomery Friends of the Library

The entire wish lists for the libraries was approved.  The total amount is $28,700.


MFRL Foundation

The Montgomery Museum and the MFRL Foundation will work together to hold a reception to honor Ms. Hinshelwood.  This will take place sometime between March 1 and March 15.  It will be held at Christiansburg Library.


Ms. Christle read a thank you card to the Library Board from Ms. Hinshelwood.


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

The meeting was adjourned at 7:51 p.m.

Approved by the Library Board

Margaret Christle, Vice-Chair

Ruthie Bellman, Recorder















Category: Board, Meeting Minutes

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