February 19, 2014 Library Board Minutes





February 19, 2014


Board Members Present:

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

Pamela Hale, Christiansburg Library Branch Supervisor

Karen Martin, Library Service Specialist, Christiansburg Library


Board Members Absent:

Karen Drake, Chair

Ann-Margaret Shortt


County and Affiliate Liaisons Absent:

Gail Billingsley, MFRL Foundation

Kit Haggard, Floyd Friends of the Library

Mary North, Montgomery Friends of the Library

Lauren Yoder, Floyd County Board of Supervisors


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, February 19, 2014 at the Blacksburg Library.


Roll Call:  Ms. Christle


Acceptance of Agenda:   A motion was made by Trustee Ginny Gardner and seconded by Trustee Anne Page to accept the agenda.  The motion passed unanimously as amended.


Approval of Minutes:  The motion was made by Trustee Alison Armstrong, seconded by Trustee Darlene Richardson and the board voted to approve the January 19, 2014 minutes.


Public Address:  None.


Resolution for Karen Martin:  Vice-chair Margaret Christle presented a resolution to Karen Martin, Library Service Specialist from Christiansburg Library, who will be retiring March 31, 2014 after nearly 30 years of service.  Christiansburg Branch Supervisor, Pamela Hale, also spoke about Ms. Martin’s dedication to Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library over the years saying that Ms. Martin will truly be missed.


Unfinished Business: None.


New Business:

Heafner Donation

There was a $22,000 donation given to the Jessie Peterman Library from the estate of Jessie T. Heafner.  The check was made to Jessie Peterman Library, but a letter from Ms. Heafner’s close friend Marie V. Thomas, who has power-of-attorney, stated that Ms. Heafner’s intent was to leave the money to the Endowment Fund.  Trustee Ginny Gardner made a motion that the board approve the money be transferred from the Jessie Peterman Library to the Floyd Endowment.  Trustee Alison Armstrong seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.  The document will be given to Angie Hill with Montgomery County Finance Department to have the funds transferred.


Director’s Report



We have finished the seventh month of the fiscal year and should be at 58% of budget.


The large number on the maintenance service contract line in both counties is our annual payment to SIRSI.


All of our book money is encumbered into purchase orders.  Director, Paula Alston reminded board members that the library pays a majority of its materials bills from purchase orders.  We leave a small amount to purchase items from Amazon that we cannot get anywhere else.


Ms. Alston had a meeting with Floyd County Administrator Dan Campbell scheduled for last Thursday.  The meeting was cancelled due to the weather.  The meeting has been rescheduled for next Thursday, February 27.  Therefore, there is no update at this time.


Ms. Alston mentioned last month, that both money committees of the General Assembly have proposed an increase to state aid. Currently in the budget proposal for the Senate is an additional $500,000 in each year of the biennium; in the house version, the amount is a total of $500,000 so most likely $250,000 each year since, according to our lobbyist, “Neither committee likes to fund an increase only in the first year of a biennium and leave a hole in the second year that they must come back and fill.”   He also said, “I think this is a very good outcome for public libraries and, once again, these proposals exceed those for the peer ‘other education’ agencies with whom we compete.  Public libraries owe particular thanks to Senator Tommy Norment who sponsored our amendment on the Senate side (and who chairs the Education Subcommittee of Senate Finance), Delegate Tag Greason who sponsored our amendment on the House side and to Delegate Kirk Cox who chairs the Higher Education Subcommittee of House Appropriations and who has become a solid voice for the need to support public libraries.  All three of these legislators are budget conferees which should help.”



We are pleased that the ebook numbers continue to grow.


Programming / Collections

NRV Beekeepers made their rounds in January doing programs in all four libraries.  This is their fourth or fifth year in a row and they are successful every year.  This year, in total, 127 people attended the programs. That is 127 potentially new bee keepers.


We will soon have a Children’s e-reading room at our OverDrive site.  We already buy children’s titles, this will just put them all together where it will be easy for the kids to find  them.  It should be up and running in the next few weeks.


We have increased our outreach to Warm Hearth, doing a monthly craft program, a monthly readers theater, a semi-monthly library night, where they can check out books and also a semi weekly movie night.  Coming soon, we will start a monthly “short talks program” where a staff member will prepare a 20 minute Powerpoint talk on a variety to topics, complete with short movie clips, music, photos, whatever the topic need.


Facilities / Technology

There have been major heating issues in both Christiansburg and Blacksburg in January.  It is still not totally corrected in either building.  We are awaiting parts in Blacksburg. In Christiansburg, we are running the baseboard heat in the community room until they figure out what the issue is there. At various times, it has been as low as 58 degrees in different places in the building.


The buildings and grounds crew did a great job in getting the parking lots and sidewalks cleared during last week’s snow storm.  We closed at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday and remained closed on Thursday and Friday.  We kept Floyd closed on Saturday to give VDOT extra time to clear roads in that area.  All items that were due on February 12, 13 and 14 were moved to February 15.


We met with Citizens in late January to see where we stand with completing the implementation of our phone system.  Blacksburg and Floyd are done but Christiansburg and Meadowbrook are pending.  For the longest time, they were telling us it was because they were not receiving cooperation from Verizon in order to import our phone numbers.  They were recently given the ability to import our numbers.  They will test this by the end of February.  The current issue is the e911. As it stands now, if we were to dial 911 from any of the libraries, instead of going to the town dispatches, it would go to Montgomery County dispatch, which will delay the response time.  Once we have the regional 911 authority up and running, this will not be an issue.  However, for the next year, it is an issue. They are working with Verizon to resolve this.  They are going to credit us $375 per month on our bill until they complete our phone installation.


The IT staff installed new content filters on all staff and public networks.  Our old filter, which was cheap, maybe free, was installed at the desktop level, making it cumbersome to update.  The new content filter is installed at the network level so when they need to update, make changes, or get a report, they are doing it once, not 60 times.  It can still be easily disabled by staff upon request by a patron.


The Buildings and Grounds staff rewired the circulation desk at Blacksburg to accommodate the new desk.  We had to push the desk out a bit more so they need to move some wires.


They also replaced the wireless access points in Blacksburg with a new model.


We updated the website, giving the kids and the teens their own page that is easier to find. There are other tweaks we want to make and consider it a work in progress.


The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is running a statewide tornado drill on March 11 at 9:45.  The libraries have signed up for it and so we will participate.


Staff and Trustees

We received approval from the hiring freeze committee to replace Ms. Martin at Christiansburg.  We are just awaiting Administrator Criag Meadows’ final approval.  We would like to get it advertised soon so that the person is ready to start on April 1.


We have hired a new courier, Don Roop.  He came highly recommended and is a long time library user.  Cindy Minnick used to help him on the bookmobile back in the day.  He started last week and is training with John Martinkosky.  John will continue as our substitute.


There will be a reception for Mary Ann Hinshelwood, hosted by the Foundation Board and the Museum Board on Friday night, March 7.  We are sending out e-vites and all board members are on the list. Look for those sometime next week.



There are no incidents to report this month.



There are no reconsiderations this month.


Committee Reports


Executive Committee – Did not meet.


Development Committee – Did not meet.


Leadership Committee – Did not meet.




Policy Committee

The Policy Committee met to discuss the possibility of raising fines.  The option that was considered was to raise fines on new books to .20 per day.  After some research it was found that this would only bring in about $600.00 in revenue system wide.  Ms. Richardson recommended on behalf of the Policy Committee that there not be a raise in fines at this time, as the increase would be minimal.  The board agreed and fines will not be raised at this time.


Montgomery and Floyd Friends of the Library

Both Friends groups had a membership drive in January.  The outcomes of the drives have not yet been reported.  Hopefully the weather did not hinder members from signing up during the drives.


Their annual joint meeting will be May 8 in Blacksburg.


MFRL Foundation

The reception for Mary Ann Hinshelwood will be held on March 7 at 7:00 p.m. at Christiansburg Library.


The 2014 Basket Auction planning will begin in March.  Let Ms. Alston or Gail Billingsley know if you know of donors who might like to contribute.  They are looking for big ticket items such as a week at a vacation home, etc.


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

The meeting was adjourned at 7:47 p.m.

Approved by the Library Board

Margaret Christle, Vice-Chair

Ruthie Bellman, Recorder








Category: Board, Meeting Minutes

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