October 2011 Board Meeting Minutes




October 19, 2011


Board Members Present:

Ann-Margaret Shortt, Chair

Matt Gabriele

Ginny Gardner

Gene Hyde

Andy Morikawa

Anne Page

Darlene Richardson


County and Affiliate Liaisons Present:

Mary Biggs, Montgomery County Board of Supervisors

Bill Gardner, Floyd County Board of Supervisors

MaryAnn Hinshelwood, MFRL Foundation


Staff Members Present:

Paula Alston, Library Director

Ruthie Bellman, Senior Program Assistant


Board Members Absent:

Karen Drake, Vice Chair

Karen Frederick


County and Affiliate Liaisons Absent:

Kit Haggard, Floyd Friends of the Library

Mary North, Montgomery County Friends


Call to Order: Chair Ann Margaret Shortt called the monthly meeting of the MFRL Board of Trustees to order at 7:01 p.m., on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at the Meadowbrook Library.


Roll Call: Ms. Shortt


Acceptance of Agenda: The motion was made by Trustee Ginny Gardener and was seconded by Trustee Andy Morikawa, and the Board voted to accept the agenda.


Approval of Minutes: Mr. Morikawa moved, seconded by Trustee Darlene Richardson and the Board voted to approve the September 21, 2011 minutes.


Public Address: None.



Unfinished Business: None.


New Business:

Policy Review

Each month Director Paula Alston is reviewing 3 policies with the Library Board and the Management Staff. The policies reviewed this month are policy 107 (NRPLCoop), Policy 113 (Institutional Library Cards) and Policy 307 (Community Service.)


VA Public Library Standards

The board will start looking at the standards in January of 2012. The standards have 14 sections which will be broken down to allow the board to look at several each meeting in the spring.


Planning for Excellence, called PLE, is in its third edition and was adopted by the State Library Board in January 2009. It is based on the well known business model of A, AA, AAA. It is considered to be cumulative. To reach level A, all the measures must be reached. Likewise for the other two levels. We considered the standards when we wrote our new strategic plan last spring. It provided a springboard for many areas. Director Paula Alston will notate the copy of the standards that will be reviewed in January to allow board members to see where we stand in meeting any particular standard.


Holiday Schedule for 2011

The Governor gave more time around the December holidays last year. The official holiday was Monday, December 26. He has now given state workers December 23 off. Montgomery County follows the Governor’s schedule. The question was posed to the board whether to open or close on December 26. After brief discussion Ms. Richardson moved to close the libraries on December 26. Mr. Morikawa seconded the motion and the board voted unanimously to close the libraries on December 26.


Holiday Schedule for 2012

The state schedule for Christmas closings is December 24 and 25. There was no notation about closing early on Dec 31, 2012. The assumption would be that offices will be open until 5 that day. We normally close at 8:00 p.m. Ms. Alston asked if we should close at 5:00. Trustee Matt Gabriele motioned to close the libraries at 5:00 p.m. on December 31, 2012. Mr. Hyde seconded the motion and the board voted unanimously to close the libraries at 5:00 p.m. on December 31, 2012.


Report of the Director




We have completed month 3 of the fiscal year and should be at 25% of the budget.


We are running high in the line items for gas and travel-mileage. The gas line item is the gas for the van we use for the run and Ford Escort, which the IT and Children’s staff uses to get between the libraries. Last year, we also had $3000 in this line item and we used $2939. In fact, for the last few years, we use between $2,700.00 – $2,900 in this line item. The travel-mileage line item is where we reimburse staff members for using their own vehicles to go between the libraries or if they travel out of town for a meeting. We may catch up later on in the year, but we will monitor to ensure we do not go over.


In Floyd, the $180 for postage is their annual fee for their Post Office box.


We pay the fees for UMS out of the professional services line item, yet when people pay the 12.00 fee we assess them, it gets rolled into fines since they pay it at the same time they pay their fines. We will do an appropriation at some point to move the money from fines to professional services. In September, the number of accounts reported to UMS is high because we sent them old accounts from 2010. For the older accounts, we used $100 as the threshold and had 97 patrons qualify. We sent them a notice from MFRL at the end of July so they had one last chance to contact us. Anyone left was then sent to UMS a month later. In total, this group of patrons owed us over $15,000 in fines, material and their UMS fee. They have been in UMS’ system for 54 days so they have received multiple letters and at least one call. There has been $366 recovered. About two-thirds of that is in cash and the rest in returned material and forgivens. When we do the FY13 budget, we will have the data to figure out what to budget for this line item. We have separated the fees paid to UMS from the patron stats because the fees lag a month behind. August was when we sent the old patron accounts from 2010 to UMS. We are seeing some return on that this month.



Blacksburg held their Books to Barks program where children read to therapy dogs.


A Pinkalicious party was held Christiansburg and had 37 participants. In total, there were 8 Civil War programs at the Christiansburg Library with 158 people in attendance. The programs were centered around the display, An American Turning Point: the Civil War in Virginia from the Virginia Historical Society. We estimate that over 5600 visitors saw the display the two weeks it was up. In addition to all the programming, we also held a scanning event on September 16 and 17, sponsored by the Library of Virginia. Nine people had documents scanned for use at the state library. It involved many pages of information. The Civil War 150 HistoryMobile was also at the Christiansburg Library on Monday, October 10. This is the interactive display on wheels that is making its way around the state. We had 416 people through the display during the 9 hours it was here.


Tom Angleberger had a book launch at the Meadowbrook Library for his new book Darth Paper Fights back: an Origami Yoda book for 85 fans. Tom’s book is currently ninth on the New York Times Children’s best seller list.


Floyd’s martial arts program brought in 28 people on September 17.


Collection and Services

Our database and website usage continues to go up. September was Library Card sign up month. We had staff take pictures of their new card holders. We issued over 700 new cards so this is just a small representation.

Floyd has been having people add a leaf to their card tree when they sign up for a library card, then add a smaller leaf for the books they have read or listened to. The tree has 2533 leaves. For October, they are using ghosts.


From the publishing world, Warner Home Video has implemented a policy that puts in place a delay and will prevent vendors from sending their movies to libraries and rental places for uses by the street date. The delay is approximately 30 days. This will affect the last Harry Potter. The street date is November 11 and libraries won’t receive the title until December 9. We may go directly to Walmart or Amazon for the titles we want on their street date. Ms. Shortt proposed we place posters in the libraries that suggest to patrons that they could buy two and donate one to the library when they purchase their personal copies.


The first of the video game collection has been put into the libraries. Sarah Pahl is going to be purchasing more games to add to the collection in the near future.



We held the Cronin Garden dedication on Sunday. Thank you to Ms. Richardson and Affiliate Liaison Mary Ann for attending. It was breezy but otherwise a terrific day. Cindy Minnick did a fabulous job with the reception and getting everything in place. We have collected $850 to date for the maintenance fund. It will reside in the Foundation account until we need to have some work done on the garden.


The maintenance staff completed the vinyl plank floor and painting at the Blacksburg Library. It really refreshes the room and makes it look cleaner and brighter.


They are currently working on the floor in the Christiansburg Library and should be completed by the end of this week. Ms. Shortt inquired if the Christiansburg bathrooms are going to be remodeled. Ms. Alston suggested that be included in the budget requests.


The parking lot signs are currently mounted in three of the four libraries. Town of Blacksburg created the signs for us at that library. They look like the old signs but added “No overnight parking.” The signs for the other libraries are smaller, white instead of green, and say “Library parking only during Library hours. No overnight parking. Towing/ticketing enforced.” We have 2 signs up at Christiansburg and one at Meadowbrook. Floyd’s should be up shortly. After we get the sign up at Floyd, we will decide if the lot would benefit from another sign so we can have one at the entrance and one back behind.



The SIRSI upgrade happened last month. There were no problems and change is minimal for what the staff and patron sees. It corrected the indexing issues we were having with our “new at the Library” function.


We have purchased 2 net books for in-house use and they should be ready for the public soon. The idea is to give adult patrons a computer they can take into the children’s area and remain with their children. They will check the net book out from the desk for in-house use only.


We will soon add some Gale ebooks to our ebook collection. Most titles will be DK and travel.



Staff and Trustees

Darlene and Anne were thinking about attending the Trustee workshops. The workshops are this week and next.

Mr. Alston is scheduling visits to all the Boards and Councils over the next six weeks to share the strategic plan with them. She would be happy to have board members accompany her.

  • FC BoS on Wednesday 11/9 at 10:30
  • MC BoS on Wednesday, 11/16 at 7:15 p.m
  • Town of Floyd on 11/17 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Town of Christiansburg on 11/15 at 7:30 p.m.
  • My request is in to the Town of Blacksburg


Virginia Library Association holds their annual conference on October 27, 28 in Portsmouth. Ms. Alston will be attending and presenting a program on ebooks with a Librarian from Longwood University. Pamela and Linda will also attend.


On Dec 6, we are hosting a Library of Virginia focus group to evaluate their five year plan and demonstrate how LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) funded programs impact the residents of Virginia. LSTA money is used to fund the databases provided by the state, called FIND IT, VA, other technology, digitization projects at State Library and unique collections at LVA.


On October 5, Ms. Alston emailed board members a letter from Gov McDonnell where he announced a Governor’s Task Force for Local Government Mandate Review. He wants to reduce the burden placed on localities by the state government. These are the four mandates that relate to public libraries and three of the four are tied to state aid. Ms. Alston suggested that Affiliate Liaison Mary Biggs may want to have this included on any list the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors sends to the State. These mandates, in and of themselves, don’t place a burden on the local government. The burden comes from the state continuously cutting state aid and giving us another cut in the mandated $50 million then $60 million cut in localities that receive state aid. Ms. Alston believes we have one more year (FY13) of the last biennial cut and that’s what they need to eliminate.


Ms. Alston sent the VLA agenda to both Montgomery and Floyd counties to have them included in their legislative packages.


Committee Reports


Executive Committee – Did not meet.


Development Committee

The Development Committee met and discussed four projects that would be good for applying for grants.


The first is an oral history project. A grant would allow the purchase of a separate server, etc. to make the information available to the public. It would afford the project an intern to help to transcribe the interviews.


We are currently working on a large oral history project with Nannie Hairston. There are interviews already scheduled. We are working with a professor at Virginia Tech and also have the county media specialist involved to video the interviews.


The second project is scanning Mrs. Hairston’s artifacts to eventually put on the website.


Thirdly, a cemetery database project has been placed on the list. This project would compile all cemetery projects in the area and the information would be posted on the website. A grant would be needed to make this happen.


The final project would be to digitize the Floyd Press.


Floyd Friends of the Library

The Floyd Friends of the Library will be holding their Holiday Tea on December 3, 2011 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. The fee for the tea is $20.00.


Montgomery County Friends of the Library

The Montgomery Friends had their joint meeting Monday, October 17. Author Charles Lytton talked about his book New River Bonnets, Apple Butter, and Moonshine.


MFRL Foundation

There was no September meeting. The next scheduled meeting will be November 21, 2011. Joe and Linda Powers have agreed to be the new co-treasurers. Gail Billingsly and Whitney Johnson from the Student ??? and ???? partnership from Virginia Tech would like to join the board.


The board will be making preliminary plans for a fundraiser similar to the Antique Road Show.


Mr. Hyde moved to adjourn the meeting and Mr. Gabriele seconded the motion.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:13 p.m.

Approved by the Library Board

Gene Hyde, Secretary

Ruthie Bellman, Recorder

Category: Board, Meeting Minutes

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