June 2012 Library Board Minutes



June 20, 2012

Board Members Present:

Ann-Margaret Shortt, Chair

Natalie Cherbaka

Margaret Christle

Karen Drake

Ginny Gardner

Gene Hyde

Andy Morikawa

Darlene Richardson


County and Affiliate Liaisons Present:

Mary Biggs, Montgomery County Board of Supervisors

Kit Haggard, Floyd Friend of the Library

MaryAnn Hinshelwood, MFRL Foundation

Lauren Yoder, Floyd County Board of Supervisors


Staff Members Present:

Paula Alston, Library Director

Ruthie Bellman, Senior Program Assistant

Elizabeth Sensabaugh, Blacksburg Library Branch Supervisor


Board Members Absent:

Anne Page


County and Affiliate Liaisons Absent:

Mary North, Montgomery Friends of the Library


Call to Order: Chair Ann-Margaret Shortt called the monthly meeting of the MFRL Board of Trustees to order at 7:04 p.m., on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at the Christiansburg Library.


Roll Call: Ms. Shortt


Acceptance of Agenda: Chairman Shortt recommended moving the closed session to the end of the agenda. Trustee Gene Hyde moved to accept the agenda as amended. It was seconded by Trustee Andy Morikawa, and the Board voted to accept the agenda as amended.

Approval of Minutes: The motion was made by Mr. Morikawa, seconded by Mr. Hyde and the board voted to approve the May 20, 2012 minutes.


Public Address: Board of Supervisors member Chris Tuck spoke to the Library Board regarding the Montgomery County Law Library. The law library is funded by the filing fees from the Circuit Court. The law library receives approximately $15,000 per year but spends $5,700.00. Thus, there is an annual surplus and over the years, the fund has grown to $212,000. The fund can be used for “adequate housing” and approximately $100,000 will be used to house the law library in the new courthouse.


Mr. Tuck would like to add one computer in each Montgomery County library for legal research, purchased with law library money and loaded with software like Geronimo. Mr. Tuck offered to train staff pro-bono.


Mr. Hyde asked if the computers would be used exclusively for legal research or if they could be used for anything. Mr. Tuck stated that his idea would be that the computers would be available for any patron and could be used the same as those already in place. Mr. Hyde also asked how the cost of a license for the library would compare to that of a legal office. Mr. Tuck will check on this.


Ms. Shortt asked about the computer currently in the law library at the courthouse and who maintains it. She also inquired if other localities have this program and if so, who are they. Mr. Tuck stated that there is not a dedicated staff member for the law library at the courthouse, and a judge’s secretary installs the updates. As for other localities, Mr. Tuck said there are other libraries that do this and he would get back with us with the names. Ms. Alston said that Chesapeake has a law library.


Supervisor Biggs stated she is concerned about staff time and suggested we should look into how the new law library will be used and how accessible it will be to the public. The board had concerns about what strings (if any) might be attached. Ms. Shortt suggested a contract or memorandum spelling out the details, should the board agree to move forward.


The Board agreed to pass this on to the Executive Committee for further research.


Trustee Morikawa’s Expired Term

Ms. Shortt thanked Mr. Morikawa for his years of service on the board. Mr. Morikawa spoke of the change in the board in the past eight years. He feels the board has a good working relationship among members and libraries. He said he had come to appreciate Ms. Alston’s leadership. She has re-established the library system as a place of quality.


Unfinished Business: None


New Business:

Incident at Blacksburg Library

Blacksburg Branch Supervisor Elizabeth Sensabaugh shared details of the events that took place in the last few months. There were three incidents of inappropriate touching over the course of six weeks. The first two happened on Saturday, April 21, 2012 to a middle school aged girl and Saturday, May 12, 2012 to an adult woman.


The third event was reported to the police and also happened on a Saturday morning. Police viewed security tapes and had plain clothed policemen in the building looking for an individual fitting the description. The man returned on June 2 while police were there and was arrested. The man was identified as Danny Everette Dillow.


Concerning the security cameras: The multiplexor for the video equipment stopped working in 2009. At that time, the board voted to leave the cameras up as a deterrent, but not pay to fix the equipment. This decision was based on the fact that there had not been an incident in over 10 years. At this time, Ms. Alston is working with General Services to upgrade the equipment.


The Information Officer for the Blacksburg Police stated there were three things done incorrectly. First, we did not contact them immediately when the first incident happened. Second, we did not fully cooperate in that we delayed turning over the video tape and the names of the first two victims while we conferred with the County Attorney. Third, the photo of the suspect was not made public. Ms. Alston clarified that she will always confer with the County Attorney in matters such as this. Mr. Hyde stated he believes we did the last two things correctly.


Ms. Alston asked the Library Supervisors to ensure that staff members are roving more in the stacks and corners of the buildings and that they are aware of who is listed on the sex offender website and living in their service area. If there is another incident, staff will call the police immediately.


Ms. Alston showed the board suggestions for moving sections, furniture and shelves around to make it easier to see throughout the building. We do not have the money or time to move shelves and books. Ms. Shortt suggested we consider something like this when we get the new Blacksburg Library.


Mr. Hyde commended the staff on the great job they did. He stated that a good staff and awareness is better than moving furniture. Trustee Margaret Christle added accolades for the staff on the good job they did working with the police and noted that the man was apprehended.


Ms. Drake suggested mirrors in the corners. Ms. Alston said she would check with Templeton-Vest about mirrors. Ms. Alston is going to contact local police and see about stepping up daily patrols and visits to the libraries.


Board Self- Evaluation

The library board looked at the 2012 board self-evaluation. After a quick review, the board agreed that the Executive Committee should consider revising the form next year.


FY 2013 Meeting Schedule and Annual Calendar

Ms. Alston reviewed the FY2013 Board meeting schedule. Trustee Ginny Gardner made the motion to approve the schedule, Mr. Hyde seconded and the board voted unanimously to approve the meeting schedule for FY 2013. The Executive Committee approved the annual calendar.


Election of Officers

Ms. Gardner presented the slate of officers FY 2013. The nominees are: Chair–Ms. Shortt; Vice-Chair–Ms. Drake; Secretary–Mr. Hyde. On the recommendation of the Leadership Committee, a roll call vote was taken and the board voted unanimously to approve the slate of officers as recommended.




Roll Call Vote: Aye Nay

Ann-Margaret Shortt X

Natalie Cherbaka X

Margaret Christle X

Karen Drake X

Ginny Gardner X

Gene Hyde X

Andy Morikawa X

Darlene Richardson X

Report of the Director

Financial Report

We have completed month 11 of the fiscal year and should be at 91%.


We received our State Aid amount from the State Library for FY 13 and it has gone down by $2858 even though state aid funding is level this year. The explanation from the State Library is as follows:


“The state aid expenditure is a calculation of Income plus other income minus balance at end of FY. It appears that the decrease in other income attributed by percentage to Floyd County decreased and the balance at the end of the fiscal year increased. Thus the 40% of local expenditures including the cap was reduced by $6,958. This was offset by an increase in the population grant of $1,261. Leaving a decrease in total eligibility of $5,697. That reduction in the full funding award is decreased by the pro rata reduction applied to all libraries. Thus the actual grant is reduced by only the $2,858.”


The formula is not clear. Ms. Shortt stated that we should be able to comprehend the formula. Trustee Natalie Cherbaka stated she would be willing to look at it.


Ms. Biggs asked what she could tell the state representatives on behalf of the library. Ms. Alston responded that they should consider fully funding state aid to libraries and eliminating the mandated cut to all agencies receiving state aid. Library directors were asked by VLA how they would spend the money if state aid were substantially increased. The board was given results of this survey to review.



In late April, gaming carts became available for in-library use in Blacksburg and Jessie Peterman Libraries. The Blacksburg cart has been checked out 22 times, while the Jessie Peterman cart has checked out 14 times.


In May, the games circulated 430 times and the collection is now up to 147 games. This is a turnover rate of 3.


Programming / Collection

Local story teller, Kim Weitkamp, performed programs in Blacksburg and Christiansburg. She was a hit and sponsored by the Friends of the Library.


We have a summer intern to assist with our Summer Reading program. Lauren Catherwood-Ginn has a M.S in Early Childhood Education and is working on her Ph.D in Elementary Education and Literacy. She has experience teaching kindergarten and first grade and currently supervises student teachers for Tech. We are lucky to have her for the summer at no charge to us.


Summer Reading signups began the week of June 11 and are going strong. We have lots of teen volunteers to assist and we enjoy having them in the buildings.

Facilities / Technology

Citizens Telephone Company completed laying the fiber cable down Christiansburg Mountain and is now past the Meadowbrook Library so we are anticipating having them connected to fiber by mid to late fall.


We have taken the technology zoo to Pulaski and to three staff meetings in our system. The state library will soon send us a Kindle Fire to include in the zoo.


We are getting the components to add table top electrical plugs to three tables at the Blacksburg Library. These are three tables that sit over floor electrical boxes and will make it easier for laptop users to plug in. We would love to do this in all the buildings but do not have the floor boxes in the in the right places in the other libraries.


The Town of Christiansburg is still working on the handrail for the steps between the Christiansburg parking lot and the rescue squad. They hoped to have it completed by June 15, but it is not done yet.


One of the interior doors at Blacksburg is now equipped with an automatic door opener button. This was paid for with part of our FY 11 carry forward money.


Staff and Trustees

The brochure for the Adult summer reading program was handed out to the board. They were encouraged to join and spend the summer reading.


Ms. Alston spoke about the terrific article in the Burgs on Sunday, reporting on a series of programs being held in conjunction with the Sharing America program. All of the programs are outlined in the summer reading program flyer. Ms. Alston encouraged board members to attend.


We received NACo Achievement Awards for two programs. The “Be Local’ series was five programs presented at the Blacksburg Library to market local businesses and make citizens aware of the services and products available locally. There were programs on bike repair, local hiking and outdoor adventures, gourmet foods, buying and eating locally produced foods and floating locally as you float down the New River.


The second award was for the Civil War series held at the Christiansburg Library where we were fortunate to have a visit from the CW 150 Historymobile and the display from the Virginia Historical Society called “An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia”. There were also programs by Dr. Robertson, Scott Crawford and a poetry reading by Brian Walters.


Ms. Alston will be at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday, June 25, to accept the certificates.

Committee Reports


Executive Committee – Met via e-mail to approve the FY 2013 Annual Calendar


Development Committee – Did not meet.


Leadership Committee – The committee met to finalize the slate of officers.


Policy Committee – The committee met via e-mail to finalize policy 306, Display of Posters, Pamphlets, Flyers, etc. Mr. Morikawa moved to approved policy 306, Ms. Drake seconded, and a roll call vote was taken. The policy passed unanimously.


Roll Call Vote: Aye Nay

Ann-Margaret Shortt X

Natalie Cherbaka X

Margaret Christle X

Karen Drake X

Ginny Gardner X

Gene Hyde X

Andy Morikawa X

Darlene Richardson X


Floyd Friends of the Library – Did not meet.


Montgomery Friends of the Library – The Garden Tour will take place July 7 featuring seven gardens in the Blacksburg area. There is a need for more volunteers.


MFRL Foundation – Did not meet.


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

The meeting was adjourned at 8:39 p.m.

Approved by the Library Board

Gene Hyde, Secretary

Ruthie Bellman, Recorder

Category: Board, Meeting Minutes

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