Elyria public library system meeting of the Board of Trustees

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Meeting of the Board of Trustees

Monday, October 10, 2016

Central Branch, Scheide Room – 6:00pm
Present: Gerald Crum, President; Rhonda Smith, Vice President; Sam Battle, Trustee; Ray Armstrong, Trustee; Kaleena Whitfield, Trustee; Debbie Kroupa, Trustee; Ann Schloss, Secretary
Staff: Lyn Crouse, Director; Carol Campana, Fiscal Officer; Kathleen Runser, Deputy Director; Adam Matthews, Interim Marketing & Communications Manager; Frank Szuch, IT/Facilities Manager; Danielle Coward, Youth Services Coordinator; LaKesha Gage, Executive Administrative Assistant
Guest: Dr. Bill McFadden, Foundation President

  1. Call to Order: Mr. Crum called the meeting to order at 6:00pm.

  1. Executive Session:


On the motion of Debbie Kroupa, seconded by Rhonda Smith, the board unanimously agreed to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel matters in consideration of appointment under a new contract and for matters of security at 6:02 pm. A roll call vote was taken.


On the motion of Sam Battle, seconded by Rhonda Smith, the board unanimously agreed to leave Executive Session at 6:37 pm. A roll call vote was taken.

  1. Welcome of Attendees: Mr. Crum welcomed everyone to the meeting.

  1. Public Hearing of Visitors: Mr. Crum asked if anyone would like to address the board.

  1. Consent Agenda Items:

a) Approval of September 2016 Minutes
b) Personnel Actions

Appointments: none

Resignations: Tracy Bell, Public Relations Assistant

c) Donations for September 2016 none

d) Memorials for September 2016

$25.00 Donated by Laurie Tabar in memory of Kevin Gallagher

$100.00 Donated by USSS-Shift B in memory of Kevin Gallagher


On the motion of Ray Armstrong, seconded by Ann Schloss, the board unanimously agreed to accept the Consent Agenda.

Fiscal Officer’s Report:


On the motion of Debbie Kroupa, seconded by Ray Armstrong, the board unanimously agreed to approve transfers from adult services programs to adult services speakers and from miscellaneous expense to mileage for

operational needs of the library.


On the motion Jerry Crum, seconded by Ann Schloss, the board unanimously agreed to accept the Lorain County tax levy certification for 2017 in the amount of $1,998,572. A roll call vote was taken.

Ms. Campana reported:

  • Star OHIO’s interest rate is at .62%

  • Tax levy monies in the amount of $850,000 was moved to Star OHIO, $35,000 gift monies was also moved to Star OHIO
  • An updated Tax Levy certificate for resources for next year was provided. It will be updated from the draft to the final copy.

  • The audit is complete. We are waiting for final word from auditors.

  • Ms. Campana has started working with Ms. Crouse on the 2017 budget.


Motion Sam Battle, seconded by Jerry Crum, the board unanimously agreed to approve the Fiscal Officer’s report.

Dr. McFadden gave a presentation about the Foundation.

  1. Director’s Report

Ms. Crouse reported:

1) Renovation Update

Duane Van Dyke is moving ahead with final drawings for the West River project to be approved by the Board before bidding.

At Central, our third round of asbestos testing should take place this week. Once we find out the full scope of the needed abatement, the company will provide us with pricing. Then we can determine how to proceed.
Mr. Van Dyke thinks that we should include the asbestos abatement in the renovation bids rather than bid it separately. Ms. Crouse is also checking with the Ohio Department of Corrections, which provides licensed asbestos abatement services with prison labor. (In the past, Ms. Crouse used the PA Department of Corrections for furniture refinishing and was very pleased with the work. It’s a win-win situation.) She is still waiting to hear if their abatement services are available in this area.
Ms. Crouse scheduled an appointment on Wednesday with Ohio Department of Corrections.

The board had a discussion concerning the future renovations and abatement needs.

The board felt they needed to meet again when they have more information to make a decision.

Mr. Van Dyke anticipates that we would need to vacate the building for four months to have everything done at once, and is trying to determine projected costs associated with the new scope of work. She has been checking on what to do with 30 staff members during the expected four months that Central would be closed.

Ms. Crouse has received a cost proposal from the mover to completely empty Central, move what we need to alternate quarters, and store the rest.
We could rent an office trailer to place behind West River that would house the 4 members of administration, and a quote forthcoming from Sommers, a local trailer rental company.
We would have to relocate PR, IT and TSD – a total of seven people, and they could potentially be accommodated at West River, although we would not want to lose all of our program space in both buildings at once by putting them in the upstairs conference room or the Miller Room.
Public service staff would be absorbed into the remaining branches as best we can. Employees would have the option to use their paid time off during this period of time.
2) OLC Conference

Last week, 8 of our staff were among the 680 attendees who enjoyed featured speakers, 65 breakout sessions, LIBChat sessions, poster sessions, more than 70 vendor exhibits, and great networking opportunities at the Ohio Library Council state conference at Kalahari in Sandusky. We came back energized and with lots of ideas of how to improve our service to patrons. We’ll be exploring lending mobile hot spots, Maker Space options, and facilities management software for starters.

3) Funding and Advocacy

Thanks to all who attended the Candidates Forum held on September 23rd at Oberlin Public Library. EPLS had the largest contingent there, including board members Jerry Crum and Sam Battle, Phil Lyon and Tim Widman from the EPL Friends, Janet Stoffer, Kathy Runser and Ms. Crouse.

There were 6 candidates on the panel, including incumbents Dan Ramos and challenger Jessie Mae Tower, incumbent Nathan Manning and challenger Kelly Kraus Mencke, and the two candidates for Terry Boose’s seat, Tom Dunlap and Dick Stein. Each answered three questions posed by moderator Mary Crehore, and then there was an audience Q & A period.

Afterward, OLC Director of Government & Legal Services Michelle Francis met with the directors and talked about the PLF and the challenges facing libraries in the 2017 budget. In the 2016-17 biennium budget, we got an increase from 1.66% to 1.7% of the General Revenue Fund taxes, but that was a temporary increase that will automatically expire on 6-30-17. Ms. Francis explained that there will be a lot of demands on the budget, with a school bus purchase plan to replace old busses for safety reasons, funding for Narcan to help fight the opioid epidemic, restoration of Mental Health services funding, which have been severely cut in the past, and water issues due to algae blooms and lead pipes topping the agenda.
The OLC has put together a two phase plan to Protect the PLF.
Phase 1 goes through December, and is intended to educate the candidates and current members of the General Assembly. The message is that our increase will go away and we don’t want that to happen. We also need to talk about our services, especially those that will appeal to them (download an audiobook to listen to on your drive to Columbus?) as part of the Ohio Libraries Transform initiative. We need to emphasize what we DO, not what we have.
Phase 2, which runs from January through June of 2017, will be advocacy. There are great tools that have been developed by OLC to assist us with that, and I will provide those to you when the time comes.

4) Staffing changes at our North branch

Jennifer Harmon and Ms. Crouse have been meeting with the new LCCC Dean of Libraries, Karla Aleman, and her staff to see how we can improve our partnership as we go into the final year of the existing MOU. Hours of operation at the facility are controlled by LCCC, and they frequently cut back or close to accommodate their semester schedule. This makes it difficult for us to keep our people whole per our union contract. We’ve explored our options and it seems prudent to change our staffing to one 20 hour per week reference person from 11am-3pm on weekdays. This coincides with their library hours during breaks and means that we don’t have to reassign full-time people elsewhere several times per year. It does not reduce any hours of service for patrons using the facility. LCCC library reference staff is available for all open hours, and we will add an Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) to assist patrons in locating materials on their own.

One part time librarian is sufficient to pull the “send list” materials (interlibrary loans) and do collection development for our site. The college staff already handles circulation of materials and issuing cards. We can continue weekly storytime and programming there as outreach, but we do not need full-time reference service in the EPLS area. Our current staff will be reassigned to areas where they are needed, in both adult and youth services at the big branches.
5) Budget Prep

Ms. Campana and Ms. Crouse are working on budget prep. Ms. Crouse has met with all of the managers and gone over their department requests.

We are going to consolidate some of our materials lines to improve efficiency and cut down on the need to transfer from line to line. For example, the state report asks for the amount spent on print materials. We break it down to standing orders, fiction, non-fiction, and reference. Then, if the department manager spends more on non-fiction and less on fiction during the year, they have to transfer funds. It’s unnecessary and cumbersome.
We will keep the state mandated print, eMedia, audio/visual, and periodicals for each department or branch.
2017 is a union contract year, so we are looking closely at division of duties to determine personnel needs and costs.

Book Sale Volunteers are still needed! The Friends are working especially hard on this sale to try to raise funding to help with the renovations. Tell your family, friends and neighbors to attend.

  1. President’s Report:

The board discussed ways to reassure the South Elyria community that the future of the South branch is important to the board.

Mr. Crum announced that it was time for the board to appoint a nominee committee for next year. Kaleena Whitfield, Sam Battle, & Ray Armstrong have been appointed as the board member nominee committee.

Mr. Crum handed out envelopes to the board for the Fiscal Officer and Director evaluations, which needs to be returned by November 10, 2016.

  1. Committee Reports:

Friends of the Elyria Public Library-

Ms. Crouse reported the Friends are working on the book sale, which is this week.

Friends of the Keystone LaGrange Library-

Ms. Crouse reported that the Friends are preparing for the upcoming book sale.

Elyria Public Library Foundation-

Ms. R. Smith referred to the Foundation presentation. She also reported that monies were up this month.

  1. Old Business: none

  1. New Business: none

  1. Adjournment:


On the motion of Sam Battle, seconded by Rhonda Smith, the board unanimously agreed to adjourn at 7:50 pm.

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 14, 2016 at 6:00 pm in the Central Scheide room.

___________________________________ __________________________________

President Secretary
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