Library Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes – 5/17/23

May 17, 2023 at 4:30 p.m.
East Lansing Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting
Library Large Meeting Room
950 Abbot Road

The East Lansing Public Library occupies the ancestral, traditional and contemporary lands of the Anishinaabeg Three Fires confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi peoples land ceded in the 1819 Treaty of Saginaw.

1. Call to Order 4:42 p.m.

2. Roll Call

Trustees present were: Polly Synk, Amy Zaagman, Ameenah Asante and Diane Goddeeris. Trustee Pam Smith was absent. Also, in attendance were Friends President Maureen McCabe-Power, Director Kristin Shelley, Head of Customer Experiences/Assistant Director Brice Bush, and Executive Assistant to the Director Shori Teeple. There were fifteen attendees from the public.

3. Opening
3.1 Approval of Current Meeting Agenda
Goddeeris moved
Asante seconded
All in favor

3.2 Approval of April 19, 2023 Meeting Minutes
Asante moved
Zaagman seconded
Goddeeris moved to amend Item 8B bullet one to read: Additional meetings and conversations with administration, library staff and community members to take place. Trustee Goddeeris requested the board consult with city attorney before meeting with staff because contract negotiations have started.
Goddeeris moved as amended
Zaagman seconded
All in favor

4. Closed Session for Collective Bargaining
4.1 Motion to adjourn meeting to closed Executive Session for Collective Bargaining
Synk moved
Goddeeris seconded
Roll call vote
All in favor
Adjournment of regular meeting 4:49 p.m.
Board members, Shelley and Bush exited meeting room; entered Executive Session.

4.2 Motion to suspend closed session and resume meeting
Synk moved
Zaagman seconded
Roll call vote
All in favor
Regular meeting called back to order 5:17 p.m.

5. Communications
5.1 Thank you letter received from AARP represesntative Doug Patterson to thank library board and staff for welcoming volunteer tax preparers during tax season.

6. Audience
6.1 Public Comment - limited to five minutes per person
One attendee shared public comment.

7. Reports
7.1 City Council Liaison Report

  • No report

7.2 Friends of the East Lansing Public Library Report
McCabe-Power reported:

  • Donations and volunteers continue to be welcome.
  • Today is final meeting for McCabe-Power; she will retire from Friends President role on July 1.
  • Liesel Carlson will begin new leadership role as President on July 1.

8. Committee Reports

  • No report

9. Old Business
9.1 Update from subcommittee - January 11 incident

  • After consultation with City Labor Attorney, Synk and Asante met with staff on 5/16. Discussions avoided bargaining topics.
  • Online survey tool is nearing completion; will distribute link through various media outlets.
  • A more detailed FY23 budget report was requested and reviewed. Questions asked and discussion followed regarding funds in budget designated for strategic planning not previously reported.
  • FY24 budget and bylaws requirements for board submission of budget to City Council discussed. Shelley submitted budget to Council weeks ago; Council will vote to approve during May 23 meeting.

 9.2 Trustee search -- Action

  • Synk, Zaagman and Councilmember Brookover interviewed 2 candidates; 2 did not interview. Both candidates were highly qualified. Discussion followed.
  • Motion to recommend applicant Shawn Nicholson to City Council to fill board vacancy for a full term beginning July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2028 following end of Trustee Goddeeris' term on June 30, 2023.

Zaagman moved
Synk seconded
All in favor

9.3 Draft policies -- Discussion

  • Overviews provided for review/updates of policies, input received via email from staff, input from board members, and final vetting with City Attorney.
  • Trustees shared input, asked questions and requested clarifications for intention of proposed updates of draft policies related to Code of Conduct.
  • With anticipated de-escalation and other trainings for staff, requests discussed for more specific and intentional statements to be included in policy. Calling law enforcement should be last resort.
  • Incident reporting and role of 'Persons in Charge' discussed.
  • Questions asked and concerns raised about many unfilled staff positions, including Teen Services Specialist. Recommendation for this position to be full-time.
  • In-person meeting with staff and members was suggested to discuss policy updates. Trustees Zaagman and Goddeeris will meet with staff before June.
  • Plans proceeding to finalize policy updates by June meeting.

10. New Business
10.1 Strategic Planning -- Discussion

  • Highlights shared for 3 proposals received for strategic planning events in FY24.
  • June agenda will include proposed provider to conduct events for approval.

11. Library Reports
11.1 Financial Report
Shelley Reported:

  • Printed financial report was shared.

11.2 Director's Report

  • A written report was shared.

11.3 President's Report

  • None

12. Adjournment

Synk adjourned the meeting at 7:00 p.m.

Board of Trustees
Polly Synk, President
Amy Zaagman, Vice President
Pamela Smith, Secretary
Ameenah Asante
Diane Goddeeris

City Council Liaison
George Brookover

Staff Liaison
Kristin Shelley