Library Board of Trustees Minutes – March 20, 2019

March 20, 2019 at 4:34pm
East Lansing Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting
Main Meeting Room
950 Abbot Road

1) Call to Order
Cervenak called the meeting to order at 4:34pm.

2) Roll Call
All trustees were present, except Carole Dodgson. Also in attendance were Friends Representative Sheila Taylor, Assistant Director/Head of Customer Experiences Brice Bush and Library Director Kristin Shelley.  City Council Liaison Eric Altman was absent.

3) Opening
A) Approval of February 20, 2019 Meeting Minutes 
Goddeeris moved.
Zaagman seconded.
All in favor.
Motion carried.

B) Approval of Current Meeting Agenda
Wilkinson moved.
Goddeeris seconded.
All in favor.
Motion carried.

4) Communications
A) Audience: One
An audience member addressed the Board regarding a November 2018 incident that occurred in the Library Friends Store. She requested reimbursement for personal expenses incurred as a result of the incident (co-pays for the ambulance and emergency room visit and cab fare). The Board inquired about the Library’s liability. Shelley shared that she was informed by the City Attorney at the time of the incident that the Library bears no liability. 

B) Written Correspondence
Shelley shared comments received from patrons that praised the ELPL staff’s customer service and a thank you note received from a 4th grade student at Glencairn Elementary.

5) Reports
A) City Council Liaison Report:  None

B) Friends of the East Lansing Public Library Report
Taylor reported:

  • February income was down due to the shorter month.
  • Upcoming newsletter will have a brief article regarding the ballot committee the millage and a request for volunteers to serve on the committee.
  • The Friends are concerned that patrons are not aware that the Library has a Friends used book store and are contemplating ways to make the shop more visible.  Several suggestions were discussed.  Taylor will report the suggestions to the Friends.

6) Old Business

A) Staffing Updates

  • Shelley reported that Kevin Hawley is the new Circulation Supervisor.  Kevin has extensive supervisory experience, is a prolific reader and has many creative ideas regarding programming.  His background includes working as an Assistant Manager at a Barnes and Noble in Ohio.
  • Shelley and Bush are currently interviewing candidates for the Youth Services Librarian position which was recently reposted.  Four applicants are scheduled to be interviewed next week.

B) Library Trustee Search - Discussion


  • Shelley reminded the Board that trustee interviews need to be scheduled and a trustee selected by the ELPL Board meeting on April 24, 2019.  This is so the Board can vote on the new trustee and have the name on the consent agenda of the City Council by May 21.  Applicants that have been received thus far will be forwarded to all Board members for their review.


7) New Business

A) 8th Annual Books, Bites, and Bids Fundraiser - Reminder 

  • Shelley distributed Books, Bites and Bids Fundraiser flyers to Board members, noting that over 100 businesses have donated in some way or form.
  • Shelley promoted Books, Bites, and Bids on "Mom's Everyday".
  • Friends will decide if the will cover the cost of the beer and wine this year at their next meeting.
  • Shelley shared that the number of registered attendees at this time is down from last year, however, many attendees do not register in advance of the event.

B) Heating and Cooling System

  • Shelley informed the Board that the Efficiency Management System is not working properly.  Initial estimated replacement cost is $80,000 to $100,000.

8) Library Reports
A) Financial Report
Shelley provided a written Financial Report.  Discussion included:

  • Amended budget does not accurately reflect the salaries for full-time employees which are less than anticipated due to vacancies.
  • The Cochran Trust balance is down by $50,000 in FY20 based on the market.
  • The IT Department hired Chris King as head of the Department.  Total number of IT staff is now three.  Shelley shared that she reiterated to the City that she would be very receptive to sharing an IT position between the Library and the City.
  • The Fund Balance is over a million dollars, but there are many maintenance repairs that will be drawing on a significant amount of those funds.

B) Director's Report
Shelley provided a written Director's Report.  Discussion included:

  • Shelley informed the Board that the Library celebrated Black History Month throughout February with programming, films and displays.
  • February 5 the library hosted film makers Scott Boehm and Peter Johnson who showed their documentary, "What Happens to a Dream Deferred" and discussed the film.  One of the Dreamers, who was in the film, was part of the panel.
  • Violinist Rodney Page and his two sons, ages 13 and 5 played a concert for a packed house; over 150 came to hear the performance.

C) President’s Report: none

9) Announcements

  • Shelley informed the Board that the Food Waste Class from MSU has scheduled a family food waste program at the Library on Tuesday, March 26 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. The program will include a “digester” machine which simulates the food digestion process.
  • The One Book, One Community book selection will be announced at the Books, Bites and Bids fundraiser. The book was selected by community vote. MSU will purchase copies of the book and will not charge students.
  • Shelley testified in front of the Michigan House Government Relations Committee regarding the opioid crisis. The House voted to move legislation forward and it will now go back to the Senate. Shelley will testify before a Senate committee in April.

10) Adjournment
Wilkinson moved.
Goodeeris seconded.
All in favor.
Motion carried.

Cervenak adjourned the meeting at 5:36pm.