CEF Board Meeting Minutes

See also prior year minutes:  2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

2017 Minutes of the Meetings of the Board of Trustees

January 23, 2017
February 27, 2017

April 24, 2017


 

2016 Minutes of the Meetings of the Board of Trustees

January 25, 2016
February 22, 2016
April 25, 2016
May 23, 2016
June 27, 2016

July 25, 2016
August 22, 2016
September 26, 2016
October 24, 2016
November 28, 2016                                                                                 


2015 Minutes of the Meetings of the Board of Trustees              

January 26, 2015
February 23, 2015    
April 27, 2015      
June 1, 2015
July 27, 2015
August 24, 2015
September 25, 2015
October 27, 2015
November 23, 2015                             


2014 Minutes of the Meetings of the Board of Trustees

February 24, 2014
April 28, 2014
June 2, 2014
June 30, 2014
July 28, 2014
August 25, 2014
September 22, 2014
October 27, 2014
November 24, 2014


2013 Minutes of the Meetings of the Board of Trustees

February 4, 2013
February 25, 2013
March 25, 2013
April 22, 2013
May 20, 2013
June 24, 2013
July 22, 2013
August 26, 2013
September 23, 2013
October 28, 2013
November 25, 2013
December 16, 2013


The minutes immediately below are UNAPPROVED MINUTES.   They will be scheduled to be approved at the next Board of Trustees meeting in May 2017.

CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held April 24, 2017

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 24, 2017 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Nicole “Nicky” Bryant.

Oaths of Office

Nicky Bryant administered the Oath of Office to Charles “Kip” Thompson as a Vice President of the Board for a one-year term that will run through December 31, 2017.  He represents Essex County.

Roll Call

Present:  James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Dorothy Latta, Phyllis Magnus, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville (entered at 4:49 p.m.), Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Doreece (Darcy) Purick and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Excused Absences:  Elizabeth “Liz” DeFonce, Fran Filshie, Gayla LePage, Scott McDonald and Rita Quinn

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Director; Michael Spofford, Finance Manager; and Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant

Consent Agenda

Emily Castine motioned approval of Consent Agenda, which includes the following items, seconded by Lisa Minnich: 

  • Approval of today's excused absences

  • Approval of today's agenda as distributed on April 24, 2017

  • Approval of minutes of the February 27, 2017 meeting

  • Committees for which there are no reports at this time: Advocacy, Building, Development, Executive, Health Plan, Negotiating, Nominating, Property and Strategic Planning

Public Comment Period

There were no public comments.

Financial Report

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Financial Reports as presented by Michael Spofford, seconded by Jim Bennett.

Motion to approve the Financial Reports carried unanimously.

Michael Spofford reported that the Board packet for this meeting contains financial reports for only the month of February.  He attended a week-long conference earlier in this month, followed by illness that kept him out of work for a couple of days, so he will submit March’s reports for the May meeting.

All line items are within budget. 

The 2017 budget was prepared with the anticipation of flat funding, which is what we have learned it will be.   

Referring to the Balance Sheet as of February 28, 2017, Michael explained that the Unrestricted Net Assets, amounting to $1,073,290.81, are current reserve and contingency funds for such things as building and technology projects, new telephone system and vehicle replacement.  In the March Balance Sheet that you will receive next month, you will see that funding has been moved from one of our money market accounts to the reserve money market account so that will show $157,000, equal to all these reserves and contingencies. 

Jim Bennett inquired how much is specifically sitting in the reserve money market account for the driveway/tunnel project and other building projects.  Lisa Minnich responded that the figure is $70,000.

Kip Thompson asked if we have any sense of when NYS funding will be received, to which Ewa Jankowska responded that we do not.  She is very concerned that Governor Cuomo now has the ability to cut the budget in the middle of the year depending on Federal funding, which never has happened before.  Fortunately, CEFLS has a line of credit that can be used if necessary.  Kip encouraged fellow Board members who haven’t already written to their Congressional Representatives to do so in light of the fact that IMLS funding has been threatened, which would affect the State Library budget and the budget of every library, as well as literacy and summer reading programs.  

Motion to approve the Financial Reports as presented carried unanimously.

President’s Remarks

Nicky Bryant stated that the three libraries that were suggested at last month’s meeting to host CEFLS Board meetings this year have agreed: Goff-Nelson in Tupper Lake on May 22, Sarah A. Munsil Free Library in Ellenburg Depot on June 26 and Sherman Free Library in Port Henry on August 28.  At the Board’s request, the directors of these libraries will be asked if we can begin these meetings at 3:00 rather than the usual 4:30 time.  This will allow trustees driving from the far outlying areas of the three counties to get home earlier in the evenings.  Lisa Minnich asked trustees to please let Dawn Recore know as soon as possible if they will not be able to attend any of these meetings, so a quorum can be determined before anyone has left his home for the lengthy drive.

Director’s Report

In addition to Ewa Jankowska’s written report, she stated that:

Anja Bouchard is continuing to move the kiosks featuring disaster preparation around to the remaining ten libraries that have not hosted them yet.

The Road to Recovery booklets and app have been extremely successful at providing valuable information to the community and have provided enormous exposure to the public for CEFLS.  Anja represents CEFLS at SPARCC meetings where she is forming bonds with many community organizations and has provided them with booklets and Road to Recovery bookmarks. The booklets have a pocket containing an evaluation form so that we can receive feedback as required by National Network of Libraries of Medicine from whom the grant was provided, and over 500 booklets have already been distributed throughout our three-county area. 

This Wednesday a director from NN/LM will be at CEFLS to give two presentations to our staff and guests from member libraries and the health departments of Clinton and Essex Counties. 

Anja is gearing up for the next project, an exhibition from NN/LM on the topic of abused women, for which we will be able to apply for another NN/LM grant.  We will develop a program and look for a venue for presenting a series of lectures, possibly Plattsburgh Public Library and Saranac Lake Free Library. 

We have three quotes for lawn care, the lowest being from a start-up business, Josh’s Lawn Care.  Their price is about $600 less than the provider we had last year, and they have also agreed to remove the weeds from the roof.  We will request proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation.

Betsy Brooks provided a report from the Cosugi conference that she recently attended in Salt Lake City.  It was a conference for Horizon customers on the integrated library system that we use.  Horizon public access module is still working but the company is no longer supporting it.  We are interested in purchasing a system called Enterprise at a price of about $10,000.  We were hopeful of getting bullet aid through Betty Little’s office to pay for it, but bullet aid has been severely cut from $18 million to $8 million so other means of paying for it are being investigated.

A summary of the yearly library survey was provided in Board packets.  At the request of member libraries, the survey was done anonymously, except that David Fuller knew which libraries had submitted surveys.  This enabled him to contact and encourage those who hadn’t yet responded to do so.   

We are busy planning several events.

  • Kate Flewelling from National Network of Libraries of Medicine will be doing two presentations at CEFLS on April 26.

  • We are hosting a meeting for Coordinated Outreach Advisory Council on June 9. In the fall, we would like to have a focus group meeting to look at our Plan of Service.

  • As a result of the Roads to Recovery project, CEFLS will have visitors from the CVPH Library on May 3.

  • We are hosting a Members Advisory Council (MAC) meeting on April 27.  CBA budget will be a topic of discussion.  So far LSTA is paying for databases as it seems that the State Library still has money for this year.  LSTA is going to be covering the cost of Encyclopedia Britannica which in the past was paid for with CBA money, so the money saved can maybe be applied toward additional databases or more books.

  • We will host a CEFCAT meeting on May 8.  Also on May 8, we are paying for and hosting a webinar of the Weeding Ladies which will be extremely helpful for good collection management.  Member library directors have been invited.

  • We will be cosponsoring a training on Safety, Security and Self Defense for the Workplace at Saranac Lake Free Library on June 26.  Anja Bouchard has arranged for Lt. Granmoe to do an active shooter training in the afternoon session.

  • Ewa is trying to arrange with Terry Kirchner a seminar on how to evaluate a library director.  He is the director of Westchester Library System and has a PHD in Human Organization Systems, which is basically Human Resources.  He would do it for free and is well qualified.  He has a background as both a library director and a system director so he understands a director's responsibilities.  We are thinking of having the training at a centrally located member library to make it easier for those in Essex County to attend.

NNYLN now has access to a lawyer.  We have already asked a question on behalf of Keene Valley Library which was very interesting.  It was whether libraries have to pay sales tax when they have a fundraiser to sell artworks and the library is to receive a portion of the proceeds.  (The answer is yes.)

Questions or Comments Directed to the Director:

With regard to the library survey, Dorothy Latta commented on member outreach efforts that have declined over the past several years.  She asked if it is because libraries are just not thinking about it, that there is not a prompt to encourage them, or if it is a resource issue.  Ewa responded that it could be any of those reasons, but also many libraries are very small and operate with only a director who just cannot do everything.  Often it is expected that boards would pick this up as an advocacy task.  As time allows, CEFLS will be following up on this and other topics from the survey.

Ewa sent the Board a document on library standards that is worrisome to her.  The State wants to put in place a library standard for trustee training.  She feels that very often a library would not be able to meet that standard and wonders if it should perhaps be a standard of library systems.  Ewa will be voicing concern over standards such as this at an upcoming meeting of library system directors.

Referring to this month’s Digital Circulation as a Percentage of Total Circulation Chart that shows that digital circulation has leveled off, Kip asked what that means to CEFLS as a system?  Ewa responded that part of that might be generational; with an aging population, we are probably not using it as much, but she thinks that as the population shifts, it will increase.  Another possible reason could be that CEFLS has a very limited budget.  She explained that if we had 20 copies of the most popular best-seller at a price of $120, the percentage of circulation might go up.  However, we really don’t have a very large amount of money to spend on digital.  It would be helpful to have 100 percent participation by member libraries for the purchase of digital fiction, but purchasing even one digital fiction book is difficult for small libraries.  Both CEFLS and the Central Library do buy fiction, but where we can spend money more readily is with CBA and that has to be for adult nonfiction. 

Kip commented on how Stewart’s Shoppes is an extraordinary for-profit corporation that is so helpful to not-for-profits in the North Country.  He volunteered to draft a thank you letter from the Board, to be signed by each individual.  Sending the letter to the editors of the various local newspapers was also suggested. 

Plattsburgh Public Library Report

Anne de la Chappelle, Director of PPL, reported that PPL spends $10,000 a year on OverDrive for best-selling fiction.  However, at $86 per title, it doesn’t go very far.  She agrees that as the opportunity to borrow e-books increases, the circulation increases.  CEFDA has talked about this and checked into various procedures that some other systems have adopted, a few of which are:

  • Libraries contribute a portion of their book budget.

  • Participation is voluntary based on the population served.

  • A threshold amount to spend is agreed upon by directors and boards.

Locally, CEFDA learned that some libraries feel that contributing to a group thing would be frowned upon by their Boards because digital books are not “owned” and patrons of other libraries would be able to sign them out. 

Ewa interjected that we learned from OverDrive today that libraries can order a book and have a priority for their own patrons, so we need to share this new information.  However, other people can still borrow them. 

Anne attended the Chamber of Commerce “After Hours” at Norsk Titanium last week.

A lot of construction is still taking place at PPL.  The opening of the coffee bar is anticipated for early May. It will be called Chapter One: Coffee and Tea.

PPL will be taking a break from construction in the coming year and will not be applying for grant funding. 

The final tile workshop for the mural that is going on the side of the building will be on April 26.

A new network switch has been installed with E-rate money and funding will be requested for another this year.  The Internet bandwidth was also increased from 30 Mbit/sec to 100 Mbit/sec as part of a City upgrade.  All of this, with the new wireless access points that were installed throughout the building, have significantly boosted their wireless availability to the community. 

Anne was asked by Michael Cashman, Plattsburgh Town Supervisor, to serve on the 2017 Poet Laureate Selection Committee.  Other members are Mr. Cashman, the 2016 Poet Laureate, Benjamin Giroux, and his father, Sony.  Benjamin is an autistic child who wrote a very moving poem “I am Odd” for which he has gained national attention.  The poem has helped to educate, inspire, and comfort others.

Communications

Two communications were read by Dawn Recore.

Thank you card from Fran Filshie for her colleagues and friends at CEF

Letter of appreciation to Julie Wever from Scott Hayden, Executive Director of Adirondack Folk School, Inc., in Lake Luzerne, for support and distribution of catalogs to member libraries.

Committee Reports

Personnel Committee

A report containing the Director’s goals and summarizing her evaluation was previously provided to all Board members, then followed up with a meeting of the Personnel Committee on March 7.  In summary, Lisa Minnich stated that the results were all positive.  Most things were superlative, a few things were average and there was nothing negative.  A couple of trustees did not give an opinion on a couple of things because they felt like they hadn’t been on the Board long enough to provide knowledgeable answers.  One person suggested that staff be allowed to participate in the next Director evaluation, and the Committee had already begun to look for a tool to do that.  The Committee made a specific salary suggestion that will be discussed in Executive Session. 

The goals that the Committee set for Ewa for next year are:

  • She is going to assist the Board in transitioning to a new Director.  Ewa has indicated that she see the transition as being a 3 to 4 month period.

  • She is going to continue her efforts to keep CEFLS visible in the community using every available resource.

  • She will facilitate continued participation in local, state and national library-related conferences and events by system personnel while knowing that the Board understands that there are fiscal constraints.

  • She will focus on the physical plan of CEFLS wherever possible in the coming year.

The committee has met with Ewa to discuss all of this and she has received a copy.

Finance Committee

Lisa Minnich stated that after learning that Management Confidential staff (of employers of 20 people or less) and their spouses who reach the age of 65 are required to pay for Medicare B whether they are retired or not, discussion regarding providing them with Medicare B reimbursement followed.  Doing so would involve a calculated total increase in funding Medicare B for this year by $2,546, minus 10 percent contributions by a staff member whose wife is over the age of 65 and the Director.  This amount includes whatever retroactively CEFLS would have to pay. 

Lisa reported that the Board had tacitly agreed to this but the committee wanted to bring to light that covering these increases would be part of the proposal for the overall moving of $20,981.74 from the unexpended fund balance from last year into payroll.  The unexpended portion, or about $13,000, would be dedicated to the building fund. 

Lisa motioned to table the approval of the total increase, amounting to $20,981.74 for the rest of the year and whatever retroactively would be paid for funding Medicare B to cover the wife of a staff member who is over the age of 65 and the Director, until after Executive Session when the amount of money for the Director will be known.  Jim Bennett seconded the tabled motion.

Old Business

There was no Old Business.

New Business

Central Library Development Aid (CLDA) 2017 Budget:  Ewa stated that the CLDA Budget that Anne de la Chappelle prepared has been reviewed and is in accordance with the directives of the State.  CLDA is money that CEFLS receives to be dispensed.  Ewa respectfully requested its approval by the Board.  Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Central Library Development Aid 2017 Budget, seconded by Phyllis Magnus.  Motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Lisa Minnich motioned at 5:20 p.m. to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing the Director’s salary, seconded by Emily Castine.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Return to Regular Session

The Board of Trustees returned to Regular Session at 5:28 p.m. with a motion made by Lisa Minnich, seconded by Jim Bennett.  Motion carried unanimously.

On behalf of the Personnel Committee, Lisa Minnich motioned that Ewa Jankowska’s salary be increased by a total of eight percent, four percent for merit and four percent for market adjustment, seconded by Emily Castine.  Motion carried unanimously.

Lisa motioned to take the motion that was tabled during the Finance Committee report off the table, seconded by Kip Thompson. 

Lisa recapped that during Executive Session, the Board voted to move $20,981.74 from the unexpended fund balance for the 2016 budget year to payroll for 2017, and the remainder of the unexpended fund balance to be moved to the building project reserves.  Motion carried unanimously.  

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Board, Nicky Bryant adjourned the meeting at 5:32 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Emily Castine

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held February 27, 2017

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:32 p.m. on Monday, February 27, 2017 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Nicole “Nicky” Bryant.

Oath of Office

Nicky Bryant administered the Oath of Office to Doreece Purick as a Trustee of the Board for a five-year term that will run through December 31, 2021.  She will represent Clinton County.

Roll Call

Present:  James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Elizabeth “Liz” DeFonce,  Dorothy Latta, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville, Scott McDonald, Mary “Lisa” Minnich and Doreece (Darcy) Purick

Excused Absences:  Fran Filshie, Gayla LePage, Phyllis Magnus, Rita Quinn and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Director; Michael Spofford, Finance Manager; and Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant

Additional Staff Present:  Anja Bouchard and David Fuller (entered at 4:34 p.m., departed 4:49 p.m.)

Presentation by Anja Bouchard and David Fuller

A little over a year ago, Anja Bouchard put together a LibGuide on resources to combat addictions on the CEFLS website, see Hot Topics.  Formerly having worked at Department of Social Services, Anja has seen firsthand the effects of the growing trend of addiction in our region.  She is a member of SPARCC (Substance Abuse and Recovery of Clinton County) where she is building alliances with treatment providers, law enforcement, school personnel, workers at Department of Social Services and others from additional professional arenas.  It is apparent that people often seek information from non-authoritative sources online, so as a result of Anja showing our LibGuide to SPARCC, she is working with Daniel Alexander of The Sun Community News.  He is providing a series of ads that point to our LibGuide for reliable information.  The first ad, almost a half-page in size, was published in the February 25, 2017 issue.  It included an infographic from the local NYS Police, as well as input from some of our resources and a section on how your local library can help.  Reference was made to a DVD (available at Akwesasne Library) and a book (available Black Watch Memorial Library), both of which are available with a free library card via interlibrary loan.  Subsequent ads will focus on specific resources that local libraries can offer.  The ad includes the CEFLS website address, resources for substance abuse treatment, means of transportation to places of treatment, and food pantry and shelter information.  To assist those who might not have access to technology, Anja and David Fuller have prepared a booklet listing all of the resources found on the LibGuide.  It will be available at various agencies and places of business in our three county region.  To further assist, David is building all of this information into an app so that as soon as new information is learned and has been verified, it will be made available on mobile devices. Caseworkers will be able to install the app on the phones of their clients right away, making it as easy as possible for people to get the services that they need.  David explained that with a mere tap, people will be able to access all the resources that are built into the app, including being able to phone a resource by simply tapping an icon.  The app will be published onto the Apple and iTunes Store and Google’s Marketplace and will be free.  For use at community events for the purpose of sharing the information offered by the app, a small device with projector capability has been purchased. Anja closed by saying that crisis is not limited to the hours of 8 to 5, so to have reliable information available 24-7 can be crucial to getting help.

In response to questions raised by the Board, Anja and David offered the following information:

  • 2-1-1 will be included as a resource in the booklet and the appl.

  • The first round of grant funding will cover the cost of 500 booklets and two years to the app subscription at which point the analytics will be reviewed to see if the use justifies continuing the project.  If it is warranted, ways to continue to support it will be investigated.

  • The cost of the app is only $540 per year.  Going forward, other publicity options will be pursued.

  • Some features of the app can be built into the CEFLS website and to those of member libraries.

It is Ewa’s hope that Public Radio or Public Television will interview Anja and David to provide valuable exposure for the project.  From a community perspective, Anja is hopeful that the project will be well supported.

Consent Agenda

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Consent Agenda, which includes the following items, seconded by Emily Castine: 

  • Approval of today's excused absences

  • 'Approval of today's agenda as distributed on February 27, 2017

  • Approval of minutes of the January 24, 2017 meeting

  • Committees for which there are no reports at this time: Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiating, Nominating, Property and Strategic Planning

  • Communications

  • CEFDA

Public Comment Period

There were no public comments.

Financial Report

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Financial Reports as presented by Michael Spofford, seconded by Dorothy Latta.

Michael Spofford reported that in January contractual funds for the first quarter were received from the three counties. On the expense side, we needed to replace the brakes on the old van and inspect the Equinox.  He and Julie Wever, the fleet coordinator, are going to be working toward getting a new van.  He has been working with Clinton County Civil Service to facilitate the three approved promotions.  In April, Michael will be asking to amend the budget to move money from the plant reserve fund to salaries.  Twenty-two libraries’ annual reports have been submitted to Michael and he is working with the remaining eight libraries to complete theirs. He is hoping to have all 30 member libraries’ reports submitted to the State and to be working on the CEFLS report by mid-March.

Motion to approve the Financial Reports carried unanimously.

President’s Remarks

Nicky Bryant reminded everyone that there will not be a Board of Trustees meeting in March.

Fran Filshie says thank you and wants the Board to know that she is keeping company with the beautiful roses that were sent.

A list of libraries where the Board has visited and held CEFLS Board meetings over the past eight years was distributed to aid in deciding where this year’s “away” meetings will be held.  Typically, one library from each county is selected.  Four libraries were chosen, so that if one is not able to host a meeting, there will be an additional one on the list.  This year’s choices are Sherman Free Library in Port Henry, Sarah A. Munsil Free Library in Ellenburg Depot and Goff-Memorial Library in Tupper Lake, with the back-up being AuSable Forks Free Library.  Those libraries will be contacted in an attempt to schedule three meetings between the months of May and August. 

Contributions to Sunshine Fund and Leadership Fund are coming in.  Nicky expressed appreciation for the donations made-to-date:  $925 for Leadership and $230 for Sunshine.

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska stated that in addition to her written report:

Wednesday of this week is Library Advocacy Day in Albany, also known as Legislative Day.  On Tuesday Ewa will attend Pre-Advocacy Day events and on Wednesday Karen Batchelder, Anja Bouchard and Susan Sullivan of Rouses Point Dodge Memorial Library will join Ewa.  There is room in the CEFLS vehicle for anyone who would like to ride with them.  The first appointment of the day is with Senator Betty Little at 9:00. 

A response has not been received from Senator Little regarding the grant application that we submitted in December for the new Horizon system portal, Enterprise, which is the public version of access to the catalog.  Betsy Brooks learned that it won’t be known whether the member items would be approved until June or July.  For the last two years, Betty Little was giving each library a member item but CEFLS was not included. 

Michael Spofford and Ewa met with the Property Committee on February 1 after which Ewa wrote to Mr. Farrington, the City of Plattsburgh Engineer, to request a meeting to discuss filling in the tunnel.  If necessary, Ewa will communicate with the Town of Plattsburgh because it may be easier for them to provide material with which to fill in the tunnel. 

Board members received the graphics of the 2016 survey of member libraries that was prepared by David.  To assure anonymity, David conducted the survey so only he would know who responded so that he could pursue any libraries that which did not respond.  There were only a couple of semi-critical remarks received and unfortunately Ewa cannot respond directly to the person or persons who made them.  She would want them to know that:

  • Serving the prison population - It is the opinion of ALA that inmates are human beings and should be serviced.  We have a contract with New York State and receive funding to do so.  With that funding CEFLS purchases books and actually lends more of them to the libraries than they do to the prisons.  It would not be economically viable to discontinue this service.

  • Consolidation of our system with another system - This has been discussed many, many times over the years.  Consideration must be given to such factors as the tremendous distance between our system with 30 libraries and North Country Library System with 64 libraries, and where the headquarters would be located.  As it was proven in a study, it is not economically viable even for the systems that are downstate and much closer together geographically.

The CEFLS Training Committee would like to have Going Back to the Basics, a training for new library directors and a refresher of knowledge and skill, for other directors.  It is a big project that would begin in the Fall.  Two people will be invited to speak on the basic core topics of introduction to finance and strategic planning.  The likelihood of good attendance is much greater with outside presenters and if we have grant funds that would allow for CEFLS to provide lunch and mileage reimbursement.  We would also offer satellite training online with power-point presentations and Go-to-Meetings, a service to which we subscribe.  We are also going to use the five State supported HATS modules for trustee training.  Ewa would like to do an introduction and legal issues, Michael Spofford would do finance, with other librarians doing other modules.

Comments Directed to Ewa:

Nicky Bryant commented that it appears that Flipster is getting a lot of use.  Ewa responded that when it was up for renewal, she had suggested to Anne de la Chappelle that some titles be dropped and others added.  Also, a subscription to Consumer Reports was added for an additional $6,000 and that has been well utilized.  Dorothy Latta commented that the increase in usage seems to correspond to the extra efforts to promote Flipster.  Ewa added that when we send books out to other libraries, we insert bookmarks made in-house to promote Flipster and other CEFLS services.

Plattsburgh Public Library Report

Anne de la Chappelle, Director of PPL, could not be present today, so Ewa Jankowska reported from the written report that Anne provided.

Construction Grant Update:  Renovation of the Young Adult/Teen room is underway and renovation of the men’s room and installation of the new book drop will follow.  New LED lights for the main room, auditorium and exterior are being ordered.  The ceiling in the main room will be painted.

"Outside Art:  Plattsburgh Public Art Project” held their first Tile Making Workshop in the evolving maker space. The tiles created will be included in the library Read and Grow outdoor mural.

Mayor Read appointed Patrick McFarlin to the PPL board.  The City Council approved use of library space for a Coffee Bar.  Vendor proposals to operate the coffee bar were accepted through today.

Committee Reports

Property Committee

Jim Bennett reported that he, Rita Quinn and Michael Spofford met on February 1st to discuss the three primary property concerns.

  • In regard to the issue of the tunnel caving in, it is his opinion that the best way to proceed is to fill it in with foam.  He feels that waste sand from the roads may be wet and will settle over time.

  • Regarding the plants that grow on the roof in the summer, he would like to see that taken care of in the spring.  Michael stated that a lawn company has provided a quote.

  • The third issue is in the garage where a railing is being requested.

Jim is apprehensive whether there is currently any capital money earmarked specifically for these expenditures, especially if plans are to do a 50-50 construction grant from NYS.

Dorothy Latta asked if we have an estimate of expense for each of these projects, to which Michael responded that we are going to wait until spring for the roof, and we have yet to contact contractors for estimates to fill in the tunnel.  Ewa stated that we will have to prioritize projects for budgetary reasons.  Jim feels that the driveway has an urgency because the tunnel is collapsing, the roof project is of questionable urgency, and the garage is a safety issue with the lack of a railing.  Michael stated that a previous estimate for a full railing was only $2,000 or $3,000 and the state has a minimum of $5,000 for the 50-50 construction grant, so that project would have to be combined with another one. 

Ewa has sent an e-mail to the City engineer after Rita Quinn suggested filling in the tunnel with roadside sand and dirt, but so far hasn’t received a response.  Ewa wonders if some roadside fillers could be used to save some money, and then foam could be added to finish filling it in.  Definitely the tunnel project must be addressed before the driveway can be resurfaced. 

Jim would like to have the next Property Committee meeting in a couple of months when Kip Thompson can be present, rounding out the membership of Rita Quinn, Kip and Jim.  For the purpose of applying for a 50-50 matching grant, the specific projects will have to be determined by midsummer.  Nicky Bryant would like to have one or two more volunteers from the Board volunteer for membership on the Property Committee. 

Personnel Committee

The Personnel Committee met on February 1st to discuss three issues.

A questionnaire for use to evaluate the Director was developed.  The committee amended a form that Dorothy Latta found on the internet so that each trustee would have a part in the Director’s evaluation.  The following week, Lisa Minnich provided as much additional pertinent information as she could to the full Board along with the amended questionnaire.  During Executive Session later in this meeting, discussion will ensue regarding any related aspect as well as goals for 2017 for Ewa. 

Also discussed was the mandatory requirement for those approaching age 65 to sign up for Medicare, which becomes the primary insurer.  Currently, one staff member is 65 and another is approaching 65.  In question is who is to pay the Medicare premiums.  CEFLS employees are promised insurance, and Medicare is mandatory.  There will be investigation into supplemental insurance policies that would save money without taking any benefits away and still fulfill the obligation of CEFLS to provide insurance. 

The last thing discussed were options for the Director’s raise this year.  Michael Spofford was asked to come up with some figures that will be further discussed at a Personnel Committee meeting that will be held on March 7th at 1:00 at CEFLS.  All Board members are welcome to attend. 

Old Business

There was no Old Business.

New Business

Direct Access Plan (DAP):  A copy of Direct Access Plan for 2017-2021 was provided in the packets that were distributed 10 days ago.  Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Direct Access Plan for 2017-2021, seconded by Dorothy Latta.  Ewa explained that it is almost the same as the previous Plan that was approved in 2015, with very minimal changes that were requested by the State.  Direct Access Plan assures that with a free library card everybody within the system can access materials and services from any other member library.  Some limitations can be posed, for example if a library has a program but does not have enough space to accommodate patrons from other libraries.  Also some libraries limit access to new books to their own patrons.  Approval of DAP by the State first requires approval of the member libraries, which is a matter of timing since some of them meet less frequently than others.  Next is approval by the CEFLS Board of Trustees.  Ewa has learned from the State that since the majority of member libraries have approved DAP and our Board is approving it today, it is approvable by the State.  Approval of the CEFLS Five-Year Plan of Service is dependent upon approval of Direct Access Plan.

Jim Bennett asked Ewa Jankowska if Beekmantown pays money to Plattsburgh Public Library for service since many PPL patrons are from that area and they do not have a library in their town.  Ewa responded that to receive money from areas they are serving that are outside of the City, they have to apply for a public vote.  The Town of Plattsburgh would require a municipal vote and Beekmantown School District would require a school district vote.  This is how the public libraries in Champlain, Mooers and Rouses Point receive funding through their school district.  Ewa has offered some suggestions to Anne de la Chappelle as to how to proceed and Ewa feels that the timing for application is very good right now because the Town and City of Plattsburgh have a very good working relationship.

Motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Lisa Minnich motioned at 5:27 p.m. to enter into Executive Session, seconded by Dorothy Latta, to discuss the Director’s evaluation.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Return to Regular Session

The Board of Trustees returned to Regular Session at 5:50 p.m. with a motion made by Emily Castine, seconded by Jim Bennett.  Motion carried unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Board, Nicky Bryant adjourned the meeting at 5:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Emily Castine

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held January 23, 2017

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, January 23, 2017 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Nicole “Nicky” Bryant.

Nicky invited everyone in the room to introduce themselves stating where they reside and which county they represent for the benefit of Doreece “Darcy” Purick who was a guest at the meeting.  Darcy resides in Clinton County and is a trustee candidate for CEFLS.  Ewa Jankowska stated that a few years ago Darcy worked with CEFLS on an e-Senior Grant that provided computer training for senior citizens in some of the member libraries.  Some of the System’s webpages that were created at that time are still very popular.

Oaths of Office

Lisa Minnich, administered the Oath of Office to Nicky Bryant, first as Trustee for a new five-year term and next as President for a one-year term.  Nicky then administered the Oath of Office to Lisa Minnich as Treasurer, Emily Castine as Secretary and Rita Quinn as Member-at-Large.

Roll Call

Present:  James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Elizabeth “Liz” DeFonce (via video conferencing from Saranac Lake Free Library), Fran Filshie (via video conferencing from Schroon Lake Public Library), Gayla LePage, Dorothy Latta, Phyllis Magnus (via video conferencing from Saranac Lake Free Library), Thomas “Tom” Mandeville, Scott McDonald, Mary “Lisa” Minnich and Rita Quinn

Excused Absence:  Charles “Kip” Thompson

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Director; Michael Spofford, Finance Manager; and Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant

Others Present:  Anne de la Chappelle, PPL Director

Consent Agenda

Dorothy Latta motioned approval of Consent Agenda, which includes the following items, seconded by Gayla LePage: 

  • Approval of today's excused absences

  • Approval of today's agenda as distributed on January 20, 2017

  • Approval of minutes of the November 28, 2016 meeting

  • Committees for which there are no reports as this time: Advocacy, Development, Executive, Health Plan, Negotiating, Personnel, Property and Strategic Planning 

Rita Quinn abstained as she was not present for the November 28, 2016 meeting.  Motion carried. 

Public Comment Period

There were no public comments.

President’s Remarks

At Nicky Bryant’s suggestion, a Sunshine Fund Committee was formed to assist with carrying out the goals of the Sunshine Fund, i.e. purchasing cards, gifts and flowers for qualifying events.  Emily Castine will take care of responsibilities for trustees residing in Clinton County, Gayla LePage will take care of Franklin County and Scott McDonald will take care of Essex County.  If these volunteers are not able to fulfill this duty, they will contact someone who can. 

There are a number of trustees who will not be available to attend a March meeting of the Board of Trustees, so that meeting is cancelled.

Video conferencing from Saranac Lake for the February meeting will not be available.

Financial Report

Michael Spofford reported that the December Financial Reports are preliminary because he is still receiving invoices and charging expenditures back into 2016.

A brief discussion ensued regarding funds that were carried over into 2017 and adjustment of some expenditures, such as certified librarians’ salaries that will reflect percentages coming from Coordinated Outreach Aid and State Correctional Aid. 

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Financial Reports as presented by Michael Spofford, seconded by Rita Quinn.  Motion carried unanimously.

Michael provided a small summary of revenue and expenditures for 2016 for the two Board of Trustee funds, Sunshine and Leadership.  Sunshine Fund began 2016 with $273 and received another $115.  $219.91 was spent, leaving a balance of $168.45.  A suggested donation amount for each trustee is $20, but 100 percent participation is the desired goal.  The fund is for all trustees.   

Gayla LePage asked about the purpose of Leadership Fund.  Michael explained that it is an opportunity for trustees to make a contribution to the System’s collections or programs, specifying how they would like it to be used, i.e. purchase classic books, e-books, or digital audio books and specific genres can be named.  Bookplates can be affixed inside classic books either in memory or honor of a loved one, and for e-books a note can be inserted in the catalog so anyone searching it can see it.  Again, 100 percent participation in Leadership Fund is the goal. 

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska stated that in addition to her written report:

Everyone in the library world is wondering what will happen with library funding with our Country’s new administration. 

In the Governor’s budget, there is a $4,000,000 cut to libraries, so we really need to advocate for it to be reinserted back into the budget.  Libraries are part of education and as such should be given the same increase as schools, which is four percent this year.  Ewa encouraged the Board to use a link created by NYLA that she provided in her written report to send advocacy letters to our elected representatives. 

Ewa is going to Albany on February 28th to attend several meetings and a PAC fundraiser for libraries. Anja Bouchard and Karen Batchelder are going to meet her in Albany on the following day, March 1st, for Library Advocacy (Leg) Day.  This day provides an opportunity to speak with our Senator and sometimes our Assemblymen.  There will be room for passengers in the System’s Equinox to ride with Anja and Karen, and Ewa would love to have CEFLS well represented.

Ewa has scheduled an appointment to meet with our new Assemblyman representing Franklin and Clinton Counties, D. Billy Jones, at his Plattsburgh office.  As a former Franklin County Legislator, he is somewhat familiar with Michael Spofford and Ewa from Budget Hearings when they have presented budget requests for CEFLS.  She would like to tell him a little about what CEFLS is because very often on Legislative Day assembly people are in session and not available for the face-to-face meetings. 

Ewa has done some interesting research involving municipal libraries, like Plattsburgh Public, that get their funding from a municipality.  Library directors report to their Board and very often the municipalities do not understand that and they try to tell libraries who to hire and what to do.  Although Ewa advises libraries of this, it is not very well defined in NYS Law, so Ewa is asking if DLD’s counsel can better define it.

Anja Bouchard has been attending SPARCC meetings (Substance Abuse and Recovery of Clinton County).  As a SPARCC member, CEFLS will be given free Public Service Ads in The Sun which will provide an opportunity to inform the public of services and resources that local libraries offer with regard to this topic.   

The online fundraiser through Adirondack Foundation for e-books and e-audiobooks was not as successful as last year.  This year $400 was raised, whereas last year $750 was raised.  Rita Quinn inquired whether Adirondack Foundation might know of a way that the funds raised could be matched.  Ewa said she could ask Cali Brooks.  Ewa stated that CEFLS spends about $10,000 on e-books yearly and would like to have more available for young adults and children.  Dorothy Latta stated that more education must be done to educate the public about the System.  She feels that many people support their individual library without knowing what the System does for the member libraries and that helping the System helps every member library.  Ewa responded that when staff is out in the community attending meetings, they are good about trying to tell the public what we do but the System is difficult to understand.  Also, the concept of e-books is difficult to understand because the System does not own them. 

 Plattsburgh Public Library Report

Anne de la Chappelle, Director of PPL, reported:

To follow up on e-books, Anne stated that PPL spent $10,000 out of their own book budget last year to support adult fiction popular e-books, with no preferential treatment for their own patrons. 

As the Central Library, Anne is working on Central Book Aid and Central Library Development Aid budgets that will go to both of the Boards for approval. 

Anne is continuing to weed all of the books that we buy with Central Book Aid money.  A lot of the books that are on the shelves are medical books from the 1980s.  When she pulls the outdated books, she shares a list of them with member libraries and advises against taking them. 

The City of Plattsburgh passed its budget with a 6.9 percent tax increase.  PPL is one of the few departments whose budget did not get cut. 

With the weather forecast for an impending storm, PPL has cancelled their Board meeting that was scheduled for tomorrow. 

PPL is getting back into the construction grant swing.  They are replacing a lot of heating units, the men’s bathroom is being remodeled, the young adult room is getting some glass paneling and doors and there will be a new book drop in the building.  Then all the lighting on the main floor will be replaced with LED fixtures. 

PPL is looking for a new person to join their Finance Committee. Their board’s current finance person’s term ends in June, so the new person will be able to work with the current person for a while. 

Dorothy Latta complimented Anne on the recent photograph of Story Hour that was in the Press Republican.  Anne stated that the children’s area is being used more since they have their new children’s librarian.

CEFDA Report

There was no report for CEFDA.

Communications

                                                                                                                                                             Dawn Recore read three communications.

  • A thank you card to the Board of Trustees from Emily Castine in appreciation for the card and flowers she received when she was recently hospitalized

  • A notification from Julie Wever to nine member libraries (AuSable Forks, Champlain, Chateaugay, Chazy, Hammond in Crown Point, Elizabethtown, Mooers, Schroon Lake and Wells Memorial in Upper Jay) that they have been selected to receive 100 free children's books from the Brownstone Foundation

  • A thank you card to Betsy Brooks from Peg Mauer, Director of Goff-Nelson Memorial Library in Tupper Lake, for providing a great day of training

Committee Reports

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee met just prior to this meeting to review the Proposed Budget for 2017 that was provided to all trustees before this full Board meeting.  Lisa Minnich, Chairperson, stated that the Committee would like to adopt the proposed budget as a working budget, knowing that at some point in the future it may be necessary to adjust it.  A motion to adopt the Proposed Budget for 2017 was made by Lisa Minnich, seconded by Gayla LePage.  Motion carried unanimously.

A brief discussion ensued during which Michael Spofford explained:

  •   Inland Marine is the category into which our art and lithographs fall for insurance purposes. 

  • Quarterly cleaning for the stacks appears in the budget at x2, rather than x4, because it actually should be listed as semi-annual cleaning.

Nominating Committee

Emily Castine thanked Tom Mandeville who suggested to a coworker of his, Doreece “Darcy” Purick, that she become a trustee of the CEFLS Board.  A few years ago, Darcy assisted CEFLS with a grant for computer training for seniors at a few of our member libraries. 

Rita Quinn motioned, seconded by Tom Mandeville, to send Darcy Purick’s name to the Clinton County Legislature to request appointment to the Board of Trustees of Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System.  Motion carried unanimously.

Nicky Bryant interjected at this point that there are issues with the tunnel that needs to be filled in, the driveway, and the roof, so she would like the Property Committee to meet soon to assess and prioritize these concerns.  The Property Committee is comprised of Rita Quinn, Jim Bennett and Kip Thompson.  Anyone else who has an interest in this committee is encouraged to become involved.

Old Business

There was no Old Business.

New Business

Fran Filshie motioned approval of Individuals and Institutions with Whom to Conduct Business in 2017 and Individuals to Conduct Business in 2017, seconded by Lisa Minnich.  Ewa Jankowska recapped that included in today’s Board packet is the Code of Ethics Policy and Conflict of Interest Statement that needs to be signed yearly.  The four documents go hand-in-hand.  Motion carried unanimously.

Lisa Minnich interjected at this point that there will be a meeting of the Personnel Committee to discuss the Director’s evaluation on February 1st at CEFLS at 1:00.

Executive Session

Lisa Minnich motioned to go into Executive Session, seconded by Rita Quinn, to:

  • Discuss and approve Memorandum of Agreement

  • Buyout Option for NYSHIP

  • Personal time - changing the language

  • Page's Wage Schedule

  • Salaries of Confidential/Management Staff

  • Discuss and approve three staff promotions

 Motion carried unanimously. 

On behalf of Ewa Jankowska, Nicky Bryant requested that Michael Spofford stay for Discussion and Approval of Memorandum of Agreement.  Executive Session was entered at 5:20 p.m.

Return to Regular Session

The Board of Trustees returned to Regular Session at 5:40 with a motion made by Lisa Minnich, seconded by Emily Castine.  Motion carried unanimously.

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Memorandum of Agreement with the recommendations for Buyout Option for NYSHIP, Personal Time – Changing the Language, and Page’s Wage Schedule that were made in Executive Session, seconded by Scott McDonald.  Phyllis Magnus, Liz DeFonce and Fran Filshie who were attending the meeting via video conferencing at remote locations abstained because they did not have a copy of Memorandum of Agreement.  Motion carried.

Rita Quinn motioned that the salaries for Management/Confidential Staff be increased by three percent, retroactive to January 1, 2017, seconded by Gayla LePage.  Motion carried unanimously.

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of three staff promotions as proposed by the Director, seconded by Rita Quinn.  Motion carried unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Board, Nicky Bryant adjourned the meeting at 5:44 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Emily Castine

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held November 28, 2016

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, November 28, 2016 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Charles “Kip” Thompson, President. 

Roll Call

Present:  Gary Alexander (via video conferencing from Saranac Lake Free Library), James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Elizabeth “Liz” DeFonce, Dorothy Latta, Phyllis Magnus, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville, Mary “Lisa” Minnich and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Excused Absences:  Fran Filshie, Gayla LePage and Scott McDonald

Absent:  Rita Quinn

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Director; Michael Spofford, Finance Manager; and Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant

Others Present:  Merry Gwinn

Consent Agenda

Nicky Bryant motioned approval of Consent Agenda, which includes the following items, seconded by Lisa Minnich: 

  • Approval of today's excused absences

  • Approval of today's agenda as distributed on November 28, 2016 with the following amendment:  Finance Committee has been removed from Consent Agenda to be included under Committee Reports.

  • Approval of minutes of the October 24, 2016 meeting

  • Committees for which there are no reports at this time:  Advocacy, Development, Executive, Health Plan, Negotiating, Property and Strategic Planning

Motion carried unanimously. 

Financial Report

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Financial Reports as presented by Michael Spofford, seconded by Phyllis Magnus. 

Michael Spofford reported that in the October reports, several line items are under budget and about 83.33 percent are at budget.  Currently, we are at 70.14 percent at budget.  The items that are over are in the proposed budget amendment.  All 2016 funding has been received including from the three counties; however, Adult Literacy and Family Literacy do not show in October’s report but will show in November’s report.

Kip Thompson commented that CEFLS is looking good for this time of year and is on fairly solid ground considering it’s been only eight years since the recession.  Ewa Jankowska added that we are still six percent short of the funding received from New York State prior to 2007. 

Motion carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

Kip Thompson welcomed the member of the public in attendance, inviting her if she would like to introduce herself.  Merry Gwinn did so, adding that she is from Schuyler Falls and has been on the Peru Free Library Board though she is resigning from it and has another project that she is eager to begin.  Merry stated that the help that Peru Free Library has received from Julie Wever, David Fuller, Michael Spofford and Anja Bouchard has been invaluable.   

President’s Remarks

Committees:  It was learned that Phyllis Magnus and Liz DeFonce have volunteered for Personnel Committee.  Phyllis also agreed to serve on Advocacy Committee.  Being very familiar with the people of Franklin County, Gayla LePage has expressed interest and will serve on Nominating Committee. 

Holiday Gathering:  Board members will be participating in a holiday gathering with CEFLS staff on December 15th at 2:00.  Everyone is asked to bring a treat to share and there will be ice breakers to help the trustees and the staff to get to know one another.

Snow Removal:  Regarding the fact that only one contractor provided a quote for snow removal for the 2016-17 season, Kip is disappointed and expressed a desire to learn more about hiring snow removal contractors who do not have their own liability or comprehensive insurance.  To follow that up, Michael Spofford has requested information from Gordon Pratt Agency and NY State Insurance Fund.  Both will be getting back to him, but they have already informed him that it would be expensive.  Ewa does not feel that we should involve ourselves in this type of added responsibility.  Kip is concerned that the one business who quoted may know that he is the only bidder.  In response, Dawn Recore stated that she is not sure that was a known factor, but that snow removal at CEFLS is not very desirable as it requires an unusual amount of shoveling and snow blowing and little actual plowing.  Ewa cited the need for a reliable contractor because the City fines land owners who fail to clear their sidewalks, and Rand Hill Lawns has been reliable.  Lisa Minnich commented that the process is similar to requests for other types of quotes for services; sometime you get only one quote.  Dawn hopes that others will help to provide names of possible contractors for next year and she will follow through with all that are provided. 

Nicky Bryant motioned approval of the quote provided by Rand Hill Lawns, Inc. for snow removal for the 2016-2017 season, seconded by Gary Alexander.  Motion carried unanimously.

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska stated that in addition to her written report:

She and Michael have attended budget hearings in Franklin and Essex Counties.  Franklin County will be providing flat funding.  At this morning’s budget hearing in Elizabethtown for the Essex County, Ewa spoke briefly on the services of CEFLS, adding that Essex County has 16 of the 30 member libraries.  Following the meeting a member of Essex County’s Board asked how the other counties are funding CEFLS.  Ewa responded that Clinton County, with only 8 of the 30 libraries, is providing twice as much funding.  She is hopeful that we might get a little more than flat funding.

CEFLS was not awarded the Tobacco Settlement funding from Clinton County for which we had applied.  We had requested about $9,000 for a new “discovery layer” to our catalog on the web, called Enterprise.  The reason for declination that we received was that other counties were not assisting with this cause.  We wrote a letter to thank them for their consideration and let them know that we do ask for assistance for the operating budget from the other counties, but they have no grant funding mechanism that is comparable to Tobacco Settlement funding.  As Enterprise service would really improve catalog searching on the web, we will turn our attention to other funding venues, possibly Betty Little Grant and North Country Library Network.

The new Plan of Service was approved at the September Board meeting, then it was sent to the State Library for their approval.  They sent it back for small corrections.  Now they are asking for changes in the Direct Access Plan that was done in 2014 which would make it specific to the 2017-2021 Plan of Service.  Ewa has made the requested changes and is now waiting for their approval.  After that it must be approved by each member library. 

Each CEFLS trustee has now received an update NYS Library Trustees Handbook.  A big revision involves municipal, special district and school district libraries whose treasurers are not to be board members.  Michael and Ewa will decide how to best address this with the affected libraries. 

While Ewa was in Saratoga, she witnessed a very interesting discussion at a session primarily intended for trustees on how to be a visionary.  Somehow the lengthy discussion turned to trustee duties and responsibilities. The duties are “Care, Loyalty and Obedience” and basically the responsibilities are less like laws and few in number, but broad in scope.

The Adirondack Gives campaign flyer was received by trustees in today’s packets.  The campaign is conducted for CEFLS by the Adirondack Foundation for the purchase of e-books and downloadable audiobooks.  Last year’s campaign that collected about $700 has been very helpful.  From looking at the list from OverDrive, the company that we use for e-books, Ewa Jankowska was very happy to see that some young adult e-books were checked out 64 times, which shows that they are certainly being used.  Unfortunately, they are very expensive and they expire after a period of time. 

At Ewa’s request, there will be a short meeting of the Finance Committee on December 15th at 1:30 p.m. to review the preliminary 2017 budget. 

Plattsburgh Public Library Report

Ewa Jankowska reported for Anne de la Chappele, Director of PPL, in her absence using the written report provided:

PPL’s Board of Trustees meet on November 22nd.

  • It was decided to move forward with plans to construct the Coffee Bar to lease to a vendor.

  • Anne de la Chappelle participated in the local NEA Big Read Community Reading Program book selection committee.  Round House by Louise Erdrich and Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine were selected by the group and a community poll will be used to choose the finalist.

  • PPL hosted a meeting of CEFDA on November 9th.  Revisions to its bylaws and collective e-book purchasing options were discussed.

CEFDA Report

Ewa Jankowska reported for Francie Fairchild, Director of Chazy Public Library, in her absence using the written report provided:

  • CEFDA met at PPL on November 9th.

  • PPL's new children's librarian, Ben Carman, gave a tour of the children's room

  • Reports were given by those who attended the NYLA Conference.

  • CEFDA's bylaws were reviewed and a committee was formed to update them.

  • Jane Bouchard of Schroon Lake will research how e-book buying is funded at other library systems.

Communications

There were no communications.

Committee Reports

Nominating Committee

Slate of Officers for 2017 - In response to Kip Thompson’s request for nominations from the floor for a slate of officers for 2017, there were none, so on behalf of the Nominating Committee, Emily Castine presented the following slate:

President:  Nicky Bryant

Vice President: Charles “Kip” Thompson

Treasurer:  Mary “Lisa” Minnich

Secretary:  Emily Castine

Member-at-Large:  Rita Quinn

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the slate of officers for 2017 as presented by the Nominating Committee, seconded by Jim Bennett.  Motion carried unanimously.

Status of Potential Trustee Candidates – Emily Castine recapped that there are two vacant trustee seats, one for Clinton County and one for Franklin County.  The Nominating Committee is checking on a couple of ideas.  There is a person that Emily has spoken with and she is waiting for a response. She asked Board members to share their thoughts and names of potential candidates.

Liz DeFonce asked if it would be acceptable for her husband to also serve on the CEFLS Board.  He has an MBA and has served on multiple boards.  Ewa will consult with DLD and report back to Emily.

Personnel Committee

Lisa Minnich reported that she and Jim Bennett of the Personnel Committee met briefly prior to this meeting to discuss sharing tools for self-assessment with Board members.  Trustees were asked to review the forms at home for ideas about what members should or could be doing, and bring any questions back to the Board.  The goal is to make each trustee a better member of the Board and the Board stronger.  At a later time, a meeting of a larger group of trustees will be arranged to go over tools for assessing the Director.

Finance Committee

Lisa Minnich reported that the Finance Committee meet to review the proposed changes to the 2016-01 Budget now that all of the funding for 2016 has been received.  Kip Thompson added that the committee asked a fair amount of detailed questions of Michael Spofford, the Finance Manager. 

New Business

Approval of Proposed 2016-01 Budgeted Revenues and Expenditures:  Lisa Minnich moved approval of the proposed 2016-01 Budgeted Revenues and Expenditures, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  Motion approved unanimously.

Approval of Check Signers for 2017:  Lisa Minnich moved approval of Check Signers for 2017, seconded by Liz DeFonce.  Motion passed unanimously.  Kip asked that check signers please stay after the meeting to sign the corresponding bank document.

Approval of Member Library, Central Library and Reading Center Contracts for 2017:  Ewa Jankowska stated that the only change to the contracts is that wording for direct access has been included, per Direct Access Plan, which allows card holders from any library in the system to use any other member library.  Jim Bennett motioned approval of Member Library, Central Library and Reading Center Contracts for 2017, seconded by Phyllis Magnus.  Motioned carried unanimously.

Approval of Service Priorities for 2017 Based on Plan of Service for 2017-2021:  Ewa Jankowska explained that Service Priorities are written by the staff, extrapolating from Plan of Service was already Board approved, to state what will be worked on in 2017 or for a specific set of years, such as years one through five.  Emily Castine motioned approval of Service Priorities for 2017 based on Plan of Service for 2017-2021, seconded by Jim Bennett.  Motion carried unanimously.

Old Business

There was no Old Business.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Board, Kip Thompson adjourned the meeting at 5:22 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held October 24, 2016

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, October 24, 2016 at Plattsburgh Public Library, 19 Oak Street, New York, by Charles “Kip” Thompson, President. 

Roll Call

Present:  Gary Alexander, James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Elizabeth “Liz” DeFonce, Fran Filshie, Gayla LePage, Phyllis Magnus, Scott McDonald, Mary “Lisa” Minnich and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Excused Absences:  Dorothy Latta, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville and Rita Quinn

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Director; Michael Spofford, Finance Manager; and Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant

Others Present:  Anne de la Chappelle, Director, Plattsburgh Public Library

Consent Agenda

Emily Castine motioned approval of Consent Agenda, which included the following items, seconded by Fran Filshie: 

  • Approval of today's absences

  • Approval of today's agenda as distributed on October 24, 2016

  • Approval of Minutes of September 26, 2016 meeting

  • Committees for which there are no reports as this time:  Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiating, Personnel, Property and Strategic Planning

Motion carried unanimously. 

Financial Report

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Financial Reports as presented by Michael Spofford, seconded by Nicky Bryant. 

Michael Spofford reported on the following topics:

With the exception of ten percent of adult and family literacy funding, all 2016 funding has been received.  This is earlier than usual, in part because there were no requests for variances. 

Kip Thompson asked about line item #5102 in the Over and Under Report regarding Compensated Leave Expense.  Michael responded that currently there is $10,000 set aside to pay for unused vacation leave in the event that anyone’s employment ends.

Motion approved unanimously.

Public Comment Period

Anne de la Chappelle welcomed everyone to Plattsburgh Public Library.

President’s Remarks

Away Meetings:  Away meetings are typically held at three member libraries each year between the months of May and October, one each in Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties.  Kip Thompson invited Board members to share their thoughts to find out if they want to continue this practice in 2017.  The consensus seemed to be that although some locations require additional travel, trustees appreciate seeing and learning about member libraries and providing their directors and trustees with an opportunity to learn a little more about the System.  It is also a way to learn about the geographic territory where the System’s van drivers travel each week.  Trustees were asked to let Ewa know if there are any specific libraries where they would like to meet next year.

Committees:  Kip would like trustees to look over the committees list to see where they can volunteer.

  • Lisa Minnich provided an overview of Advocacy Committee.  They met a couple of times this year and came up with some ideas of how the Board can reach out to member libraries and their trustees, basically getting the word out about what CEFLS is, who it helps and what it does.  Fran Filshie suggested meeting briefly next year with member library board presidents to go over the CEFLS Five-Year Plan to show th;em what CEFLS can do for them

  • Nicky Bryant stated that Negotiating Committee basically looks at the CSEA Contract and negotiates its terms with the union, a process that begins with any requests made by the union.  The next negotiations will take place in 2018.

  • Fran Filshie stated that Health Plan Committee is connected to the CSEA Contract so unless it is a negotiating year or the Director feels there is a problem with the Health Plan, this committee is inactive.

  • Lisa explained that the Personnel Committee, currently with four members, could use more.  They are going to be looking at tools with which to evaluate the Director as well as use of a self-evaluation tool for trustees.  A variety of forms will be reviewed to decide what will best meet the needs of CEFLS 

Holiday Party:  Kip asked if there is interest this year in having an interaction with staff toward year-end and how it could be more attractive.  Suggestions were to have it closer to closing time and to do some ice breaker activities to enable people get to know one another better.  It appears the Board is interested in having a staff/board holiday party.  It will be discussed again at next month’s meeting.  In the meantime, Ewa Jankowska has been asked to poll the staff for a day of the week or time of the day that appeals to them. 

Sunshine Fund and Leadership Campaign:  Emily Castine explained that Sunshine Fund is for cards, gifts and flowers for either celebratory purposes or at times of sadness.  In 2016, 13 out of 14 trustees gave, for a 92.9 percent rate of participation.  Contributions of at least $10 each would be appreciated.  Leadership Campaign was explained as an opportunity for Board members, as role models in supporting CEFLS, to donate funds for the purchase of books of any type and to support programs.  In 2016, 10 of 14 trustees gave to this campaign.  Ideally, there would be 100 percent participation with trustees donating at their own comfort level.  Donations for 2017 for both funds can begin at any time.

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska stated that in addition to her written report:

Ewa was an invited guest at a day-long Fall Forum in Plattsburgh for Connecting Business and Education.  The need for skilled workers in the field of manufacturing is clearly evident and it will escalate as the governor’s efforts to bring in more industry continues.  Developing maker spaces in libraries can be helpful in increasing interest in making things and can begin with young children.

Ewa attended a recent Northern Adirondack Library Association (NALA) meeting.  This is a revived forum for all types of librarians, including school and retired, and Ewa feels it can be something very positive and interesting.

Ewa attended the NNYLN Systems’ Directors meeting in Potsdam on October 20th where she distributed CEFLS’ Five-Year Plan and among other things, they talked about Common Core.  An exciting announcement was made that NNYLN will be offering the Press Republican online.

CEFLS was not awarded a grant from Clinton County’s Tobacco Settlement Funds.  Ewa was told that the legislature would appreciate it if the other counties also participated in funding the new CEFLS public catalog portal.  However, grant opportunities in Essex and Franklin Counties are quite different from Clinton County.  Other sources of funding will be pursued for this project.

We are grateful that the City of Plattsburgh will continue to plow snow down the middle section of our driveway as they exit onto Oak Street from behind Plattsburgh Public Library.  CEFLS will still be responsible for having our driveway widened and shoveling our sidewalks and stairs.

Service Priorities for what we are going to do next year based on the Plan of Service will be ready for Board approval at the November meeting. 

Comments Addressed to the Director

Kip Thompson is pleased with the collaborative relationship CEFLS has with the Lake Placid Education Foundation.  In the interest of fostering that relationship, he wonders if it would be possible for one of our Essex County trustees to also serve on the LPEF Board.  Ewa echoed that they are very good to work with.  Jim Bennett suggested having a joint meeting of the LPEF and CEFLS Boards, perhaps held in Lake Placid or Saranac Lake.

Plattsburgh Public Library Report

Anne de la Chappelle, Director of PPL, reported:

Sara Dias has been hired as the new Community Outreach Librarian.

The Marble Machine Society of the mural project held its first meeting in its new headquarters, the former librarian’s office on the second floor. Fourteen people brainstormed possible business/ community partnerships, and design and material options.

Anne met with Paul DeDominica from the Community Development Office to discuss plans to create a Maker Space and Small Business Incubator, an idea that was included in the recent 10 million dollar grant from NYS. 

Weeding of the nonfiction collection is ongoing.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Communications

Dawn Recore read three communications expressing appreciation, each received by e-mail.

The Clinical Education Team from University of Vermont Health Network Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital thanked Ewa Jankowska and the staff for allowing use of the CEFLS Board room on September 12th for a day away from the hospital-setting to focus on planning.

Karen Glass, Director of Keene Valley Library, thanked Julie Wever, David Fuller and the CEFLS staff for the many things they do to make it possible for her to do her job better.

Debbie Mackey, daughter of Bob Welch who is one of the CEFLS van drivers, expressed appreciation to Karen Batchelder for making special Team Bob t-shirts for Bob, his son and herself in honor of Bob’s participation in North Country Honor Flight in September.  She also expressed appreciation to all at CEFLS for the outpouring of love and support on that special day, adding that her father is lucky to work with such great people.

Committee Reports

Nominating Committee

Emily Castine presented a slate of officers for 2017: 

     President:  Nicky Bryant

     Vice President:  Charles “Kip” Thompson

     Treasurer:  Mary “Lisa” Minnich

     Secretary:  Emily Castine

     Member-at-Large:  Rita Quinn. 

The slate will be voted upon at the November meeting.

We are seeking a Clinton County trustee candidate to fill the seat vacated last month by Wally Day.  Also, Gary Alexander’s five-year term will be complete as of December 31, 2016, at which time he will be resigning from the Board.  A search will also begin for a new Essex County trustee candidate. 

Old Business

Approval of adjusted award totals for 2016-2019 Construction Grants:  Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the adjusted award totals for 2016-2019 Construction Grants, seconded by Liz DeFonce.  Ewa explained that it was not possible to award Keene Valley the full amount they requested; however, when Rouses Point Dodge Memorial Library accepted less than planned, Keene Valley was allocated their surplus.  Motion carried unanimously.

New Business

There was no new business.

Executive Session

Emily Castine moved to enter into Executive Session at 3:46 p.m. to discuss a personal matter of a particular individual, seconded by Scott McDonald.  Motion carried unanimously.

Gary Alexander motioned to reenter regular session at 4:50 p.m., seconded by Fran Filshie.  Motion carried unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Board, Kip Thompson adjourned the meeting at 4:51 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held September 26, 2016

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:44 p.m. on Monday, September 26, 2016 at the Chateaugay Memorial Library, 4 John Street, Chateaugay, New York, by Charles “Kip” Thompson, President.  Kip thanked Melissa Erhardt, Director of Chateaugay Memorial Library, for hosting the meeting.

Oath of Office

Kip Thompson administered the Oath of Office as trustee to Gayla LePage.  Gayla will represent Franklin County and completes the slate of trustees from that county.

Roll Call

Present:  Gary Alexander, James “Jim” Bennett (entered at 5:06 p.m.), Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Elizabeth “Liz” DeFonce, Gayla LePage, Phyllis Magnus, Mary “Lisa” Minnich and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Excused Absences:  Emily Castine, Wallace “Wally” Day, Fran Filshie, Dorothy Latta, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville, Scott McDonald, and Rita Quinn

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Director; Michael Spofford, Finance Manager; and Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant

Others Present:  Melissa Erhardt, Director of Chateaugay Memorial Library, and Margaret Carter, Member of the Board of Trustees of Chateaugay Memorial Library

Consent Agenda

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Consent Agenda, which included the following items, seconded by Nicky Bryant: 

  • Approval of today's absences

  • Approval of today's agenda as distributed on September 26, 2016

  • Approval of minutes of the August 22, 2016 meeting

  • Committees for which there are no reports at this time: Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiation, Nominating, Personnel, Property and Strategic Planning.

Motion carried unanimously. 

Financial Report

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Financial Reports as presented by Michael Spofford, seconded by Gary Alexander. 

Michael Spofford reported on the following topics:

  • An up-to-date Grants/Non-Current Aids Report will be ready for the October Board meeting.

  • He will be working to adjust the 2016 and 2017 Budgets in time for a Finance Committee meeting in October that will take place just prior to the full Board meeting.

  • The projected Excellus Health Insurance rates for 2017 have been received. We are awaiting NYSHIP's projections.

  • He is working on accounts receivable and has billed out about $3,000 to member libraries and various entities.

  • We will be asking for an increase to the Small Equipment line item to purchase a Universal Power Supply (UPS).

A brief discussion ensued regarding generators.  At least a couple of member libraries have them.  CEFLS does not and Ewa has been wondering how funding could be obtained.

Motion approved unanimously.

Public Comment Period

Margaret Carter complimented the recent Focus Forum that she attended at Champlain Memorial Library.  She felt Kara Page did an excellent job as moderator.  Kara was contracted by CEFLS with funds obtained through Lake Placid Education Foundation.

President’s Remarks

The October 24, 2016 meeting will take place at Plattsburgh Public Library and will begin at 3:00.  Back in April the Board agreed to hold one meeting in each of our three counties this year.  Kip feels that we have been struggling for two or three years to have a quorum at these “away” meetings.  Without a quorum, voting on agenda items cannot take place.  He suggested that one way to reduce this risk and resulting stress is to not have “away” meetings or to do only one per year in a more central location, such as Lake Placid.  Lisa commented that it is not only “away” meetings that cause concern and that Lake Placid is not a central location for her, adding that traveling to Chateaugay is closer for most trustees than it would be to travel to Akwesasne Cultural Center and Library.  Ewa stated that if we did not have a meeting in March, which is a month when we sometimes have to cancel due to lack of quorum, maybe more people would make sure to attend the April meeting.  Lisa questioned which is more important, having a meeting every month or going to meetings at member libraries.  Phyllis Magnus commented that she likes visiting member libraries and considers it advocating for the System.  Kip brought a close to this discussion adding that this topic will be revisited at the October meeting.

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska apologized for not providing a written report this month due to very busy workloads. Both she and Julie Wever were extremely busy in September and will include written reports for two months in October’s board packet.

Budget applications for 2017 have been delivered to Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties.  Ewa acknowledged the difficult fiscal times that our area is experiencing and asked Board members to please advocate for CEFLS by speaking with their local legislators. 

Members of CEFLS staff were privileged to attend an Honor Flight send-off recently when Bob Welch, one of our coworkers who served in the Korean War, was a participant.  It was a beautiful ceremony and a wonderful experience.  Bob used to be a CEFLS bookmobile driver and for the last several years has been a van delivery driver.

CEFLS hosted a contingent of nurses from UVM-CVPH Medical Center who used our Board room for a day of continuing education.

Anja Bouchard is applying for another NN/LM grant on the topic of mental health and addictions.  If awarded the grant, she will be collaborating with many agencies and health care providers throughout the area. 

Anja will be doing a live NN/LM webinar presentation on September 29th on the emergency preparedness grant that she obtained earlier this year.  The webinar will be archived so those whose schedules do not allow viewing on that day will be able to view it when it is convenient. 

Betsy Brooks is working on an application for a grant for funding from Clinton County Tobacco Settlement.  If a sum is awarded to CEFLS, it will be used to update and upgrade the public library portal so that residents will have improved access to a shared library collection of over 630,000 books, videos, audio books and downloadable media. 

Ewa and Dawn Recore visited Lake Placid Public Library and E.M. Cooper Memorial Library in Wilmington last week.  Ewa spoke with the director at E.M. Cooper Library, Samantha Baer, about possibly making oral history recordings.  Sam used to have a patron who told stories of bootleggers making their way through the Adirondacks, and she feels there are other patrons with stories that should be recorded and catalogued so they can be shared and passed down through history.  In Lake Placid, Director Bambi Pedu has volunteers who are helping to catalog old photographs and documents so they, too, can be shared.

Twenty seven people are attending the NYLA Training for Small Library Directors and Assistants at CEFLS.  Guest instructors are from Albany and classes are going very well.

Ewa attend a 45th Anniversary Celebration at Akwesasne Library and Cultural Center.

There will be a third trustees training with Andy Robinson on October 5th at Schroon Lake Public Library.  Of the 15 people who are signed up to date, the majority are from Schroon Lake and two are from Glens Falls.

At NNYLN’s October 14th meeting which will be held at Malone Country Club, CEFLS will provide a short presentation on the three sessions of NYLA’s training for library assistants and directors of small libraries, which was partially funded by NNYLN.

Ewa will attend a meeting of Systems Directors in Potsdam on October 20th.

There will be a NYLA Conference in Saratoga November 2nd through 4th.  Many CEFLS staff members will be attending various presentations.

Comments Addressed to the Director:

Brief discussion ensued regarding the number of Wead Library hits on the CEFLS website, circulation of best sellers, preference of some people for printed books, convenience of e-books when traveling and expense of non-fiction e-books when they are best sellers.

Plattsburgh Public Library Report

Anne de la Chappelle, Director of PPL, was not present, so taking from her Director’s Report for the September 27, 2016 PPL Board meeting, Ewa Jankowska reported for her.

  • The mural project is expected to cost around $15,000. Anne will help write grants and seek donations to fund the project.

  • Discussion of plans for the café in the library are continuing.

  • Interviews for the Community Outreach Librarian position will be conducted at the beginning of October. In the meantime, they have a temp clerk who has worked at the Keene Valley Library for over a year and is familiar with the circulation system and CEFLS procedures.

  • They have a new temporary part-time Reference Librarian, Allison Benkwitt. She also works at the Plattsburgh State and Champlain College libraries.

  • Sarah Gardner has been hired at PPL's fourth page.

  • Anne is enrolled in a Library Journal online four-week Library Design course.

Discussion then ensued regarding CEFDA and Members Advisory Council (MAC).  Ewa feels that it would be beneficial for MAC to become more organized and active and that it would be helpful to develop bylaws.  It would be a good place for member libraries to make known how CEFLS can help them. 

                                                                                                                                                                     Communications

Dawn Recore read three communications expressing appreciation, each received by email.

  • Jane Bouchard, Director, Schroon Lake Public Library, thanked CEFLS for organizing the Focus Groups, adding that CEFLS already does so much and it is appreciated.

  • Pat Wiley, staff member at Saranac Lake Free Library, thanked Kim Fletcher for a cataloging job that she did.

  • Connie Sullivan, Activities Director, Beekman Towers in Plattsburgh, thanked the Outreach Department for the recent special collection delivery. She said that residents were scarfing them up within minutes, adding that Bob Welch, CEFLS driver, is very welcoming and kind.

Committee Reports

There were no Committee Reports.

Old Business

There was no Old Business.

New Business

CEFLS Draft Plan of Service for 2017-2021:  Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the CEFLS Draft Plan of Service for 2017-2021 and submission of it to NYS Library, seconded by Gary Alexander.   Lisa commented that it was really well done.  Ewa explained that we have to follow a format that is provided by NYS, then over and above that, we prepare yearly Service Priorities and Department Goals.  Motion carried unanimously.

Central Library Plan of Service 2017-2021:  Gary Alexander motioned approval of the Central Library Plan of Service for 2017 and 2021, seconded by Jim Bennett.  There was some discussion about reference on page two to 50 percent satisfaction as being a low figure, to which some trustees  voiced that 50 percent actually is pretty good, given that those who participated in the survey may be difficult to please or just do not have realistic expectations.  Motion carried unanimously.

Copier Lease and Maintenance Agreement:  Nicky Bryant motioned approval of the Copier Lease and Maintenance Agreement as distributed for review prior to this meeting, seconded by Phyllis Magnus.  Michael Spofford had provided performance and price comparisons earlier in the process.  Motion carried unanimously.

Grant Application for Tobacco Money from Clinton County:  Nicky Bryant motioned approval of the Grant Application for Tobacco Settlement Funds from Clinton County, seconded by Lisa Minnich.  If awarded, the funds would be used for a new catalog portal that would provide easy access to e-books, e-magazines and downloadable audio books and would simplify patrons’ login process.  Motion carried unanimously.

Review and Ranking of 2016-2019 Construction Grant Applications:  Nicky Bryant motioned approval of the Ranking of 2016-2019 Construction Grant Applications, seconded by Gayla LePage.  Ewa Jankowska commented that for the last few years, not all of the construction funds were utilized. That is not the case this year.  Nicky Bryant added that next year CEFLS will be applying for construction funds for our own projects.  Motion carried unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Board, Kip Thompson adjourned the meeting at 6:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held August 22, 2016

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, August 22, 2016 at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Vice President. 

Roll Call

Present:  Gary Alexander, James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Elizabeth “Liz” DeFonce, Fran Filshie, Dorothy Latta, Phyllis Magnus, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville, Scott McDonald, Mary “Lisa” Minnich and Rita Quinn

Excused Absences:  Wallace “Wally” Day and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Director; Michael Spofford, Finance Manager; and Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant

Others Present:  Anne de la Chappelle, Plattsburgh Public Library Director

Consent Agenda

Nicky Bryant recapped Consent Agenda as including the following items: 

  • Approval of today's absences

  • Approval of Today's agenda distributed August 19, 2016

  • Approval of minutes of the July 25, 2016 meeting

  • Committees for which there are no reports at this time:  Development, Executive, Health Plan, Negotiation, Personnel, Property and Strategic Planning

  • Communications - There are none.

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Consent Agenda, seconded by Fran Filshie.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Report

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Financial Reports as presented by Michael Spofford, seconded by Jim Bennett. 

Michael Spofford reported on the following topics:

  • The annual audit and the 2016 IRS Form 990 have been completed.  The Board will be asked later in this meeting for a resolution to approve them.

  • Michael will be working with the Finance Committee, now that the 2015 numbers are known, to provide finalized 2015 reports.  He will also be working on amending the 2016 budget.  With receipt of most of the 2016 funding and about eight months of expenditures having been incurred, the final four months should be rather easy to forecast.

 Motion approved unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were none.

Vice President’s Remarks

The September 26, 2016 meeting will take place at Chateaugay Memorial Library and the October 24, 2016 meeting will take place at Plattsburgh Public Library.  Nicky Bryant opened discussion regarding beginning these meetings at an earlier than usual time for the benefit of those who will be traveling long distances; however, some trustees will either not be able to attend the September meeting or will not be able to be there earlier than usual.  Discussion of quorum ensued, and it was decided to leave the September 26 meeting at 4:30.  Nicky suggested that trustees could meet in Plattsburgh to carpool to Chateaugay.  For the October meeting, Anne de la Chappelle stated that PPL closes at 5:00 and since meetings are open to the public she would like to have that meeting begin at an earlier time.  By general consensus, it was approved to begin the October 24 meeting at 3:00.  Video conferencing will not be available for either “away” meeting.

Director’s Report

In addition to Ewa Jankowska’s written report, she added:

At least 20 people have registered for the NYLA training for small library directors and assistants that will be held at CEFLS on three consecutive Tuesdays, beginning September 13th.  Instructors from Albany will be covering topics of all types that are covered in library school but in less depth. 

Everyone is invited to check out the new series of LibGuides on the CEFLS website.  A very good topic on job searching has been recently added..

CEFLS ordered, paid for and received three boxes of Handbooks for Library Trustees with the goal of distributing them during any kind of trustee training that we have.

The CEFLS library consultants will attend a Trustee Educators Meet Up in Albany at the end of September sponsored by New York Library Association.  We might be able to contribute to some changes. 

We have had three Focus Groups on System’s services for member library directors and correctional institution librarians, moderated by Kara Page.  A fourth Focus Group will take place this Wednesday at Champlain Memorial Library.  Discussion outcomes will help us to write our Plan of Service.  

Ewa attended a two-day NYALS Conference last week that included school library systems, public library systems and 3Rs.  3Rs are research library systems that serve as kind of umbrella organizations above the other two types of systems.  There was a POLISDO meeting with library systems directors, where there was discussion with no consensus regarding minimum standards.  The most difficult issues were with very tiny libraries.  Many would like directors of small libraries with below 2,500 service population to go from having no minimum standard of education to having one year of college.  Ewa does not think that is reasonable for people who are working for minimum wage.  Discussion will continue at the NYLA Conference in November.  There was also a meeting with Bernie Margois, the NYS Librarian.  He would like to increase the construction grant to $25,000,000 and he is talking about the state-wide e-book platform again.  Also, the State Library is trying to find state funds to finance NOVELny. databases that have been, so far, funded by federal money. 

A knowledgeable young woman who is the POLITICO correspondent in Albany was a guest speaker at NYALS.  She talked about the state political arena.  She did not think Governor Cuomo will run again because he will not want to deal with the $400,000,000 deficit in 2018 that she foresees due to NYS running on surplus money now.  To relate this to CEFLS, Ewa stated that we need to be very careful how we spend, and due to impending construction needs, she feels that we should apply in the next round of construction applications.  Prioritization of several projects needs to be determined; the roof, filling in the tunnel, resurfacing of the driveway.

Guidelines for dealing with the opiate legislation are still being worked on by a government relations person at NYLA, Mike Neppl.  We are thinking that CEFLS could offer training to member library staffs on the use of Narcan, even though participation in the program would be optional.

NYLA is sponsoring a study evaluating what libraries and systems provide and how to put a value on services.  Methodology is a problem, but progress is being made.  Ewa’s concern is how to value consulting, such as what CEFLS provides to very small libraries which in turn makes them more professional.   

Questions and Comments Addressed to the Director:

Lisa Minnich asked how successful the Focus Groups have been.  Ewa responded that CEFLS is not participating because we want people to feel free to discuss issues, but we understand the groups are going well.  Kara Page, the moderator, will provide a report after the final Focus Group takes place, probably at the beginning of September.  We will then have a very short period of time to actually complete the Plan of Service. 

Rita Quinn asked if the CEFLS property boundaries were ever cleared up since the tree the fell on the fence last year.  Ewa stated that the tree that fell belonged to the property behind PPL, and went on to say that she is hopeful that we can learn more by asking the city about the Plattsburgh Public Library boundaries and then figuring out where our boundaries are. 

Rita asked how Ewa would propose to move forward with the analysis of what construction projects need to be addressed first.  Ewa responded that she is hoping to get some help from the Property Committee.  We basically know that the roof should be the first project.  The tunnel that passes under the driveway is of concern, as is the lack of a handrail along the loading dock in the garage.  A few years ago, Andy Abdallah, an engineer and a founding partner of Architectural and Engineering Design Associates, looked at the tunnel and he found it to be sound at that time.  Ewa wonders if another opinion is warranted because it seems that the driveway is a little concave.  Regarding construction grants for CEFLS, as opposed to construction grants for member libraries, CEFLS cannot get 75 percent with 25 percent matching funds, but would get a 50 percent match, so there is a question of how much we can spend.  Ewa feels it is important to have a plan and to apply for a grant in 2017 before there are cuts in the NYS budget.  Rita Quinn would like to join the four trustees who are currently on the committee

Plattsburgh Public Library Report

Anne de la Chappelle, Director, stated that PPL owns a very small piece along the side of their building and their property ends near the rotunda.  She stated that the whole part of the driveway coming into the corner and all down the side belongs to CEFLS.  She stated that the city is plowing the entire driveway and they are realizing now that it is not all their property.  PPL’s allocation in the city’s 2017 budget is back to 2008’s level, so they are running very lean and she feels that snowplowing of the driveway will be a future issue. 

Construction money has been very helpful to implement work at PPL that had been delayed or deferred.  They are now doing a cost benefit analysis of grants they are considering, to figure out who would actually manage them (hire and supervise contractors).  PPL is up-to-date on past construction grants and is ready to begin work with last year’s funding.    

They are investigating possibility of doing an art mural on the south side of the building.

Caleb Mosier, the adult services librarian, has resigned.  This is a great opportunity to continue to evolve and look at hiring more of an outreach services coordinator/technology person who can really get out into the community and also do marketing.

Anne participating in the Focus Group that was held in Willsboro.  There was very positive, productive discussion. 

PPL has received grants from Kiwanis and Lake Placid Education Foundation to purchase items for the Kids Room, for which they did not incur a lot of overhead. 

PPL is working on securing their website.  They are getting ready to accept on-line payments so that will involve working with the vendor as well as with the layer that will be added to the circulation system.  They may end up piggy backing on the city’s website so that the city can do all the site security and updates.

Anne has created a PC replacement schedule so they have been allocating money for computers each year and prioritizing which computers to replace.

Committee Reports

Finance Committee

Everyone received for review prior to this meeting a copy of the Financial Statements and Audit completed by Martindale Keysor for December 31, 2015 and 2014 and IRS Form 990.  Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the independent audit and submission of IRS Form 990, seconded by Fran Filshie.  Just before this meeting, the Finance Committee met with a representative from Martindale Keysor & Company who reviewed the report basically line by line.  Overall, as in past years, the report is very positive.  They didn’t find any missing money or deficiencies in the management of finances.  We do not have plans for amortizing retirement costs, so they can’t say that we have a plan

to make sure that retirees get paid forever.  The only expense that we incur after staff retires is their health insurance premium that is impossible to predict.  Michael has contacted someone to look at developing a plan; however, our auditor didn’t agree with the plan, so even if someone was hired at a prohibitive cost, it seems that it would not really be worth doing. 

Nicky Bryant added that not having such a plan doesn’t put employees’ retirement benefits at risk and Lisa added that there is no penalty for not having plans for amortizing retirement costs.   

Motion carried unanimously. 

Nominating Committee

Emily Castine has learned that a colleague from the NYS Retired Teachers Association who hails from North Bangor, Gayla LePage, would like to serve on the CEFLS Board of Trustees.  Her letter of intent and resume were provided for review.  Emily motioned that Gayla LePage’s name be forwarded to the Franklin County Board of Legislators for consideration of appointment to the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System Board of Trustees, seconded by Lisa Minnich. 

Motion carried unanimously. 

Old Business

There was no Old Business.

New Business

National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region grant application for emergency preparedness project:  Ewa Jankowska explained that this is the second part to the tablet project that Anja Bouchard has already done.  CEFLS may or may not be awarded this grant, but after speaking with a few library directors, we are trying to combine the emergency preparedness part with general security precautions so that libraries can be secure. 

Emily Castine motioned approval of the grant application for the emergency preparedness project, seconded by Lisa Minnich.  In response to Gary Alexander’s request for more information on preparedness, Ewa explained that we want libraries to be a center of information regarding different aspects of disasters, even cyber security.  Anja is trying to engage different organizations who can instruct on various security topics at workshops.

We would like for libraries to each have a disaster preparedness plan, with security being a part of that. While speaking at a Rotary meeting, Andrew Wylie, District Attorney, spoke of the increase in local drug use and drug manufacturing, which in turn creates unsafe situations where drug users will do almost anything to acquire money to obtain more drugs.  Rita Quinn stated that the presence of Narcan in libraries will lead to a very different clientele being aware of the library, which is another issue in addition to training people to administer Narcan.  Rita feels this needs to be another component to security analysis. 

Motion carried unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Board, Nicky Bryant adjourned the meeting at 5:18 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held July 25, 2016

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:29 p.m. on Monday, July 25, 2016 at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Charles “Kip” Thompson, President. 

Roll Call

Present:  Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Elizabeth “Liz” DeFonce, Dorothy Latta, Phyllis Magnus, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville, Scott McDonald, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Rita Quinn and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Excused Absences:  Gary Alexander, James “Jim” Bennett, Wallace “Wally” Day and Fran Filshie

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Director; Michael Spofford, Finance Manager; and Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant

Consent Agenda

Kip Thompson recapped Consent Agenda as including the following items: 

  • Approval of today's absences

  • Approval of today's agenda distributed July 25, 2016

  • Approval of minutes of the June 27, 2016 meeting

  • Committees for which there are no reports at this time:  Development, Executive, Health Plan, Negotiation, Personnel, Property and Strategic Planning

  • CEFDA

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Consent Agenda, seconded by Rita Quinn.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Financial Report

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Financial Reports as presented by Michael Spofford, seconded by Nicky Bryant. 

Michael Spofford reported on the following topics:

  • A little over $800,000 in 2016 Basic and Supplemental Aid from NYS has been received, so the line-of-credit will not be accessed and the 2016 budget will be revised.

  • The annual outside audit began last Friday and is being done by Martindale, Keysor and Co., PPLC.

  • The Board will be asked to approve the 2017 Tentative Draft Budget today.  It will likely be revised later this year.

  • Included in this month's financial reports is a Quarterly Accounts Payable and Receivable Report.

Motion approved unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were none.

President’s Remarks

Kip Thompson commented on the following topics:

The September Board of Trustees meeting will take place at Chateaugay Memorial Library.

There was a feeling a while ago that CEFLS was in crisis because NYS had not released the 2016 Basic and Supplemental Aid.  It was due to careful planning that the line-of-credit did not have to be accessed.

Director’s Report

In addition to Ewa Jankowska’s written report, she added:

Funding from NYS was received following the submission and approval of the CEFLS Annual Report and the signing of an assurance by Ewa that the Central Library spent 2015 CLDA and CBA funds appropriately.

We will be requesting approval of the Central Library’s 2016 budgets for CBA and CLDA later in this meeting.

We will be offering a very exciting training opportunity in September for library assistants or small library directors.  The dates and times are September 13, 20 and 27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  With the assistance of the Lake Placid Education Foundation and NNYLN, each person attending will receive $100 off the fee.  Lunch will be provided.

Three focus groups have been arranged for member library directors to discuss openly positives and negatives and what they would like to see CEFLS do for libraries in the next five years, with regard to the Plan of Service.  We are hopeful that one more session will take place in the northern tier.

Julie Wever and Ewa visited Mooers Free Library.  They are hopeful that the new director will attend the library assistants’ training in September.  Mooers is a one-person library, operating currently with no or little volunteer help, which makes it very challenging for the director to attend trainings, meetings or other special events.

Julie, the Outreach Department and Suzanne Orlando, the librarian at Ray Brook Correctional Facility, have created a booklet targeting adult new learners and job seekers in the three county area, along with a Power Point presentation that can be used with community service groups.  This community service project was funded by Year Three of the current Adult Literacy Grant.

Several staff members made plans to staff a table and provide children’s activities at the recent Mayor’s Cup Celebration in Plattsburgh.  A large photo-op board was created by Anja Bouchard to go along with this year’s Summer Reading theme On Your Mark, Get Set…Read!  A children’s obstacle course, bookmarks and other handouts were also prepared.  Soon after the event began, a big rain storm moved in so that was the end of our participation.  Since then, Anja has repurposed the photo- op board, changing its theme to the very popular Pokemon Go, and on nice days, the board is placed the front yard at 33 Oak Street.  The revitalized popularity of this game has created a lot of additional foot traffic in front of CEFLS, as we are a Pokemon Gym.

Questions and Comments Addressed to the Director:

Kip Thompson inquired about the recent legislation allowing for the administration of Narcan at public libraries.  Ewa responded that she has been seeking additional guidance from reliable library sources and learned that administering the drug would be entirely volunteer and training would be required.  It is not known yet who would bear the expense of the training and for the Narcan itself.

There was a brief discussion on the Active Shooter training that Anja Bouchard and Dawn Recore recently attended.  Dawn reiterated that this type of disaster can happen anywhere at any time, and if it does happen, the three steps to remember are run, hide and as a last resort only fight.

Ewa would like to get a second grant from the National Network Libraries of Medicine that would allow CEFLS to offer an active shooter training to go along with the previous disaster preparedness tablet project. 

Plattsburgh Public Library Report

Anne de la Chappelle was not present for the meeting, so Ewa Jankowska recapped highlights from Anne’s report for PPL’s Board of Trustees meeting that will take place on July 26, 2016.

200 children registered for the summer reading program.

To further their ongoing construction projects, they will be applying for a 75-25 percent matching construction grant.

Ewa commented that it will be necessary to use criteria for ranking construction grant applications because libraries are seeking more funding than there are funds available.  The Board will be asked to approve the criteria later in this meeting. 

Discussion ensued with interest in learning how much has been spent to improve libraries in the system over the past 5 or 10 years.  Ewa will try to prepare a report to compare where libraries were then and where they are now.

Communications

Dawn Recore read a thank you e-mail message received by Karen Batchelder from Debbie Alexander of the Clinton County Senior Citizens Council.  Karen and David Fuller participated in seven Lunch and Learn programs at nutrition site locations at Beekman Towers, Rouses Point, Peru, Dannemora, Ellenburg Center, Lakeview Towers on Flynn Avenue in Plattsburgh and the Clinton County Senior Citizens Council on North Catherine Street in Plattsburgh. They told the seniors about the resources and services that are available through CEFLS and member libraries and handed out informational material to be used for reference in the future and to also share with family and friends.  Karen and David came away with positives after each experience.  For example, the first location is now receiving a small rotating collection so that the tenants and those attending the site for lunch have access to large print books and CD format audiobooks. 

Committee Reports

Finance Committee

2017 Preliminary Draft Budget:  Lisa Minnich and Nicky Bryant of the Finance Committee met with Michael Spofford and Ewa Jankowska prior to this meeting to review the 2017 Preliminary Draft Budget.  Lisa stated that it is tentative and based on numbers in this year’s tentative draft budget for which NYS funding was just received.  It is recognized that Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties are experiencing difficult financial challenges.  Lisa motioned approval of the 2017 Preliminary Draft Budget with one change on page one, Approved 2015 Budget should read Approved 2016 Budget, seconded by Rita Quinn. 

Kip questioned what appears to be a significant reduction in spending on computer software.  Michael stated that some software purchases are covered under grants rather than aid, such as Contact Café through EBSCO for $990.  It is a software program that shows all the book covers in our catalog system at less expense than the company we have been using.  Considerable savings are also achieved through Tech Soup, a software foundation started by Bill Gates Foundation that offers enormous discounts to libraries. 

In response to Dorothy Latta’s quest to learn more about what CEFLS can do for county jails, Michael stated that we purchase books and serials.  Ewa added that when we have donations, we pass them along to the jails. 

Kip is pleased to see the increase in number of professional conferences and meetings that are attended and memberships held by staff.  Michael stated that a NYLA membership for $600 that includes all the staff has been included in the 2017 Tentative Draft Budget.  It will allow for significant savings when registering for NYLA events.

Motion to pass the 2017 Tentative Draft Budget carried unanimously.

Funding Requests for the Counties:  Based on the recommendation of the Finance Committee, Lisa Minnich motioned approval of requesting flat funding from Franklin County for 2017, based on the knowledge that they are experiencing very challenging times, and a three percent increase in funding from Clinton and Essex Counties.  Rita Quinn seconded. 

Ewa Jankowska will emphasize to the counties when she hand delivers their funding requests the importance of the Maintenance of Effort clause in NYS Education Law that states that if local funding is cut more than five percent, then State funding would be cut by 25 percent.  New pamphlets specific to each county and highlighting the services provided to each will be presented with the funding requests.    

Ewa offered for comparison sake that in 1970 Franklin County provided $15,000 to CEFLS, and in 2014 they provided $14,489.  Not taking inflation into consideration, this is even less than 44 years ago. 

Motion carried unanimously.

Nominating Committee

Emily Castine stated that while attending the NYS Retired Teachers Association meeting in Utica recently, she spoke with a woman, Gayla LaPage, who she feels would be an excellent CEFLS trustee candidate.  Ms. LaPage expressed interested and will give it serious consideration.  In about a month Emily expects to know her decision. 

From a list of potential trustee candidates in 2013, Dawn Recore provided Emily with the name of a potential candidate who is also from Franklin County.  The person expressed interest to Martha Spear who was on the Nominating Committee at that time.  Lisa Minnich suggested contacting Wead Library in Malone to see if the librarian knows this person.

Emily asked everyone to keep looking for trustee candidates from Franklin County.

Old Business

There was no Old Business.

New Business

Ranking Criteria for 2016-2017 Public Library Construction Grants:  Nicky Bryant motioned approval of the Ranking Criteria for 2016-2017 Public Library Construction Grants, seconded by Emily Castine.  The grants may provide 75 percent of construction costs.  When libraries apply, they have to guarantee that they will be able to meet the 25 percent match.  This year there are more applications than available money.  The proposed ranking criteria was prepared by Julie Wever based on NYS’s guidelines and her own extensive experience.  Among other criteria, association libraries will be given priority due to their limited funding options.  Dorothy Latta suggested adding weighting to each of the criteria, up to five points each, with two individuals assigning points for further objective rationale.  Then points would be added to make determinations.  Ewa asked if in the interest of time the Board could approve the ranking criteria as is with possible amendment next month.  Ewa went on to say that if libraries can add a technology component to their construction plan, they can apply to Woods Foundation or Adirondack Foundation.  Motion carried unanimously.

Central Book Aid (CBA) Budget 2016:  Motion to approve Central Book Aid Budget 2016 was made by Lisa Minnich, seconded by Rita Quinn.  Ewa Jankowska stated that basically NYS requires that expenditures are for adult nonfiction and they must be approved by the Director of the System.  They can be any combination of databases, e-magazines, print books, e-audiobooks, and e-books.  To purchase regular books and e-books, the PPL Director first sends a list to the Member Libraries Advisory Council and to Ewa.  Titles are reviewed, removing anything that is not adult nonfiction before purchases are made. 

Kip expressed surprise that e-magazines, available through Flipster, can be purchased with CBA. Ewa responded that some children’s e-magazines are purchased by CEFLS. Flipster can be accessed through the website of CEFLS and member library websites.  Motion carried unanimously.

Central Library Development Aid (CLDA):  Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Central Library Development Aid 2016, seconded by Phyllis Magnus.  Ewa stated that use of CLDA has been a trying issue.  PPL is getting $94,000 as a Central Library for services available to all member libraries.  Specifically, there are formulas for figuring the number of hours the Central Library spends on collection development and maintenance, interlibrary loan request processing, reference services, a partial share of employee benefits and for additional hours open beyond the mandated number. 

Additionally, CEFLS will pay for Syndetics software for the integrated Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) and Niche Academy annual subscriptions.  Niche Academy offers online tutorials on how to use OverDrive and some of the online databases.

One of uses of CLDA that Ewa would like to see is training for member libraries. 

Motion carried unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Board, Kip Thompson adjourned the meeting at 5:39 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held June 27, 2016

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:36 p.m. on Monday, June 27, 2016 at the Keene Valley Library Association, 1796 Route 73, Keene Valley, New York, by Charles “Kip” Thompson, President.  Kip thanked Karen Glass and Bill Reed of Keene Valley Library for hosting the meeting.  Everyone introduced themselves, stating what their role is at either Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System or at Keene Valley Library.  Bill Reed welcomed everyone and expressed appreciation for all that the CEF Library System does for Keene Valley Library, particularly for assistance pertaining to their construction projects.

Roll Call

Present:  Gary Alexander, James “Jim” Bennett, Emily Castine, Elizabeth “Liz” DeFonce (entered 4:38 p.m.), Fran Filshie, Dorothy Latta, Phyllis Magnus (entered 4:38 p.m.), Scott McDonald, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Rita Quinn (entered 4:38 p.m.), and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Excused Absences:  Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Wallace “Wally” Day and Thomas “Tom” Mandeville

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Director; Michael Spofford, Finance Manager; and Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant

Also Present:  Karen Glass, Director of Keene Valley Library Association; Bill Reed, President of the Board of Trustees of Keene Valley Library Association; and David Minnich.  There was also one unnamed member of the public present.

Consent Agenda

Kip Thompson recapped Consent Agenda as including the following items: 

  • Approval of today's absences

  • Approval of today's agenda

  • Approval of minutes of the May 23, 2016 meeting

  • Committees for which there are no reports at this time: Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiation, Nomination, Personnel, Property and Strategic Planning

  • Communications

Rita Quinn motioned approval of Consent Agenda, seconded by Emily Castine.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Report

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Financial Reports as presented by Michael Spofford, seconded by Fran Filshie. 

Michael Spofford called attention to the new Revenue vs. Expenditure Summary Code Detail on pages 37 and 38 of the packet that lists the various categories.  Once a quarter, he would like to submit an explanation of a different financial report. 

Michael stated that Franklin County has requested the CEFLS 2017 budget request no later than August 2, 2016.  Prior to the July Board meeting, there will be a Finance Committee meeting to discuss the 2017 budget.  Planning the budget will be very challenging because the 2016 NYS funding has not been received and its exact amount is not known.

Kip Thompson stated for the benefit of the members of the public in attendance that the Summary Year-to-Date Report through the end of May shows $78,000 in revenue and $376,000 in loss.  When the NYS funding is received sometime between now and September, the numbers will look much healthier.

Kip asked about percentages used in the Grants/Non-Current Aid Status Report, found in the last column, that are below 56-57 percent, such as State Correctional Aid – Grants 2014, which shows that only 46 percent has been spent.  Michael explained that with State Corrections Grant, 70 percent is for overhead costs, 30 percent is for program.  We have a very large McNaughton bill that comes in every fall for leased books for Correctional Institutions.  The County Jail aid is usually used for serials, for which an EPSCO invoice was just received for magazines to begin in the fall, so that expense will be encumbered.  Regarding Adirondack Foundation that is showing 41 percent used, Michael stated those funds are being used for programs, such as the Andy Robinson training of which there will be one more, as well as a couple other programs in the fall for which these funds are encumbered.  Adult Literacy 2016 will be 100 percent encumbered after Michael meets with Betsy Brooks and Julie Wever soon to decide how to spend the balance in preparation for the final report that is due to NYS in July. 

Kip then asked about State Correctional Aid – O (Overhead) and State Correctional Aid – P (Program).  Michael explained that they appear in italics on the Grant/Non-Current Aid Status Report because we do not know how much aid will be received so for now he is working with last year’s figures.

Michael stated that as viewed on the financial reports, funds are getting low.  We are spending very carefully so as to avoid the finance charges that would be incurred if our line of credit is used in the interim until State funding is received in August or September.  There are also reserve funds for building projects that will not be undertaken for some time and from which we could borrow if necessary, then reimburse the funds when the State funding is received.

Kip responded to a question of Dorothy Latta’s, saying that CEFLS cannot by law invest in anything other than a CD which earns next to nothing.  Discussion ensued regarding what CEFLS is by definition.  We are an educational corporation, fall under Civil Service with a mostly unionized staff, and not-for-profit, yet when the matter is pursued, there is no clear definition to be had. 

Motion to approve the Financial Reports carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

Karen Glass commented that she really appreciates that CEFLS does not fundraise on Keene Valley’s turf, although CEFLS has no turf other than library turf, further stating that the CEFLS Board has always been especially considerate of this.  Kip stated that the need is certainly there; for instance if there is a dip in funding to CEFLS by NYS or the counties, even if there were years and years of fundraising, there would not be the capability to keep even one person from being laid off.  However, fundraising might be able to save a program or two, so at some point he would like to see CEFLS do some type of fundraising.  

President’s Remarks

At Kip Thompson's request, Dawn Recore provided a little information that she learned at a Friends Group organizational seminar at Plattsburgh Public Library in the Spring.  She stated that there is not a system in NYS that has a friends group, though the seminar presenters felt that it could be done.  There are many considerations to starting a Friends Group, such as finances, legal aspects, committees, and volunteer management.  Becoming members of NYLA would provide support for several of these considerations, but is not mandatory for groups who want to be autonomous.  Dawn passed out handouts provided at the training, stating that there are many valuable links found within.

Kip stated that he feels that fundraising and advocacy would be the top two priorities of a Friends Group and that you can’t have too many library advocates.  He recounted for those who were not present several years ago when Essex County was planning to eliminate funding to CEFLS and library advocates attended a county meeting to show support and speak on behalf of libraries and the system.  As a result, Essex County did include in their budget flat funding for CEFLS that year.  Ewa added that while local funding from the three counties is a small portion of our budget, NYS Education Law, Maintenance of Effort clause states that if local funding is cut more than five percent, then CEFLS’s funding from the State is cut by 25 percent.  With local funding at about $15,000 and NYS funding at about $250,000, it is clear how cuts to local funding would seriously impact CEFLS.

Director’s Report

In addition to Ewa Jankowska’s written report, she added:

As Michael Spofford already said, a letter has been received from Franklin Country requesting our funding request for 2017 by August 2nd.  For the 2016 year, Franklin County unexpectedly provided a five percent increase.  For 2017, because Franklin County is having significant budget challenges, Ewa would like to request no increase and no decrease.  That would safeguard NYS funding with regard to NYS Education Law, Maintenance of Effort clause.  Lisa Minnich stated that Franklin County is in a similar situation as CEFLS.  They are having to prepare their budget without knowing when monies owed to them by NYS for social services provided will be received. 

Our Literary Luncheon in June was minimally successful.  Attendance was about half of what it was for the luncheon in 2015.  We were fortunate to have a couple of people who were not able to attend but sent donations that enabled others to do so who might not have otherwise been able to.  We are thinking of having the next luncheon in the autumn of 2017 and maybe in Lake Placid.  For the next time, Ewa is asking trustees to each buy one ticket even if they are not available to attend or extend a personal invitation to someone else.  Ewa reported that those who attended really enjoyed Nicki Kourofsky, the author of Adirondack Outlaws: Bad Boys and Lawless Ladies and editor of Adirondack Life magazine.

The newest edition of the Trailblazer has been distributed.  It features some new databases and resources as well as articles submitted by many of the libraries.  

We are seriously working on the Plan of Service.  Using Google Docs, Ewa has broken the Plan into parts saved in folders, including one with reference materials and another for comments, and sent them to trustees and member library directors.  Anyone wishing to comment or ask questions is encouraged to do so.

We are in the final stages of planning focus groups with Kara Page of the Wild Center in Tupper Lake where she is a fundraiser.  What we learn at the focus groups will be incorporated into our Plan of Service that must be written by September.  There will be a focus group in each of the three counties, with a grant covering expenses.  Hopefully participation will be good, with good dialog to help us understand how to better serve libraries. 

Ewa got a phone call from Senator Little’s office advising her that each library is getting $2,500 in Bullet Aid, as they did last year.  She learned that the system can request Bullet Aid next year by writing a letter to the Senator.

Betsy Brooks’ department report talks a little bit about Discovery layers, which are software products that enhance the library catalog.  When searching the catalog, you see Horizon Information Portal (HIP) which is outdated because it is not being updated by SirsiDynix.  An option would be to get a new Discovery layer, called Enterprise, which would help to “discover” the catalog and give access to other digital resources, like e-books and databases.  It is expensive, costing about $18,000.  Ewa is going to ask Senator Little about requesting Bullet Aid for this purpose and she is going to speak with Mike Zurlo at Clinton County with regard to requesting tobacco money.  More investigation will go into Discovery layers, and maybe a product of a company other than SyrsiDynix will be chosen.  Maintenance costs will be figured into the decision. 

We are going to participate again in the Mayor’s Cup events on July 9th.  We have invited member libraries to participate or provide their summer reading program brochures for our table display. 

Questions and Comments Addressed to the Director:

Kip stated that the last time we worked on a future Plan, we had a subcommittee and he asked if we would be doing that this year.  Ewa responded that when we did the last Plan of Service, we had Ginny Brady, from PPL Board of Trustees, who was very helpful.  This year, Richard Schaefer and Jennifer Creedon from PPL Board were invited to participate as well as the CEFLS trustees and the Members Advisory Committee.  Dorothy Latta, Nicky Bryant and Lisa Minnich have volunteered.  Input from more would be appreciated. 

Plattsburgh Public Library Report

Anne de la Chappelle, Director of PPL, reported on:

  • Receipt of $2,500 in Bullet Aid from Senator Little

  • Receipt of $500 grant from Stewart's Shops for the Summer Reading Program

  • Outside Art group might do a mural on the south brick wall of the library to add color without signage.

  • Friends of the Library are doing their book sale on July 9th, with another sale in October.

  • PPL is researching ways to make it easier for patrons to pay fines and pay for lost books and damaged material.  Currently, checks and cash are accepted.  They are investigating additional payment options including Horizon, the OPAC circulation system which has an add-on layer called Blue Cloud that works with a credit card processing company and can be turned on for whichever libraries want it.

  • PPL is starting some long-range discussion planning, beginning with an updated Mission Statement.  With a new Board and Anne having been there three years, she feels they know where they want to go and can begin moving in that direction little by little.

  • TECH Soup, provider of software to libraries at a discounte4d rate, has an offer right now for mobile hot spots that can be lent to the public.  There is an administrative charge to buy the units and then phones and Internet service have yearly fees.  Anne is preparing a proposal for her Board for possibly five of these at a cost of $600.  PPL would have a policy that would determine how long patrons could check them out for.  The hot spots would encourage use of library technology and be good for people in Plattsburgh who do not have Internet service. 

  • PPL is starting to work on their Plan of Service which has to dovetail with the System's in terms of the Central Library piece.

CEFDA

Anne de la Chappelle reported that topics at the most recent CEFDA meeting included:

  •  Libraries are looking at  how to arrange children's books.  How children look for books and how library staff find books for interlibrary loan fed into the discussion.

  • The roles of the Central Library, the System and member libraries and how they work together so they don't duplicate services and duties were discussed, including the purchasing of digital material, e-books (adult and children), nonfiction materials, and children't books.  PPL has been buying a lot of popular fiction e-book titles at $84 each and has spent as much of their book budget as they can devote this year, $6,000.  Anne feels that when e-books are purchased, they are owned by the System's OverDrive database, so she feels that PPL basically gave $6,000 worth of e-books to the System.  She said that some of the smaller libraries' boards are saying they are not going to donate their book money into a pool.  Kip Thompson interjected, saying that it is important for everyone to remember they are part of a bigger system and everybody needs to contribute.  Anne stated that they share print books but you can limit them to your own patrons for the first six months.  She has patrons asking why they are #26 on a wait list for e-books that were purchased by PPL.  CEFDA is checking with other systems to see how they handle this.  Karen Glass stated that Keene Valley Library contributes toward the purchase of e-books and audiobooks, recognizing that some libraries don't even have a book budget, so there is a disparity in who can and cannot contribute to the purchase of e-books.  She suggested that maybe CEFKS can fundraise for this specific purpose without stepping on the toes of any of the libraries.  Anne asked about GoFundMe which has been done by CEFLS through Adirondack Foundation, to which Ewa responded that it was done in conjunction with CEFKS' first literary luncheon.  It was hoped that the second literary luncheon would raise funds for the purchase of e-Books, but only $50 was raised.  Ewa recounted that as she suggested at a CEFDA meeting, perhaps each library could contribute two percent of their book budget to e-books.  She made a similar appeal when we initially began dealing with OverDrive, asking libraries to each give any amount they could afford so there would be 100 percent participation.  She explained that e-books purchased do not belong to CEFLS, but are leased from OverDrive and she doesn't see any way around that unless libraries have their own platform.  Anne suggested selecting a different vendor who would negotiate for libraries to take their content with them.

Regarding the earlier statements pertaining to the roles of the Central Library, the System and member libraries, Dorothy Latta asked what types of situations or roles concern CEFDA.  Karen Glass responded that:

  • CEFLS fills many roles with a declining number of staff, with the Central Library now doing more outreach.

  • In the past, member libraries have looked to CEFLS for professional development and now the Central Library has money for and is doing some of that.

  • There are concerns about the appearance of duplication regarding collection development, rotating collections and Central Book Aid money

Dorothy stated that all three parties should be part of these discussions.  Anne responded that it needs to be made clear that CEFDA is an independent association with bylaws, so it is its own stand-alone organization.  Further, historically there would be one meeting a year with all system staff invited, but it would also be for professional development and a way for directors to get their thoughts together and share them with the system.  Anne feels that has become very clouded with people feeling uninvited when in fact, the old bylaws define the association.  Karen stated they have more frequent meetings now, and that when there is a new director, they try to have a meeting at that library as a means of support.  Sometimes the issues discussed are not appropriate or necessary to share with CEFLS, such as how to handle a messy bathroom.  Dorothy stated that the meetings sound wonderful and she hopes that a collective voice brings the issues to the system.  

Committee Reports

Advocacy Committee

The Advocacy Committee met briefly before the full Board meeting. 

Lisa Minnich stated that they are asking trustees to visit member librarians and talk about how CEFLS can help them and ask if they have ideas or anything that they would like to ask of the System.  The goal is for trustees to get to know these people and for them to get to know our Board, providing them with another person that they can go to with questions or concerns.

  • When visiting member librarians, trustees are asked to gather feedback about the Strategic Plan and what direction libraries would like to see the System go.  This will aid Ewa Jankowska as she works on the Plan of Service that has to be done by September.  Dorothy added that it is nice for trustees to learn about member libraries also.  Ewa is preparing a presentation that will be available for sharing with member library boards.  Whatever number of libraries each trustee can visit is appreciated.  Without mandating that anyone goes anywhere, the committee would like trustees to visit a library and just send Lisa a note to let her know so multiple trustees don’t descend on one library.

  • They would like to see trustees, during their tenure on the Board, attend a member library meeting in their area at least once a year and offer to do a presentation on CEFLS to help them understand what the System does.  For Essex County with its 16 libraries, it is suggested that trustees sort out which ones they want to visit.

  •  They would like to create a communication network for trustees in the whole system so if something goes wrong or there is something right, or someone wants to share a great opportunity, there will be a link among trustees throughout the System. 

Fran Filshie suggested a social gathering for all trustees, a time to meet others and to introduce themselves.  Lisa commented that that was one purpose of the Literary Luncheon and of LTA when it met earlier this summer in Plattsburgh.  Fran asked if all member library trustees were invited to the Literary Luncheon, to which Ewa responded that they were.  Fran feels that the invitation came out of the blue after not hearing from CEFLS all the rest of the year.  Lisa stated that building a relationship is a goal of having CEFLS trustees attend meetings of member library boards

Old Business

There was no Old Business.

New Business

Approval of New York Council for the Humanities, Reading and Discussion Programs Grant:  Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the New York Council for the Humanities, Reading and Discussion Programs Grant, seconded by Fran Filshie.  Ewa commented that this is the second time CEFLS has applied for this grant which involves sessions focusing on aging in place.  The first time these programs were presented, they were very well received.  Motion carried unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Board, Kip Thompson adjourned the meeting at 5:54 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held May 23, 2016

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:31 p.m. on Monday, May 23, 2016 at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Charles “Kip” Thompson, President.

Roll Call

Present:  James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Elizabeth “Liz” DeFonce, Dorothy Latta, Phyllis Magnus, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville, Scott McDonald, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Present via Video Conferencing with Saranac Lake Free Library:  Gary Alexander

Excused Absences:  Fran Filshie and Rita Quinn

Absent:  Wallace “Wally” Day

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Director and Michael Spofford, Finance Manager

Also Present:  David Minnich

Consent Agenda

Kip Thompson recapped Consent Agenda as including the following items: 

  • Approval of today's absences

  • Approval of today's agenda as distributed May 23, 2016

  • Approval of minutes of the April 25, 2016 meeting

  • Committees for which there are no reports as this time:  Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiating, Nominating, Personnel, Property and Strategic Planning

Emily Castine motioned approval of Consent Agenda, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Financial Report

Nicky Bryant motioned approval of the Financial Reports as presented by Michael Spofford, seconded by Lisa Minnich.  Michael explained various items found in his reports.  Kip commented on how much he appreciates the Over and Under Reports.

Motion to approve the Financial Reports carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were no public comments.

President’s Remarks

Kip Thompson stated that he will not be present to preside over the August meeting due to a personal obligation.  Nicky Bryant, Vice President, will preside.

Kip would like to assemble a couple of recent past-trustees to initiate a Friends of CEFLS group. 

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska stated that regarding locations for “away” meetings, two are confirmed.  The June meeting will be held at Keene Valley Library and September’s will be at Chateaugay Memorial Library.  Although we do not yet have a confirmation from Plattsburgh Public Library for the meeting in October, at the April meeting Anne de la Chappelle indicated that PPL would host a meeting.

About 140 people registered for the two-day LTA Institute that was held in Plattsburgh on May 6th and 7th.  It was a big success.  CEFLS had a table with brochures and our disaster preparedness tablet/kiosk was explored by many attendees.

As of June 1, 2016, Tracey Ducharme will be the new director of Mooers Free Library.

The annual meeting of correctional facility librarians was held at CEFLS on May 20th.  The service contracts for all seven correctional facility libraries were signed.  This yearly event is the only time that these librarians meet to share experiences and ideas.  CEFLS receives $84,000 (based on prison population) for servicing the correctional facilities.  Of that amount, almost $59,000 goes toward CEFLS salaries and $10,000 is used for benefits. 

Ewa will try to arrange a tour of the library at Clinton Correctional Facility in early October for any Board members who are interested.

Ewa, Michael Spofford and Dawn Recore traveled to Tupper Lake on May 16th for Robert Freeman’s seminar on Open Meetings Law.  Mr. Freeman heads New York State’s Open Government Committee.  All libraries, even association libraries, are subject to the Open Meetings Law because of a clause in Education Law.  An interesting fact that Mr. Freeman shared is that boards that are private can allow votes to be counted over the telephone because they are not subject to Open Meetings Law.  Also, for Boards that are subject to Open Meetings Law, committee meetings have to be advertised in some manner. 

On May 26th, Julie and Ewa will be attending the NNYLN Annual Meeting.

Also on May 26th, Anja will be bringing the three disaster preparedness kiosks to three member libraries.  The kiosks will be rotated on a two-week basis.

On June 22nd, Ewa will be attending a seminar at the Potsdam Public Library on strategic planning for member libraries. 

Julie Wever has reported to Ewa that construction funding for this year has been increased by 30 percent.  Since the proportion of matching funds was reduced from 50 percent as it was previously, to 25 percent, more member libraries are requesting construction funds and some of the projects are quite extensive.  A selection process may be necessary as it may not be possible to fully cover everyone’s projects.

Questions and Comments Addressed to the Director:

Kip Thompson inquired why cataloging is down per Betsy Brooks’ Department Report.  Ewa stated that possible reasons might be that fewer books may have been purchased, and one of the staff members who does cataloging was out on medical leave for a while.  Also, publishers publish books sporadically, for instance more are published before Christmas and in the spring.  Ewa stated additionally that the fact that an item is catalogued does not reflect in the MARC record if there are multiple copies.  Ewa will consult with Betsy for a better understanding of this data. 

Plattsburgh Public Library Report

                                                                                                                                                                    Anne de la Chappelle, Director of PPL, was not present for the meeting.  A PPL report was not submitted.  

CEFDA

In the absence of any directors of member libraries, Ewa Jankowska briefly stated that CEFDA met on May 16th at PPL.  Several CEFLS staff members attended.  There was discussion that PPL cannot handle purchasing all of the fiction e-books.  A best-seller, especially if it is very popular, can cost over $80.  One suggestion for increasing e-book purchases was that each library could donate 2 percent of their book budget.  It is important to note that the Central Library can use CBA money only to purchase adult nonfiction.  CEFLS purchases a number of young adult and children’s fiction e-books with budgeted funds and some are purchased with grant money obtained by CEFLS. 

A decision was made by Member Library’s Advisory Council (MAC) to drop BYKI/Transparent Languages, the foreign language database, and the money was used instead to buy some new magazines from Flipster, such as Consumer Reports which alone costs $6,000, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek and Time. As a result, the use of Flipster really increased; however, in the last month the use of Transparent Language also experienced a very big jump.  When Ewa went to the Public Library Association Conference in Denver this spring, she learned of a less expensive product for learning a foreign language, called Rocket Languages.  Rocket Languages can be listened to while traveling in the car by simply recording lessons on your telephone, and it can be purchased with CBA funds because it is adult nonfiction.  Ewa proposed the purchase of this product to CEFDA but has not received a decision. 

Communications

Michael Spofford distributed a letter of appreciation written by Kip Thompson to CEFLS staff for their very high standard of professionalism, particularly during the last few stressful months.

Michael read a thank you note written to Ewa Jankowska from the North Country Workforce Development Board in appreciation for her recent presentation at their meeting in Saranac Lake.

Old Business

Jim Bennett gave a brief presentation on the Sturgis method of Parliamentary Procedure, saying that it is mentioned in the new NYS Trustee Handbook as a friendlier method of conducting meetings.  He distributed handouts on Principal Motions (Listed in Order of Precedence).  Jim feels that using Sturgis, as opposed to Robert’s Rules of Order, may be able to, at times, move meetings along more efficiently.  Sturgis sets a time element, such as five minutes, for discussion of a topic before motions are made.  Lisa Minnich recapped that basically Sturgis provides opportunity for better understanding prior to voting.  She suggested trying Sturgis for a couple of meetings, to which Jim responded that this Board’s meetings seem to move along smoothly so maybe we should hold off trying this method.   

New Business

Approval of Photo and Video Permission and Release Form:  Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the newly amended Photo and Video Permission and Release Form, seconded by Liz DeFonce.  Ewa explained that CEFLS has had a consent form for a long time but it was never officially approved by the Board.  We have now added specific consent for photographic, digital or video images taken of children and use of them to promote/publicize and advertise the System, its member libraries and their programs, collections and services.  Motion carried unanimously.

Additional Discussion

Lisa Minnich stated that there will be an Advocacy meeting on June 27th at 4:15 just prior to the start of next month’s regular meeting of the Board.  The June 27th meeting will be the first of the “away” meetings for 2016 and will be held at Keene Valley Library.  Anyone is welcome to attend the committee meeting as well as the Board meeting.

Dorothy Latta stated that Norma Menard, Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers of Clinton County, is retiring at the end of the month.  The new executive director will be Alan Aguglia.  Ewa Jankowska commented that Literacy Volunteers prepares people for employment and also teaches math.  She is interested in partnering with them, as CEFLS has a database, Learning Express, which offers math lessons.

Lisa Minnich encouraged Board members, if they have the opportunity, to attend an LTA Institute.  She stated that the workshops were well done, the authors were interesting and fun, and it was a very pleasant experience.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Board, Kip Thompson adjourned the meeting at 5:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held April 25, 2016

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:35 p.m. on Monday, February 22, 2016 at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Charles “Kip” Thompson, President.

Roll Call

Present:  James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Elizabeth “Liz” DeFonce, Dorothy Latta, Phyllis Magnus, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville (entered at  4:48), Scott McDonald, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Rita Quinn and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Excused Absences:  Gary Alexander, Wallace “Wally” Day, Fran Filshie and Phyllis Magnus

Gary Alexander and Phyllis Magnus were at Saranac Lake Free Library where they intended to attend via video conferencing.  However, internet services were down so they were not able to attend.

Staff present:  Ewa Jankowska, Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; Michael Spofford, Finance Manager

Also present:  Anne de la Chappelle, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL)

Consent Agenda

Kip Thompson recapped Consent Agenda as including the following items: 

  • Approval of today's absences

  • Approval of today's agenda

  • Approval of minutes of the February 22, 2016 meeting

  • Committees for which there are no reports at this time:  Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiation, Nomination, Personnel, Property and Strategic Planning

  • CEFDA

Emily Castine motioned approval of Consent Agenda, seconded by Lisa Minnich.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Financial Report

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Financial Reports as presented by Michael Spofford, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  Because there was no meeting in March, financial reports for two months were distributed prior to this meeting.  Michael Spofford reported that we are within the budgeted amounts to date and although we have heard that state funding will be increased, nothing has been received yet.  Michael is working on clearing some of the grants and aids. 

Lisa Minnich asked, referring to the Revenue vs. Expenditures as of March 31, 2016 Report, why Member Library Purchases are so high, as compared with March of 2015.  Michael responded that CEFLS has made many purchases for member libraries and as reimbursement is received, the actual amount will be reduced.

In regard to Personnel Expenses and Employee Benefits being down from what they were in 2015 due to a long-time librarian retiring, Kip Thompson asked about this line item status for the future.  Michael explained that with the hiring of the new librarian in March, some of the savings carried over into 2016.

Motion carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were no public comments. 

President’s Remarks

At the suggestion of Ewa Jankowska, Kip Thompson proposed that Plattsburgh Public Library in Clinton County, Keene Valley Library Association in Essex County and Chateaugay Memorial Library in Franklin County host the 2016 “away” Board of Trustee meetings.  Ewa will communicate with the directors of those libraries to determine their willingness to host the meetings and dates will be established.  Lisa Minnich requested that Plattsburgh Public Library be the final “away” meeting of the season and earlier meeting times are desired if possible.

Kip requested that trustees please respond as to whether they will be able to attend meetings.  This helps in determining a quorum ahead of time and potentially saves trustees from making the drive to Plattsburgh only to learn that the meeting has been cancelled due to lack of quorum.

Jim Bennett has spoken in the past about using Sturgis, a method for conducting meetings, versus Robert’s Rules of Order, saying that Sturgis is less complicated and is used by several professional library memberships.  Kip asked Jim to prepare a short presentation on Sturgis for the May meeting.

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska stated that the Board will be asked to approve the 2016 CEFLS Annual Report later in this meeting.  Though completing it requires a lot of effort of the entire staff, it is not much different from what was reported last year.

CEFLS recently hosted a demonstration of the Niche Academy platform.  For an all-inclusive subscription fee, this platform includes a set of ready-to-use tutorials for common library services such as OverDrive.  It includes video instruction, printable step-by-step guides, mobile-responsive user interface and it can be easily customized for a library’s individual needs.  You can create your own tutorials that can be presented in a variety of online settings, such as embedded in your own website, with direct links from Facebook, your newsletter and more.

Kim Fletcher and Ewa attended a recent meeting for the revival of Northern Adirondack Library Association that was also attended by Emily Castine and Jim Bennett.  This once thriving professional group representing all types of libraries is being reestablished.

Last week CEFLS hosted a successful training entitled Emergency Planning for Libraries with Kate Flewelling, MLIS, from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.  Anja Bouchard put a lot of time and effort into preparing this very well-received training.  The kioska that Anja prepared will soon be rotated into member libraries.

Ewa attended a NNYLN meeting with BOCES system library directors and Steve Bolten, Director of North Country Library System.

Ewa spent considerable time telephoning several member library directors for updates on their libraries.

  • Mooers Free Library is doing well.  Their search for a new director is progressing nicely.  They have four well qualified applicants.

  • Susan Sullivan at Rouses Point Dodge Memorial Library is doing very well.

  • Ewa is trying to arrange, with Alison Mandeville at Champlain Memorial Library, an appointment to meet with the superintendent of Northeastern Clinton Central School District.  She would like to work with Alison on a grant for students to do oral history recordings

Upcoming events:

  • May 6 and 7 - LTA Institute in Plattsburgh

  • May 6 - Seniorana - The Outreach Department will have a table display to showcase services that target seniors.

  • May 13 - North Country Workforce Development Board - Presentation on job and career resources orrered through CEFLS

  • May 13 - Andy Robinson will present a workshop, Building a Board that Works, at Saranac Lake Free Library.

  • May 16 - Bob Freeman, expert on Open Meetings Law, will be speaking at Goff-Nelson Memorial Library in Tupper Lake.

  • May 20 - CEFLS will host the annual meeting of librarians of the regional correctional institutions. 

We are trying to arrange a NYLA-sponsored training for Library Assistants/Small Library Directors.  A minimum number of 15 registrants are needed to make it viable.  For NYLA members the cost would be $215, and for nonmembers it would be $255.  Ewa is working on a grant for $1,000 and she would like to find a source for another $500, which would reduce the expense to a more doable amount.

Questions and Comments Addressed to the Director:

Kip Thompson would like to see a demo of the new readers for children and he commented that he enjoys touring member libraries.  He would be especially interested in touring a correctional facility library.  Ewa responded that it might be difficult to arrange a group tour.  Tom Mandeville knows an educator who is bringing his students to a correctional facility for a tour so he will enlist the help of this teacher to learn what it might involve. 

Kip suggested that having an immigrant speak about their experiences would be an interesting event for a library to host.  Ewa commented that Literacy Volunteers has an excellent program that offers tutoring for learning English as a second language and earning a GED, as well as assistance with writing resumés, job searching and interviewing.  Dorothy Latta added that any collaborative group that can assist with such things as job interviews, learning to read, or learning English can really benefit those in need.   

Plattsburgh Public Library Report

Anne de la Chappelle, Director of PPL, reported on the following:

The City of Plattsburgh has an ongoing lititation with their retirees regarding a change in their health insurance plan.  Depending on the outcome, the city might need to cut $1,000,000 from this year's budget.  This would be in addition to the $1,000,000 that was already cut in order to meet the tax cap, which resulted in cuts for all city departments.  PPL was cut 7 percent which affects the State LIbrary's Maintenance of Effort requirement that says that as a Central Library, their budget can decrease by no more than 5 percent relative to the previous 24 months.  Anne will be working with the State Library to see if in-kind services, such as plowing or IT, can be figured into the equation.  She will be going back to the city to let them know that they might have to put $18,000 back into the budget so they can avoid the subsequent steps that would be otherwise required.

Anne and Ewa Jankowska have talked about redoing the Central Library Development Aid budget.  Anne has been working with the tools that were in place when she arrived as Director of PPL, while the model for using CLDA has moved more toward programming and databases.  PPL will adjust their budget to shift to that model.

PPL is exploring new methods of accepting money for fines, fees and donations.  They are researching a NYLA processing service and the system that the city has for accepting electronic checks and credit cards.  Tying in with this, Anne has been working on a page on their website for those who want to support the library.

The City Building INspector's office is working with PPL to update the Fire/Safety Plan and ensure they arein compliance with current regulations.

Anne has been working with Tim Gavin of the LTA to provide brochures and maps for attendees of LTA Institute in Plattsburgh.

In response to last year's community survey, there is a big gap between PPL's programming for preschool children leading up to when they come back as adults.  Anne is working on creating a maker program in the downstairs room, pulling from information received at the maker space workshop that was held at CEFLS in April  She is working on a grant from Kiwanis for mathematic, engineering an dother related tools that will bring the program to life.  PPL will be presenting on this effort at the NNYLN Annual Meeting in May.

Committee Reports

There were no Committee Reports at this time.

Communications

A thank you card from Barbara Stowe, received March 28, 2016, was passed around.  She is appreciative of the kind gestures bestowed on her during the very difficult situations she experienced this past winter.

A thank you card from Becky Pace, Director of Peru Free Library, received on April 7, 2016 was read.  Becky was inspired by the excellent Makerspace Workshop that was recently held at CEFLS.

Old Business

There was no old business to come before the Board at this time.

New Business

2016 CEFLS Annual Report:  Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the 2016 CEFLS Annual Report that was distributed for review prior to this meeting, seconded by Rita Quinn.  Michael Spofford stated that we have to make an adjustment on the Annual Report regarding Central Library Development Aid (CLDA) and Central Book Aid (CBA) involving funds paid to PPL as Central Library for an amount that was paid to them last year.  Based on who pays the vendors, CEFLS will report on that and PPL is not going to include it in their report. Michael will report to the Board again after the State has finished looking over the report.  Motion carried unanimously.

Adult Literacy Grant Application:  Nicky Bryant motioned approval of the Adult Literacy Grant Application for 2016-2019, seconded by Lisa Minnich.  Motion carried unanimously.

Family Literacy Grant Application:  Emily Castine motioned approval of the Family Literacy Grant Application for 2016-2019, seconded by Rita Quinn.  Ewa Jankowska explained that in the past Family Literacy Grant was used for summer reading programs.  Now early literacy (0-5) must also be included so CEFLS will offer training to library staff on Ready2Read and Early Childhood Literacy.  Motion carried unanimously.

Lake Placid Education Foundation Application:  Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Lake Placid Education Foundation Application for Summer 2016-Summer 2017, seconded by Rita Quinn.  The application is for $15,000.  Ewa Jankowska stated that we may not receive the full amount but whatever is received will be used for training.  Motion carried unanimously.

Individuals, Entities and Institutions with Whom to Conduct Business:  Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Individuals, Entities and Institutions with Whom to Conduct Business, seconded by Liz DeFonce. The new businesses are Rand Hill Lawns and Unifirst.  Unifirst is a service that delivers clean rugs on a regular basis.  Also newly updated on the reverse side of this document is the list of trustees who can approve abstracts.  Motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Emily Castine moved to enter into Executive Session to discuss the joint meeting of the Executive and Personnel Committees that was held last week, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  Motion carried unanimously.  The Board entered into Executive Session at 5:23 p.m. 

Return to Regular Session

Lisa Minnich moved to reconvene to full Board at 5:33, seconded by Jim Bennett.  Motion carried unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Board, Kip Thompson adjourned the meeting at 5:34 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held February 22, 2016

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, February 22, 2016 at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Nicole Bryant, Vice President.

Oath of Office

The Oath of Office was administered to Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Vice President by Mary “Elise” (Lisa) Minnich, Treasurer.

Nicky then administered the Oath of Office to Rita Quinn as a trustee and to Elizabeth “Liz” DeFonce as a new trustee.

Roll Call

Present:  James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Wallace “Wally” Day, Elizabeth “Liz” DeFonce, Dorothy Latta, Phyllis Magnus, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville (entered at 4:32), Mary “Lisa” Minnich, and Rita Quinn

Present at Saranac Lake Free Library:  Gary Alexander

Excused Absences:  Fran Filshie, Scott McDonald and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Staff present:  Ewa Jankowska, Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; and Michael Spofford, Finance Manager

Also present:  Anne de la Chappelle, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) and Francie Fairchild, Director of Chazy Public Library

Consent Agenda

Nicky Bryant recapped Consent Agenda as including the following items: 

  • Approval of today's absences

  • Approval of today's agenda with CEFDA removed because there will be a report later in the meeting

  • Approval of minutes of the January 25, 2016 meeting

  • Committees for which there are no reports at this time: Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiation, Nomination, Personnel, Property and Strategic Planning

  • Communications

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Consent Agenda with CEFDA removed, seconded by Emily Castine.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Financial Report

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Financial Reports as presented by Michael Spofford, seconded by Rita Quinn.  Ewa Jankowska commented that January’s reports are very typical for this time of year, with adjustments being made to the previous year.  Motion carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were no public comments. 

Vice President’s Remarks

Nicky Bryant stated that soon after the January Board of Trustees meeting Barbara Stowe’s husband passed away.  It was decided that since she had been a trustee for many years, having just come off the Board December 31, 2015, the Board would utilize their Sunshine Fund to send flowers and a card.  Ewa Jankowska added that she attended the wake and that Barbara appreciated the thoughtfulness of the Board.

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska reported that although she was on vacation for a period of time following the last Board meeting, her written report was fairly lengthy due to information regarding Legislative (Leg) Day in Albany which is coming up on March 2nd.  CEFLS has staff members who will be driving to Albany in the Equinox with two available seats for anyone who would like to attend.  Ewa will be going to Albany a day earlier to attend Pre-Leg Day events.  Trustees are encouraged to write to legislators to request increased funding and more money for library construction.  As usual, we are asking to have funding brought up to at least what it was in 2007 and to comply with NYS Education Law.  Although funding has come up some since then, it is still 8 or 9 percent short.

As stated in Ewa’s written report, Anja Bouchard applied for and received a grant for almost $3,000, Emergency Preparedness for Libraries and Communities in Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties, from the National Library of Medicine (NLM).  A representative from the NLM will provide training to CEFLS staff to maximize the use of three interactive kiosks that were purchased.  The kiosks will be rotated among member libraries that wish to participate and will enable patrons of all ages to find resources for the types of natural disasters that occur in the North Country. 

Every year we do a survey of member libraries at annual report time in order to evaluate our services.  This is basic to our outcome-based evaluation.  Responses were received from 29 libraries.  Basically, the survey shows us that there is some tweaking to be done, especially in the area of electronic resources.  Libraries will also need our help with the application for e-Rate funding, which is a federal government program.  With e-Rate in the past, libraries have been able to apply for a discount on Internet and telephone services.  The telephone service discount is being eliminated so we need more training to help libraries get the discount for Internet service.  In past years, libraries were applying as part of the System, but according to notification we have received, they now have to apply as part of a consortium.  Ewa explained that a System is now being defined as a library with branches, such as New York Public.  However, our members are independent, so they are more like a consortium.  We don’t know yet how this will affect the funding.

Julie Wever has written a grant application to Adirondack Foundation for the Summer Reading Program.  In the past, we always received some funding from New York State for the member libraries’ Summer Reading Program, and we distributed it to them as small grants, with the larger libraries getting a little more money.  This year’s state funding is call Family Literacy Grant and it will focus on early literacy only, so we applied to Adirondack Foundation for additional funding so that we can support libraries offering programs for different ages. 

Plans are being made for another trustee training to be held on Friday, May 13, 2016 at Saranac Lake Free Library.  There will be two training sessions so that those who work can at least attend one.  The first will be from 3:00 to 5:00 and the second will be from 5:00 to 7:00.  Mr. Robinson’s workshop in Plattsburgh in December covered basic trustee training with some emphasis on finances.  For the May 13 training, basic training will be repeated because a lot of people who did not attend the first workshop will hopefully attend this one.  For the evening session, Ewa would like the focus to be the 2013 Revitalization Act and the importance of enforcing a Conflict of Interest Policy. 

Plattsburgh Public Library Report

Anne de la Chappelle, Director of PPL, reported on the following:

A new contract with the staff has been negotiated.  There will be pay increases and overtime has been addressed.

Anne met with Chris Rosenquest and Tracy Vicory of Conroy’s Organics about creating a coffee bar in the library.  It will likely be located near the computer center. 

Anne met with Margaret Gibbs of Lakes-to-Locks Passage in regard to an all-day training that will be held at PPL on May 20th.  There will be two training components; regulations and requirements for nonprofits set forth by the Revitalization Act and training on registering with the New York State Database for Granting as it is now required in order to apply for a lot of grants.  PPL will contribute $500 to go toward the expenses of Margaret. Gibbs, and Lakes-to-Locks Passage will cover everything else. 

The dates for the upcoming LTA Institute at PPL are May 6 and 7. 

The Friends of PPL group will be sponsoring a workshop toward the end of April on how to revitalize a friends group

PPL did apply for e-Rate funding for this year and expects to receive a discount of about $4,000.

PPL will be receiving bids on brick work to remedy two exterior corners that are failing.

The new youth services librarian has started and is working on the Maker Program, beginning with a Lego wall downstairs.  The immediate goal is to get things going for the afternoon middle schoolers.   A space downstairs is being carved out specifically for them. 

The elevator installation is proceeding ahead of schedule.  The smoke and fire system all has to be revamped so that sensors throughout the building can talk to the elevator and there has to be a dedicated phone line for the call button.  Also, the utility room has to be fireproofed.

CEFDA Report

Francie Fairchild, Director of Chazy Public Library, reported that CEFDA will be meeting for the first time this year on April 22 at PPL.  Ewa Jankowska will be there to present the CEFLS Service Plan. 

Old Business

There was no old business to come before the Board at this time.

New Business

There was no new business to come before the Board at this time.

Executive Session

Lisa Minnich moved to enter into Executive Session to discuss the Director’s evaluation, seconded by Emily Castine.  Motion carried unanimously.  The Board entered into Executive Session at 4:52 p.m. 

Return to Regular Session

Lisa Minnich moved to reconvene to full Board at 5:03, seconded by Phyllis Magnus.  Motion carried unanimously.

Nicky Bryant recapped Executive Session:

  • Lisa Minnich motioned approval, seconded by Emily Castine, to provide the Director with an 8 percent increase to include salary and benefits retroactive to January 1, 2016.  This is a 4 percent market adjustment and a 4 percent performance increase.  Motion carried unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Board, Nicky Bryant adjourned the meeting at 5:06 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held January 25, 2016

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:29 p.m. on Monday, January 25, 2016 at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Charles “Kip” Thompson, President. 

 Oath of Office

The Oath of Office was administered to Charles “Kip” Thompson as President by Mary “Elise” (Lisa) Minnich, Treasurer.

Kip then administered the Oath of Office to Lisa Minnich as Treasurer, Gary Alexander as Secretary and Emily Castine as Member-at-Large.  He also administered the Oath of Office as trustee to James “Jim” Bennett and Phyllis Magnus as a new trustee representing Essex County.

Roll Call

Present:  Gary Alexander, James “Jim” Bennett, Emily Castine, Wallace “Wally” Day, Dorothy Latta, Phyllis Magnus, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville, Scott McDonald, Mary “Lisa” Minnich and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Present at Schroon Lake Public Library:  Fran Filshie

Excused Absences:  Nicole “Nicky” Bryant and Rita Quinn

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; and Michael Spofford, Finance Manager

Others Present:  Anne de la Chappelle, Director, Plattsburgh Public Library

Consent Agenda

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Consent Agenda, containing the following items, seconded by Wally Day.

  • Approval of Excused Absences

  • Approval of Agenda

  • Approval of Minutes of November 23, 2015 Meeting

  • Committee Reports - Advocacy Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiating, Nominating, Personnel, Property and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

  • CEFDA Report

Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Reports

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Financial Reports prepared by Michael Spofford as presented, seconded by Emily Castine. 

The following Financial Reports were provided for review prior to this meeting:

  • Over and Under Report for period ending November 2015
  • Budget-to-Date as of November 30, 2015
  • Balance Sheet as of November 30, 2015
  • Revenues vs. Expenditures Comparison for November and Fiscal Year-to-Date
  • Grants/Non-Current Aid Report as of November 30, 2015
  • Preliminary Over and Under Report for period ending December 2015
  • Preliminary Budget-to-Date as of December 31, 2015
  • Preliminary Balance Sheet as of December 31, 2015
  • Preliminary Revenue vs. Expenditures as of December 31, 2015
  • Preliminary Grants/Non-Current Aids Status Report as of December 31, 2015

 

Michael Spofford stated that the packet includes the November reports as well as the preliminary December reports.  He pointed out that the first item in the Preliminary Over and Under Report for period ending December 2015 is a Prepaid Expense that on the Balance Sheet is a little over $200,000.  Usually at the end of the year, Prepaid Expenses are down to about $180,000.  Michael will be doing a reconciliation that will decrease that account and basically increase expenditures accordingly, as they were included in the approved budget and the amended budget. 

Michael reported that the remaining funding the State for 2015, about $21,000, was received in January.  That funding has been released to the member libraries.

Kip Thompson pointed out that many line items are under spent, which is a very nice way to begin a budget year.  He commended the staff and announced that we are entering the year with a fair amount more cash than was had at this time last year.  This helps to enable CEFLS to make it through August or September when State funding is actually received. 

Michael stated that there is approximately $50,000 in funded reserves that will be moved into the money market account.  Having funded reserves means that when unexpected expenses occur, there will be cash in the bank.  Ewa mentioned for the benefit of those who were not here years ago that for years CEFLS had to borrow money because although the fiscal year begins January 1, State funding oftentimes has been delayed until August or September.  For years we have worked to fund a reserve so that borrowing and paying interest rates would not be necessary.  CEFLS also has a line-of-credit at the bank in the event of the unexpected.      

The motion to approve the Financial Reports as presented carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

Anne de la Chappelle apologized for having missed a couple of meetings. 

Communications

Dawn Recore read a thank you letter from Barbara Stowe for the gift card she received in November from the Board of Trustees and the plant she received in December when a member of her family passed away.  Barbara stated that she enjoyed her years on the Board and working with the staff.  She served as a trustee of the CEF Library System for more than 10 years. 

President’s Remarks

Kip Thompson stated that a year ago he had hoped that we could find a way to provide some money as a cushion for CEFLS for the inevitable periods when New York State has tough financial times because that is when they cut budgets.  He wanted to have a properly invested fund.  He has now pretty much given up on the investment idea but is thinking of a couple of new ones; first, a fund that at least initially would be just a cash fund, and second, development of a Friends of the Library group, similar to what Schroon Lake Public Library has.  In years past, the CEFLS Board was fortunate to have had individuals who served for 10 or more years and were terrific advocates.  They knew their county representatives and were comfortable speaking with them.  He would like to ask Schroon Lake to help us to build up a CEFLS Friends group and have some fund raisers in anticipation of tough financial times ahead.  The Friends could also do advocacy and assist when CEFLS has programs or attends community functions so that less staff time would be utilized.  Kip is also interested in the possibility of having some sort of foundation that would sponsor library programs.  He asked the Board to think about these ideas and be prepared to offer input at a future meeting, probably in April. 

Kip is interested in implementing a board evaluation instrument so that at or close to year end, trustees could fill out a (multiple choice) questionnaire and they talk among themselves about how they think they are doing as a board.  He has used such a tool with other boards and finds it very useful to determine if they are organized appropriately, focusing on the right priorities, and providing trustees with an opportunity to share ideas.  Kip would like Ewa Jankowska to look around at other Systems for good evaluation instruments.  If they are not using any, Kip will put one together with our Board, based knowledge from past experiences.

At some point, probably in May, Kip would like Jim Bennett to provide a little presentation on a new set of procedures, called Sturgis, which could potentially replace Robert’s Rules of Order.  Jim offered that Sturgis is used by many professional associations, including the American Library Association.  He said that at one time ALA had 26 amendments to a resolution and had to dig themselves out one by one to get back to the main resolution.  He feels that Sturgis is a friendlier approach, whereby you discuss things for a set amount of time, then formulate a resolution that has more consensus.  Kip would like the Board to become educated on Sturgis and if it is liked, it can be voted in to replace Robert’s Rules of Order.

Kip reminded trustees of the importance of responding when RSVPs are requested to determine a quorum for meetings.  A quorum is required in order to conduct business and fulfill obligations put on us by the State Library through which State funding flows.  Lisa Minnich added that we do not want trustees traveling to get here, sometimes in unpleasant weather, only to find out that there is no quorum.

Director’s Report

In addition to her written report, Ewa Jankowska reported on the following:

Anne de la Chappelle and Ewa have met with Jean Curry and John McCarthy, the planners of the LTA Institute that will be held for two days in Plattsburgh in early May.  Ewa explained to them that it is challenging to get member library trustees to attend events even if they are free.  Since LTA Institute has expenses, necessitating an associated feed, attendance could be a very challenging matter.  Ewa expressed that she would like the fee to be less than $100. 

North Country and Southern Adirondack Library Systems will hopefully participate in LTA Institute in some way.  We are working on some grants that we might be able to use to help make a nice display and we have been asked if we could prepare a basket for a lottery. 

Terry Kirchner, Director of Westchester Library System, has been asked to provide a seminar at LTA.  He and Ewa have decided that director’s evaluation and board self-evaluation would be good topics.  Terry has a PhD in Human Organization Systems and an MBA in Organizational Psychology so is very well qualified to do such a seminar. 

Jean Curry and John McCarthy asked if CEFLS could make some award nominations.  Every year LTA gives the Wilma Moore Award, which is a trustee of-the-year award, and a Friend-of-the Library Award.  Nomination forms are on the LTA website and the deadline is February 26.

Julie Wever and Ewa met with Kara Page, the fund raiser at The Wild Center.  Kara was instrumental in providing the very popular free passes that CEFLS and member libraries received a few years ago.  CEFLS has some money left over from a past grant when Kara provided a seminar on fund raising, so Ewa has asked Kara to help in a strategic planning exercise to begin soon to assist with preparation of a new five-year plan of service that will be due at the beginning of October.  Ewa provided Kara with the Aspen Library Dialogue, a great resource of library trends from the Aspen Institute.  Ewa envisions the exercise to involve looking at trends to see how they can be applied to member libraries, and then developing ways to help member libraries achieve goals related to the trends.  Ewa welcomes and appreciates the participation of CEFLS trustees. 

In order to prepare the CEFLS Annual Report, there is a member library survey that we distribute yearly.  Survey responses provide many of the statistics needed to complete the annual report.  So far, already 25 libraries have submitted their completed surveys.

Mooers Library has a great new Board and they are now looking for a new library director.  Slowly they are getting their financial situation under control.  Michael Spofford and Ewa have had many discussions with the new treasurer, Art Menard.  What happened in Mooers brings to light that there could be other libraries who are handling their finances in a manner that is not appropriate. She stated that every year Michael reviews the annual reports of all the member libraries, but we are not able to go to each one to see how they do business, nor is it really expected of us because each one is autonomous.  In the future, Michael and Ewa will be working on a seminar to better train member library directors and boards. 

Ewa went on to say that Mooers had received several construction grants to build a new library for which they now have a shell of a building.  If the Mooers Library closed, it is not known how the State would get back their money.  Kip Thompson commented that there are two primary things on which the State focuses; they do not want any conflicts of interest for directors and trustees, and they want to know that there is someone on the board that understands finances. 

Flyers for the Adopt an e-Book or e-Audiobook fund raiser in conjunction with Adirondack Foundation have been distributed.  Those who donate may adopt a title in honor or memory of a loved one.  As of today, if $25 more is donated, CEFLS will receive a check for $250 over and above the total of the donations.  Funds raised will be used to purchase fiction e-books for young adults. 

Ewa requested help from the Property Committee and is hoping for additional trustees who have building and grounds experience to serve on the committee.  She and Michael Spofford would like help prioritizing a list of projects because even after obtaining a construction grant, a 50 percent match by CEFLS would be required.  The potential projects are many and among other things might include roof repair, filling in the tunnel between CEFLS and Plattsburgh Public Library, resurfacing the driveway and replacing carpeting.  Anyone interested in serving on this committee should let Kip know after the meeting.            

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Anne de la Chappelle reported on the following topics:

The lighting at the front of PPL and along the stairway leading into the building was replaced by Murray Electric.

On February 1, work to replace the 45-year old elevator will begin and will take two to three months.  It is a $175,000 project, made possible by a 75-25 percent construction grant. 

A new youth services librarian, Ben Carman, has been hired.  He has taught high school English and most recently worked at Plattsburgh State.

There was an incident today with a homeless patron who was cutting up books.  The police handled the situation very nicely and the patron was told to never come back.

The City budget was passed recently.  They were really trying to stay within their tax cap yet they were way over budget.  In working with them a few times, PPL gave up a few things but the City knows that the library has taken huge cuts over the last few years.  Fortunately, Ben Carman was already on the books before the budget vote because all the other unfilled positions are going to be left unfilled.  Also, overtime has been cut. 

LTA representatives are providing more support for the LTA Institute in May than was originally thought, and with the other two Library Systems helping out, the Institute should be a great event.

This spring, PPL’s Friends group is bringing in a speaker whose topic will be how to start a friends group and how to reinvigorate a group.

PPL has shifted a big part of their adult fiction budget to help purchase new fiction e-books.

CEFDA will be meeting on April 22 at PPL.  Ewa Jankowska may be offering a workshop on makerspaces and there will be discussion regarding Kip Thompson’s request in the fall for trustees of member libraries offering to dually serve on the CEFLS Board.  Two of PPL’s trustees are willing to do so if there comes a need to fill a Clinton County seat.  As far as filling the current Franklin County seat, Anne suggested that Pete Benson at Saranac Lake Free Library or someone at North Country Community College might be able to suggest someone. 

Committee Reports

There were no committee reports.

Old Business

Sunshine and Leadership Funds:  Emily Castine announced that the Sunshine Fund has been funded for 2016 by 100 percent of the members, with a current balance of more than $300.  The Leadership Fund is four trustees short of 100 percent participation.  Emily stated that donations to Leadership can pay for the purchase of all types of books including e-books. 

New Business

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Service Priorities 2016 as presented for review prior to this meeting, seconded by Gary Alexander.  Motion carried unanimously.

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Individuals and Institutions with Whom to Conduct Business in 2016 and Individuals to Conduct Business in 2016, seconded by Wally Day.  Ewa Jankowska stated that approval of this document is done every year because trustees are required to sign a Conflict of Interest Statement.  By reviewing the document, trustees can see where potential conflicts of interest might occur.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Executive Session

Lisa Minnich motioned to enter into Executive Session at 5:27 p.m., seconded by Dorothy Latta, for the purpose of discussing the Director’s Evaluation, salaries of Management Confidential Staff and upgrading of a staff position.  Motion passed unanimously.

Return to Regular Session

Emily Castine motioned to return to Regular Session at 6 p.m., seconded by Tom Mandeville. 

Kip Thompson recapped Executive Session:

  • Lisa Minnich motioned approval, seconded by Scott McDonald, to upgrade a staff position provisionally, with a raise as the staff member goes into the position.  Motion caried unanimously.

  • Dorothy Latta motioned approval, seconded by Phyllis Magnus, to provide Management Confidential Staff with a three percent raise with a one-time payment equivalent to what they received last year, retro to January 1.  Motion carried unanimously.

  • Lisa Minnich will review with Ewa Jankowska the Board's thoughts with regard to her evaluation.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Board, Kip Thompson adjourned the meeting at 6:12 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held November 23, 2015

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, November 23, 2015 at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Charles “Kip” Thompson, President. 

 Oath of Office

The Oath of Office as a new trustee was administered by Kip Thompson to Scott McDonald.  Scott is from Jay, representing Essex County.

Roll Call

Present:  James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Wallace “Wally” Day (departed at 5:11 p.m.), Dorothy Latta, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville (entered at 4:36 p.m.), Scott McDonald, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Barbara Stowe and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Present at Saranac Lake Free Library:  Gary Alexander

Present at Schroon Lake Public Library:  Fran Filshie

Excused Absence:  Rita Quinn

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; and Michael Spofford, Finance Manager

Others Present:  Phyllis Magnus (at Saranac Lake Free Library)

Amendment to Today’s Agenda

Kip Thompson asked Ewa Jankowska to briefly recap what has been going on with Mooers Library in light of the fact that approval of a waiver for that library (#13.D) is being removed from today’s agenda.  Ewa and Julie Wever are intensely working on the situation. Ewa stated that Mooers Library was closed for at least four weeks this past summer because they ran out of money, then their Board resigned without providing official letters of resignation.  Before resigning, they should have appointed at least three people to a new Board.  The question has been raised whether the library has been open the number of hours required to receive the remaining 10 percent of their State Aid.  For that reason, they have been asked to submit a variance request to the CEFLS board and then the request will be submitted to the State.  The request would need to include a financial plan for next year’s operation.  Currently, CEFLS has not received such a request.  It is possible that the library can make up for hours that they have been closed because now it is open more hours than required.  Discussion ensued regarding the financial situations of member libraries, specifically the percentage of library directors’ salaries as compared to their budgets, measures of checks and balances, whose responsibility it is to handle various financial tasks, sources of funding for association libraries, and library staffing.  Ewa stated that there are people willing to serve on the new Mooers Library Board but they would need to be appointed by the old Board so the old Board needs to have a meeting.  Nicky Bryant inquired how much of this is the responsibility of CEFLS, to which Ewa responded that it is our responsibility to approve their variance request and that the remaining portion of State Aid, approximately $10,000 for all the member libraries, depends on the variance.  However, if Mooers can prove that they were open a sufficient number of hours, the variance would not be needed. 

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of removing #13.D from today’s agenda, seconded by Nicky Bryant, due to complications in preparing the waver for the number of hours that Mooers Library is required to be open.  Motion approved unanimously.

Consent Agenda

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Newly Amended Agenda

Approval of Minutes of October 23, 2015 Meeting

Committee Reports - Development, Executive, Health Plan, Negotiating, Property and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

CEFDA Report

Approval of Newly Amended Consent Agenda

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the newly amended Consent Agenda, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  Motion carried unanimously.

Communications

There were none.

Financial Reports

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Financial Reports prepared by Michael Spofford as presented, seconded by Scott McDonald. 

The following Financial Reports were provided for review prior to this meeting:

  • Over and Under Report for period ending October 2015
  • Grants/Non-Current Aid Report as of September 30, 2015
  • Budget-to-Date as of October 31, 2015
  • Balance Sheet as of October 31, 2015
  • Revenues vs. Expenditures Comparison Report
  • Grants/Non-Current Aid Report as of October 31, 2015

With no further discussion, motion to approve the Financial Reports as presented carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were none.

President’s Remarks

A proposed schedule of meeting dates for 2016 was provided for review prior to this meeting.  Kip Thompson and Nicky Bryant will not be available for a March meeting and historically that has been a difficult month to reach a quorum.  Kip suggested cancellation of the March meeting.  Emily Castine motioned approval of the proposed schedule, with the cancellation of the March meeting, seconded by Wally Day.  Motion carried unanimously.

Kip stated that with Barbara Stowe’s retirement from the Board after serving for many years, the Personnel Committee, which is an important committee, will have only one member.  Barbara explained that it is this committee’s responsibility to evaluate the Director.  To do this, there is a form to be sent to the trustees, the results are tabulated, the committee meets with the Director to review the tabulations, and then goals and objectives for the following year are set with the Director.  Kip would like to see 4 or 5 volunteers by January to serve on this committee, and he would like to see every trustee serving on a committee. 

When asked by Kip for a show of hands to see how many trustees would be interested in having a holiday party with the staff, several trustees expressed interest.  Ewa explained a little about how for the past several years staff ‘adopts’ a family through JCEO Head Start of Clinton and Franklin Counties.  JCEO chooses a family for CEFLS and provides a basic wish list that includes children’s sizes, then staff members sign up to purchase items.  We wrap the gifts, then deliver them to JCEO for delivery to the family.  Fran Filshie suggested that in the future it would be nice to do this for families in another area.

Director’s Report

In addition to her written report, Ewa Jankowska reported on the following:

An interesting issue came up this week involving the flying of the American flag in front of public libraries.  Ewa stated that it seems an appropriate thing to do, especially if the library’s Board of Trustees is requesting it.

Karen Batchelder and Ewa attended a meeting at SUNY Plattsburgh of a group called THRIVE.  This program used to be called STRIVE, which is a Cradle to Career Network, involving schools and preparation of kids and young people for work.  Although none of the organization’s documents mention libraries, libraries play an incredible role for preschoolers and children during the after-school hours, as well as help adults add to or polish their education.  THRIVE is planning to have a database of the participating organizations. Ewa is very interested in statistics and very concerned about using everyone’s expertise and resources wisely.  She would like the database to include what the organizations have to offer, as she is concerned about possible duplication of efforts.  CEFLS can provide a database called Learning Express that offers various tests for practice use.  As we continue to participate with this program, we hope to play an important role.

At one point we had obtained with a grant a database called Business Decisions that analyzed communities.  With it, CEFLS staff prepared an analysis of incomes, ages, and much more for each member library’s community.  Ewa watched a webinar this month on a database called Analytics on Demand that uses the data from our circulation system.  There is a lot about it that she does not know yet, including its cost but she would definitely suggest it to the State and maybe they could buy it.  Recently, Plattsburgh Public Library hired a consultant to analyze the users of their library.  Ewa would like to also analyze is who is not using libraries and why.

At a recent potluck lunch at Literacy Volunteers, Julie Wever and Ewa spoke with one of that board’s members about becoming a new trustee for the Mooers Library. 

CEFLS has an active and very interesting Facebook page.  Ewa encouraged trustees to friend us and take a look at it

CEFLS, together with several other public library systems, provided a written testimony to the Assembly Standing Committee on Libraries and Education Technology at a public hearing on “Funding Public Libraries” in New York City on November 6.

Ewa is trying to arrange for a meeting with Betty Little so that she and John Hammond, the Director of NNYLN, can thank the Senator for the Bullet Aid that was received by our member libraries.  So far, we have not received a call back from her office.  We will continue our efforts to schedule.

Michael Spofford and Ewa are going next Monday, November 30, and Wednesday, December 2, to Budget Hearings in Essex and Clinton Counties, respectively.  She welcomes Board members to accompany them.  We do not know what the 2016 funding from Essex County will be.  Clinton County is expected to give us a two percent increase, and Franklin County, which has already had their budget hearing, will be funding CEFLS at last year’s level.  Ewa reminded the Board that if the counties cut our funding by more than five percent, the State will cut us by 25 percent (due to the Maintenance of Effort Clause in Ed. Law). 

Questions for the Director

Barbara Stowe inquired what is going on in regard to the LTA event next Spring that the previous president of PPL’s Board was organizing.  Ewa recapped that when she was at the Northern New York Library Association conference in Lake Placid she was asked by an LTA member if she can guarantee 50 trustees will attend.  Ewa responded that she cannot get 50 trustees for training that we have for free, and for this particular LTA training there is expense involved, so it might be very difficult. 

                                                                                                                                              Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Ewa Jankowska reported for Anne de la Chappelle, who could not be present:

PPL’s Open House had approximately 300 people attend, with a great turn out for the Teen Extreme Trivia.

The Shen Marketing program is finishing up.  They will have time to read the sustainability plan and bring Tara back to answer questions.  It has been a wonderful experience poll the community, look at internal operations and plan for the future.

A negotiator will be brought in for contract Negotiations which have come to an impasse. 

A new page, Sally Kehoe, has been hired and is training with Sherry Silcio for her first week.  Interviews for Youth Services Librarian will be scheduled around the first week of December.

The Smart Room projector has been installed.  They are pricing a conference phone for the room which will be paid for with technology grant funds.

Community use of the Auditorium and Smart Room is increasing with very good feedback.

Application for a $500 Rotary Grant to help build a Maker Program for teens has been made.  A focus of the new librarian will be an afterschool maker program since there are a healthy number of middle school students using the library during the week.

Colleen Pelletier has begun an adult coloring program which is a national trend right now.  There will be another session on December 5th.

Committee Reports

Nominating Committee:  Emily Castine reported on the status of potential candidates for the Board.  Clinton County seats are all filled.  With Essex, it looks like all seats will be filled in January, with the addition of Scott McDonald at today’s meeting and Phyllis Magnus, who will fill Barbara Stowe’s seat in January.  With Franklin County, there are currently two vacant seats.  To that end, a resumé and letter of interest were received today from Liz De Fonce who resides Gabriels which is in Franklin County.  Liz is a former librarian and the owner of a book store in Saranac Lake.  Lisa Minnich motioned approval of sending Liz De Fonce’s name to the Franklin County Legislature to request that they appointment her to the CEFLS Board, seconded by Jim Bennett.  Motion approved unanimously.  There will then be 14 trustees on the Board, with one vacant seat for Franklin County. 

Kip Thompson added that he is awaiting CEFDA’s response to a letter he previously sent requesting their assistance by having trustees serving on member library boards volunteer to serve also on the CEFLS Board as needed.

Slate of Officers for 2016:  Emily reported on a full slate of officers for 2016.  The 2015 officers have agreed to serve another year.

Kip Thompson – President

Nicky Bryant – Vice President

Secretary – Gary Alexander

Treasurer – Lisa Minnich

Member-at-Large – Emily Castine

Jim Bennett motioned approval of the slate of officers as presented for 2016, seconded by Barbara Stowe.  Motion approved unanimously.

Sunshine and Leadership Funds:  Emily Castine recapped that with the approval of the Trustees Sunshine Fund Policy earlier this year, it was agreed that each trustee will pay $20 each January.  With the price of dish gardens being at least $40 and floral arrangements being $50 or $60, it is important to keep a healthy balance to be ready for emergencies. The fund is for the ailing, the grieving, the celebrating and those retiring.  You never know when some of these events will occur.  Kip Thompson added that in January when this is due, another reminder will go out. 

As Board members, trustees are to be models in leading the way in giving to the organization.  Funds donated to Leadership Fund can provide books, e-books and downloadable audiobooks that can be utilized by all member libraries.  The purchases that CEFLS makes with these donated funds can be dedicated in memory or honor of particular people.  Kip Thompson added that Leadership Fund donations can be thought of as holiday gifts to the System and they are tax deductible.    

Finance Committee

Lisa Minnich reported that the Finance Committee met briefly before today’s Board meeting to discuss a resolution to allow Michael Spofford, Finance Manager, to spend money when State Aid does not arrive in a timely manner.  Lisa Minnich resolved that management, the director and/or the finance manager can approve the transfer of funds during the 2016 calendar year from the reserve money market account and/or line-of-credit up to $150,000 to be used to pay vendor invoices or payroll if State Aid has not been received on time.  When the Aid is received, reimbursement will be made to the fund that was accessed and the interest that would have been accrued.  Jim Bennett seconded.  Motion approved unanimously. 

Advocacy Committee

Lisa Minnich stated that Dorothy Latta volunteered to join the Advocacy Committee and met with Lisa to learn what the committee does.  One of Dorothy’s many ideas is for CEFLS trustees and trustees of member libraries to meet with their county fair associations to discuss the possibility of manning booths at the county fairs in the summertime.  Bookmarks and brochures that explain how CEFLS serves each county could be handed out.  CEFLS trustees could be asked to spend a couple of hours once or twice during fair week to volunteer alongside trustees of member libraries to show that we are there for them.  This would be free publicity and would cost trustees nothing as they would receive a pass to enter the fairgrounds.  Dorothy suggested having a short meeting to discuss ways to make elevator speeches interesting and brief, and less involved than they are for more formal purposes.  Ewa added that maybe we could have some staff members help to man the booth and have some things for children to do.

Old Business

There was no old business.

New Business

Revision of the Use of Communication and Computer Systems Policy:  Ewa Jankowska explained that there has been a policy for Internet and computer use since about 1996.  What is being discussed today is E-rate.  Since 1996 or 97, the FCC and the Federal Government has been giving libraries and schools some reimbursement money to improve their connectivity with the internet and telecommunication.  The Internet was always a little complicated because about the year 2000, CIPA was introduced, the Children Internet Protection Act.  This required filters in libraries, even for adults and staff, so basically you would have to ask the librarian to remove the filter when you wanted to look for material on a topic such as breast cancer.  Since then, the filters have improved.  Now E-rate, or Universal Fund as it is known, is going to be phased out for the telephone connection and the only service you can ask for is some reimbursement for Internet connection which in itself has now been expanded to include reimbursement funds for some other things, such firewalls.  In order to apply for E-rate funds, you have to have a CIPA statement in your computer and Internet policy.  Although CEFLS is not open to the public and never has children in the building, we have to add the statement to our policy and obtain Board approval at a meeting that is open to the public, plus have prior notice of it published in the newspaper.

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the revision of the Communication and Computer Systems Policy, seconded by Emily Castine.  Motion approved unanimously. 

Building Security and Visitors to CEFLS Policy:  Ewa Jankowska stated that in the past CEFLS has never had a policy on building security and visitors.  With the CIPA statement now in our computer and Internet policy, and although CEFLS is not a public building, it seems appropriate to have a policy pertaining to who and how people enter the building.  Aside from CIPA, having a general policy regarding security and visitors seems wise. Scott McDonald motioned approval of the Building Security and Visitors to CEFLS Policy, seconded by Fran Filshie.  Motion approved unanimously. 

Central Library, Member Library and Reading Center Contracts:  The 2016 contracts are the same as the 2015 contracts, with only the dates being changed.  Nicky Bryant motioned approval of the 2016 Central Library Contract, Member Library Contract and Reading Center Contract, seconded by Emily Castine.  Motion passed unanimously.

Executive Session

Lisa Minnich motioned to enter into Executive Session at 5:31 p.m. for the purpose of discussing the Director’s Contract and to change the timing of an unpaid leave for a particular employee, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  Motion passed unanimously.

Return to Regular Session

Nicky Bryant motioned to return to Regular Session at 5:39 p.m., seconded by Tom Mandeville.  Motion passed unanimously.

Nicky Bryant motioned approval of renewing the Director’s Contract for a period of two years, beginning January 2016, and to amend the contract for $750 for professional memberships, and under Compensation, rather than to have a salary figure, it will say annual salary as negotiated.  Barbara Stowe seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of a two week unpaid leave for a particular employee for surgery in 2016, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  Motion carried unanimously.

Retiring Trustee Appreciation

Kip Thompson asked Barbara Stowe to come forward to receive a gift card and thank you card signed by the Board members in appreciation of her 10 plus years of service to CEFLS.  When asked for departing words, Barbara said that only really special people come onto this Board and they take good care of the System. Also, she said that she has enjoyed seeing the growth and development of Ewa Jankowska as a Director.  Barbara was asked to accept the Board’s appreciation and gratitude for helping out for all those years.

Upcoming Trustee Training

Ewa Jankowska reminded the Board of the upcoming trustee training and stated that few people have registered so far.  The System will give attendees a copy of the new 2015 Trustee Handbook, lunch will be provided, and one person from each library will receive travel reimbursement. 

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Board, Kip Thompson adjourned the meeting at 5:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held October 27, 2015

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, October 27, 2015 in the Community Room of Schroon Lake Town Hall, 15 Leland Avenue, Schroon Lake, New York, by Charles “Kip” Thompson, President.  The Schroon Lake Public Library is located in this building.

Tour of Schroon Lake Public Library and Introduction of Guests

Members of the Schroon Lake Public Library Board of Trustees and members of the public introduced themselves.  Kip Thompson invited them to take copies of the meeting packet to follow along.  Kip then adjourned the meeting briefly at 3:02 so that CEFLS trustees could take a short tour of Schroon Lake Public.  

Meeting Reconvened

The meeting reconvened at 3:09 p.m.

 Roll Call

Present: Gary Alexander, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Wallace “Wally” Day, Fran Filshie, Dorothy Latta, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Rita Quinn, Barbara Stowe and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Absent:  James “Jim” Bennett and Emily Castine

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; and Michael Spofford, Finance Manager

Others Present:  Jane Bouchard, Director at Schroon Lake Public Library; the following Schroon Lake Public Library Trustees: Laura Dewey, Diane D’Amico, Anne Durkee, Kathy Granger and Ralph Cooke; Michel Mickelsen Lee, former President of The Friends of Schroon Lake Public Library; and Meg Wood, Town of Schroon Lake Trustee

Consent Agenda

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda

Approval of Minutes of September 28, 2015 Meeting

Committee Reports - Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiating, Personnel, Property and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

CEFDA Report

Approval of Consent Agenda

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Consent Agenda, seconded by Fran Filshie.  Motion carried unanimously.

Communications

Dawn Recore read a letter of resignation from Donna Fulkerson who has been a CEFLS Trustee, representing Franklin County.  A thank you card to Ewa Jankowska from Lora Langston, Director of Elizabethtown Library, was read, followed by four cards to Julie Wever.  Each card expressed appreciation for the role that CEFLS had in helping to arrange the Healthy Aging Series that was recently presented by Lynn Edmonds at Elizabethtown Library.  Julie’s cards were from Lora Langston, Carla Hendrix, Marilyn Schultz and Mary Lou Grimmis.

Financial Reports

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Financial Reports prepared by Michael Spofford as presented, seconded by Nicky Bryant. 

The following Financial Reports were provided for review prior to this meeting:

  • Preliminary Over and Under Report for period ending September 2015
  • Accounts Payable and Receivable Quarterly Report
  • Budget-To-Date as of September 2015
  • Balance Sheet as of September 30, 2015
  • Revenues vs. Expenditures Comparison Report

Michael Spofford reported that on the Revenue and Expenditure Comparison on page 34 of the Board packet, a good share of the ancillary State aid, $304,000, was received this month.  $82,500 was Bullet Aid from Senator Betty Little which is pass-through money for member libraries and reading centers.  This money is also included under Grants-Member Libraries, as a $132,000 expenditure, of which $50,063 is Local Libraries Service Aid.  

Motion to approve the Financial Reports as presented carried unanimously.

Lisa Minnich recapped a request by Michael Spofford to move the following reserve funds totaling approximately $51,000 from the Operating Money Market Account to the Reserve Money Market Account.

Compensated Leave Reserve               Litigation Reserve                   

Vehicle Reserve                                   Phone System Reserve

Plant Reserve                                       Unemployment Insurance Reserve

Some of these expenses will not occur for months and years, so it makes sense to have them to a less active account where they will earn a higher rate of interest.  Lisa Minnich motioned approval to move the aforementioned Reserve Funds from the Operating Money Market Account to the Reserve Money Market Account, seconded by Fran Filshie.  Wally Day inquired whether reserve funds can be accessed by Board action at any time, to which Lisa responded that they can.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Public Comment Period

Michel Michelson Lee expressed gratitude for inter library loan service that she uses often, citing that it works very well given the distances involved.

President’s Remarks

On behalf of Emily Castine who could not be present for this meeting that we do have Sunshine Funds coming due at the beginning of the year.  In 2015 four trustees contributed.  The fund has a balance of $265 currently.  Kip has no concerns regarding this fund for the remainder of this year, so he suggests that contributions be made by January for 2016.  He also reminded trustees of Leadership Campaign, explaining that the envelope addressed to Michael Spofford, Finance Manager, that they each received upon arrival at today’s meeting is to simplify the process of contributing to each of these funds.  Kip stated that $80 was the average contribution in 2015, suggesting that the average for 2016 be raised to $100. 

Kip explained the thank you letter to Senator Betty Little that was circulated for signatures at the start of the meeting.  It is for the Bullet Aid amounting to $2,500 that was received by each member library and reading center this fall.  Kip hopes that the libraries are sending their own individual thank you letters or cards also. 

Kip spoke about communications he had with Ewa Jankowska and Anne de la Chappelle prior to sending a letter to CEFDA on October 13, 2015.  Kip formally requested CEFDA’s help by providing a reserve list of their own trustees for when CEFLS has sudden turnovers that cannot be filled by our own existing list of potential trustees. 

Kip had a discussion with Cali Brooks with regard to Adirondack Foundation investing funds for CEFLS.  She explained that Adirondack Foundation is really not interested because of the purpose we would have set for the funds.  If we requested all of our funds back right away, it would require the approval of the Adirondack Foundation Board.  They have begun to skew all of their requests for utilization of their investment expertise towards larger nonprofits, established institutions, and essentially they want a dividend return from a permanent endowment type of fund.  This is really not what we had in mind when considering this foundation.  

Kip would like to have a Finance Committee meeting in November to talk about the suggestion Rita Quinn made last month.  This involved having a standing authorization to use some portion of our line of credit in the event that a Board meeting could not take place due to weather conditions or lack of quorum.

Director’s Report

In addition to her written report, Ewa Jankowska reported on the following:

System staff had an unusual opportunity to participate in the New York Library Association Conference in Lake Placid last week.  Because our conference budget is very limited, different sets of people traveled back and forth for the four days.  It was a unique opportunity and although it was tiring, everyone was very enthusiastic. 

Ewa is very excited about the maker space presentation at NYLA.  Basically libraries are creating maker spaces where children and or adults create things.  A lot of people in the library arena think that maker space is what will save libraries in the future.  Today we have Google and e-books, and book circulation is declining catastrophically in some libraries.  Leah Hamilton, who had a presentation at the NYLA Conference, is willing to do a workshop on maker spaces for our member libraries.  Julie Wever will try to get a grant to fund it.

There is a new edition handbook for library trustees.  A copy will also be sent to each library.  We hope to have some trustee training in December and as an incentive to participate, we will provide a handbook to those who attend.  Training on financial responsibilities, the role of trustees verses the roll of the director, and not-for profit management in general will be done by Andy Robinson who is very well known in not-for-profit businesses and organizations.  Ewa has learned from Cali Brooks that Adirondack Foundation is very interested in helping with the training expense.

We are doing research to determine the actual land boundaries for CEFLS with regard to future improvements on the property. 

CEFLS owns two vans, a newer, white one that is used for ILL deliveries to member libraries and an older, maroon one that is used only as a back-up.  Sometimes both the newer van and the Equinox are in use, and an additional vehicle is needed.  At times, a personal vehicle is used, and at other times the older van is used.  The older van has more than 200,000 miles on it, has some engine issues and probably needs new brakes.  Ewa does not feel that it is viable to do the repairs and to continue to insure it, nor is a replacement vehicle warranted.  We hope to get a new van in 2017, while keeping the white one to use as a back-up.  She would like to have the Board’s approval to sell the older van.  Lisa Minnich motioned approval to seek sealed bids to sell the older, maroon van for the best price possible, reserving the right to reject the highest bid if it is not reasonable, seconded by Barbara Stowe.  Discussion ensued regarding the need for a back-up van, which mainly happens around the holidays when multiple deliveries are done at the same time.  Until such time that a new van is purchased, the Equinox can be used as the back-up vehicle, and if the white van went down for repairs, it would be feasible to rent a vehicle.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Ewa will be doing a presentation on November 13 in Saranac Lake for the Workforce Development Board.  She will speak on job related materials and databases that CEFLS can provide. 

Earlier this year, Jesse Feiler, who used to be the Board president of PPL and on the Library Trustee Association (LTA) Board, offered to organize and host the next yearly LTA seminar in Plattsburgh.  Ewa was not asked whether CEFLS would help, and she met with the director of LTA without any commitment.  Definitely CEFLS cannot help financially.  Jesse has now resigned from the boards of PPL and LTA.  Last week at the NYLA Conference in Placid, the LTA director indicated that he wants to speak with Ewa in the near future.  Also at NYLA, a trustee of LTA asked Ewa if she could get 50 trustees to come to the seminar, to which Ewa responded that she would try but cannot guarantee it.  The associated cost of attending an LTA seminar seems to be a deterrent.  Anne de la Chappelle, Director of PPL, has said that she now feels responsible for the seminar because it was her Board president who initiated it, but Ewa does not know whether there were any further discussions.    

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Ewa Jankowska reported for Anne de la Chappelle, who could not be present:

Creative Expressions Art Group, sponsored by NAMI, is a new weekly program that meets in the library’s auditorium and is open to the public.

A new smart projector will be installed by the City IT Department and Primelink will install new network drops in the Smart Room.

Contract negotiations continue with the next session scheduled for November 12th.

The positions of Page and Librarian have been advertised with encouraging results.  The Page selection process is underway.  Librarian applications are due by November 30th.

CEFLS is asking member library trustees to consider serving on their board while on the member library board to help CEFLS meet their quota of five trustees from each county.

An application for the 2015-16 Construction Grant in the amount of $74,605 was submitted to CEFLS.  CEFLS allocated a 43% match due to the volume of grant submissions from member libraries this year.

A 90 percent award check was received for the 2014-15 Construction Grant.  A contract with Otis has been signed with a start date of January 7, 2016.  Additional matching grants for technology for a smart projector, tablets and electronic maker kits for the Smart Room were obtained from Lake Placid Education Foundation and the Charles R. Wood Foundation, each in the amount of $2,500.

Work began on October 20 on the front entrance demolition and concrete/heating unit installation.  This is the result of the 2013-14 Construction Grant.

The final 10 percent ($2,250) of the 2012-2013 Construction Grant has been received, closing that file.

A brief discussion ensued regarding the construction projects, from grants past and present, which are taking place at PPL.  Fortunately, the City Engineering Department provides some help. 

More and more libraries have been applying for Constructions Grants since the funds are 75-25 percent matches.   Kip Thompson stated that having to raise only 25 percent is not going to last forever, so it is good that libraries are taking advantage of it.  Ewa added that the application process is extremely cumbersome causing many libraries to become discouraged, so Julie Wever does much of it for them.

Kip passed around a color photo from a recent Press Republican taken during the demolition of the old steps at PPL earlier this month.  The new steps will have an internal snowmelt system to help keep them clear in the winter. 

Committee Reports

Nominating Committee

In Emily Castine’s absence, Nicky Bryant recapped the status of the search for potential trustee candidates.  The biographical information of two candidates, both from Essex County, was distributed prior to this meeting.  One is Scott McDonald, a retired Director of Probation for Essex County.  The second one is Phyllis Magnus, a retired social worker.  Scott McDonald would be eligible to fill an immediate vacancy on the Board, and effective January 1, 2016 the seat that is currently filled by Barbara Stowe will be vacant when she steps down after having served two five-year consecutive terms.  Nicky Bryant motioned to send the names of Scott McDonald and Phyllis Magnus to the Essex County Board of Supervisors to request consideration of their appointments, seconded by Lisa Minnich.  Motion carried unanimously.

Gary Alexander pointed out that we had several potential candidates surface as a result of a church newsletter that Dorothy Latta sent to Gary’s church in Saranac Lake.  Three people have approached Gary to learn more.  Barbara Stowe stated that years ago the trustee coming off the Board was responsible for finding a replacement, to which Kip responded that Donna Fulkerson did just that.  Her potential candidate, from Franklin County, has stated that she will submit her resumé the first week in November.  Currently, there are two vacant seats in Franklin County. 

Old Business

There was no old business.

New Business

Now that we know that investing with Adirondack Foundation is not a viable option, Rita Quinn asked what our options are.  Kip Thompson responded that he is open to suggestions for creating a plan for future improvements of the plant infrastructure.  

Barbara Stowe complimented the charts and grafts in this month’s Board packet.  She noted that there are many more e-books being downloaded than audiobooks.  Ewa explained that there are two reasons for this.  One, the collection of e-books is much bigger and more and more people are better equipped to download them.  Two, downloading audiobooks is a little more cumbersome and requires more technology training.  Most of the e-books have been purchased with Central Book Aid (pass-through money) by the Central Library.  Originally CBA was meant for nonfiction and reference materials that would be available to member libraries.  Fortunately, CBA can now be used for databases and e-books, but the e-books must be adult nonfiction, and still must be available to everybody.  Ewa expounded a bit on the difficulty, relating to purchase price, encountered with buying nonfiction e-books.  We are trying to get more money for fiction because that is very popular.  A typical price for an individual for a fiction book for Kindle is up to $12 while the price for the same book for a library is around $85.  Also, with a lot of publishers, there are time limits so after a year whether a book was taken out, CEFLS loses it and it has to be repurchased.  Ewa stated that at a recent Member Libraries Advisory Council meeting, it was decided that it is probably better if some of these nonfiction books are purchased in paper because the libraries keep them.  She said there is another model that may be fairer.  It is based on number of checkouts, so for instance if an e-book was checked out 35 times, we might want to purchase it again.  The committee looked at a list of nonfiction books that were never checked out. 

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the trustees, Kip Thompson adjourned the meeting at 4:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held September 25, 2015

 Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, September, 2015 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Charles “Kip” Thompson, President. 

Roll Call

Present: James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Fran Filshie, Donna Fulkerson, Dorothy Latta, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Rita Quinn, and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Present at Saranac Lake Free Library via video conferencing:  Gary Alexander

Absent:  Wallace “Wally” Day and Barbara Stowe

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; and Michael Spofford, Finance Manager

Others Present:  Anne de la Chappelle, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library

Consent Agenda

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda

Approval of Minutes of August 24, 2015 Meeting

Committee Reports - Advocacy, Development, Executive, Health Plan, Negotiating, Nominating, Personnel, Property and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

CEFDA Report

Approval of Consent Agenda

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Consent Agenda, seconded by Donna Fulkerson.  Motion carried unanimously.

Communications

Dawn Recore read a letter appreciation from Lora Langston, Director, Elizabethtown Library Association, for assistance received pertaining to the submission of their 2015-2016 Construction Grant.  She complimented Julie Wever’s professionalism that made the experience much more favorable for them.

Fran Filshie expressed appreciation for the flowers she received from the trustees following her recent hospitalization.

Financial Reports

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Financial Reports prepared by Michael Spofford as presented, seconded by Fran Filshie. 

The following Financial Reports were provided for review prior to this meeting:

  • Preliminary Over and Under Report for period ending August 2015
  • Budget-To-Date as of August 2015
  • Revenues vs. Expenditures Comparison Report as of August 31, 2015
  • Grants/Non-Current Aid Status Report as of August 31, 2015
  • Balance Sheet as of August 31, 2015

Michael Spofford reported that as of this report, CEFLS received two statutory aids thus on page 34 of the Board packet it can be seen that in August, we received $782,000 in State aid which was 90 percent of our Local Service Support Aid and Basic Aid.  We were within a few days of having to use our line-of-credit.  Michael is starting the time consuming process of clearing up some accounts for next year’s audit.

CEFLS’ funding requests were prepared and submitted to each of the three counties for their recent deadlines.  A five percent increase was requested of each county. 

Kip Thompson asked about line item 5303, Capital Equipment – Physical Plant; there is $45,000 in the budget with nothing spent.  Michael responded that this is reserve/savings fund for future projects such as repaving the driveway and securing of the tunnel.  Next, Kip inquired about two State Correctional Aid grants, one of which ended in 2013.  Michael stated that a purchase order was just received, thus the funds will be encumbered from the 2013 grant, clearing up this account in the next month or so.  With regard to a similar situation for a State Correctional Aid grant that ended in 2014, Ewa explained that it sometimes takes a long time to plan and deliver a program. 

Rita Quinn asked that in light of lack of knowledge of when State funding will be received and how quickly we might have to access reserve funding or line-of-credit, would it be prudent to have a standing resolution to authorize expenditures, perhaps up to a certain amount, from one or both of those accounts.  She added that the cycle could be untimely for a meeting, and this might eliminate the likelihood that we would be unable to pay for something.  Kip responded that thanks to Michael’s accounting skills, we really have a good feel for the timing of expenses but it’s not a bad idea to suggest that the Board make a resolution to use these alternative funds two months ahead of time rather than one month.  His real fear is that we might not have a quorum or might have bad weather and won’t be able to pass a resolution in a timely manner. 

Lisa Minnich stated that Rita’s suggestion makes a lot of sense so if it becomes necessary, a new resolution would not be needed to use the line-of-credit.  To this Ewa responded that using reserve funds would be less costly. 

Kip would like to revisit this in the future to prepare a plan before the next cycle of State funding comes along.

Motion to approve the Financial Reports as presented carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were no public comments.

President’s Remarks

Kip Thompson reminded Board members that the November meeting is the week of Thanksgiving.  If anyone is going to go out of town, bear in mind that our meeting is that Monday, so please let us know in advance if you will be missing the meeting. 

The October meeting will be in Schroon Lake on October 27, which is a Tuesday, not a Monday, and it will begin at 3:00, not 4:30.  Emily Castine will not be able to attend as she will be away at a State Retired Teacher’s Convention, and Jim Bennett would like to do video conferencing from CEFLS.  Dawn Recore will check with Betsy Brooks to ask if that will be possible. 

Kip has communicated a little bit with Cali Brooks by e-mail but has not been able to have a conversation as of yet.  His understanding is that the Adirondack Foundation is only interested in serving non-profits that want to do a permanent endowment.  At this time, he is thinking that is not a good idea for CEFLS because Adirondack Foundation would have a say in how the funds are utilized, so if our wording is not specific or proper, we might be stopped from using our own money.  He will continue his attempts to speak with Cali to learn more.

Kip made a suggestion for which he didn’t want action taken right way, but would like trustees to consider this topic for a future meeting.  He would like to work with CEFDA with regard to our difficulty meeting quorums and filling the CEFLS Board.  He would like to work out a way that we could use the bigger system in a more effective way.  Each individual library has a set of trustees made up of community members who are already interested in libraries.  He suggested asking them, when we aren’t able to find someone to fill a vacancy, to rotate the responsibility among the member libraries to seed our list with a volunteer from the appropriate county who is willing to serve on our Board as well as their Board.  This discussion will be slated for an upcoming Board meeting.

Fran Filshie stated that for some time now we have wanted to get the trustees of member libraries together for trustee instruction and to explain how CEFLS works with their libraries.  She wondered if providing a training, following it with some sort of social networking event, would entice trustees to attend.  Dorothy Latta added that such an event would increase advocacy for what CEFLS does.  Ewa announced that there is a new 2015 edition of Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State and we are getting 300 copies at NYLA next month.  She would like to have a trustee training and give a printed copy to each person who attends.  Ewa explained that years ago before her arrival at CEFLS, funds were used to pay for travel and lunch for member library trustees who attended trainings; however, it was a negative expense, so the practice had to be discontinued.  Since then it has been difficult to attract trustees and directors to attend trainings, in part due to travel expenses.  Training is important, so with Julie Wever’s help, we have received some funds from Lake Placid Education Foundation that will be used for a trustee training. 

Kip suggested that Anne de la Chappelle share this information with CEFDA members and perhaps those who have active Friends of the Library groups could provide contact information to us.  From that, we could provide trustee-search flyers.

Director’s Report

Referring to a document that Ewa Jankowska handed out, she explained that Julie Wever prepared a ranking of all the construction grant applications, adding that the System has been allotted $318,512.  The construction grant is a 75 percent match, with libraries providing 25 percent.  The rating handout lists how much libraries requested and how much we are suggesting they receive.  Ewa requested Board approval of the recommendations as provided.  Emily Castine motioned approval, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  Ewa explained that recommendations were made after looking at fund balances and construction grants that have been awarded in the recent past.  Emily Castine commented that she didn’t see Mooers Public Library on the list.  Ewa responded that they didn’t apply, and with constructions grants you have to declare that after receiving construction grant funds, the library will be in operation for the next ten years.  Mooers Library was closed, due to lack of funds, for about six weeks this summer.  Right now they are open, with additional hours so maybe they can make up the difference.  Julie Wever and Ewa went to their Board meeting to offer help but the Mooers Board seems to be reluctant to accept.  Julie and Ewa had a conference call with our State Library consultant, who is going to visit Mooers Library when she is in the area for NYLA’s conference in Lake Placid on October 21 to 24.  Motion to approve the recommendations for construction grant funding carried unanimously.

We are currently distributing funds from a Betty Little Grant whereby every member library and reading center received $2,500.  Unfortunately, CEFLS did not receive anything, and fortunately, this grant might allow Mooers Library to stay open.  This grant did not require any paperwork on our part and final reports are not required.  It is actually called a bullet aid and is provided by the Senate.  Last year’s bullet aid went to libraries to the south of our System.  Ewa has been calling Senator Little’s office, and in March she visited her so she has been keeping the Senator informed as to our funding situation.  Ewa reminded trustees of how very important contact with the Senator is, and that it is even more important for her to hear from trustees. 

Ewa did a presentation at the Senior Center in Plattsburgh.  She is hoping that we can have more partners, like the Office for the Aging, particularly because there are increasingly more and more older people that we could serve.  It is interesting to Ewa that there are so many people and service organizations that do not think of libraries as a natural partner.

Several CEFLS staff members and Trustees Nicky Bryant and Emily Castine traveled to the Grande Bibliothèque in Montreal was last Friday.  It is a relatively new library comprising the National Archives, what used to be the National Library of Quebec and a large lending library.  It is a tremendous resource for their city and surrounding area.  Ewa was interested in their genealogy collection because she knows how many people from our area have French Canadian roots.  Their automatic book return was impressive: a book drop with a conveyor belt that circulates throughout the library, returning books to their points of origin.  It is also very interesting that they have Metro access within their building.

We have learned that Jesse Feiler has resigned as President of the Board of Trustees of Plattsburgh Public Library, so there is a vacancy there. 

Questions Directed to Ewa Jankowska

Referring to Interlibrary Loan, Kip asked about total items requested and total items received in the months of March and June when there were more items received than were requested.  Ewa responded that materials may have been requested earlier with lag time until they were received.

Dorothy Latta commented that looking at the percent of usage of non-digital vs. digital, the digital seems very, very small but she noticed that usage of downloadable e-books has increased about 50 percent over the same month a year ago, even though the numbers seem small.  Ewa stated that more people are getting used to that particular medium and we have considerably more e-books now.  Ewa finds it interesting that actually the usage of e-books is decreasing a little, showing that people are going back to traditional books.  Rita Quinn stated that the director at Goff-Nelson in Tupper Lake hands out bookmarks with printed instructions for downloading e-books and she finds that very helpful.  Ewa stated that we would like to have a web page to explain why some things are not available.  One reason is that some publishers end the lease after one year.  She and the director of PPL are considering buying more traditional books from publishers such as Penguin and Simon and Schuster, especially in the area of adult nonfiction.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Anne de la Chappelle reported:

PPL’s Librarian I, the children’s librarian, resigned in August so they will be opening the search for a new youth services librarian.  Services for the preteen and teenage ranges will be emphasized more. 

PPL is hosting an open house on November 7 which ties into their marketing plan.  The Smart Room will be set up with their Smart Board.  They are hoping their front steps will be done by then.

Anne is encouraging her Board to attend the NYLA Conference in Lake Placid, October 21 to 24.  There will be a lot of good workshops specifically geared for trustees, and to encourage them to attend, PPL will be offering reimbursement for registration fees out of their professional development line.  The Friends of PPL will be doing a poster session on Saturday and a couple of member library directors will be doing a session on small fund raising.  Anne will provide Ewa Jankowska with a schedule for the local presentations so that she can share it with the CEFLS trustees.

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Directors Association (CEFDA) Report

Anne de la Chappelle reported that ten members of CEFDA met in Keene Valley.  Topics discussed were:

Attendance:  There is a core group of directors who attend meetings.  Many directors work part time, they don’t necessarily get reimbursed for mileage, and they have many other priorities.

Trustees:  Discussion touched on trying to help find trustees for the CEFLS Board and encouraging trustees to participate in trustee training.  

Take a Bite Out of Books (TABOB):  This is a very successful youth campaign that has taken place for many years and has new coordinators. 

Members Advisory Council (MAC):  This comes out of CEFLS and is a group of member library directors together recommending book titles and serving as a consulting group.  Among other things, they encourage participation in more cooperative library development and reiterate the types of resources, data bases and book collections that we have as a system.  Newer directors look to MAC and CEFLS for guidance.

Committee Reports

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee met just prior to this Board meeting. 

Tentative 2015-02 Budget:  Lisa Minnich reported that they discussed the proposed amended budget 2015-02 that was distributed for review prior to this meeting.  It shows the funding actually received from New York State and the money that has actually been spent to date.  The only big changes are where funds were moved around.  Lisa pointed out that Central Book Aid is increased 322.17 percent in the e-books category because so little was previously spent.  It is all money that came out of other line items so it is not actually a change in the bottom line but does reflect the actual revenue from the State.  Nicky Bryant motioned approval of the Tentative 2015-02 Budget, seconded by Fran Filshie.  Michael Spofford stated that CEFLS received about $65,511 in increased aid, but some of that is Local Library Service Aid, Central Book Aid and Central Library Development Aid.  Those are funds that pass through the System to the member libraries.  CEFLS is still funded a little over 10 percent below what State Education Law states, which is about $100,000 that we are not getting on a yearly basis.  With no further discussion, motion carried unanimously.

Tentative Draft 2016 Budget:  The proposed draft 2016 budget was distributed for review prior to this meeting.  Amendments were made to allow for savings for the eventual purchase of a new van.  The van in question is approaching 300,000 miles.  Lisa Minnich explained that we want to be ready when it is time to make the purchase.  To make this amendment, Michael Spofford moved some money from the building repair reserve.  Other items that are being saved for are building repair and a new phone system.  The current phone system is from 1997 and is antiquated.  The proposed draft budget is based upon best guestimate of New York State Aid, county contributions and other indefinite factors.  Nicky Bryant motioned to accept the Tentative Draft 2016 Budget with the new amendments, seconded by Fran Filshie.  Dorothy Latta asked about saving for a telephone system, to which Lisa responded that plans are being made for its purchase.  Kip stated that a new van won’t be purchased in 2016, but money is being set aside to purchase it with NYS pricing.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Monthly Finance Reports:  In the monthly financial reports there are categories, such as with grants and pass-through State aid for member libraries, where money comes in and goes out, with the Board having really no say about how it is spent.  Grant money is already earmarked for plan x, y or z and is not really part of the CEFLS operating budget.  Michael Spofford would like to clarify things by removing these items from the monthly reports to show a true picture of the operating budget without the pass-through funds.  This money comes to CEFLS for CEFLS to administer it.  Lisa motioned for Michael Spofford to try to set up his reports that way to see what the Board thinks, seconded by Rita Quinn.  If this doesn’t provide the desired outcome, it can be changed back.  Motion carried unanimously.

Old Business

There was no old business.

New Business

Family Literacy Grant Year Two Final Report:  Ewa explained that this is a yearly overview of summer reading.  Libraries have to plan a program then submit a report to CEFLS.  After implementation, participating libraries receive $200.  Lisa Minnich moved to approve the Family Literacy Grant Year Two Final Report, seconded by Emily Castine.  Motion carried unanimously.

Variance Request for Elizabethtown Library Association:  Ewa Jankowska explained that libraries have to have certain standards.  Libraries in communities with up to 2,499 residents are to be open for 20 hours per week.  Those with 2,500 residents, have to be open 25 hours.  Elizabethtown Library was reporting on their Annual Report that they were open 25 hours but they were actually open 20.  Their new librarian noticed this and is requesting variance approval.  Beginning July 1, 2015, they have been open for 25 hours.  Nicky Bryant motioned approval of the variance request as received for review, seconded by Donna Fulkerson.  Motion carried unanimously.

Public Library Association Conference, April 5-9, 2016 and Abila Accounting Software Conference, March 3-5, 2016:  Ewa Jankowska would like to attend the PLA Conference in Denver, Colorado April 5-9, 2016 and Michael Spofford would like to attend the Abila Accounting Software Conference March 3-5, 2016.  If they preregister soon, CEFLS will save about $400.  Emily Castine motioned approval of preregistration for both conferences, seconded by Rita Quinn.  Motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Rita Quinn motioned to go into Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter for a particular person, seconded by Fran Filshie.  Executive Session was entered at 5:36 p.m.

Return to Regular Session

Nicky Bryant motioned to return to Regular Session at 5:40 p.m., seconded by Rita Quinn.  Motion carried unanimously.

The Board unanimously approved an unpaid two week leave of absence for a particular employee, to take place adjacent to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the trustees, Kip Thompson adjourned the meeting at 5:41 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held August 24, 2015

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, August 24, 2015 at Belden-Noble Memorial Library, 2757 Essex Road, Essex, New York, by Charles “Kip” Thompson, President. 

Roll Call

Present: Gary Alexander, James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Wallace “Wally” Day, Dorothy Latta, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Rita Quinn, Barbara Stowe, and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Absent:  Fran Filshie, Donna Fulkerson and Thomas “Tom” Mandeville

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; and Michael Spofford, Finance Manager

Others Present:  Anne de la Chappelle, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library; Tom Mangano, Director of Belden-Noble Memorial Library; and Colleen Van Hoven, President, Board of Trustees, Belden-Noble Memorial Library

Consent Agenda

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda

Approval of Minutes of July 27, 2015 Meeting

Committee Reports - Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiating, Nominating, Personnel, Property and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

CEFDA Report

Communications

Approval of Consent Agenda

Gary Alexander motioned approval of Consent Agenda, seconded by Wally Day.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Reports

Michael Spofford stated that it is unknown exactly where we are at with our funding because State Aid has not been received.  Between CEFLS’ checking account and money market account, there is about $45,000 available while maintaining a $25,000 minimum balance.  With Board approval, if necessary this week Michael would like to access $50,000 from our own reserve money market account for payroll and payables, and if necessary to draw on our line of credit the week of September 7th.   Michael explained that there is a State Aid application with all the dollar amounts we expect to receive this year and it contains four requirements:  member libraries’ annual reports have to be approved, our System’s annual report has to be approved, and we are adhering to the Maintenance of Effort clause which states that if we lose more than five percent average of our funding from the counties, our State Aid can be decreased by 25 percent.  The fourth item is a yearly assurance, confirming that we are following required guidelines; for example, CBA is being spent on non-fiction items and we have signatures from the seven correctional facilities with whom we deal. This year, for the first time, the assurance was to be submitted through a portal, which was done today.  Michael reported that last year it was at about this time or possibly a little earlier that we borrowed from our reserve account, then within a couple of days the aid was received from the State. 

Nicky Bryant motioned approval for CEFLS to first use reserve funds then access the line of credit if necessary, and to replace the funds when State Aid comes in, seconded by Rita Quinn.  Motion carried unanimously.

Michael stated that the recent annual audit by Martindale Keysor & Co. went well and was completed in three days by two auditors.  The only thing that needed to be adjusted was the depreciation for which there is no cash effect on our books.

We always request and are approved for an extension for submitting the IRS Form 990, from May 15 to August 15.  It was mailed in on August 13, 2015.  Copies were provided to trustees prior to this meeting.  If we are notified that any changes are necessary, a Form 990X will be submitted.

The following Financial Reports were provided for review prior to this meeting:

Preliminary Over and Under Report for period ending June 2015

Preliminary Over and Under Report for period ending July 2015

Accounts Payable and Receivable Quarterly Report

Grants/Non-Current Aid Status Report as of June 30, 2015

Balance Sheet as of July 31, 2015

Revenues vs. Expenses as of July 31, 2015

Budget-to-Date as of July 31, 2015

Grants/Non-Current Aids Status Report as of July 31, 2015

Michael stated that Clinton and Essex Counties have announced the dates by which they want to have CEFLS’ requests for 2016 funding, September 4 and 11, respectively.  Franklin County’s request will be forthcoming in the near future and their due date will be soon also.  Michael is working on a tentative budget for 2016 which is difficult to do when we do not know what funding we are getting in 2015.

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Financial Reports as submitted, seconded by Emily Castine. 

Motion carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

Tom Mangano, Director of Belden-Noble Memorial Library, welcomed everyone and offered thanks to CEFLS for all the great help they receive.  He has been at Belden-Noble for four years.  They became automated during his first year.  Without the help of Betsy Brooks, Tom doesn’t know how they would have accomplished it.  Essex is a very seasonal community with the number of patron visits in the summer much higher than in the winter.  It used to be unusual to have young families in the community but now, partly thanks to Essex Farms, there are a number of young families.  As a result, Belden-Noble has increased their children’s events and even has a toy loaning program.  Tom and Colleen Van Hoven, President of their Board, talked a bit about applying for a NYS construction grant.  They are very grateful for the assistance of Julie Wever, CEFLS Consultant, with regard to the application process, and they expressed appreciation of the implementation of ILL.

Tom and Colleen offered a bit of history of the library going back to 1801 when they believe the building was constructed as a warehouse.  At that time, Essex was a major shipping area but that changed when the railroad went up, and then the building stood vacant for a while.  In 1899, a provisional charter for a library was obtained and the building was again occupied.  Their permanent charter was obtained in 1906.  

Colleen proudly stated that the little community of Essex has raised almost $21,000 for their matching construction grant.  At a meeting that was held earlier today, she learned that the cost of the extensive renovation that they want to do will be about $75,000. 

President’s Remarks

Kip Thompson talked of the delay in getting funding from New York State and the fact that our working capital may be used up and then we may have to use the line of credit.  He is interested in investigating potential ways, such as development of a foundation, that CEFLS can generate funds so as to not be so dependent on funding that arrives late or can be cut with little warning.   

While at the PULISDO meeting in Vernon Downs in July, Ewa Jankowska learned that very, very few systems actually have foundations.  The smaller systems that do say that they are totally inactive and it’s very hard to find trustees for the systems’ boards and then to find another set of trustees for the foundation boards.  A public institution, such as the System, cannot invest money; however, Ewa suggested that if there was a way that CEFLS trustees could raise enough money to start an account at the Adirondack Foundation, then an additional board and an investment specialist would not be needed.  She would like to meet again with Cali Brooks of Adirondack Foundation to learn their requirements and the steps to get started. 

Ewa stated that any start-up money of CEFLS would be owned by Adirondack Foundation and any interest would belong to CEFLS.  Kip added that Adirondack Foundation would be bound to invest our money and keep it in trust for us.  Nicky Bryant added that our money with Adirondack Foundation would not be easily available to us if we wanted to withdraw it, but under certain circumstances, they would make it available.  Kip stated that a legal document would be put in place, with the primary purpose of the interest earned being to support CEFLS if NYS funding were to be cut back. 

Ewa stated that CEFLS has stock that at one time was given to us.  We could probably sell it and use it for something, but we cannot invest funds by giving them to Adirondack Foundation. 

Rita Quinn stated that bequests seem to be a viable revenue source.  She suggested letting funeral directors know that we can accept bequests, and having envelopes available with our services listed so people know that they can make donations.  Kip suggested that over time, bequests made by people who use the member libraries could be significantly beneficial.  Ewa stated that a similar program was tried years ago with brochures available in the libraries, but was not very successful. 

Emily Castine stated that people don’t know what CEFLS is or does.  She feels that brochures made available on the circulation desks in each library might help, as well as an article in the newspaper. 

Dorothy Latta feels that if brochures are placed in individual libraries, CEFLS would be taking away from individual libraries who are also trying to raise funds.

Dorothy stated that if we work with Adirondack Foundation, they would do promotion throughout the Adirondack region using a description of CEFLS, written by us.  Participants of Adirondack Foundation channel their donations to specific areas of interest, using a form similar to that of United Way, so if for example CEFLS were to be listed under education, the funds of participants who select education could benefit CEFLS.  Further, she stated that a foundation has that extra level of long-term sustainability.

Ewa added that Adirondack Foundation is already familiar with CEFLS because when libraries get construction grants, matching funds are available for technology use from Woods Foundation and Lake Placid Education Foundation but it all comes through Adirondack Foundation. 

Kip wants to invite Cali Brooks to explain to the Executive and Finance Committees the fee structure involved with beginning with $10,000, understanding that with a smaller amount, the fees would be steeper.     

Kip would like to continue this sort of discussion, so he encouraged trustees to share their questions or ideas with him or Jim Bennett.  Some sort of ad hoc group will be formed to work on this to see if we can come up with a more organized program that will probably involve all of us doing something in the next year or so. 

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska provided trustees with a list of the eight libraries who were awarded construction grants.  The etiquette is that we don’t host a press release before the libraries’ local legislator sends the libraries a letter. 

Member libraries have kept CEFLS very busy lately.  There was an issue at Lake Placid Library with the library director’s mother being the chairwoman of the Board.  Some time ago when the director was hired, Ewa addressed this with her and she thought the issue had been resolved.  It came to light again recently when Ewa received a telephone call from the director of the Lake Placid Education Foundation, when that library was to receive their annual award of $20,000.  His concern was conflict of interest.  It appears now that the issue has been resolved. 

Through some rather strange channels, we learned that Mooers Library has been closed with a sign on the door that says it is closed due to lack of funds.  Ewa drove there and saw that the sign does say it is temporarily closed.  She spoke with the director on the phone and would like to meet with her to learn more.  It does appear that they ran out of money and they are now waiting to get their school district funding (approximately $9,500) in September.  Mooers is an association library and is, as all member libraries are, independent.  The situation is very worrisome.  There is a clause in Education Law that says that if a library’s Board doesn’t take care of the library, the Regents can take over.  Also, Mooers Library has received several construction grants and they are in the process of building a new library.  When accepting a construction grant, there is a clause that says that the library must be kept going for ten years.  If the library were to be dissolved, we don’t know if the trustees would be responsible for returning the funding.  Fortunately for the patrons, all libraries sign a document called Direct Access Plan meaning that anyone with a Mooers Library card can use any one of the libraries in the System and access all electronic media. 

At last month’s Board meeting, Ewa was asked to find out how other library systems get their local funding.   Very few library systems responded.  Some of them do not ask for local funding but it is important to know that those systems, such as on Long Island, get large membership fees from member libraries. 

Ewa also learned that when requesting local funding, not-for-profit organizations in general often request the current rate of inflation.  Westchester Library System asks for five percent every year, beyond what they get from each library. 

When CEFLS sends out letters requesting funding from the three counties, we tell them highlights of what we provide with the funding with emphasis on the book delivery system and other resources to the member libraries. 

Ewa reminded trustees of the trip to Grande Bibliothequé in Montreal on Friday, September 25, from 11:00 to 1:00.  This library is state-of-the-art for Quebec.  They are expecting 10 to 15 of us to visit.    Staff will travel in the Equinox.  Trustees are encouraged to also attend and they will have to organize transportation among themselves.  If Ewa sees that we will not have 10 to 15 people attending, she will then consider opening up the invitation to others.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Anne de la Chappelle reported:

Jesse Feiler, President of the PPL Board of Trustees, is participating in the NYLA Sustainability Initiative which is considering such things as library funding, carbon footprint, and how libraries are going to be here in 10 or 15 years.  He is holding a one hour pre-meeting with the PPL Board prior to their regular monthly meeting tomorrow to start discussion on this ongoing topic. 

PPL was the recipient of a $125,438 construction grant.  The bulk of the money will be used for modernization of their 1970s elevator.  About $11,000 has been used to create a smart room on the main floor.  This is a meeting room where they would like to have such technological concepts as a smart board and a 3-D printer.

Caleb Mosier of PPL is doing pop-up libraries as part of the Central Library’s outreach.  He is handing out information about PPL, CEFLS, and library resources at farmer’s markets, the mall, and community events such as the Battle of Plattsburgh which is coming up.

PPL has hired a marketing consultant, Tara Powers, to inform the public of the libraries’ services and resources, such as e-books and e-magazines.  Part of the funding for this will come from Central Library Development Aid and part of it will come from their personnel line item.  The intention is to put something in place with a consultant on a one-time basis that PPL can then sustain regardless of the city’s finances.  PPL has a goal of building a capital reserve of $100,000 to cover shortfalls while they wait for funding. 

Committee Reports

There are no Committee Reports.

Old Business

Sunshine Fund Discussion:  Emily Castine, author of the Trustees’ Sunshine Fund Policy, led a discussion regarding cards and flowers for trustees when a qualifying event occurs.  She suggest having one person from each county to carry this out because that person would be familiar with their local flower shops.  Kip pointed out that he is from Essex County but was in the hospital in Plattsburgh, so there can be county-crossovers.  Emily then volunteered to execute the Trustees’ policy with the understanding that there may be a time lag depending on when they learn of a qualifying event.  It was suggested that she could call trustees from the other counties for flower shop recommendations.  Michael Spofford reminded her to submit receipts for reimbursement from the Sunshine Fund.

Emily then addressed the topic of refreshments for meetings, as it is written into the Sunshine Fund Policy.  Coffee for meetings is purchased with Sunshine funds.  It was decided that in the event that the Board decides to meet in some other manner, with trustee approval, refreshments could be provided from the trustee fund.  Emily feels that a $20 contribution per trustee to the fund every January, plus a contribution to Leadership Campaign at the same time, is a good way to keep these funds in good standing.  Michael Spofford stated that if there are numerous events in a year and the Sunshine funds get low, he will let the Board know so it can be addressed.

Alternate Times for Away Meetings:  Barbara Stowe stated that attending away Board meetings sometimes means a long distance to drive, involving a lot of extra time.  Having these meetings begin at an earlier time would allow trustees to attend and then drive home before dusk.  Dorothy Latta stated that she has another commitment on Mondays that makes it impossible to attend meetings that begin early in the afternoon.  Kip stated that with our quorum issues, we want to be careful about selecting a time that knowingly eliminates anyone.  Lisa Minnich suggested being flexible with away meetings, deciding locations and start times on a case-by-case basis.  Jim Bennett suggested taking advantage of teleconferencing for away meetings, to which Ewa responded that only Malone, Schroon Lake and Saranac Lake have that capability, and it can possibly work with Akwesasne.  It was then brought up that using teleconferencing defeats the purpose of away meetings, a point agreed upon by several trustees.  The October 26 meeting is scheduled to be held in Schroon Lake and it is already known that Tom Mandeville can’t attend and that Dorothy won’t be able to make a time that is earlier than 4:30.  Kip asked if moving the October meeting to Tuesday, the 27th, would work for the majority and it does appear to be better.  Dawn Recore will check on the availability of Schroon Lake’s meeting room at 3:00, and the trustees will be informed.

New Business

Review and Approval of IRS Form 990:  Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the IRS Form 990 as submitted to the IRS, understanding that if any amendments are needed, a Form 990X will be filed.   Barbara Stowe seconded the motion.  Michael Spofford commented that last year there was a shortfall from when we got rid of the bookmobile, which took off approximately $88,000 under assets.  This year the numbers are basically along what they were last year without that loss.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Approval of Adult Literacy Grant Year-Two Final Report:  Ewa explained that this is a yearly overview of the project’s focus and use of the grant funds.  This particular grant had to incorporate assistance provided to job seekers.  Emily Castine motioned approval of the Adult Literacy Grant Year-Two Final Report, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  Motion carried unanimously.

Possible Amendment to Bylaws Relating to Quorum Issues:  The Bylaws were distributed to trustees prior to this meeting.  In the CEFLS Bylaws and in the NYS Handbook for Trustees as defined by NYS Education Law, quorum is defined as the majority of the full board.  It is not possible to change the number of trustees needed to constitute a quorum.  Emily Castine would like all trustees to help in the search for people to serve on the Board.  Currently, Essex and Franklin Counties each have one open seat, and a second Essex County seat will become vacant on January 1, 2016, when Barbara Stowe comes off the Board after fulfilling two full terms.

Ewa Jankowska suggested asking each of the three counties to lower the number of trustees they appoint, so rather than five from each county, there would be three or four.  Several trustees stated that that would not solve the problem.

Kip asked for an addition to future agendas, toward the end and in red:  a reminder of any vacant Board seats and a request from the Nominating Committee for potential candidates’ names.  He reminded the Board that it is up to them to recruit trustees.  Michael Spofford stated that on our Annual Report we are asked by NYS DLD for a plan to build up to a full board.  Wally Day suggest a press release.  Lisa Minnich suggested that we send out the trustee search poster to the member libraries again.  Dorothy Latta’s suggested that Ewa write a paragraph summarizing the need for trustees that can be circulated by the Board to their e-mail contact lists.    

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the trustees, Kip Thompson adjourned the meeting at 6:09 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held July 27, 2015

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:36 p.m. on Monday, July 27, 2015 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Vice President. 

Roll Call

Present: James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Wallace “Wally” Day, Fran Filshie, Dorothy Latta, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville, Mary “Lisa” Minnich and Rita Quinn

Present by video conferencing from Saranac Lake Free Library:  Donna Fulkerson and Barbara Stowe

Absent:  Gary Alexander, Emily Castine and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Others Present:  Anne de la Chappelle, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library

Consent Agenda

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda

Approval of Minutes of June 1, 2015 Meeting

Committee Reports - Advocacy, Development, Executive, Health Plan, Negotiating, Nominating, Personnel, Property and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

CEFDA Report

Approval of Consent Agenda

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Consent Agenda, seconded by Rita Quinn.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Reports

Lisa Minnich motioned that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Tom Mandeville.

  • Budget-to-Date Report as of 6/30/15

  • Balance Sheet as of 6/30/15

  • Revenues vs. Expenses Comparison for June 2015-15 & YTD 2014-2015

Michael Spofford stated that an Over and Under Report was not included at this time.  He will try to distribute one early next week.  He has been quite busy working with the auditors. 

Regarding the Revenue vs. Expenditures Comparison Report, Michael stated if you look at Operating Revenue, Other State Aid, in 2014 Fiscal Year-to-Date Actual, it shows $161,624.81 but in 2015 it shows zero.  The reason is that Michael was waiting for the audit to be completed because there is an amount that we put into what we call deferred revenue.  That is revenue received from the State of New York or from our local grants, not spent in that year, so it is carried over as deferred revenue.  When it is spent, then we can say it is revenue.  For instance, in this year’s Central Book Aid, there was about $100,000 worth of deferred revenue that was moved into 2015 and spent on e-books and regular books.  After the audit is reviewed, Michael will list that money as revenue.  

Motion to approve the financial reports as presented carried unanimously.

Vice President’s Remarks

Nicky Bryant stated that Kip Thompson continues to express interest in generating revenue for CEFLS.  One of his considerations is to create a foundation.  He would like to know how to do so, ways that staffing could be shared, whether other systems have done so and could we share information with them.  He is asking everyone to think about this and look at options.  He would like to hear from anyone with an interest and or ideas. 

Jim Bennett stated that he has attended about four meetings this past month and has come back with what he thinks is most appropriate funding source for a system; a legacy where people leave money in their wills to the system.  Although it is long range, this type of legacy is being advocated for foundations across the country.  Legacy funds would be directed to either offset or compliment system programming.

Ewa Jankowska stated that an option for raising funds is to become part of the Adirondack Foundation.  She thinks an initial input of $5,000 or $7,000 is required and then dividends are paid from the money invested.  However, the amount originally invested would be a gift and would no longer be ours.  The return on such an investment varies, but the percentage may be in the teens rather than the single digits.  By comparison, Ewa stated that if the CEFLS Board sets up a foundation, an investment specialist would be needed to manage the funds.  With Adirondack Foundation, they would be the investment specialists.  

Ewa commented that when she is at the annual PULISDO meeting this week, she will inquire about the success of smaller systems having foundations.  She knows that some very big systems, such as Buffalo and the three in New York City, have foundations but they are very large entities and can afford to have people working for the foundations.  She stated that having a foundation is an interesting idea, and she commented further that CEFLS already has 501c3 status.

Public Comment Period

There were no public comments.

Director’s Report

New Hires:  Though Ewa Jankowska believed that the three new hires at CEFLS should be Board approved, Kip Thompson does not.  Ewa recapped:

In March, Anja Bouchard, Librarian I, was hired and we are very pleased with her. The Technical services Department and the Automation Departments were combined when Elizabeth Rogers retired, so Anja is supervised by Betsy Brooks, Librarian III.

We have a new Library Clerk, David Fuller, who is working in the Outreach Department under the supervision of Julie Wever, Librarian III. David is very gifted in the area of internet technology. Ewa handed out bookmarks made by David promoting e-books and other electronic media.

We are also pleased to have a new Page who is working four hours per week, Sean Godreau. With regard to being understaffed, Sean has been a great help.

Ewa praised Michael Spofford, Anja Bouchard and David Fuller, and Betsy Brooks who assisted on the telephone because she was traveling, for troubleshooting our internet connection when it was down this morning.  Ewa commented that she may ask Betsy to provide an emergency book that can be used when she is not present to respond to situations like this.

Tomorrow Julie, Betsy and Ewa are going to Vernon Downs for the annual PULISDO retreat for directors.  The focus this year will be on outreach and internet technology, so Julie and Betsy will attend.  Success stories will be shared to help others understand what other people are doing.  Jeff Cannell, the Assistant Commissioner, Department of Education, will be present and wants to hear what directors would like the State Library to offer.

Ewa pointed out that in Betsy’s report it shows the usage of the website and e-books.  Since last year, website usage has gone up 30 percent.  We are still working on a new website that will be really interesting and a great resource.  Our Facebook presence is also increasing, as we continue to post entries involving on local, national and even international libraries, ideas and events, books, and we have found that people really enjoy lists, such as links with lists of popular books for summer reading.

With some of our grant money, Julie Wever was able to add five young adult titles to our Flipster subscription so we now have some magazines for youth.  She also got some money from NEH for a program called Growing and Aging that will take place in a few libraries in the Fall. 

Michael Spofford reported today that all 30 libraries’ Annual Reports have been approved by the State, and CEFLS’ as well. 

Jesse Feiler, the President of the Board of Trustees of PPL, is working on the Trustees Institute for 2016 that will be held here in Plattsburgh on May 6 and 7.  Apart from the regular session for trustee training, he would like to have a session called “Every Library is a Small Library”. 

Jesse Feiler is representing both PPL and CEFLS at a retreat organized by NYLA in September, called Sustainability Initiative Retreat.  Topics related to sustainability will be discussed, such as energy and finances, resiliency, how to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions, flexibility and space planning, business continuity planning, regenerative planning to bring new and vigorous life to an area or institution to revive libraries and whole system thinking.  Ewa would like to invite Jesse to talk with us after his return to share information.

Questions Directed to Ewa Jankowska

Regarding Flipster, Nicky Bryant asked if there is any way that its usage can be reported in Betsy’s monthly report.  Ewa said the usage was tracked in in the beginning, and at that time it was not very impressive so we are marketing it more.  It was introduced with a press release, and we will continue to make Flipster posts on Facebook and distribute bookmarks. Its usage will become a part of Betsy’s monthly reports.

Dorothy Latta stated that she read something in the local seniors’ paper about CEFLS and the Senior Center and somehow it seemed to be connected to a reading center.  Ewa responded that she did not see it, but she is supposed to do a presentation at the Senior Center in September.  Rita Quinn stated that in the draft audit report she read something about CEFLS serving “x” number of libraries and “x” number of reading centers, and Dorothy stated that might be what she was remembering.  Ewa added that CEFLS does supply rotating collections to senior centers.

Barbara Stowe reported that Ewa gave an excellent talk at a breakfast meeting in Lake Placid.  Many people have told Barbara how very helpful and informative it was. 

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Anne de la Chappelle reported:

PPL is now serving as a remote location for City Council meetings and work sessions.  IT provided them with a laptop with SKYPE to connect from the new meeting room which has been renamed their “Smart Room”.

PPL recently had an Amnesty Week.  Thirty-eight patrons were pardoned for 73 items, with a total of $112.80 in fines waived.

Caleb Mosier, Librarian, has been doing Pop-Up Libraries at locations such as the Farmer’s Market, the Mall, Koffee Kat coffee shop and Mayor’s Cup where he was set up adjacent to CEFLS’ booth.  Using a new iPad Air 2 to demonstrate resources and Bluetooth scanner to facilitate registration, these Pop-Up Libraries have been met with varying degrees of success.

Anne thanked Michael Spofford for his work on the Annual Reports, PPL’s included, acknowledging that it is a tedious job. 

The Construction Grant portal is open again and a lot of libraries will be looking to do good things.  This year PPL would like to consider replacing fluorescent lighting from the 1970s in the main area with LED lighting, which should not be a hugely expensive project.  It would achieve a lot in terms of sustainability and save a lot on the electric bill.          

Committee Reports

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee met just prior to today’s Board meeting.

Request for funding from Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties:  Lisa Minnich stated that it is the time of year when CEFLS has to send a request to the three counties, usually along with our estimated budget and other information, asking for funding for next year.  It is very important that our local funding adheres to the "Maintenance of Effort" clause in the NYS Education Law.  Last year CEFLS asked for a five percent increase and received it only from Franklin County.  The Committee feels that requesting five percent again this year would be appropriate. 

Lisa motioned to request a five percent increase from each of the three counties, seconded by Fran Filshie. 

Rita Quinn asked if the counties each contribute an equal amount.  Lisa responded that Clinton County usually supplies the largest share.  There is effort to build up the other two, but it is difficult because they are not well off.  Michael stated that Franklin is at about $18,000, Essex at about $22,000 and Clinton at about $40,000.  Jim Bennett asked if there is a formula based on population.  Ewa said that years ago, they all started at the same level, she thinks at $7,000, but it is hard to judge them that way.  Essex County has 16 libraries.  Clinton has 8, but Clinton has bigger libraries.  Franklin County has only five, but two of them receive two deliveries per week.  Though Essex County has 16 libraries, two years ago they wanted to cut all our funding, so requesting funding is a very delicate challenge.

Jim would like to have an internal discussion on funding formulas to investigate the possible impact.  He asked if Ewa could ask at PULISDO this week what other library systems use to determine funding requests.  Ewa stated that there are other multi-county systems, but they are different because they are not federated systems.  North Country Library System is the largest geographic-area multi-county system and is a cooperative system.  Geographically, CEFLS is second largest and we are more government-like.  We were started by a resolution by our three counties, so in a way we are their creation. 

Motion to request five percent from each of the three counties carried unanimously.

Draft Independent Audit by Martindale Keysor Co.:  The Finance Committee had an exit meeting today with the auditors of Martindale and Keysor Co. to review their notes on our financial statements and anything that they thought was significant in the report.  The only note is that we don’t use the accrual process for post-retirement benefits, as it is not cost effective for us. 

Lisa motioned approval of the draft independent audit, seconded by Wally Day.  Motion carried unanimously.

Communications

Dawn Recore a thank you card from Kip Thompson for the dish garden and card he received from the Board following his hospitalization earlier this month.

Old Business

Sunshine Fund Discussion:  Emily Castine, author of the Trustees’ Sunshine Fund Policy, was not present so this discussion was tabled until the August meeting.

New Business

Discussion of quorum issues:  Nicky Bryant stated that Kip Thompson is concerned with the difficulty the Board has in having quorums so meetings can occur and business can be conducted.  She feels part of the issue is that there are some vacancies on the Board.  Ewa Jankowska discussed with Nicky this morning that 50 percent plus 1 is required for a quorum, assuming all the trustee seats are filled.  Rita Quinn stated that that is really a super quorum.  Kip is requesting that trustees think about this and be prepared for discussion at the next meeting.  Recognizing that people are busy and have lives separate from the library system, it is not always feasible to attend every meeting.  

There have been two meetings cancelled so far this year due to lack of quorum, and two were cancelled last year.  In both years, the month of March did not have a quorum so Ewa suggested that consideration be given to not having March meetings.

Discussion ensued regarding the possibility of the CEFLS Bylaws.  Lisa suggested defining membership as the number of trustees currently in office.

It was decided that the section in the Bylaws pertaining to quorum as well as the section describing the procedure for changing the Bylaws will be distributed to the trustees and this discussion will be tabled until next month. 

Discussion of time for October meeting:  Ewa Jankowska’s suggestion is to have the October meeting at Schroon Lake Public Library and it would be nice if we could meet earlier than the usual 4:30 time.  Lisa Minnich asked the Board to consider having all away meetings at an earlier time, perhaps 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon, because of the distances required for travel.  Due to Tom Mandeville’s work schedule, he commented that he can attend away meetings only in the summer. 

Discussion ensued regarding potential video conferencing or skyping away meetings.  At this time, video conferencing is not typically done for away meetings, and skyping is not allowed for any voting issues, per Open Meetings Law.

Rita Quinn motioned for an earlier meeting time for October, seconded by Tom Mandeville. 

Fran Filshie will check on the availability for the Schroon Lake Town Board meeting room for the afternoon of October 26. 

Motion for an early meeting time for October carried unanimously.

The August meeting will be in Essex and will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Executive Session

Reclassification of a job title:  For the purpose of discussing reclassification of a job title, Lisa Minnich motioned to enter into Executive Session at 5:23 p.m., seconded by Jim Bennett.

Return to Regular Session

Regular Session was re-entered at 5:30 p.m. 

Lisa Minnich motioned approval to reclassify Michael Spofford’s job title to Financial Manager with a one percent raise, effective immediately, seconded by Fran Filshie.  Motion carried unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the trustees, Nicky Bryant adjourned the meeting at 5:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held June 1, 2015

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, June 1, 2015 at Saranac Lake Free Library, 109 Main Street, Saranac Lake, New York, by Charles “Kip” Thompson, President.  Kip thanked Peter Bensen, Director of Saranac Lake Free Library, for hosting this meeting in their spacious Thomas B. Cantwell Community Room.

In lieu of Roll Call, Kip Thompson asked everyone, going around the room, to introduce themselves and state their affiliation with Saranac Lake Free Library or the System.

Present:  Gary Alexander James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Fran Filshie, Donna Fulkerson, Dorothy Latta, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Rita Quinn, Barbara Stowe and Kip Thompson

Excused:  Emily Castine and Wallace “Wally” Day

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Others Present:  Peter Bensen, Director of Saranac Lake Free Library, and Margaret Worden, Trustee of Saranac Lake Free Library

Oath of Office – Trustee

Kip Thompson, President, administered the Oath of Office to Thomas Mandeville as a Trustee of the Board. 

Consent Agenda

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda – As distributed prior to this meeting (later removed from Consent Agenda so it could be amended to include under Old Business - Ratification of Union Contract)

Approval of Minutes of April 27, 2015 Meeting

Committee Reports - Advocacy, Development, Executive, Health Plan, Negotiating, Nominating, Personnel, Property and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

CEFDA Report

Communications

Approval of Consent Agenda

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Consent Agenda, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Reports

Lisa Minnich motioned that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Nicky Bryant.

  • Preliminary Over and Under Report for period ending April 2015

  • Budget-to-Date Report as of 4/30/15

  • Balance Sheet as of 4/30/15

  • Revenues vs. Expenses Comparison for April 2014 - April 2015 & YTD 2014-2015

  • Grants/Non-Current Aids Status Report as of 4/30/15

Michael Spofford stated that things are going well.  As of April 2015, Plattsburgh Public Library is working on cleaning up some old New York State aids.  They are spending about $100,000 on nonfiction books and e-books to bring this account up-to-date.  We are also working with OverDrive to clear up that account. 

Michael pointed out that in the Revenues vs. Expenses Comparison, there are a few large changes. 

  • Under Other Incomes between April 1 and 14 of 2014, we received a large grant from Clinton County Tobacco Settlement, so 2014 shows a much larger revenue than in April 2015.

  • Under Expenses, there are three or four accounts with notable increases.

  • Library Materials have increased 81 percent, with much of that being e-books and regular nonfiction books that are being purchased with CBA funds.

  • Supplies increased 121 percent in April due to the purchase of an Apple laptop computer which was part of the grant.

  • Member Library Purchases is negative due to the purchase of the movie licensing for member libraries for which CEFLS will be reimbursed.

  • Maintenance & Repairs show a 68 percent increase due to some plumbing repairs and the purchase of a new dehumidifier for the basement.

  • Miscellaneous shows a 44 percent increase due to hiring a temporary staff person for four hours per day for 12 weeks to help cover the duties of the Library Clerk who resigned in March.

Kip commented that under Revenues vs. Expenses Comparison, for the first four months we spent about $23,000 less than last year.  The net between revenues and expenditures is $184,000 less than it was at the same time a year ago which reflects that our State aids, of which we had received a portion in the first four months of 2014, haven’t come in at all so far this year, so we are using up the accumulated working capital. 

Michael commented that CEFLS has a line of credit that we may have to use.

Barbara Stowe inquired about insurance.  Michael responded that we have been working with the insurance agent to investigate whether some insurance items are being double insured and we will likely end up with a credit. 

Motion carried unanimously to approve the financial reports as presented.

Public Comment

Peter Bensen expressed that after the meeting he would be happy to show anyone around and respond to any questions.

At Margaret Worden’s inquiry about Tobacco Settlement Money, Ewa Jankowska responded that it is a kind of grant fund that Clinton County has because of the Tobacco Settlement.  She further explained that CEFLS has a circulation and cataloging system, called Horizon, that member libraries use.  CEFLS applied for this grant because all of the servers were outdated and no longer covered by warranty.  In lieu of paying over $40,000 for new servers, we opted to move Horizon to the cloud service provided by North Country Library System, and their IT department now maintains the system.  CEFLS still maintains and updates Horizon catalog and the circulation system, but does it remotely via the Internet.  We received about $16,000 from the Clinton County grant for that move and are very grateful.  Now our one IT person, who is a librarian, can really concentrate on maintaining the catalog and training member libraries how to use the system rather than attending to outdated hardware.

President’s Remarks

Kip Thompson commented on the following topics.

A Finance Committee meeting was held prior to this meeting.  Kip is concerned about the narrowness of the financial support for the System and the enormous dependency on NYS.  Since the 2008 recession, CEFLS has had to cut back on staff and services.  He is wondering if member libraries could contribute more to the System through billing them for services provided in return for us helping them to become stronger financially.  That in turn would help them with their fundraising.

The controversial issue of the Board doing their own fund raising, over time, to get into the business of funding CEFLS was suggested.

Ewa Jankowska stated that we are very limited in our ability to charge libraries.  We do charge to reimburse our costs for Horizon, the catalog and circulation system, and recently it was voted to increase the fees by five percent for each of the next three years.  For most libraries, the increase is about $50, and more for bigger libraries.  She has learned from colleagues from other systems, some of whom get a lot more money from libraries, that systems are not allowed to charge libraries for what they call “basic services”, which are delineated in our Plan of Service.  The systems that can charge libraries are providing additional services, such as at Ramapo Catskill Library System, where they provide a whole WI-FI network.  Ewa believes that some of our member libraries are in very hard financial situations that would make it difficult for them to pay for additional services.  She feels that at this point, we should focus on advocating for more money from the counties and the state.  Currently, we pay SirsiDynix, the vendor for Horizon, a yearly licensing fee and $6,000 to North Country Library System for cloud services but the plan is to have a portion cover the salary for our IT librarian, Betsy Brooks. 

Ewa stated that last year we had a literary luncheon for which we were barely able to cover expenses, but if we were to start doing that type of event on a yearly basis, maybe slowly they could evolve into fundraisers.

Jim Bennett suggested turning to various alternate sources to augment the budget.  Ewa reminded the Board that Julie Wever writes grants and we do get money from various foundations.  Further, she stated that CEFLS is seriously understaffed, plus people do not understand what we do as a System.  It is easier to understand what a library is because it is a public building where people can come and get services.  To address this, we are getting out into the public more.  We will be at the Mayor’s Cup in Plattsburgh, and Ewa is going to make a presentation in Lake Placid this week at AM Rotary.  As people become more familiar, maybe we can get a foundation of at least Friends of the System, or we could call it Friends of the Libraries.

Kip stated that at the meetings of one of the not-for-profits to which he belongs, the last item on the agenda is the question what are we doing right? or what do we need to do differently?  This kind of discussion looks to the future, and pays attention to things seen as areas of weakness to be repaired or done differently.  In the future, Kip might use these questions as agenda items.

Dorothy Latta inquired whether we have any affiliation with the Adirondack Trust Foundation.  Ewa responded that Kip wanted CEFLS to invest some money in it which we, as a public institution, cannot really do.  However CEFLS does work with closely with Cali Brooks, especially with construction grants when libraries can get matching funds for technology related projects.  In the future, we may do some programs with ADK Trust Foundation. 

Tom Mandeville asked if it would be a conflict of interest for trustees to start a foundation.  Lisa Minnich responded that she doesn’t think so, as they are not employees of the System so there would be no benefit to them personally.  Kip concurred that it would be good to begin asking questions but he is not sure that we can have a foundation with trustees only and it would have to be somewhat independent.  Nicky Bryant named some of the steps that would have to be taken to become a corporation, with Jim Bennett adding that we would want to tap revenue streams other than what member libraries use. 

Director’s Report

In addition to her written report, Ewa Jankowska reported on the following topics:

Interviews have been conducted from the Civil Service list for the Library Clerk position vacated when Chad Chase resigned.  David Fuller, a former page from Plattsburgh Public Library, who has a Bachelor Degree in English and now works at a computer game store has been hired.  In addition to the regular duties of packing and unpacking of books, with another portion being creative.  She hopes that he can do a lot of Facebook presence and teach people at libraries how to use e-books and other online resources.

Last Friday we had a very good grant writing workshop, funded by Lake Placid Education Foundation, with Kara Page as the presenter.  She is in charge of writing grants for The Wild Center.  In the future, CEFLS may do some interesting projects with her to link museums and libraries. 

PULISDO is organizing a conference at the end of July for systems’ directors.  There will be sessions focusing on IT and outreach, so Betsy Brooks and Julie Wever will be attending with Ewa.

Ewa and Jesse Feiler, the president of the Board of Plattsburgh Public Library, have been discussing the Library Trustees Association yearly meeting on May 16 and 17, 2016 that will be held in Plattsburgh.  She would like very much to have all CEFLS trustees attend.  CEFLS will be doing a presentation on something that we do that other systems may want to adapt for their use.  Ewa will be meeting next week to discuss this with Jesse and Tim Gavin, the Director of LTA.

There is a lot of frenzy among library directors over the Governor’s Efficiency Plan that some libraries have been told they have to file.  Libraries that have portions of their budgets put to public votes, either on the school or municipal ballots, were sent letters directing them to file an Efficiency Plan for saving one percent of whatever was voted on.  Ewa spoke with the State Library and they were not able to offer an explanation.  The idea behind it, as far as she understands, is that the government wants different entities to join together to save money by sharing services.  As a library system, we are already doing that but it is not allowed for libraries to give that as an example because the money that they save is the state’s money.  Ewa is going to meet with Dan Stec and Janet Duprey to ask if there is any way libraries can be excluded from this plan.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

There was no report from Plattsburgh Public Library.

Amend the Agenda

Lisa Minnich motioned to remove approval of today’s Agenda from Consent Agenda, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  Motion carried unanimously.  Tom Mandeville motioned to add to the Agenda under Old Business, the Ratification of the Union Contract, seconded by Lisa Minnich.  Motion carried unanimously.

Committee Reports

Finance Committee

Lisa Minnich recapped, for the full Board, the Finance Committee meeting which was held earlier today.  Topics discussed were ways to strengthen the finances of the System and the idea of having a fund balance, Capital Fund, or fund of that type.  Things that the System needs to upgrade right now are:  phone system, roof replacement (consideration but not needed right now), repaving driveway, and filling in the tunnel between the CEFLS and Central Library buildings.  The tunnel is in poor repair and passes under the driveway.  It is not used but if not taken care of, it will eventually collapse.  At the current time, there is basically about $100,000 in construction funds that could be put to use, which would include a matching funds grant from the State.  There are also funds that could be moved around if necessary but that could create issues until we receive our State aid.  As in the past, we would prefer to avoid borrowing money. 

A priority is to have the System’s property surveyed because there are no up-to-date markers to show the boundaries between CEFLS, PPL and 56 Brinkerhoff Street.  There is a fence between the three locations in disrepair due to having snow pushed against it by city workers as they plow a pass down our driveway. There is also a line of very tall trees with branches that fall from time to time.  Last year a car parked behind PPL was totaled when a tree branch fell on it.  The owner of 56 Brinkerhoff Street has said that we or PPL (the city) can cut the overhanging branches, so we need to find out where the boundary lines are.  From an old map, it looks like CEFLS’s property is “L” shaped, extending almost half way behind PPL.  Michael will be contacting the County for a new map.

Michael Spofford and Ewa Jankowska recounted that 5 or 6 years ago when the Board was talking about filling in the tunnel it was going to cost $5,000 or $6,000 and involved using concrete and some kind of foam.  Dorothy Latta suggested that there may be road crews who are ripping up roads or sidewalks to be redone and for free they might dump the fill into the tunnel. 

 Old Business

Discussion and approval of Purchasing Policy

Trustees received the proposed Purchasing Policy for review prior to this meeting.  Ewa explained that there is only a small change from the old Policy.  It would allow the CEFLS staff to go over the $2,000 spending limit in cases of previously approved grant purchases.

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Purchasing Policy as amended, seconded by Rita Quinn.  With no further discussion, motion carried unanimously.

Discussion and approval of policy on CEFLS Board of Trustees’ Sunshine Funds

A proposal for use of Sunshine Funds was submitted by Emily Castine and distributed for review prior to this meeting.  Kip suggested that the Board’s Sunshine Fund be the funding source for the coffee that this Board consumes.  He motioned approval of the proposal as drafted by Emily Castine, with a subparagraph added that the staff will use these funds to purchase refreshments for meetings held at CEFLS, seconded by Barbara Stowe.  Rita Quinn mentioned that the last line in the proposal designating the individual to handle the account should not be included in the policy, although it will be the Principal Account Clerk.  Discussion ensued regarding the paragraph that leads, “In order for this fund…” and it was decided that it should also be eliminated as it is process, not policy.  The motion to approve the policy was then amended by Nicky Bryant to exclude the last two paragraphs as it was written, seconded by Kip Thompson.  Motion carried unanimously.

Approval of the Automation Contract

Ewa stated that the newly amended Automation Contract is based upon the old Automation Contract with a few changes:  new increases in automation fees that were previously approved by the Board, mutual insurance coverage is no longer needed, and there is reference made to “cloud” service provided by North Country Library System which replaces the “Central Site” definition, which has replaced servers.  A cover letter will be sent to the libraries with the contract to explain the changes.  Gary Alexander motioned approval of the Automation Contract, seconded by Rita Quinn.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ratification of Union Contract

Ewa Jankowska explained that the one change the attorneys made to the Union Contract is the implementation of increases within 14 days instead of 21 days.  Several trustees stated that they had not seen the ratification and because its approval was not on the Agenda they did not feel well-informed, so it will be sent to them by e-mail tomorrow morning and by U.S. Postal Service to those who so request.  Tom Mandeville motioned that the old contract and the changes to that document which were circulated earlier, including the raises, changes to insurance contributions, and a few other minor changes, and if no one has any problems with it, the vote today ratifying it will stand seven days from now.  Motion seconded by Rita Quinn.  Motion carried, with Donna Fulkerson and Fran Filshie abstaining.

New Business

Approval of Individuals, Entities and Institutions with Whom to Conduct Business in 2015

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Individuals, Entities and Institutions with Whom to Conduct Business in 2015, seconded by Donna Fulkerson.  Michael pointed out that the two changes on the form are the addition of Armsden Landscaping as the lawn care provider and Martindale Keysor & Company as the auditor.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the trustees, Kip Thompson adjourned the meeting at 5:42 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held April 27, 2015

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 27, 2015 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Charles “Kip” Thompson, President.

Oaths of Office – Trustee

Kip Thompson, President, administered the Oath of Office to Mary Elise Minnich as a Trustee of the Board. 

Roll Call

Present:  James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Wallace “Wally” Day, Donna Fulkerson, Dorothy Latta, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville (entered 4:32 p.m.), Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Rita Quinn and Kip Thompson

Excused:  Gary Alexander, Fran Filshie and Barbara Stowe

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Others Present:  Anne de la Chapelle, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library, and David Minnich           

Consent Agenda

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda – As distributed prior to this meeting

Approval of Minutes of February 23, 2015 Meeting

Committee Reports - Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiating, Nominating, Personnel, Property and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Communications

Approval of Consent Agenda

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Consent Agenda, seconded by Rita Quinn.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Reports

Lisa Minnich motioned that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Nicky Bryant.

  • Over and Under Report for period ending February 2015

  • Budget-to-Date Report from 01/01/15 to 2/28/15

  • Balance Sheet as of 2/28/15

  • Revenues vs. Expenditures from 2/28/15

  • Grants/Non-Current Aids Status Report as of 2/28/15

  • Preliminary Over and Under Report for period ending March 2015

  • Accounts Payable and Receivable Quarterly Report

  • Budget-to-Date Report from 1/1/15 to 3/31/15

  • Balance Sheet as of March 31, 2015

  • Revenues vs. Expenditures for the month of March 2015

  • Grants/Non-Current Aid Status Report as of March 31, 2015

Michael Spofford stated that things are going as planned with no surprises.  We are looking for a person to replace the Library Clerk who left to work for another agency.  We now have a page for four hours per week and a temporary person part-time to help fill the Library Clerk gap.  At the beginning of April, a part-time driver returned to CEFLS and now rotates in the schedule with two other part-time drivers.

Kip commented that in the Revenues vs. Expenditures Report for March, Personnel Expenses, Employee Benefits and Health Insurance are large expenditures yet expenses have been kept down.  Michael stated that we are paying for health insurance for a person who retired in December 2014 and conversely, there are two other retirees who have recently reached age 65 so now for Medicare Part B we pay $104.90 each, per month.

Ewa Jankowska stated that it is possible that CEFLS will have to use the line-of-credit this year.

Kip inquired about the increase in Maintenance & Repairs to which Michael replied that he does not recall the reason for this.  He will research it and get back to the Board.

Motion approved unanimously.

President’s Remarks

Kip Thompson commented on the following topics:

  • New Trustees are asked to consider serving on committees.  Advocacy Committee is a good one though advocacy is something that all trustees need to do.  Some committees are more active than others.  Personnel Committee is an active one.

  • Negotiations went well so there will be a new four-year contract in place once its language is agreed upon.

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska spoke on these topics:

  • She thanked Anne de la Chapelle for the wonderful e-books she is ordering.  Ewa then explained Flipster, a new system initiative that offers an incredible selection of 40 periodicals that are free to access on reader devices through the websites of CEFLS and member libraries.  A library card number is all that is needed.  Ewa provided a brief and very interesting demonstration using a laptop computer and the projector screen.

  • She introduced Anja Bouchard.  Anja spoke briefly about her varied background that has preceded her arrival at CEFLS.

  • Anja and Betsy Brooks are working on a new, cleaner website home page for CEFLS.  Soon Lib Guides will be renamed Hot Topics.  Anja has developed a new Hot Topic on the subject of autism.

  • Although we still do not know how much funding we will receive from the State, in a recent phone conference Ewa learned that it looks like we will get a little more than earlier believed.

  • As can be seen in the March department reports, the number of e-book titles has more than doubled, in large part due to the ordering that has been done by the Central Library.

  • We are working on a NNYLN grant for making short training videos.  Karen Hildebrand, a theater coach, is working with staff on presentation skills.

  • Our new lawn care provider for the 2015 season is David Armsden of Armsden Landscaping.

  • On May 14, we will be hosting a training at CEFLS on The Mechanics of Safe Listing.  The trainer is from Injury and Health Management Solutions of Colchester, Vermont.  It is made possible by a grant received by North Country Chamber of Commerce.  CEFLS trustees are invited to attend.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Anne de la Chapelle reported:

  • PPL is in the first stages of their new website live.  A link to Flipster is highlighted on their home page.

  • The Corrective Action Plan submitted by PPL as a result of their OSC Audit has been accepted.  PPL will be asking for their Board's approval of the new Cash Management Policy.

  • CBA spending is up-to-date and per allocation of material type.  The CBA budget has been approved by their Board.

  • PPL will host a series of workshops on Nonprofit Fundraising by Martha Spear on the first Fridays of May, June, July and August.

  • The meeting room construction is in progress.  Construction on the north door replacement will begin soon.

  • Marketing consultants are being interviewed.

CEFDA

Anne de la Chapelle reported:

  • CEFDA held two meetings in March.  The first was held without the presence of CEFLS.  Among the many topics of discussion were rotating collections and appreciation for all that CEFLS does for member libraries.  The directors would like to have CEFLS trustees attend their Board meetings and also their special events.

  • The second CEFDA meeting was a farewell and thank you to Elizabeth Rogers who retired from CEFLS in December.

Kip Thompson commented that he would like to see the System and member libraries work together to reduce their budget deficits, to which Anne responded that each library signs an automation contract with CEFLS, but each functions separately with their own Board of Trustees.  Working together without relinquishing autonomy is important to them.

Old Business

There is no Old Business at this time.

New Business

Annual Report – 2014

Donna Fulkerson motioned approval, seconded by Lisa Minnich, of the CEFLS 2014 Annual Report.  Kip Thompson thanked everyone for their contributions to it.  Motion carried unanimously.

CBA Budget 2014 (Revised) and 2015 / CLDA Budget 2015

Rita Quinn motioned approval of the CBA Budget 2014 (revised) and 2015 as presented, seconded by Emily Castine.  Ewa Jankowska explained that CBA is really System money to be used to serve all libraries with purchases of adult non-fiction materials in all formats.  Motion carried unanimously.

Rita Quinn motioned approval of the CLDA Budget 2015 as presented, seconded by Wally Day.  Ewa Jankowska explained that all CLDA expenses for PPL staff and program must be approved by CEFLS.  Motion carried unanimously.

Auditor’s Quote

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the quote submitted by Martindale Keysor for auditing services for three years, seconded by Emily Castine.       

Michael Spofford stated that 34 letters were mailed out to certified public accountants offering a chance to quote.  On April 1, 2015, Martindale Keysor’s quote was received as follows:

  • FYE 12/31/14    $5,200

  • FYE 12/31/15    $5,450

  • FYE 12/31/16    $5,700

Martindale Keysor has performed the CEFLS audit for many years and has a good understanding of nonprofits.  No other quotes were received.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Anti-Nepotism Policy

Nicky Bryant motioned approval of the Employment of Related Persons (Anti-Nepotism Policy), as presented, seconded by Jim Bennett.  Due to concern of possible conflict of interest, Ewa Jankowska had this policy reviewed by the CEFLS attorney.  Motion carried unanimously.

Purchasing Policy and Grants

Ewa Jankowska recounted that recently approval was received by e-mail consensus from the Board for a purchase above $2,000 that was deemed necessary.  Discussion ensued regarding purchases that will be covered under a grant or other such designated funds, such as CBA.  Ewa will prepare a purchase policy for the June 1 Board of Trustees meeting.

Sunshine Funds

Sunshine Funds are donated by trustees to be used for cards or small gifts, such as flowers or candy, at the time of ailing, grieving or celebrating.  In 2015, so far, $60 has been received from three trustees.  There is no set amount expected from each trustee.  Lisa Minnich stated that she feels that the president should be informed when there is a need and should direct the expenditures.  At Kip Thompson’s suggestion, Emily Castine will write a policy to explain the fund’s uses.  She will present it at the next Board meeting.

Leadership Campaign

Michael Spofford stated that all trustees are encouraged to participate in this campaign.  Funds can be donated in memory of a loved one or in honor of someone.  Bookplates can be inserted into books or into the cases for audiobooks, and for e-books a notation can be inserted into the Horizon record.  At the request of a trustee, the use of donated funds can be left to the Director’s discretion.

A discussion ensued regarding a request that Ewa Jankowska made for a $50 donation to Rotary Radio Day.  In the past, the funds for this have come from Leadership Campaign.  Ewa stated that Rotary supports Take a Bite out of Books (TABOB) and has supported some endeavors of Literacy Volunteers.  Lisa Minnich motioned to reimburse Ewa Jankowska for the $50 donation to Rotary Radio Day, with Rita Quinn adding that this can be a yearly donation if the Director requests.  Rita Quinn seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

Location of “Away” Meetings

Every year between spring and autumn, three Board of Trustees meetings are held at three member libraries.  A list of “away” locations over the past six years was reviewed.  Suggested locations for this year’s meetings are Belden Noble Memorial Library in Essex, Saranac Lake Free Library and Sarah A. Munsil Free Library in Ellenburg Depot.  The directors of these libraries will be contacted to set up a schedule that will be shared as soon as possible.

Future of CEFLS Fund Balance

Tom Mandeville requested a discussion of the future of CEFLS in regard to the expected increase in State funding and the fact that the Union contract has been agreed upon.  Kip Thompson stated that such a discussion would be appropriate for a Finance Committee meeting.  Topics that might be included are planning for the replacement of the plant roof, filling in of the tunnel and paving of the driveway.  Ewa Jankowska reminded everyone that although CEFLS will receive more funding from the State this year than first anticipated, there is still a deficit of approximately 9 percent from what we should be getting per Education Law.  The need for advocacy efforts by trustees is huge and she encouraged them to write letters to our legislators.

Executive Session

Civil Service Job Description

Management Confidential and Executive Director’s Salaries

Lisa Minnich motioned, seconded by Wally Day, to go into Executive Session at 5:54 p.m. for the purposes of discussing amending a Civil Service job description and the salaries of Management Confidential staff and the Director.  Motion carried unanimously.

Return to Regular Session

The Board returned to Regular Session at 6:20 p.m. at which time Jim Bennett excused himself. 

Report on Executive Session

Civil Service Job Description

Kip Thompson reported on a discussion that took place between the Board and Ewa Jankowska with regard to changing a Civil Service employee’s job title and description.  Ewa will investigate the matter further.

Management Confidential and Executive Director’s Salaries

Lisa Minnich motioned, seconded by Rita Quinn, approval of a two percent salary increase for Management Confidential staff with an additional $750 one-time payment contingent upon final approval of the Union contract.  Motion carried unanimously.

Lisa Minnich motioned, seconded by Rita Quinn, approval of a two percent salary increase for Ewa Jankowska with an additional $1,000 one-time payment contingent upon final approval of the Union Contract.  Motion carried unanimously.

Response to Kip Thompson’s Earlier Question on Increased Maintenance Figures

While the Board was in Executive Session, Michael Spofford was able to research the reason for the increase in maintenance figures shown in the Revenues vs. Expenditures Report for the month of March 2015.  There are two reasons:

  • A new firewall was purchased.

  • Snow removal expenses were more than planned.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the trustees, Kip Thompson adjourned the meeting at 6:24 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held February 23, 2015

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:34p.m. on Monday, February 23, 2015 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Treasurer.

Oaths of Office – Trustee and President

Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Treasurer, administered the Oath of Office to Nicole “Nicky” Bryant as Vice President of the Board.  Nicky then administered the Oath of Office to Gary Alexander as Secretary of the Board, and to Dorothy Latta as a new Trustee of the Board. 

Roll Call

Present:  Gary Alexander, James “Jim” Bennett (entered at 4:36), Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Donna Fulkerson, Dorothy Latta, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Rita Quinn and Barbara Stowe

Excused:  Wallace “Wally” Day, Fran Filshie and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Others Present:  Anne de la Chapelle, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library, and David Minnich           

Consent Agenda

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda – As distributed prior to this meeting

Approval of Minutes of January 26, 2015 Meeting

CEFDA – There is no report at this time.

Committee Reports - Advocacy, Development, Executive, Health Plan, Negotiating, Nominating, Personnel, Property and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Consent Agenda, seconded by Rita Quinn.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Reports

Lisa Minnich motioned that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Donna Fulkerson.

  • Budget-to-Date Report from 01/01/15 to 1/31/15
  • Balance Sheet as of 1/31/15
  • Revenues vs. Expenditures from 1/1/15 to 1/31/15
  • Grants/Non-Current Aids Status Report as of 1/31/15

 Michael Spofford stated that as of the end of January, we are under budget.  He is working on finalizing the 2014 bills with no big changes to report for January.  

Motion approved unanimously.

Public Comment Period

Dave Minnich recounted a time back in July during the 1970s when he was the only staff person at Wead Library in Malone.  The town was deserted.  A gentleman came in looking for an automotive garage that was open.  Mr. Minnich didn’t know of any, but provided a wrench, with which the man did his own repair, so even 40 years ago, Wead was a full service library!

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska thanked everyone for coming, particularly those who would normally attend by video conferencing from remote locations.  A new computer firewall that was recently installed at CEFLS is causing difficulty with video conferencing.  Betsy Brooks is addressing this with the company that provides the service. 

In addition to Ewa’s written report which was previously distributed, she reported that she will be driving to Albany tomorrow for Pre-Advocacy Day. She will attend a PULISDO meeting with other systems’ directors and another meeting with the directors of all types of libraries including schools who will work together to prepare a message to legislators to request restoration of aid.  The following day is Legislative Day, when library advocates speak with their legislators regarding funding.  Betsy Brooks will be driving the System’s Equinox to Albany with Jane Bouchard, Director of Schroon Lake Public Library.  There is room in the car for anyone who would like to attend with them.

The van that is used for regular deliveries will be going to the garage tomorrow for a problem that seems to be related to the extreme weather we have been experiencing.  The old van and the Equinox are being used as a back-ups to deliver materials to member libraries.

We are working to fulfill a component for an adult literacy grant from the state that requires the System to help with job searches.  On Friday, Ewa will be meeting with Sylvie Nelson, the new Executive Director of North Country Workforce Investment Board.  Ewa will show her the databases that we have available and discuss how libraries are useful as employment tools. 

Ewa met with Karen Glass, Director of Keene Valley Library Association, who is organizing a run to be held in Keene Valley, on June 21, Father’s Day.  Funds raised will be used to buy e-books for the whole system.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Anne de la Chapelle reported:     

Soon PPL will roll out their new website that they have been developing with Adworkshop. 

Matt Rock is a new clerk at PPL. 

Negotiations with their AFSCME Union leadership will begin soon.

They are working on their Annual Report that is due to CEFLS on March 1.

In March they expect to receive the results of their recent audit.  It will provide recommendations for internal controls.

They are following up on grants, including the elevator grant for which they expect approval in late May, and the grant for brickwork on the new front steps which will be scheduled with the City Engineer to be done in the Spring or Summer of this year.

They will be providing 3D Printer information to their Board.

The next PPL Board meeting will be tomorrow, February 24 at 4:30.

Vice President’s Remarks

Nicky Bryant, Vice President, commented on the following:

Nicky encouraged trustees to let Dawn Recore know if they are or are not coming to meetings so that a quorum can be determined.  Currently, the monthly agendas contain a request for an RSVP by noon on the Thursday prior to meetings.  After a brief discussion, it was decided that Dawn will send out an e-mail on the Wednesday before meetings, requesting an RSVP by the following day.

Nicky read an e-mail from Trustee Wally Day who earlier in February experienced a horrific fall resulting in an arm injury and hip surgery followed by a rehabilitative stay at Meadowbrook.  Nicky read an e-mail from Wally’s son, Eric Day, who said that if therapy continues to go well, they are hopeful that Wally will be sent home in a week or so. 

Committee Reports

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee met earlier today.  On its behalf, Lisa Minnich reported on the following:

Proposed Budget for 2015

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the Proposed Budget for 2015, prepared by Michael Spofford, with one amendment.  She recapped that a tentative budget was approved earlier for submission to the counties, but that was before there was a tentative union contract.  Michael has now provided figures with regard to the union’s requests and an actual budget for 2015.  The Finance Committee requested a change on page six of the budget, under E-books, having to do with Basic Aid.  Central Book Aid should be listed beneath that, with Basic Aid listed at $5,250, then Central Book Aid at $3,000.  Michael will provide an updated copy of page six.  Emily Castine seconded the motion.

Lisa stated that changes were necessitated when either major funding was changed or a clause removed or added, including the proposed changes in contract salaries and benefits.  Ewa stated that funding from local sources, the three counties, had to be adjusted because we were asked to request a five percent increase but we didn’t get it.  We prudently kept the State funding figure flat, as it was last year.

Gary Alexander questioned CBA.  Ewa explained that it is basically what CEFLS gets for the Central Library.  The reason the budget shows such a big decrease in CBA is because of the increase in spending on databases which are available to everyone 24-7, and which is a state-wide trend for all systems.  She stated that on page seven of the proposed budget, for Electronic Databases/Serials, you can see that CBA has an increase of 22.3 percent because of spending it on electronic databases and serials.  Ewa further explained that Basic Aid for regular books in 2014 showed an increase because some previously unspent funds were added; then in 2015, we went back to the original number. 

Motion passed unanimously.

Horizon Fee Structure

Lisa Minnich motioned, seconded by Rita Quinn, that Ewa Jankowska and Michael Spofford revise member library contracts for the Horizon fee schedule to include a five percent increase for each member library per year for three years and to remove the language that refers to insurance that member libraries must pay since it is no longer necessary. 

The main reason for requesting the increase is that when CEFLS moved Horizon to the cloud with North Country Library System, CEFLS incurred an additional expense of $6,000 a year.  That was covered by a grant in 2014; this year it will be an expense to the System.  We do not know how much their fees will increase in the future. Additionally, SirsiDynix, the company that makes Horizon, increases their fees five percent annually.  The current contract with member libraries contains a clause that says that in order to increase Horizon fees, notice must be given by January of the previous year.  The wording will be amended so that the contract can be changed to five or six months into the year for the following January. 

Rita Quinn expressed concern that the increase is not enough.  Ewa responded that it probably will not cover our Horizon expenses, but the member libraries do not have a lot of money, so starting with five percent is not too drastic and hopefully it can be increased a little every year.  She is concerned about raising fees too much, particularly in light of the fact that one library just agreed to become automated in 2014.

Motion carried unanimously.

Old Business

There is no Old Business at this time.

New Business

There is no New Business at this time.

Executive Session

Emily Castine motioned, seconded by Gary Alexander, to go into Executive Session at 5:15 p.m., for the purposes of discussing the Director’s evaluation and the status of contract negotiations.  Motion approved unanimously.

Due to additional commitments, Donna Fulkerson and Emily Castine had to leave during Executive Session; Donna at 5:30 p.m. and Emily Castine at 5:55 p.m.

Return to Regular Session and Adjournment

The Board returned to regular session at 6:05 p.m. and there being no further business to come before the trustees, Nicky Bryant adjourned the meeting at 6:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held January 26, 2015

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, November 24, 2014 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President.

Oaths of Office – Trustee and President

President Mary “Lisa” Minnich administered the Oath of Office to Charles “Kip” Thompson for his reappointment as a trustee of the System, then she administered the Oath of Office to him for the Office of President of the Board. 

Roll Call

Present:  James “Jim” Bennett, Emily Castine, Wallace “Wally” Day, Donna Fulkerson, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Rita Quinn, Barbara Stowe and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Present via video conferencing with Schroon Lake Public Library:  Fran Filshie

Excused:  Gary Alexander and Nicole “Nicky” Bryant

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Others Present:  Anne de la Chapelle, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library and David Minnich           

Oaths of Office – Trustee, Treasurer and Member-at-Large

Kip Thompson administered the Oath of Office to Donna Fulkerson for reappointment as a trustee, then to Lisa Minnich as Treasurer and to Emily Castine as Member-at-Large.  Those who will hold the Offices of Vice President and Secretary for 2015 were not present for this meeting so they will take their Oaths of Office at the February meeting.

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda – As distributed prior to this meeting, adjusting the order of Roll Call and Oaths of Office

Approval of Minutes of November 24, 2014 Meeting

Committee Reports - Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiating, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of Consent Agenda, seconded by Fran Filshie.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Reports

Lisa Minnich motioned that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Wally Day.

  • Over and Under Report for period ending 11/30/14

  • Budget-to-Date Report form 01/01/14 to 11/30/14

  • Balance Sheet as of 11/30/14 

  • Revenues vs. Expenditures from 11/1/14 to 11/30/14

  • Grants/Non-Current Aids Status Report as of 11/30/14

  • Preliminary Over and Under Report for period ending 12/31/14

  • Accounts Payable and Receivable Quarterly Report

  • Preliminary Budget-to-Date Report from 1/1/14 to 12/31/14

  • Preliminary Balance Sheet as of 12/31/14

  • Preliminary Revenue vs. Expenditures Comparison Report from 12/1/14 to 12/31/14

  • Preliminary Grant/Non-Current Aids Status Report as of 12/31/14 

A motion to approve the Financial Reports as presented was made by Lisa Minnich, seconded by Wally Day.  The motion was approved unanimously.

Michael Spofford stated that the December reports are preliminary, as he is still paying bills from 2014, such as vehicle fuel.  He hopes to provide final December reports by the February meeting.

Michael called attention to the Preliminary December Revenues vs. Expenditures Comparison Report, where it shows big negative figures.  The December 2013 “Actual” expense for Library Materials for books had to be moved to assets.  In the Revenue section, he had to move the amount that has been earned but not spent to “Grants Payable”.  The same process will be applied to the December 2014 report.

Kip Thompson questioned health insurance on the Revenues vs. Expenditures Report.  Looking at 2013 vs. 2014, Kip asked if it is correct that there was $16,000 less spent on health insurance in 2014 and can it be anticipated that in the future health insurance will be closer to the lower figure.  Michael responded that in 2014 there were fewer retirees and staff members on the plan.  For 2015, Management Confidential insurance increased 12 percent, NYSHIP increased 3 or 4 percent, there is an additional retiree, and the Board will be asked to approve the hire of a new staff member at this meeting, so 2015 health insurance expenses might be in between 2013 and 2014 figures.

The motion to approve the financial reports as presented carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

Kip Thompson took this opportunity for the CEFLS Board to show appreciation with a round of applause to Dave Minnich for the 54 years that he worked as Director of Wead Library in Malone.

Director’s Report

In addition to Ewa Jankowska’s written report which was previously distributed, she reported that 2015 funding for libraries in the Governor’s budget looks to be the same as for 2014.  

Regarding the tax freeze, we have learned that a two percent cap is really that or the rate of inflation, so if the rate of inflation is lower, the tax cap is equally lower.  There is also an Efficiency and Consolidation Plan that public institutions will have to file next year that will determine a tax rebate for people in the area. 

February 25 is Advocacy Day in Albany, formerly known as Leg Day.  We have an appointment to meet with Betty Little at 9:30 and with Dan Stec at 11:30.  Janet Duprey will not be available, so at 10:30 we will meet with her assistant. 

Ewa will be going to Albany on February 24 to attend preliminary meetings and events, and on February 25 Betsy Brooks will drive the CEFLS vehicle to Albany with three or four passengers, some being from member libraries.  Fran Filshie stated that Schroon Lake Public Library will have four to six people attending and she encouraged CEFLS trustees to attend also. 

There has been much dialogue with Plattsburgh Public Library about the Central Library Contract in regard to the aid that CEFLS receives to pay for their services.  This will be explained under New Business.

Ewa will try to meet with the Member Libraries Council, a group that would approve some of the system-wide policies as well as the aid for the Central Library. 

There is a little uncertainty at the State level surrounding the resignation of the Commissioner of Education, which has left no one at the helm.  The State Librarian, Bernie Margolis now has the additional responsibility of being the Director of the State Library, which is kind of a research library for the State.  The Division of Library Development is very understaffed and there is no education law specialist in Plattsburgh, nor can we afford to pay for advice, though other systems do, so Ewa has inquired of the Director of PULISDO whether their website could share legal advice for libraries. 

Comments and Questions Directed to Ewa Jankowska:

Kip commended the CEFLS staff on getting the Crown Point Library automated.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Anne de la Chapelle reported:

  • PPL is in the process of creating a new Drupal website with Adworkshop in Lake Placid and anticipates going live by late March.
  • Their Principal Library Clerk, Jody Helfgott, has transferred to the Engineering Department of the City of Plattsburgh.  Shery Silcio has been promoted to fill that position.  On February 2, a new Library Clerk, Matt Rock, will begin work, and there is a new page, Adi Basil.

  • The Office of the State Comptroller has completed its financial audit of the library and the final report is expected in March.

  • She has been working with CEFLS on the 2015 Budget and a plan to spend the balanace of CBA funds remaining from 2013 and 2014.  They are looking into new digital content that would be accessible online to anyone in the system.

  • Thanks to Julie Wever, PPL received $2,500 in matching funds from both the Lake Placid Education Foundation and the Charles R. Wood Foundation for technology.  Creation of a new “smart” meeting room on the main floor is planned.  The grant money will provide projection equipment as well as a smart board for the new space.

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System (CEFDA) Report

CEFDA is planning to meet in March, so there should be a CEFDA Report for the following CEFLS Board meeting.

President’s Remarks

Kip Thompson, President, commented on the following topics.

At the February Board meeting, in Kip’s absence, Lisa Minnich will administer the Oath of Office to Nicky Bryant as Vice President and Gary Alexander as Secretary.  Due to the nature of people’s schedules in winter, he suggested cancellation of the March meeting.  Meeting agendas for March in the past several years have been short and relatively inconsequential, and it is already known that some officers of the Board cannot be present.

There will be no video conferencing capability for the July 27, 2015 meeting from Saranac Lake Free Library, so Kip would like to have one of the Board’s “away” meetings on that date.  Schroon Lake Public Library will be considered as a possible location.

Emily Castine motioned to cancel the March 2015 meeting and to plan for the July 27 2015 meeting to be held at a member library, seconded by Barbara Stowe.  Motion carried unanimously.

Kip has been considering for years the funding concentration of CEFLS, which is primarily a single, unstable source, New York State.  The dollar amounts they provide are fickle, and their payment arrives sometimes in August, September or even later in the year.  Kip has two suggestions for alleviating this that could be long-term goals that he would like the Board to be thinking about for a future conversation.

The first way is to work toward improving the finances of our member libraries over the course of years, letting them know that we are helping them so they can help CEFLS by paying for some of our services, thus making us less dependent on NYS funding.  While fund raising would put us in competition with member libraries, it would help them as well as us.

The second way is for the CEFLS Board to go into the fundraising business, which would also take years to develop.  Kip is on other non-profit boards that have designated Board funds, and feels that this could help CEFLS to fill gaps when problems arise.  He feels that stock and bond investments would be a plus because money deposited in banks gets little return.  An investment vehicle, such as connecting with Cali Brooks of Adirondack Foundation, would be necessary.  It would also be helpful if we could connect with a big donor. 

Wally Day inquired whether funds raised by the System would offset the funding received from NYS, to which Ewa responded she does not think so because there is a formula used for determining the amounts awarded to systems.  Ewa stated that other systems receive much more funding from member libraries than CEFLS does.  She also stated that if we are going to start thinking about raising money and investing, we need to look at adopting some sort of investment policy because as a public institution there are limited ways that we can invest.

Jim Bennett stated that Friends of the Library groups are often the vehicle used for fundraising for libraries and can be very successful.

Committee Reports

Nominating Committee

Emily Castine stated that currently there are three vacancies on the CEFLS Board, one from each county.  From Clinton County, we have an interested potential candidate, Dr. Dorothy Latta, who has submitted her letter of interest and resumé.  Lisa Minnich motioned acceptance of Dr. Latta as a trustee candidate, and to send a request to the Clinton County Legislature for appointment to the CEFLS Board of Trustees.  Motion seconded by Emily Castine.  With no further discussion, motion carried unanimously.

Emily had a lead for a potential trustee candidate from Essex County, but for health reasons, that person declined.

Personnel Committee

Barbara Stowe stated that it is time to begin the evaluation process of the Director.  Printed copies of the procedure were distributed prior to the meeting.  The document is one of flux, so Barbara welcomes suggestions for amending the procedure.  Ewa stated that 27 of 30 libraries have submitted the member library survey, so soon Julie Wever will compile the responses.  A summary will be provided to the Board, and in a couple of weeks Ewa will submit her completed self-evaluation.  Barbara will provide evaluation forms to the trustees by mid-February or sooner so that in Executive Session at the February meeting the Director’s evaluation can be discussed.

Communications

Dawn Recore read from three communications:

  • Letter to Betsy Brooks from Jane Bouchard, Director of Schroon Lake Public LIbrary, thanking her for assistance with their open house in early December

  • Thank you card for CEFLS staff for ongoing assistance from Lora Langston, Director at AuSable Forks Free Library

  • Card from Chris de Grandpre, former trustee of CEFLS, expressing appreciation for the opportunity to serve CEFLS and the member libraries, and for the friendship of fellow trustees and system staff over the years, as well as the gift card that was presented at his final Board meeting.

Old Business

There is no Old Business at this time.

New Business

Resolution to approve amended Central Library Contract

Ewa Jankowska stated that Plattsburgh Public Library would not sign the annual Central Library Contract this year because they would like to change how the Central Library Development Aid and Central Book Aid are administered.  Normally, invoices are paid by CEFLS after referencing that funds were spent in accordance with prior approval.  Very often the aid is received by CEFLS toward the end of the calendar year, so in 2015 we would be using 2014 funds.  PPL would like to spend the remaining money on non-fiction e-books or other materials then pay their 2015 bills and provide invoices to CEFLS.  Ewa stated that it is very important that the contract says that we will pay after the funds are received.  Lisa Minnich motioned approval of the amended Central Library Contract, seconded by Emily Castine.  Motion approved unanimously.

Resolution to approve Service Priorities for 2015

Motion to approve Service Priorities for 2015 was made by Barbara Stowe, seconded by Lisa Minnich.  Ewa Jankowska stated that Service Priorities are based on the Five-Year Plan of Service, so they are almost the same from year to year, with the focus varying depending on the year of the plan.  The yearly adjustments are in departmental and personal goals.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution to accept Check Signers for 2015

Motion to approve Check Signers for 2015 was made by Lisa Minnich, seconded by Donna Fulkerson.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution to accept CEFLS Individuals Permitted to Conduct Business in 2015

Lisa Minnich motioned approval of CEFLS Individuals Permitted to Conduct Business in 2015, seconded by Donna Fulkerson.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution to accept Individuals, Entities and Institutions with Whom to Conduct Business in 2015

Motion to approve Individuals, Entities and Institutions with Whom to Conduct Business in 2015 was made by Lisa Minnich, seconded by Fran Filshie.  Motion carried unanimously.

Discussion and resolution to approve new hire

Ewa Jankowska requested approval to hire for the Librarian I position. The interview committee was very impressed with Anja Bouchard who was one of two people on the Civil Service list.  She has a library degree, which is required, is from the local area and has worked at Social Services.  She would be a good resource for pinpointing services and her references are excellent.  Ewa has offered her the job with the condition that the Board approves of her hire.  Rita Quinn motioned approval of hiring Anja Bouchard for the position of Librarian I, seconded by Donna Fulkerson.  Kip inquired whether an applicant’s information on their resumé is verified, to which Ewa responded that Civil Service takes care of that.  Motion carried unanimously.

Discussion of Horizon Fee Structure

As a point of reference to begin this discussion, Ewa Jankowska provided, prior to this meeting, a list of Integrated Library Systems, HORIZON, fees from systems in NYS to show that CEFLS’ fees are the lowest in the State.  While she understands that our member libraries are not very wealthy, she stated that we have to try to raise ILS fees a little.  Since contracting with North Country Library System, we are incurring about $6,000 in additional expense on top of what is usually paid to Sirsi Dynix for the licensing fee.  Additionally, Sirsi Dynix increases their fees yearly.  Ewa would like to pass these additional fees on to member libraries over a three-year period.  In our contract with member libraries, we provide a full year’s notice of any increases; so if it is decided in February 2015 to raise fees by three percent, the increase would begin in February 2016.  Michael stated in that January 2015 a ten percent increase became effective for which libraries were notified a full year ago.  Prior to this, it had been a very long time since fees had been increased.  A 3 or 5 percent increase on $600 is only $18 or $30, and would help CEFLS.  Going back to the President’s Remarks earlier in this meeting, Ewa would love to be able to cover our costs and work toward covering part of Betsy Brooks’ salary, since she is our automation librarian.  She would like to discuss this further at next month’s meeting.

Resolution to accept Lost Book Policy

Ewa explained that the staff has been working to update the Lost Book Policy.  Basically the books that people lose are CEFLS books and we try to receive payment for them.  In most cases for the last six or more years, we have asked for reimbursement for the actual cost of lost books, plus processing costs but in some cases we don’t have an actual price, so we are asking for Board approval of the policy with new default prices.  Donna Fulkerson stated that at the Saranac Lake Free Library they lose a lot of books and she feels the amended policy is perfectly reasonable.  Lisa Minnich motioned acceptance of the Lost Book Policy, seconded by Emily Castine.  With no further discussion, motion carried unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the trustees, Kip Thompson adjourned the meeting at 5:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held November 24, 2014

 Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:27 p.m. on Monday, November 24, 2014 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President. 

Roll Call

Present:  James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Wallace “Wally” Day, Chris de Grandpré, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Rita Quinn and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Present via video conferencing with Saranac Lake Free Library:  Donna Fulkerson and Barbara Stowe

Present via video conferencing with Schroon Lake Public Library:  Fran Filshie

Excused:  Gary Alexander and Thomas “Tom” Mandeville

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Others Present:  David Minnich           

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda - As distributed prior to this meeting

Approval of Minutes of October 27, 2014 Meeting

Committee Reports - Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiating, Personnel, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

Emily Castine motioned approval of Consent Agenda, seconded by Rita Quinn.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Reports

Nicky Bryant motioned that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Kip Thompson.

  • Over and Under Report for period ending 10/31/14
  • Budget-to-Date Report from 01/01/14 to 10/31/14
  • Balance Sheet as of 10/31/14
  • Revenues vs. Expenditures from 10/01/14 to 10/31/14
  • Grants/Non-Current Aids Status Report as of 10/31/14

The motion to approve the financial reports as presented carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period 

There were no comments from the public.

Director’s Report

In addition to her written report which was previously distributed, Ewa Jankowska reported that immediately following this meeting, she would be driving to Malone for the Franklin County hearing for their 2015 budget.  Essex County is also having their budget hearing tonight, so Michael Spofford will be driving to Elizabethtown for that. It is believed that at the present time, the five percent increase in CEFLS funding for next year from both counties is not being questioned. 

NYLA is encouraging library directors to send letters to Governor Cuomo in support of increasing state library aid proportionately to any increase that he proposes for education aid. 

We are working on transitions that will be necessary when Elizabeth Rogers retires on December 19, 2014.  In early December we expect to receive the names of the top three Librarian I candidates from the Civil Service list.  It is possible that the position will be filled in January or February.

There have been two questions from member libraries regarding conflict of interest as part of Non-Profit Revitalization Act.  Jaci Kelleher, CEFLS Attorney, and her office have agreed to do a pro-bono presentation on this topic. 

The paper towel dispensers in the three bathrooms and the kitchen are being replaced to be more cost effective and hygienic.

CEFLS will be closed on Thursday and Friday of this week for the Thanksgiving holiday, so the drivers will do two deliveries on Tuesday.

Comments and Questions Directed to Ewa Jankowska:

Kip Thompson commented that he foresees Conflict of Interest being more of an issue when nonprofits are audited than it was in the past.  A brief discussion ensued on the difficulty that small communities have in finding people who are willing to serve but are not related to those with whom the nonprofits do business.  Ewa feels it is then a question of occluding themselves from voting at appropriate times.

Barbara Stowe complimented the colored grafts and charts that Betsy Brooks includes in her monthly department reports and stated that it is clear that use of digital formats is increasing. 

At Kip’s request for a short training on van delivery service, Ewa will do so at a future meeting.  For now, she explained briefly that rotating collections go out among libraries for a period of three months, we have ILL between member libraries and ILL from outside the system, and point-to-point ILL within the system.  Our van picks up and delivers to every member library one time per week, and twice for two of the larger volume libraries.  We also have a fairly new free pick-up and delivery service provided by NNYLN.  Wally Day commended the wonderful work that is done and stated that all of this involves a great deal of logistics.  Emily Castine commented that having been a librarian she understands the beauty of rotating collections and without them, collections at individual libraries would become stagnant.  Ewa then stated that most library systems do not have rotating collections anymore because it is an expensive service.  CEFLS will continue it as long as it can be sustained, but we need to somehow help libraries to raise funding so they can increase their own collections, and then rotate them among libraries rather than depend on CEFLS. 

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Ewa Jankowska presented PPL’s Report in Anne de la Chapelle’s absence.

  • Anne and Jesse Feiler, PPL’s Board President, attended the NYLA conference in Saratoga Springs.  Next year’s conference will be in Lake Placid.

  • PPL has been working with Elizabeth Rogers to evaluate and weed their nonfiction collection.

  • Jody Helfgott, Principal Library Clerk, has transferred to the City Engineering Department.

  • They are reorganizing space to better meet their needs. 

  • The DVD collection has grown to over 1,900.

  • All public computers have been moved to the Community Technology Center near the front entrance.

  • They are pleased that there was adequate funding to the system for Construction Grants to be submitted to the state for all member libraries.  PPL’s brickwork and front entrance replacement are scheduled for Spring 2015.

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich, President, commented on the following topics.

She hopes everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Last year the Trustees’ Discretionary Fund and Leadership Campaign were changed to follow the calendar year, January to December. 

  • Discretionary Fund is at $195.89.  This is the fund to which trustees contribute $20 or whatever they can afford each year.  It pays for small gifts or cards for those who leave the Board or are ill, or for things that the Board wants to do, such as pay the fee for Rotary International's Radio Day.

  • Leadership Campaign has received $400 this year.  There is still time to make a contribution in 2014.  These funds are used by the system per the wishes of the donor or can be designated for the director to determine the greatest area of need.

Lisa then presented a gift and card to Chris de Grandpré on behalf of the members of the Board in appreciation for his years of service. He thanked Lisa, Ewa Jankowska, Michael Spofford and the staff, and all of the trustees, stating that it has been a pleasure to work with them over the past ten years.

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System (CEFDA) Report

In Francie Fairchild’s absence, Ewa Jankowska provided a brief summary from the CEFDA minutes.

Nine library directors attended a meeting held recently in Lake Placid where Bambi Pedu is the new library director.  At their request, no CEFLS consultants were present.  Discussion included the following topics.

  • Lending of Kindles not going very well

  • Support of new member library directors

  • E-Rate issues - Member libraries can apply for this assistance with telephone and internet expenses.  Elizabeth Rogers has in the past helped directors apply for it.  With her upcoming retirement, Michael Spofford, Betsy Brooks and Ewa Jankowska will fill this role.

Committee Reports

Nominating Committee

Emily stated that the committee, comprised of Nicky Bryant, Lisa Minnich, and herself, is proposing the following slate of officers for 2015.

Kip Thompson – President

Nicky Bryant – Vice President

Secretary – Gary Alexander

Treasurer – Lisa Minnich

Member-at-Large – Emily Castine

The nominations have been accepted with the exception of secretary.  Emily is attempting to reach Gary Alexander who is away at the present time so she is waiting on his response. 

Nicky and Kip will both be away at the time of the March 2015 meeting but the Board feels that this can be worked through.

Kip commented that if negotiations carry over into 2015, which is highly likely, then to have the Board president as the head of the Negotiating Committee would be problematic.  

A motion was made by Emily Castine, seconded by Rita Quinn, to accept this slate of officers for 2015, noting that if Gary Alexander does not accept the nomination to continue as secretary he will be replaced.  Aside from the Negotiations Committee piece, Lisa asked for questions or concerns.  There were none.  Motion passed unanimously.  Emily thanked those who served as officers in 2014.

Communications

Dawn Recore read a thank you card from Mary Lou Gould that was received following the November 7, 2014 Literary Luncheon.  Ms. Gould, a former librarian at Owego Library in the Finger Lakes Library System, enjoyed the luncheon immensely. 

Old Business

Lisa Minnich has sent an e-mail to all trustees, naming the committees that will have vacancies due to Chris de Grandpré’s departure from the Board and she asked for volunteers to fill these positions. Nicky Bryant volunteered to serve on Advocacy Committee.  Lisa explained that several committees do not do a tremendous amount of work but it is nice to have the committee in place in case a pertinent issue arises.

Rita Quinn announced that as a new representative to the CEFLS Board, she was invited and did attend a Goff-Nelson Memorial Library Board of Trustees meeting.  She stated that they were very complimentary to Michael Spofford for assistance he has provided. 

New Business

Approval of the 2015 Contracts for Central Library, Member Libraries and Reading Centers

Ewa Jankowska stated that the contracts are the same as they were last year.  A brief discussion ensued in regard to reading centers.  Ewa stated that there used to be four, but the one in Fort Covington which was funded by the town, was dissolved.  She is hopeful that one day there will be one in Newcomb where we are now delivering books to George Canon’s office.

Nicky Bryant motioned, seconded by Wally Day, to approve the 2015 contracts for Central Library, Member Libraries, and Reading Centers, as distributed for review prior to this meeting.  With no further discussion, motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Purchase Request for Items Between $2,001 and $6,000

Ewa Jankowska explained that CEFLS received grant funds for moving the servers, including some from Clinton County.  A portion of what was left over went to Crown Point for automation, and with the remaining amount Betsy Brooks would like to get a new firewall to replace the very old one that is difficult to maintain.  Of the three quotes submitted, Betsy recommends the one from Vermont Connections. Although it is a little more, its maintenance is much better.  Ewa further stated that the CEFLS internet technology department consists of one, Betsy.  Ewa would like Betsy’s work with hardware to be as easy as possible so she can focus more on training and the catalog, and on other services that we provide to libraries. 

Kip Thompson motioned, and Rita Quinn seconded, approval of the purchase request for a Watchguard XTM 26 firewall from Vermont Connections in the amount of $2,212.74, with yearly maintenance and support after three years at $167.  Kip inquired if this is the firewall that stands between public access and the server located in the CEFLS building.  Ewa responded yes, that the firewall provides internet security, and we will be able to apply through e-Rate for a grant through the Federal government to assist with internet connection expense.

Motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Lisa Minnich stated that there is no need at this time to enter into executive session. 

Thank You to the System and Trustees

Emily Castine thanked the System, trustees, and individuals who sent cards of condolence at the time of her husband’s passing. 

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 5:04 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held October 27, 2014

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:36 p.m. on Monday, October 27, 2014 at Wead Library, 64 Elm Street, Malone, New York, by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President. 

Roll Call

Present:  Gary Alexander, James “Jim” Bennett, Chris de Grandpré, Donna Fulkerson, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Rita Quinn, Charles “Kip” Thompson

Present via video conferencing with Saranac Lake Free Library:  Barbara Stowe

Excused:  Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Wallace “Wally” Day, Fran Filshie, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Others Present:  There were none.

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda - As distributed prior to this meeting

Approval of Minutes of September 22, 2014 Meeting

Committee Reports - Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiating, Nominating, Personnel, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Director’s Association (CEFDA) - There is no report at this time.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) - There is no report at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

Kip Thompson motioned approval of Consent Agenda, seconded by Rita Quinn.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Reports

Jim Bennett motioned that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Gary Alexander.

  • Over and Under Report for period ending 09/30/14
  • Accounts Payable and Receivable Quarterly Report
  • Budget-to-Date Report from 01/01/14 to 09/30/14
  • Balance Sheet as of 09/30/14
  • Revenues vs. Expenditures from 09/01/14 to 09/30/14
  • Grants/Non-Current Aids Status Report as of 09/30/14

Kip Thompson inquired about line item 5102, Compensated Absences in regard to the fact that a staff member has announced her upcoming retirement in December, to which Michael Spofford responded that there is $10,000 available in the original budget.  The individual can use any amount of her accrued vacation time between now and the date of retirement, making the payout a variable, plus there will be unused sick time to pay out with a cap of $3,000.

Kip then asked about the Current Year Percentage of Change for Other State Aid.  Michael said that relates to funds, such as State Corrections and Coordinated Outreach, being received earlier than last year.  This year’s figure should level out to about a one percent increase.  Included in Other State Aid there may be grants received in 2013 that were not received in 2014, such as Family Literacy which is paid every two years.  Michael will prepare and distribute a report to show where the increases are. 

Kip then inquired whether year-end expenses can be expected to change little, specifically expenditures for Personnel, Employee Benefits and Health Insurance.  Michael stated that personnel expenses should only go up 1.5 percent, due such things as increases in payroll, employee benefits and Workers’ Compensation.  Fortunately, Ewa’s rating for Workers Compensation changed recently from being a library person to a staff member, which basically means that she doesn’t work in the stacks, and her premium was reduced from $.80 to $.30 per $100.  For that change, we have received a $1,800 refund.  A small increase in health insurance is expected with a decrease for management confidential staff so that may even itself out.  One retiree for Medicare Part D ($104.90) was recently added, but is being offset by the individual’s decreased premium for medical insurance.  

Kip commended management for all of these recent developments in the area of insurance that in prior years have been troublesome areas.

The motion to approve the financial reports as presented carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were no comments from the public.

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich, President, commented on the following topics:

  • She welcomed everyone to Wead Library and thanked them for coming, adding that she grew up in this grand library and has wonderful memories.

  • She offered congratulations to the staff member who will retire in December.

  • She welcomed Ewa Jankowska back from Poland. 

Director’s Report                                                                                   

Ewa Jankowska apologized that she did not provide a written report due to her recent return from Poland.  Her November written report will include two months. She then offered the following comments:

  • Crown Point's Hammond Library has signed a contract to automate.

  • Elizabeth Rogers will retire on December 19, 2014.  Ewa is meeting with the staff weekly to determine how Elizabeth's duties can be covered.  There will be a search fora new librarian.

  • A couple of libraries who had expressed interest in applying for construction grants did not pursue them, so there was no need to rank the libraries who did apply and a selection process is not needed.  There is enough money to provide the applying libraries with what they are requesting, and there will be a little left over.  The ultimate decisions as to the grants will be made by the State.

  • One of the drivers has a problem with his knee requiring surgery.  It will be covered by Worker's Compensation.

  • Invitations to the Literary Luncheon on November 7 were mailed out to over 400 people last week, with responses coming in slowly.  Ewa asked trustees to help promote the event.  On October 31, we need to provide Lake Forest with the number of meals.  Ewa met Eva Stachniak in Warsaw, Poland, and found her very interesting.  Her books are historical fiction but she also speaks about writing in general.

  • On November 14, there will be an all-day seminar with guest speaker, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich from Mid-Hudson Library System.  She will speak on library advocacy and sustainable libraries.  This is a free training for trustees and library personnel with lunch provided, made possible with funds from Lake Placid Education Foundation.

  • Ewa will be meeting with Assemblywoman Janet Duprey in her Plattsburgh office on October 30 and she invited trustees to join her.  Ewa meets with her yearly and feels it is important for the Assemblywoman to hear from other library advocates in addition to those who are employed by the library system.

  • Ewa recently sent trustees a link to the LTA website that contains a profile on CEFLS that was well-written by Julie Wever.

  • The union staff met today and a follow-up letter saying they are ready to enter into negotiations is expected in the near future.  A date will then be arranged to begin the negotiating process.

Comments and Questions Directed to Ewa Jankowska:

Kip questioned ILL with area correctional facilities and wonders if it is costly to provide, commenting on related van expenditures and the amount of time spent by staff on behalf of correctional facilities.  Ewa explained that the reimbursement rate is governed by the state and is the same across the state.  It is based on the number of inmates housed in the prisons served.  At CEFLS, the maximum amount of reimbursement funds allowed is used toward paying salaries and benefits, while these same employees are also able to perform work in other areas.  Ewa explained the ILL process for correctional facilities briefly and she commented that financially and ethically she feels that serving them is the right thing to do.  

Committee Reports

There are no committee reports at this time.

Communications

There are no communications at this time.

Old Business

Approval of Direct Access Plan

Donna Fulkerson motioned approval of Direct Access Plan as it was presented to the Board in June, seconded by Chris de Grandpré.  Ewa recapped that it has now been approved by the CEFLS Members Advisory Council and the Boards of all the member libraries.  After approval by the full CEFLS Board, it will be sent to New York State Department of Education for final approval.  With no further discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Membership to Library Trustees Association (LTA)

Jesse Feiler, President of the Board of Trustees of PPL, is a member of LTA and has been encouraging CEFLS to become a member also.  Membership fee for the system would be $225.  Chris de Grandpré motioned, seconded by Rita Quinn, for CEFLS to become a member of LTA.  A brief discussion ensued that it is a minor expense, especially with the entire LTA membership coming to Plattsburgh for their annual meeting in 2016.  The motion passed unanimously.

Construction Grant Applications

Ewa Jankowska recapped from her oral Director’s Report provided earlier in this meeting that with two libraries who were expected to apply for Construction Grant funding not applying, there are enough funds for all libraries who did apply.  The actual grant application was submitted to DLD last month, with the expectation that the applying libraries would have to be ranked for approval.

New Business

Approval of Automation Contract for Hammond Library, Crown Point

Kip Thompson motioned, seconded by Rita Quinn, to approve the Automation Contract for Hammond Library in Crown Point.  The CEFLS Board is very pleased to learn that Hammond will be automated.  The motion passed unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 5:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held September 22, 2014

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:29 p.m. on Monday, September 22, 2014 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President. 

Oath of Office

Lisa Minnich administered the Oath of Office to Rita Quinn as a new trustee of CEFLS representing Franklin County.  She welcomed her to the Board.

Roll Call

Present:  Gary Alexander, James “Jim” Bennett (left at 5:15 p.m.), Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Chris de Grandpré, Donna Fulkerson, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville (entered at 4:38 p.m.), Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Rita Quinn, Charles “Kip” Thompson

Present via video conferencing with Schroon Lake Public Library:  Fran Filshie

Excused:  Wallace “Wally” Day and Barbara Stowe

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Others Present:  Anne de la Chapelle, Director, Plattsburgh Public Library; Francie Fairchild, Director, Chazy Public Library; Jesse Feiler, President, Board of Trustees, Plattsburgh Public Library; and David Minnich

Consent Agenda

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda - As distributed prior to this meeting

Approval of Minutes of August 25, 2014 Meeting

Committee Reports - Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiating, Nominating, Personnel, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

Jim Bennett, motioned approval of Consent Agenda, with CEFDA removed, seconded by Gary Alexander.  Francie Fairchild will report on CEFDA today.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Reports

Nicky Bryant motioned that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Chris de Grandpré.

  • Over and Under Report for period ending 08/31/14

  • Budget-to-Date Report from 01/01/14 to 08/31/14

  • Balance Sheet as of 08/31/14

  • Revenues vs. Expenditures from 08/01/14 to 08/31/14

  • Grants/Non-Current Aids Status Report as of 08/31/14 

Kip Thompson commented that the amount spent on postage for ILL seems very low, to which Michael explained that NNYLN now provides a free-to-members pick-up and delivery service.  The U.S. Postal Services is now used to send out only a couple of ILL packages a week, whereas in the past, five or six were sent out in a day.

Kip also commented that it appears we have spent less than 18 percent of what was budgeted for conferences and meetings.  Michael Spofford explained that Ewa Jankowska and the consultants are planning to attend additional conferences during the remainder of the year.  Ewa added that we cannot afford to attend the larger conferences, so we try to take advantage of those that do not involve much travel.

The motion to approve the financial reports as presented carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

Ewa Jankowska announced that Jesse Feiler, President of the Board of Trustees of PPL, has been elected to represent the North Country on Library Trustees Association of New York State (LTA).  LTA has a big training event in a different area of the state each year and it will be in Plattsburgh in 2016.  It is like a mini-trustees’ institute and Jesse is involving CEFLS in its organization.  We will let LTA know what specific trustee training is needed within our System.  Jesse stated that this is a wonderful benefit to our system since we are not able to send people to big expensive conferences.

Emily Castine added that she attended a trustee institute many years ago and she highly recommends it for any new trustee as it provides the big picture.

Jim Bennett stated that there is no current LTA membership for CEFLS.  Lisa Minnich suggested that this could be a discussion topic at a future Board meeting. 

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich, President, commented on the following topics:

As a result of the August Board meeting, Lisa has solicited more members for the Negotiating Committee.  Wally Day and Nicky Bryant have agreed to serve. 

Lisa received and shared with the trustees an e-mail concerning possible negative behavior at a library affiliated with the system regarding Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The handicapped person complained that she was denied access to a member library bathroom so she sighted the ADA as having been violated.  She thought that CEFLS controls member libraries.  Lisa replied to the lady that that is not the case and told her that CEFLS basically serves member libraries.  She suggested to the lady that she contact that library’s board. 

CEFLS has an ADA policy for its own staff and Board already and would certainly address a potential violation if adherence was in question with any of our own people. Elizabeth Rogers, consultant for the involved library, has spoken to that director who provided a very different point of view to the matter.  Lisa feels that as a Board we really do not have the whole story.  Furthermore, CEFLS does not hire or fire member libraries’ staffs, nor are their staffs controlled by CEFLS. 

Based on CEFLS Board meetings being on the fourth Monday of the month, in 2015 the May meeting would fall on Memorial Day.  Lisa proposed rescheduling the May meeting for the following Monday, June 1.  Then the regular June meeting could be moved to the fifth Monday, June 29, in order to allow four weeks between meetings.  By general consensus, this plan was agreed upon.

Currently there is no business to be discussed or voted on at a December Board meeting.  In December 2013 and 2012, the Board gathered socially with the staff to enjoy a holiday luncheon, and in 2013 that was preceded with a brief Board meeting to discuss the director’s evaluation.  Since then, the schedule for the director’s evaluation has been adjusted to better correlate with due dates to the State.  Lisa concluded that unless something important comes up, for example something pertaining to negotiations, a December meeting could be skipped this year.  Fran Filshie suggested a luncheon meeting when the weather is better.

Director’s Report                                                                                   

In addition to her written report, Ewa Jankowska reported:

Corresponding with Jesse Feiler’s appointment to LTA, CEFLS was asked to write a feature article for the LTA Bulletin, which Ewa and Julie Wever have done.  The bulletin will be coming out on October 1.  A link to the article will be sent to the trustees.

Budget applications for 2015 and new CEFLS brochures have been submitted to the three counties.  This is really the time to advocate to the legislators, informing them what CEFLS does.  Ewa had an appointment set up with Janet Duprey for September 15th but it was cancelled so Mrs. Duprey could be present in Franklin County for the counting of primary ballots.  Ewa is hoping to get that meeting rescheduled and it would be nice to have some CEFLS trustees attend with her.  Appointments have been requested with Dan Stec and Betty Little and we are waiting to hear from them.

Usually at this time of year the Board would be asked to approve construction grants; however, we are running late as libraries have been slow with their requests.  This year there are more applications for money than what money has been assigned.  Typically there is leftover money that is not awarded and has to be returned.  Libraries can submit their applications on-line, and once received, since there is not enough money to fund all of the requests, they will be prioritized so the smaller libraries get their fair share. 

At last month’s Board meeting, a Variance Request was approved for Wells Memorial Library in Upper Jay, stating they would open an additional five hours per week beginning October 10, 2014.  Prior to this meeting, Wells Memorial Library submitted for review a more detailed narrative with the Variance Request.  Recapping their situation, as the result of the 2010 census figures that DLD uses to determine how many hours a library must be opened, their population of 2,506, only six over 2,500, requires them to be open 25 hours instead of 20 hours.  Now, in an effort to better explain to DLD the enormous hardship that opening five additional hours will cause, they are submitting the more detailed narrative.

We had a meeting with Anne de la Chapelle, Director of PPL, and Elizabeth Rogers to discuss how to spend the two aids that CEFLS receives to support the Central Library in accordance with State requirements.  Regarding Central Book Aid (CBA), CEFLS spends a lot of money on databases that support PPL as the Central Library for the whole system.  Regarding Central Library Development Aid (CLDA), a portion of the salary of a former staff member at PPL came from CLDA, and CEFLS is hoping to use a portion of that.

There was a very interesting meeting of CEF Library Directors Association (CEFDA) this morning in Champlain.  Topics included:

  • Interim director position at Lake Placid Public Library:  It is a school district library, requiring a Civil Service exam.  There is concern of a potential conflict of interest because the president of their library board is the mother of the new interim director.

  • Au Sable Forks Library Association, where there is a new director:  The number of hours currently open is 23.5.  Based on the population of the area they serve, it should be 25 hours.

  • Champlain Memorial Library:  There is talk of being taken over by the village, which would involve a lot of legal issues. 

Regarding the Author’s Luncheon coming up on November 7th at Lake Forest, we are asking for donations (tax deductible) to offset expenses, even small donations, through the crowd funding website, Adirondack Gives: http://www.adirondackgives.org, which is set up in collaboration with Adirondack Community Trust (ACT).  The website is also available on the CEFLS Facebook page.  We are hoping to collect $500 and currently have $285.  The goals for the funds are to:

  • offset travel expenses for the author, Eva Stachniak, who will be traveling from Toronto, Canada

  • buy in advance at least one of the author's books for each member library

  • have one of the author's books on each table to be won by someone seated at that table

  • lower the price of the event tickets a little

Comments and Questions Directed to Ewa Jankowska:

Fran Filshie inquired who would be invited to the author luncheon.  Ewa responded that everyone who receives the Trailblazer will be invited, plus the legislators from Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties.  There are approximately 285 trustees alone, between CEFLS and all the member libraries.

Chris de Grandpré stated that as always those who work on the Trailblazer did a great job.

Kip Thompson commented that the Outreach Department Report implies that the van drivers make 9 or 10 stops a day to deliver books.  Ewa stated that is correct and explained that they go to 30 libraries, some nursing homes, George Cannon’s office in Newcomb and some other stops.  Kip would like to have a little training during a meeting to better understand how this works. 

Gary Alexander asked about books that are mailed.  Ewa explained a little about ILL, saying that when requests are received for nonfiction books unavailable within our system, we try to get them from anywhere we can, even other states, and those arrive by mail and have to be returned by mail.  That world-wide catalog system is OCLC and there is a charge for every transaction.  Fiction requests are limited to within our area, including North Country Library System that encompasses 64 libraries, all belonging to NNYLN, and from universities and other institutions.  NNYLN now provides a free-to-members pick-up and delivery service that has resulted in far fewer books being mailed, thus significantly lowering postage costs. 

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Anne de la Chapelle reported that: 

  • She attended a CEFDA meeting this morning at the home of the director of Champlain Memorial Library.

  • They are working on wrapping up construction grant projects from the last couple of years.

  • Workroom floor replacement over Columbus Day weekend

  • Front entrance, to start any day, requiring entrance to be through the Brinkerhoff side door.

  • They have applied for 2015 Construction Grant money to replace their aging elevator.  They are aware that many other libraries are also applying for Construction Grants.  PPL has been building up their funds so they can support their end of the matching funds Construction Grant.

Librarians at PPL are taking advantage of different professional development opportunities.

  • NNYLN Fall Conference - Colleen Pelletier will be presenting on a technology grant they received.  Caleb Mosier will be attending the automation portion of the conference.

  • The children's librarian will be attending a fall workshop on Common Core put on by CEFLS.  It will be held at PPL.

  • Anne will be attending the NYLA meeting in Saratoga Springs where she will also attend an all-day pre-conference workshop on marketing libraries.

  • Anne is taking a strategic marketing class. 

The PPL Friends of the Library has gotten together again for the fall with a variety of events.

  • Open house on October 6th with author talks and other programs

  • Fall book sale from October 23 to 25

  • Annual meeting on October 21st at 5 p.m.                 

Anne and Elizabeth Rogers have been assessing PPL’s non-fiction collection and weeding outdated books, as well as finding areas of need for CBA book money.

PPL has both of the e-books written by Eva Stachniak, the guest speak at CEFLS’ Author Luncheon.

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library Directors Association (CEFDA)

Francie Fairchild reported that at the CEFDA meeting this morning they reviewed their original purpose and bylaws which were drawn up in the 1980s, as well as some other issues.  Francie will report more on CEFDA at a future meeting.

Committee Reports

There are no committee reports at this time.

Communications

There are no communications at this time.

Old Business

There is no old business at this time.

New Business

NNYLN Technology Service Improvement Grant

Fran Filshie moved approval of the NNYLN Technology Service Improvement Grant Report as distributed prior to this meeting, seconded by Kip Thompson.  Kip commented that the report was very comprehensive and well done.  With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

Family Medical Leave Act

Nicky Bryant moved approval of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that was drawn up by the CEFLS attorney and distributed for review prior to this meeting, seconded by Fran Filshie.  Ewa Jankowska stated that in the past it was believed that since CEFLS has under 50 employees it was not necessary to have such a policy; however, it was learned recently that because we have public employees it is necessary.  With no further discussion and with Rita Quinn abstaining from the vote, motion carried. 

Family Reading:  Year One Report

Kip Thompson moved approval of the Family Reading Year One Report, as distributed for review prior to this meeting, with Donna Fulkerson seconding.  Ewa Jankowska explained that the State requires Board approval of this report. With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

Variance Request for Wells Memorial Library

Lisa Minnich stated that in August a variance was Board approved for Wells Memorial Library to be opened 20 hours a week, rather than 25 hours, as required by the State based on population reported in the 2010 census.  Ewa Jankowska explained that the State wants a plan in place for obtaining compliance, so Wells Memorial Library has developed a plan that focuses on raising the needed funds to open the library the additional five hours a week.  The narrative plan for fund raising was distributed for review prior to this meeting.  Ewa stated that we think a current population count for Upper Jay would show less than 2,500 because there were people who moved out of the area after the flooding in 2011.

Emily Castine motioned approval of the variance request for Wells Memorial Library with their narrative plan for raising funds to open the library 25 hours a week in the future.  Fran Filshie seconded the motion.  With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Chris de Grandpré motioned to go into Executive Session to discuss upcoming negotiations, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  Executive Session was entered at 5:20 p.m.

Return to Regular Session and Adjournment

The Board returned to Regular Session at 5:41 p.m.  There being no further business to come before the trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 5:41 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held August 25, 2014

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:40 p.m. on Monday, August 25, 2014 at Dodge Memorial Library, 144 Lake Street, Rouses Point, New York, by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President.  She asked everyone to introduce themselves for the benefit of Wallace Day who is on the agenda to take the Oath of Office as a new trustee.

Oath of Office

Lisa Minnich administered the Oath of Office to Wallace Day as a new trustee of CEFLS representing Clinton County and welcomed him to the Board.

Roll Call

Present:  James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Wallace “Wally” Day, Chris de Grandpré, Donna Fulkerson, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Barbara Stowe

Absent:  Gary Alexander, Fran Filshie and Kip Thompson

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Others Present:  Anne de la Chapelle, Director at Plattsburgh Public Library, Francie Fairchild, Director at Chazy Public Library, and David Minnich

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda - As distributed prior to this meeting

Approval of Minutes of July 28, 2014 Meeting

Committee Reports - Advocacy, Development, Executive, Health Plan, Personnel, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was motioned by Nicky Bryant, seconded by Barbara Stowe, to approve Consent Agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Reports

Chris de Grandpré moved that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Emily Castine.

Over and Under Report for period ending 07/31/14

Budget-to-Date Report from 01/01/14 through 07/31/14

Balance Sheet as of 07/31/14

Revenues vs. Expenditures from 07/01/14 to 07/31/14

Grants/Non-Current Aids Status Report as of 07/31/13 

With no further discussion, the motion to approve the financial reports as presented carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were no comments from the public.

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich, President, offered comments on the following topics:

Thank you to Dodge Memorial Library for hosting this meeting. 

Congratulations to System staff for receiving approval of the Annual Report.

The Negotiating Committee has communicated that they need at least two additional members.  Chris de Grandpré will be leaving the Board on December 31, 2014 at the end of his second full, and the other members of the committee as it is now are Kip Thompson, who goes away for the winter months, and Tom Mandeville, who is a new member.  They would like new members to learn the negotiating process who can be available during the winter months.  Chris stated that the chief spokesperson is usually the System attorney, Jaci Kelleher, and that basically members are needed as witnesses to what is being done, to offer suggestions and to be able to communicate the status of the process to the Board.  Negotiations are expected to begin in the fall, with the committee meeting once or twice a month, until a contract is agreed upon.  Lisa asked the trustees to seriously consider serving on this committee. 

Director’s Report 

In addition to her written report, Ewa Jankowska reported:

The recently attended two conferences, PULISDO in Utica and NYALS in Albany.

Basic Aid and Supplementary Aid from the State have been received, as well as 90 percent of Local Services Aid and 90 percent of Systems Aid.  We still do not have the tables so we do not know exact disbursement of State funding.  Ewa and Michael Spofford are discussing an issue with the State regarding their claim that our unserved areas have decreased by 5,000 people.  This translates into $500 less for that particular aid. 

We received a $10,000 three-year grant from Lake Placid Education Foundation (LPEF) to be used for training.  We would like to divide it up to use for library staff and trustees.  Ewa learned at a Board meeting in Schroon Lake that they have several new trustees who would like to have training.  We had a conversation today with Cali Brooks from Adirondack Foundation regarding construction grants.  They match construction grant money that comes from the State and include funding for technology related projects.

We are applying for a technology grant from Northern New York Library Network (NNYLN) for hardware and software for creating short 10-minute webinars so training sessions could be recorded for access at different times. 

We are proceeding with plans for an Annual Luncheon to be held on November 7th at Lake Forest in Plattsburgh.  The next committee meeting will be on August 28th. Canadian best-selling author from Toronto who has written two novels about Catherine the Great, Eva Stachniak, will be the guest speaker.  We will cover the cost of her trip to Plattsburgh.  Ginny Brady, a former PPL trustee, has offered to host the author in her home.  Luncheon pricing has not been determined yet. 

Every year Ewa attends Library Advocacy Day in Albany and speaks with our local legislators at their offices about funding and increased service expectations of the System.  She feels it would be much more helpful for the faces and voices of library trustees to become known, so she encouraged Board members to become active advocates for the System.  This would be a particularly good year to speak to legislators who are running for reelection.  In the past there were member items, or discretionary state funding, allocated by the Senate and Assembly to be used for a public purpose.  They were to be divided among the two houses of the New York State Legislature per agreement with the governor.  Ewa explained that since the governor eliminated whatever was considered extra, member items are no longer available.  However, a couple of years ago we learned that some schools, libraries and institutions were getting this “little known” money from the Senate for which you couldn’t really apply, called Bullet Aid.  It is apparently supposed to aid institutions that are not doing well and the senators of the party in power determine how it is allotted, which makes this a good time for trustees to speak with Senator Little.

Comments and Questions Directed to Ewa Jankowska:

Barbara Stowe commented on the increase in e-books, adding that according to the charts in Betsy Brooks’ Automation Department report, it looks like they are really taking off.  Ewa responded, thanking Anne de le Chapelle of PPL for recently having purchased a large number of e-books.  Ewa encourages all member libraries to purchase e-books, even just one, so that there is 100 percent participation in the effort to increase the collection.

Barbara Stowe then inquired how participating libraries were selected for the literacy project.  Ewa explained that in addition to a literacy component, this grant requires a component to assist with finding employment.  Betsy and Julie Wever polled libraries to find out which ones would be willing to participate.  Wead Library and Elizabethtown Library volunteered for Year One, and for Year Two two additional libraries in identified high-need areas will be sought. 

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) - Central Library Report

Anne de la Chapelle reported on: 

PPL’s e-book circulation is up about 280 percent over last year.  It seems that allowing four books to be checked out at a time has helped to increase circulation.  So far they have spent about $2,500 of $5,000 allotted for e-books in this year’s budget.

Local history librarian, Kelly Sexton, has resigned to relocate.  The historical collection is now available by appointment only.

Elizabeth Rogers is working with PPL to evaluate their non-fiction collection so they can be a better central library with a desirable collection, and also to help determine how to best spend Central Book Aid money.

PPL’s building projects are ready to begin.  They just closed out their 2012 Construction Grant. 

E-rate funding was approved in the amount of $2,900.  This is federal money to be applied to telephone and computer costs.

There have been over 62,000 visits to the library this year, with increased lending and over 14,000 computer sessions.  They are spending a lot of money on the adult DVD collection and that circulation is up 36 percent.

Jesse Feiler, PPL’s new Board president, is part of the Saranac Lake River Trail Group and they are sponsoring an engineering bridge design project that will tie in classes at local schools.  PPL will have software loaded on their lab computers, as well as related books, to assist with bridge design.  

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library Directors Association (CEFDA)

Francie Fairchild reported that:

CEFDA met recently at Elizabethtown Library with eight directors present and from CEFLS Ewa Jankowska, Betsy Brooks and Julie Wever present.

Lara Langston, the new Elizabethtown Library director, was welcomed and concerns and ideas were shared on topics such as collection management, specifically large print books, and the newly formed Lewis volunteer library.

Directors confirmed the consensus that CEFDA meetings allow the sharing of successes and challenges, and keep each other informed of other libraries’ activities.

The next CEFDA meeting will be help on September 22, 2014 in Champlain.

Special thanks went out to Karen Glass, Director of Keene Valley, for getting CEFDA back together and scheduling meetings.

Committee Reports

Finance Committee

Chris de Grandpré reported that the Finance Committee met on August 11, 2014 with Ewa Jankowska, Michael Spofford, Kip Thompson and himself in attendance.

Budget 2014 was first approved in August 2013 in the amount of $1,324,716, and this August an amendment (Budget 2014-01) with an increase of $10,578 was prepared.  On behalf of the Finance Committee’s recommendation, Chris de Grandpré moved approval of Budget 2014-01, seconded by Nicky Bryant. 

Michael Spofford explained that after the Finance Committee meeting, an estimated bill for retirement was received.  Usually it is paid around the end of December to save approximately $800 to $900.  We expected the bill would be about $90,000, but due to some reconciliations based on actual salaries, there is an additional $3,500, and additionally there are two prior years’ adjustments, from 1979 and 1985 when retirement contributions were figured incorrectly and there was a $780 shortage which over time accrued $7,183 in interest.  In the aforementioned years, CEFLS paid the items based on what we were told to pay.  We know now that there were apparently errors made by a previous principal account clerk.  Ultimately, our estimated amount that we will pay in December will be $104,200, about a $14,000 to $15,000 increase.  Of that amount, about $4,000 is for adjustments to actual March 31, 2014 salaries.  Almost $8,000 is for prior years’ adjustments.  The invoice is for April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015.  Michael stated that there is money in the budget that can be moved around to cover this unexpected expense, taking it from Account Code 5303 - Capital Expense-Building.  That is a reserve fund set up for unexpected expenses on our aging building.  Michael mentioned that last year we thought we were over these little adjustments to retirement expenses after we were hit with $5,000 or $6,000 in interest which was also an error made by a previous principal account clerk.

Michael then stated that the Union recently requested information in preparation of the upcoming negotiations, such as salaries, number of positions, and budget figures.  In putting this together, he realized an error from 2012.  When a van driver left suddenly that year, the position was offered to Bob Welch, a previous employee who had been our bookmobile driver.  Bob’s first day as a van driver was December 21, 2012.  At that time, CEFLS was in the midst of contract negotiations, with the contract eventually being signed in June 2013, which created a new payroll schedule.  With the rehiring of Bob happening very suddenly, he was put on the payroll schedule for the new contract, but should have been on the old one, although it was at first thought that he would begin working in the new year.  As a result, a gross payment was recently made to Bob for $1,800, net about $1,300, and he is now being paid his correct rate. 

At this present time, there are no other budget amendments pending, though it could happen.

The motion to approve Budget 2014-01 carried unanimously.

Draft Independent Audit by Martindale Keysor & Co for the period ending December 31, 2013 and 2012

The Finance Committee reviewed the draft independent audit with Michael Spofford answering their questions.  Chris de Grandpré stated that the auditor’s letter mentioned, as it has following previous audits, that CEFLS has not determined the cost of certain post-employment benefits in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, which require the cost of employees’ post-retirement benefits to be recognized over the employees’ respective service periods and a corresponding liability to be shown.  This has been a major stumbling block for several years as CEFLS hasn’t been able to find a formula to accurately determine those costs.  Inquiries have been made to find someone who might do that, and it was learned that the expense would be so high that CEFLS wouldn’t be able to afford the services.  Chris stated that the Finance Committee feels that the audit is clean and that the library system, primarily Ewa Jankowska and Michael Spofford, have done a great job in looking after funds.  A resolution to accept the audit for the period ending December 31, 2013 and 2012 which was done by Martindale Keysor & Co was made by Chris de Grandpré, seconded by Donna Fulkerson.  With no further discussion, motion approved unanimously.

IRS Form 990 as submitted by Martindale Keysor & Co

Chris de Grandpré stated that Martindale Keysor & Co prepared and submitted to the IRS for CEFLS a Form 990.  It is a required tax return for a not-for-profit institution.  A copy of it was provided to trustees for review prior to this meeting.  Chris motioned approval of the Form 990 as submitted by Martindale Keysor & Co, seconded by Barbara Stowe.  With no further discussion, motion carried unanimously.

Nominating Committee

Emily Castine welcomed Wally Day to the Board, emphasizing his leadership role for public service as indicated by his resumé. 

Emily then reported that a resumé and letter expressing interest in becoming a trustee were received from Rita Quinn from Franklin County.  Her resumé was distributed for review prior to this meeting.  She is a graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Science major, Geography minor.  Most recently, for 17 years she worked for the Adirondack Park Agency.  

It was motioned by Emily Castine to send the name of Rita Quinn to the Franklin County Board of Legislators to be considered for appointment as a trustee to the CEFLS Board of Trustees, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  Brief mention was then made of there being two open seats remaining on the Board, one in Franklin County and one in Essex County.  With no further discussion, motion passed unanimously.

Communications

There are no communications at this time.

Old Business

Discussion of the potential of having a range of trustees

Lisa Minnich recapped that discussion of having a potential range of trustees was tabled at a previous meeting in lieu of more information from the State.  We have now learned that there can be a sliding scale, with the same number of trustees from each county, and any change to the number must be approved by all of the counties.  Lisa stated that the consensus of the Board is to leave the number of trustees at five from each county, with continued efforts to recruit new trustee candidates.

New Business

Adult Literacy:  Collaborative Skill Building for Job Search Success, Fiscal Year 2014, Project Year One of Three

Ewa Jankowska explained that this is a literacy project somewhat similar to what has been approved in past years but now it is geared more toward job searching.  A summary of the first year of the project, prepared by Julie Wever, Outreach Coordinator, was previously distributed to the Board.  The actual report that had to be submitted electronically to the State was 15 pages.  Donna Fulkerson motioned approval of the adult literacy project, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  With no further discussion, motion carried unanimously.

Variance Request for Wells Memorial Library

Ewa Jankowska explained that one of the State’s standards for libraries is that the number of hours a library has to be open is dependent on the population the library serves.  According to the last census which was done in 2010, Upper Jay, which is a very small community, had 2,506 people.  For up to 2,499 people, a library has to be open 20 hours, and for 2,500 people it must be open 25 hours.  At this point, asking the State for a variance to remain open 20 hours while trying to work on opening for 25 hours seems the best path.  When a proper count is done, the population will likely be below 2,500 because after the flooding in 2012 it is believed that a few families moved away.

Emily Castine motioned approval of the variance request for Wells Memorial Library in Upper Jay as explained by Ewa Jankowska, seconded by Barbara Stowe.  With no further discussion, motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Donna Fulkerson motioned to go into Executive Session to discuss upcoming negotiations, seconded by Chris de Grandpré.  Executive Session was entered at 5:32 p.m.

Return to Regular Session and Adjournment

The Board returned to Regular Session at 5:54 p.m.  There being no further business to come before the trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 5:54 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held July 28, 2014

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:41 p.m. on Monday, June 30, 2014 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President.

Roll Call

Present:  James “Jim” Bennett (departed after roll call), Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Chris de Grandpré, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Charles “Kip” Thompson

Present via video conferencing from Saranac Lake:  Gary Alexander and Barbara Stowe

Present via video conferencing from Schroon Lake:  Fran Filshie

Absent:  Donna Fulkerson

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Others Present:  Francie Fairchild, Director at Chazy Public Library, and David Minnich

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda - As distributed prior to this meeting

Approval of Minutes of June 30, 2013 Meeting

CEFDA - No report at this time

Committee Reports - Advocacy, Development, Executive, Health Plan, Negotiating, Personnel, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was motioned by Emily Castine, seconded by Kip Thompson, to approve Consent Agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Reports

Nicky Bryant moved that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Chris de Grandpré.

  • Over and Under Report for period ending 06/30/14.
  • Budget-to-Date Report from 01/01/14 through 06/30/14
  • Balance Sheet from 06/01/14 to 06/30/14
  • Revenues vs. Expenditures from 06/01/14 to 06/30/14
  • Grants/Non-Current Aids Status Report from 01/01/14 to 06/30/14

Kip Thompson complimented staff for the excellent handling of vehicle expense and maintenance and for the expansion of the e-book collection.  He commented on line item 5102, Compensated Absences which is related to Basic Aid, saying that it doesn't seem to grow.  Michael Spofford responded that this item is funded in anticipation of future retirements when CEFLS must pay back unused vacation and sick leave.  Brief mention was then made of line item 3517, regarding the contractual agreement with North Country Library System, the grant CEFLS received from Clinton County to assist with the transition and money that has also been set aside for contract negotiations that will begin later this year.

Barbara Stowe questioned the seemingly unpredictability of State Correctional Aid and questioned how the budget will be adjusted.  Ewa Jankowska responded funding is received per capita based on the number of inmates.  She is hopeful that we will get Basic and Supplemental Aids very soon and that aid amounts will be very similar to last year.  When we know what the aid will be, the budget will be adjusted.  For instance, the Outreach staff's salaries can be broken down to have different percentages from Basic Aid and from State Corrections.  Michael Spofford pointed out that no money has been spent yet from State Corrections for books, though there is money in that line item to cover salaries for Outreach staff.

Lisa Minnich then asked about the revenues vs. Expenditures Report that is showing deficits.  Michael stated that before this week there was about $150,000 left from last year's funding and that is what we are operating with, so when this year's funding is received, in particular Basic Aid which is about $686,000, we will be back in the blue.

With no further discussion, the motion to approve the financials as presented by Michael Spofford was passed unanimously. 

Public Comment Period

There were no comments from the public.

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich, President, thanked the CEFLS staff for their diligent work on the Annual Report and for all the outreach they have been doing.  She also expressed appreciation to those who set up the workshop earlier this afternoon on trustee advocacy presented by Sara Kelly Johns of New York Library Association.

Director’s Report 

In addition to her written report, Ewa Jankowska reported:

Last week she attended a fantastic PULISDO conference in Utica along with Michael Spofford and Betsy Brooks.  Betsy attended sessions on internet technology and Michael’s and Ewa’s sessions were on human resources and finances.  They learned a lot about what other systems are doing, for instance, theoretically though we cannot charge fees for mandated services, there can be charges for cataloging and circulation computer system.  Among the library systems in New York State, the percentage of funding of this source that CEFLS receives is ranked very low.  Ewa stated it is not easy to change that, as our local libraries operate on very small budgets.  She feels strongly that we must help them to be better funded locally, while raising our ILS fees only a little at a time.  The additional income is necessary to fulfill our annual contractual obligation with North Country Library System.  We will look into services that can be performed for fees, such as developing library websites or doing member library comptroller reports.

Kip Thompson feels that CEFLS should have as a financial goal to raise income by charging member libraries for services and over time that would have a huge financial impact.  Fran Filshie stated that it doesn’t help when the State recommends library funding at $20 per capita because clearly more is needed, to which Ewa Jankowska added that some libraries don’t even get that.  Fran feels that advocacy with the State Education Department is needed to get the per capita recommendations changed.  She suggested that the State could be responsible for funding automation expenses because libraries would be lost without automation; furthermore, automation systems across the state vary and that complicates the issue.  She would like the State to take a look at reality in rural areas such as ours. 

At the PULISDO conference there was also a session with two lawyers from Whiteman Osterman and Hanna who specialize in education law.  It seems that the Comptroller’s Office is interested in auditing libraries, particularly municipal libraries.  Ewa sent a list of policies to library directors that should be on the books and she will follow up by sending the list to the presidents of the Boards.  She learned that CEFLS should have a policy on Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) because we are public (Civil Service) employees.  Because we have a staff of less than 50, we thought we did not.

In mid-August, Ewa will be attending a 3 Rs conference, for a combination of school and public library systems.  It is being held in Albany and is sponsored by New York Alliance of Library Systems.

Comments and Questions Directed to Ewa Jankowska:

Kip Thompson commented that according to the department reports in this month’s Board packet, it is clear that the trend in book circulation is down.  He asked what it will look like three years from now.  Ewa responded that every system is reporting decline in circulation of books, partly because people are getting more used to e-books.  She stated that everyone is aware of it and it needs to be addressed.  Unfortunately, CEFLS doesn’t really have a big book budget, either in e-books or in paper books, so participation by all member libraries to build the e-book collection is very important.

Kip then inquired whether CEFLS has downloadable videos, to which Ewa responded that CEFLS does not due to expense but she is hopeful that will change in the future, but also because downloadable videos require a lot of bandwidth which is not available to many in surrounding areas.  She is watching what is happening with bandwidth and fiberoptics in the area.  A brief discussion of pros and cons ensued on various methods for the public to obtain videos.  Ewa wrapped it up by saying that we have to be very careful in spending our limited resources to see that they are available to as many people as possible.   

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) - Central Library Report

Anne de la Chapelle submitted a brief report for Ewa Jankowska to present in her absence. 

At PPL’s Board meeting on July 22, 2014:

  • CEFLS Direct Access Plan was approved.

  • 2014 budget for Central Book Aid (CBA) and Central Library Development Aid (CLDA) were approved.

  • A tentative 2015 budget for PPL was approved for submission to the City of Plattsburgh in August.

Local history librarian, Kelly Sexton, has resigned and will be relocating.

Committee Reports

Finance Committee

Chris de Grandpré reported on the outcomes of the Finance Committee meeting that was held on July 11, 2014.  Those present for the meeting were Ewa Jankowska, Michael Spofford, Kip Thompson and Chris.  Other members of that committee were away at that time.

The Committee approved the preliminary budget for 2015 for Franklin County as they wanted budget numbers by July 18, along with a completed application requesting 2015 funding.  The committee agreed upon requesting a five percent increase for next year.

The committee chatted a bit about the impact that upcoming negotiations will have on next year’s budget.

Chris expressed appreciation to the staff for the excellent brochure that was put together for Franklin County.

The funding tables from the State should be available soon, so the Finance Committee will meet again on August 11 at 10:00 to talk about Budget Amendment #1 that will involve reapportionment.

Nominating Committee

Emily Castine reported that Wallace H. Day of Clinton County has expressed interest in serving as a CEFLS trustee and has submitted a brief biography which was distributed to the Board prior to this meeting.  A motion was made by Emily Castine to forward his name to the Clinton County Legislature to request consideration of appointment to the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System Board of Trustees, seconded by Chris de Grandpré.  Chris commented that he has known Mr. Day for probably 30 or 40 years and feels he would make a fine trustee. 

Motion passed unanimously.

Emily stated that there remain two trustee positions open for Franklin County and one for Essex County.  She commented that each trustee has the responsibility to seek out qualified individuals to serve the System. 

Communications

There are no communications at this time.

Old Business

Discussion of the potential of having a range of trustees

Ewa Jankowska sent a request to the NYS Library to learn if it would be possible to have a variable number of trustees on the Board, with differing numbers from each county. To date, no response has been received.  Kip likened a variable number to a natural ebb and flow, as right now there are 4, 4 and 3 trustees from each county, further stating that he feels that each trustee represents all library constituents from the three counties, rather than only those from their own county.  Ewa responded that NYS Library doesn’t really like so many vacant seats and it causes difficulty with getting approval of the Annual Report.  Fran Filshie questioned if the State approves it would we then have to seek approval from each county to which Ewa responded that we would.  General consensus of the trustees is that the counties may not favor a variable number of trustees. 

New Business

Review and Approval of Central Book Aid (CBA)/Central Library Development Aid (CBLA) for 2014 Expenditure Plan

A motion was made by Nicky Bryant to approve Central Book Aid and Central Library Development Aide for the 2014 Expenditure Plan as distributed for review prior to this meeting, seconded by Barbara Stowe.  With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Kip Thompson motioned to go into Executive Session to discuss upcoming negotiations, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  Executive Session was entered at 5:21 p.m.

Return to Regular Session and Adjournment

The Board returned to Regular Session at 5:48 p.m.  There being no further business to come before the trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 5:48 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held June 30, 2014

 Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, June 30, 2014 at Wadhams Free Library, 763 NYS Route 22, Wadhams, New York, by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President.

Roll Call

Present:  Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Chris de Grandpré, Fran Filshie, Donna Fulkerson, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Barbara Stowe, Charles “Kip” Thompson

Absent:  Gary Alexander and James “Jim” Bennett

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Others Present:  Anne de la Chapelle, Director, Plattsburgh Public Library; Liz Rapalee, Director of Wadhams Free Library; Marilyn Trienens, President of the Board of Trustees of Wadhams Free Library; Sue Frisbie and Ed Cornell (entered at 4:34 p.m.), Members of the Board of Trustees of Wadhams Free Library; Susie Dubay and Kathy Linker of Lewis Public Library and Dave Minnich

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda - As distributed prior to this meeting

Approval of Minutes of June 2, 2013 Meeting

CEFDA - No report at this time

Committee Reports - Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiating, Personnel, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was motioned by Kip Thompson, seconded by Fran Filshie, to approve Consent Agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Reports

Barbara Stowe moved that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Nicky Bryant.

  • Over and Under Report for period ending 05/31/14

  • Budget-to-Date Report from 01/01/14 through 05/31/14

  • Balance Sheet as of 05/31/14

  • Revenues vs. Expenditures Comparison Report as of 05/31/14

  • Grants/Non-Current Aids Status Report as of 04/30/14

  • Grants/Non-Current Aids Status Report as of 05/31/14

With no further discussion, the motion to approve the financial reports as presented carried unanimously.

 Public Comment Period

There were no comments from the public.

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich, President, thanked Liz Rapalee, Director of Wadhams Free Library, for hosting this meeting, adding that it is a pleasure to visit this library and see this beautiful area.

Director’s Report 

In addition to her written report, Ewa Jankowska reported:

The annual TABOB, Take a Bite Out of Books, competition took place on Saturday at Champlain Center Mall in Plattsburgh and was won by a team from Saranac Lake.  Though the number of teams was small, with Rouses Point having five and Saranac Lake having two, enthusiasm was high.

Horizon, the cataloging system used by CEFLS, has been moved to the cloud and is working well.  Betsy Brooks updated software recently and there is no problem with that.

There was a very good meeting of CEFDA in Keene Valley this morning.  Automation of Hammond Library in Crown Point may be forthcoming in the future.  Ewa would like to look into a little grant to help them begin the process.  When CEFLS got a grant from Clinton County for the server project, there was a little money left over and since Hammond would be part of the integrated library system, hopefully it can go to them. 

Ewa and Dawn Recore recently attended a health insurance seminar hosted by Burnham Financial Solutions.  Excellus insurance rates for 2015 for Management Confidential staff may increase 15 percent if the request by Excellus to the New York State Department of Financial Services is approved. 

At a recent consultants’ meeting, the professional librarians on staff who do consulting work for the member libraries, decided that they are going to review each library in terms of required standards.  There is nothing that CEFLS will enforce in any way, but the goal is to help libraries understand the standards. 

Chad Chase was able to prepare each member library’s community profile, including population age and income using a database for which CEFLS had a subscription, called Business Decisions.  It was originally meant to aid businesses or prospective businesses but can also be very useful to libraries for programming and even for fundraising.  Ewa provided Wadhams Free Library with their community profile and she will be providing the other member libraries with theirs. 

Ewa met with Cali Brooks from the Adirondack Foundation.  They are interested in developing a program at member libraries for children 0-3 years to help them become acquainted with reading and learning.  Adirondack Foundation, along with Woods Foundation and Lake Placid Education Foundation, help libraries with matching funds construction grants with a focus on technology improvements. 

Ewa attended the June 26 meeting of the Chazy Public Library Board Trustees to explain Direct Access Plan, after which Chazy Board approved it.  It is very similar to the Direct Access Plan that all libraries signed in 1999, with all references to the bookmobile now removed.  The one new item that the State Library required is that in the year 2000, New York State Regents wrote a document about libraries and suggested that each library should try to get minimum funding of $20 per capita.  Lots of libraries have far less than that and though it is not required, it is something that CEFLS can try to help libraries achieve.   

Ellenburg Depot’s Sarah A. Munsil Free Library received technology funding from Adirondack Foundation and Woods Foundation, and somehow an error was made and they received funding twice.  CEFLS was able to negotiate for the library to keep it and they will be able to purchase e-books, which is within the realm of technology.  This, along with PPL’s recent e-book purchases, are nicely increasing the number of e-books available to patrons.

Ewa reported at the June 2nd Board meeting that she had asked the New York State Library whether CEFLS could have a range of trustees instead of five from each county.  With an approved range, there could be three to five trustees from each county, providing a viable option as sometimes it is difficult to get new trustees.  A copy of a resolution to petition the State has been distributed to trustees for review.  If our Board decides to request a range, we would have to request approval from each county. 

Franklin County has requested that by July 18th we submit a budget application with a tentative budget for 2015, even though we don’t have this year’s tables from the State.  A meeting of the Finance Committee will be scheduled soon. 

Comments and Questions Directed to Ewa Jankowska:

In regard to the announcement that Excellus rates may be increasing by 15 percent next year, Tom Mandeville inquired whether Management Confidential staff is eligible to be in NYSHIP.  He believes that NYSHIP may have a decrease for 2015 or an increase of no more than two percent.  Ewa explained that NYSHIP does not have a two-person policy, and two of the three Management Confidential staff need two-person policies.  To have a NYSHIP family policy would be more expensive than a two-person policy with Excellus.  Michael Spofford stated that the 2014 NYSHIP rate for a family is $1,714.19/month; right now with Excellus it is $1,607.26.  Although a 15 percent increase is projected for Excellus, by changing to a different Excellus plan for 2014, there was a big decrease.   

Kip Thompson stated that Chris Morris of Adirondack Foundation is a public relations expert who might be willing to share his expertise with CEFLS and member libraries to improve upon PR skills.

Kip thinks that Mr. Morris is salaried by Adirondack Foundation and would provide a training at no cost.

Lisa Minnich suggested that before the next meeting trustees take a look at the resolution for having a range of trustees.  She noted that as the resolution is written, all counties are to be represented equally.  County populations vary, and Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties have 11, 16 and 6 libraries respectively, so it appears that the number of trustees is not necessarily equitable.  It appears that CELFS Board members care about the North Country as a whole and not just about their own county, and that the number of trustees naturally varies as not all seats are filled at the same time.  Lisa reminded trustees that routinely having vacancies causes issues with a quorum, since a majority of 15, or 8, is necessary to constitute a quorum.  It is not unusual to have four vacant seats, yet to have a quorum, eight trustees must be present.  Further discussion on this topic was tabled for the August meeting.

Barbara Stowe inquired about the summer feeding program for children that Julie Wever reported on in the Outreach Department report.  Ewa stated that the program seems to be extremely complicated. She would like to look into it for next year.  Not all libraries would be eligible to participate, depending on their school district.  It might work if there was a provider who could meet all the guidelines for preparing and bringing in the lunches as well as doing the paperwork.  Otherwise, it seems that it would be very difficult for libraries that function with only one staff member.  Mooers is participating this year.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) - Central Library Report

Anne de la Chapelle, Central Library Director, reported:

There was a wonderful CEFDA meeting this morning.  As a group, the member library directors who were present encouraged automation of Hammond Library and offered assistance. 

The PPL Board is in a transition phase.  There are four trustees stepping down, with four trustees remaining.  Two new trustees, Richard Schaefer and Shirley O’Connell, have just been appointed and the mayor will be making more appointments.

The Friends group is trying to reorganize.  They just raised $1,500 at their book sale and with the remaining books they will have a Bag Sale on July 10th.  The Friends have provided their 2015 budget which will aid PPL in determining what they will be able to request of them.  The Friends also raised some money in the fall to assist with the purchase of a new book check-out machine.  

Work on the 2015 budget is progressing.  This is the last year of a $40,000 Bond payment, but there was another $5,000 bond payment that was supposed to start in 2013.  However, the city didn’t move it over to the library’s line, so the city has been paying it from 2013 through 2014.  That was part of $100,000 that was borrowed for mold remediation after flooding in the basement, asbestos removal and other projects.  Apparently $60,000+ of that was spent and there is $30,000+ left which is now allocated for the matching portion of the NYS Construction Grant project to replace the concrete steps at the main entrance, repoint brickwork, seal coping and leaks, and install a new floor in the Board room.  PPL’s Board will be getting some strong committees together to help with these projects.   

PPL’s Summer Reading Program will run from July 9th through August 13th.  Rather than hire the big performers as in the past, they will be using local therapy dogs, and local artists Sherry Amsel and Speedy Arnold.  PPL received $500 from Stewart’s Foundation to contribute toward the $700 total cost.

Anne is very pleased with the three new pages who were hired recently.

At the recommendation of Ewa Jankowska for Anne to look into a technology assessment program called Edge Initiative, Anne has participated in their initial webinar.  She is now registered and is looking forward to learning more.

Kip Thompson suggested that Anne might want to talk to Mayor Calnon about appointing an engineer or contractor to their Board in light of the types of building projects that are taking place.  Anne responded that she recently participated in a workshop that was in part on building a working Board by focusing on people with varying views and skillsets.

Committee Reports

Nominating Committee

Emily Castine reported that Andrew Kelly of Franklin County and Lynne Macco of Essex County, who were both potential candidates to become CEFLS trustees, have declined nomination.  We will keep their resumes on file in the event that they may be interested in serving at a later time. 

Emily is attempting to contact Sandra Webber, an author from Essex County, who has expressed interest in serving as a trustee. 

Emily asked trustees to do what they can to help with the search for new candidates for the Board.

Communications

In today’s mail, CEFLS received notice of a program called AmazonSmile Foundation.  Michael Spofford explained that it is a private 501(c)(3) foundation program administered by Amazon.  When consumers make purchases on Amazon.com, they can designate a 501(c)(3) organization, such as CEFLS, as the benefactor of a donation of .5 percent of the purchase price.  Discussion ensued about sharing this information with member libraries, some of whom also have 501(c)(3) status.  Lisa Minnich will write a letter to share this information with member libraries and their trustees.

Old Business

There is no old business at this time.

New Business

Kip Thompson stated that in Lewis where there are already four small libraries within a relatively short distance, Elizabethtown, Wadhams, Essex and Westport, a very active and enthusiastic group has independently formed Lewis Public Library.  Discussion ensued regarding CEFLS’s responsibility to this library and the free little library movement where people have little boxes on their lawn and people can take books to read or donate books.  Little guidance from the State Library on which to base a policy regarding these unofficial libraries has been received.  Ewa began a discussion on NYLTO listserv and learned that Southern Adirondack and Mid York Library Systems are very concerned that there may be less incentive to form official libraries.  Ewa maintains that CEFLS is obligated to serve the System’s 30 member libraries and three established reading centers, as well as to provide rotating collections to a few places that used to be bookmobile stops because they would otherwise be unserved areas.  In areas that are already serviced, either by having a member library, reading center or delivery of special collections, assistance to independent efforts cannot be directly supported by CEFLS.  Ewa also is concerned that the Town of Lewis is already providing money to Elizabethtown Library Association. 

Kathy Linker, of the newly formed Lewis Public Library, stated that they receive no money and they were a bookmobile stop.  Their new library is in a community building and it is a place where people come together.  Eventually, their goal is to become a member library.  Susie Dubay, also of Lewis Public Library, stated that they are in this for the long haul.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 5:23 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held June 2, 2014

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:32 p.m. on Monday, June 2, 2014 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President.

Roll Call

Present:  Gary Alexander, James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Chris de Grandpré, Donna Fulkerson, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville (entered at 4:33 p.m.) and Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Barbara Stowe, Charles “Kip” Thompson

Present via video conferencing with Schroon Lake Public Library:  Fran Filshie

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Others Present:  Anne de la Chapelle, Director, Plattsburgh Public Library, and Dave Minnich

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda - As distributed prior to this meeting

Approval of Minutes of April 28, 2013 Meeting

CEFDA - No report at this time

Committee Reports - Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiating, Personnel, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was motioned by Nicky Bryant, seconded by Donna Fulkerson, to approve Consent Agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Report

Chris de Grandpré moved that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Emily Castine.

  • Over and Under Report for period ending 04/30/14

  • Budget-to-Date Report from 01/01/14 through 04/30/14

  • Balance Sheet as of 04/30/14

  • Revenues vs. Expenditures from 04/01/14 through 04/30/14          

Michael Spofford stated that because he was away for two weeks due to a family emergency, he was not able to complete April’s Grants/Noncurrent Aids Status Report in time for this meeting.  He recapped that financially, things are going as planned for the most part.  We are at about 25 percent spent, whereas we should be for the most part at 33.3 percent.  There are forthcoming expenses that will bring us up to that point. Negotiations will be coming up, we just entered into a contract with North Country Library System and haven’t processed a payment to them yet, and Worker’s Compensation is a little high.  The annual Worker’s Compensation audit will be coming up soon, and that might lower our rate.  

Kip Thompson commented on health care for this year verses last year with regard to costs being less.  Michael stated that the rates for Management Confidential staff went down significantly and this year we have two less retirees plus one less spouse of a retiree. 

The motion to approve the financial reports as presented carried unanimously. 

Public Comment Period

There were no comments from the public.

President’s Remarks

Remarks by Lisa Minnich, President, included:

Gratitude was expressed that Michael Spofford has returned to work.

Brief consideration was given to cancelling this meeting due to the light agenda but it was decided to go ahead with it.  There have been two missed meetings so far this year due to lack of a quorum.

Director’s Report 

In addition to her written report, Ewa Jankowska reported:

Member Libraries Council has been resurrected and has met.  There used to be a Central Book Committee and a Central Library Committee.  Having these combined into the Member Libraries Council will help with Central Library, Central Book Aid and approval of system-wide policies.  The Council has been asked to review and approve the Direct Access Plan that has been received from the State Library.  The CEFLS Board has also been asked to review the plan.  It must be first approved by the Member Libraries Council, and then the Member Library Boards will be asked to approve it. Hopefully those approvals will be received in time for CEFLS trustees to approve it at the June 28 Board meeting, and then approval will be requested from New York State Department of Education.

The Member Libraries Council changed the number of e-books that can be checked out at one time.  Before, when we had so few of them, only two at a time could be checked out.  Now the number has been increased to four. 

Kip Thompson’s son, Ted, has written a book with very good reviews.  It is entitled The Land of Steady Habits.  CEFLS and a few other libraries have paper copies, and CEFLS also has an e-book version. 

The CEFLS consultants and Ewa attended the NNYLN Annual meeting in Lake Placid.  Karen Glass, Director of Keene Valley Library, received the award for Outstanding Librarian 2013. 

World Book Night was very successful, with 22 book givers, many of whom gave away their books at the Champlain Centre Mall.  It was a wonderful public relations event, with many people asking an array of questions about member libraries and the System.

Information was previously shared with the trustees about the My Favorite Poem competition, sponsored by the American Poets and the State Library.  One of the winners was Marita Boulos from Rouses Point, of Literacy Volunteers of Clinton County.  A film crew spent two days filming and interviewing her in her environment, so in part that took place at Rouses Point Dodge Memorial Library where she is a Friend of the Library and also at Literacy Volunteers where she works.  When the film is finished, we will be able to post it on the CEFLS website and hopefully PBS will get it, as it will be free for them.  Ewa has already contacted Alice Recore, the president of PBS to encourage them to get it when it comes out.

There will be a trustees’ training webinar sponsored by the State Library, presented by Jerry Nichols on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.  He is the author of the Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State.  The title of the webinar is The Critical Partnership: Public Library Trustees and Directors.  This is highly recommended for all trustees.  It can be viewed here in our Board room or watched from home on the computer by accessing a link that we will provide again just prior to June 10.

Ewa has been communicating with Sara Kelly Johns, NYLA President, to invite her to provide a training on advocacy for trustees.  If she agrees, it would take place on July 28, 2014, for an hour or so just prior to the regularly scheduled Board meeting.  CEFLS trustees, as well as trustees from member libraries would be welcome to come. 

Stan Ransom, the story man, is providing story time with a focus on imagination for children at area Head Starts and member libraries with the grant received from North Country Council on the Arts. 

As they have done for many years, Julie Wever, Karen Batchelder and Chad Chase of our outreach staff had a table display at this spring’s Seniorama, where they featured handouts, bookmarks, and information about large print books, books on tape and other visual aids available through the library system.  This is a good public relations event where we can talk with people about what we do.

Through Plattsburgh Noontime Kiwanis Club, we applied for and received $750 that will be used to purchase a canopy that will be used during the Mayor’s Cup event in Plattsburgh on July 12.  CEFLS will have a display table to showcase Summer Reading programs at member libraries with small gifts or prizes for children.  This is a good public relations event with lots of children and their parents.  Last year the table was staffed by Julie Wever, Karen Batchelder, Chad Chase and Dawn Recore. 

The Summer Reading Program will run June through August.  Through the State, we were able to give member libraries each $200 to assist with the program.  This is $100 more than in the past. 

Business Decisions is a database subscription that CEFLS got through a grant.  It enabled creation of profiles of specific geographic areas.  Before the subscription ended, Chad Chase printed a profile of each member library’s community.  The statistics obtained, such as percentages of population in different age groups will be shared with member libraries and will be useful for strategic planning.  For instance, from Business Decision, we learned that both Willsboro and Champlain have very few children now and more senior population.  That information will help determine focus for future planning.

Comments and Questions Directed to Ewa Jankowska

Kip Thompson posed the following questions and statements to Ewa Jankowska.

  • He asked about Northern New York Library opening a Digitization Center.  Ewa stated that digitizing newspapers, albums and photographs enables records to be accessed on the internet.  Teaching people to do it themselves will be extremely useful in preserving records for genealogy research and other projects.  Oftentimes libraries are the recipients of donations that are valuable historical resources.  Digitization will make it possible to catalog and share them.

  • He is very pleased that staff personnel went to Canandaigua for training and are attending various seminars and trainings.

  • He inquired about Hammond Library in Crown Point, the only member library in the System that is not automated, to which Ewa responded that the status remains the same.

  • He complimented the color graphs that are now included in the board packets, citing that it is easy to see the breakdowns.  Specifically mentioned were the centrally purchased databases, Novalist and Encyclopedia Britannica, with their year-to-date usage at 79% and 14% respectively.  Ewa is very excited about Encyclopedia Britannica and she wishes more teachers would use it.  Lisa Minnich stated that maybe they are and that might be part of the reason that usage is going up.  Lisa commented that in schools students are taught which websites are reliable resources, and Enclopedia Britannica is valued for its reliable information.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Anne de la Chapelle, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library, reported:

The Friends of PPL will be holding their twice yearly book sale later this week.  They are being more selective about what books they accept, so this should be a very nice sale.

The public relations efforts of CEFLS are admired by Anne.  PPL is now putting more effort into public relations.

Anne attended the Annual Meeting in Lake Placid with two PPL librarians.  She is encouraging her staff to do more webinars and take advantage of more local training opportunities.

Work has begun on their 2015 budget and it will be a year of contract negotiations.  The budget is due to the Mayor in August.  Based on the current contract for PPL, $60,000 will come from the City.  The Finance Committee will work very hard to present a realistic and balanced budget. 

Member Advisory Council is a good representation of the member libraries, and for the most part they approved the Direct Access Plan.  However, there were some members who had not yet voted.

PPL has conducted interviews and is ready to hire three new pages

Betsy Brooks ran the numbers of overdue books and lost books for PPL.  The numbers and monetary value were huge, so there is renewed focus on overdue and lost books to make sure PPL stays in good financial standing.

PPL plans to work with CEFLS to see where they need to improve to become a better Central Library.

Committee Reports

Nominating Committee

Emily Castine reported that there are several people who may be interested in becoming trustees of CEFLS, and she will attempt to follow through with them.

Franklin County

  • A resumé has been requested of a man from Saranac Lake, Andrew Kelly, who has expressed interest.

Clinton County

Tracy Clark, who used to work at Community Bank, expressed interest in 2013.  At that time, there was a conflict of interest because Community Bank is where CEFLS banks.  Ms. Clark no longer works there, so Emily will contact her to see if she is still interested.

Essex County  

  • Dr. Lynn Maico from Elizabethtown has expressed interest and has been asked to submit her resumé.

  • There is an author from Essex County who has expressed interest.  Emily will contact him to request his resumé.

Emily recapped that Norma Menard, who had accepted nomination from the Board as a potential Clinton County trustee candidate decided to decline appointment citing other commitments and priorities as the reason.

Jim Bennett stated that he will find out who the new School System Librarian at CV Tech is and will inquire as to whether that person might be interested in becoming a trustee of CEFLS.

Communications

There are no communications at this time.

Old Business

Discussion of membership to Library Trustees Association:  This discussion was tabled from the April 28, 2014 meeting to allow trustees the opportunity to visit the LTA website to learn more about what LTA does to better determine whether the membership fee of $225 is worthwhile for the needs of the CEFLS Board.

Donna Fulkerson stated that she read about LTA and is comfortable letting the membership go. A brief discussion ensued and there was mutual agreement among the trustees.

New Business

Approval of amended Individuals, Entities and Institutions with Whom to Conduct Business in 2014:  This document has only one change from what was approved by the Board at the February 24, 2014 meeting.  Due to general dissatisfaction with the contractor who had been the lawn care and snow removal provider for several years, Reece’s Crew, LLC has been contracted for the 2014 lawn care season.

Kip Thompson motioned approval of the above mentioned amendment to the document of Individuals, Entities and Institutions with Whom to Conduct Business in 2014, seconded by Emily Castine.

Michael Spofford explained that we have been generally dissatisfied with the previous lawn care provider.  This was also the provider for snow removal for which we were also dissatisfied.  In the fall, quotes and interviews for a new snow removal contractor will be conducted.

Motion carried unanimously.

Luncheon:  Emily Castine inquired the status of the luncheon that CEFLS would like to have.  Ewa Jankowska explained that it would likely be in the fall.  Securing a venue and a caterer have been a slow process.  Ewa would like to get, as a speaker, a Canadian writer who wrote about Catherine the Great.  Years ago, CEFLS used to have an annual luncheon that was a fund raiser; however, in reinstating a luncheon, it may not be possible to make money, but expenses would definitely have to be covered.

Status of Status in Albany:  After being away for four months, Kip Thompson inquired about the sense of status for libraries in Albany.  Discussion ensued about the cuts in funding for libraries, how some of the funding was reinstated, that more and more is being asked of libraries without funding to do so, and that NYLA is really pushing with advocacy.  Libraries are being asked to help with the Common Core Curriculum and with the summer lunch program that during the school year operates in schools.  The governor talks about new programs, with libraries not seeming to be on the radar screen.  Ewa strongly encourages trustees to advocate for libraries.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 5:22 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held April 28, 2014

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 28, 2014 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President.

Roll Call

Present:  James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Chris de Grandpré, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville (entered at 4:39 p.m.) and Mary “Lisa” Minnich

Present via video conferencing with Saranac Lake Free Library:  Gary Alexander, Donna Fulkerson and Barbara Stowe

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Excused Absences:  Fran Filshie and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Others Present:  Anne de la Chapelle, Director, Plattsburgh Public Library, and Dave Minnich

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda - As distributed prior to this meeting

Approval of Minutes of February 24, 2013 Meeting

Committee Reports - Advocacy, Development, Executive, Health Plan, Negotiating, Personnel, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was motioned by Emily Castine, seconded by Chris de Grandpré, to approve Consent Agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Report

Nicky Bryant moved that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by  Chris de Grandpré.

  • Over and Under Report for period ending 03/31/2014
  • Accounts Payable and Receivable Quarterly Report as of 03/31/2014
  • Budget-to-Date Report from 01/01/2014 through 03/31/2014
  • Balance Sheet as of 03/31/2014
  • Revenues vs. Expenditures from 03/01/2014 through 03/31/2014
  • Grant/Noncurrent Aid Status as of 03/31/2014

Michael Spofford stated that with the approval of the New York State budget, within a couple; of months we hope to know what portion of the additional one million dollars going to library funding will be received by CEFLS.  Last year when there was an additional four million dollars added to library funding, CEFLS received $40,000, some of which went to member libraries, so hopefully CEFLS will receive about $10,000 this year.

Michael stated that for the most part, spending i son target.  The Over and Under Report explains the few items that are overspent.

Ewa Jankowska stated that when we receive the tables with the exact library funding from the State, she would like to ask the Finance Committee to meet to adjust the CEFLS budget.  She would like to see more money allotted to training and travel for staff in order to take advantage of several training opportunities that are coming up.

Lisa Minnich recapped an email received from Kip Thompson.  As a business person, he wants the Board to consider ways to alleviate the difficult situation caused by State funding.  He would be happy to hear from anyone who has ideas.

A brief discussion on advocacy at the governor's level ensued.  Ewa Jankowska suggesting writing letters and asked for everyone's help.

Th emotion to approve the financial reports as presented carried.

The motion to approve the financial reports as presented carried unanimously. 

Public Comment Period

There were no comments from the public.

President’s Remarks

Remarks made by Lisa Minnich, President, include:

The Personnel Manual submitted by Ewa Jankowska was well received by the trustees.  Barbara Stowe motioned approval of publishing the Personnel Manual as written, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  The manual will be distributed to employees as a PDF file with printed copies available for those who request.  Board members have already received the manual.  Motion carried unanimously.

Director’s Report 

In addition to her written report, Ewa Jankowska reported:

We are very preoccupied with the migration of our system of cataloging and circulation to the North Country Library System servers.  This will take place this Wednesday.  Member libraries will not be able to use the cataloging and circulation systems on that day. 

Meanwhile, staff is adjusting to Office 2013 software.  After the server migration, CEFLS will not have an email server; instead email will be in the cloud, using Microsoft Office 365.  Betsy Brooks will then have only the file server to maintain, so she will be able to focus on other technology issues and not hardware. 

All the money for the migration project was obtained through grants.

A grant was received through North Country Cultural Center for the Arts for Stan Ransom to have several story time sessions in Clinton County at Head Start centers and libraries.  He is no longer called The Connecticut Peddler.  He is now Stan the Reading Man

There are two new programs in which the State library would like libraries to participate. One involves the Immigration and Naturalization Toolkit.  Libraries would not act as immigration lawyers but would know how to direct people to the right information online.  The second is Hunger Solution New York, a program for feeding children at libraries in the summer, which is done in conjunction with U.S.D.A.  Ewa would like to help libraries who want to participate as much as possible, but is concerned about the ability of single person libraries to carry out these programs without any financial help.  Mooers Library has participated in this program before and that director reports that the paperwork is overwhelming. 

We are sending our three consultants for two days of training next week at Pioneer Library System in Canandaigua. 

We are finishing our construction grant projects.  The lighting in the garage was replaced earlier, and currently the steps on the south side of the building are being redone.   

With Rotary Radio Day coming up, Ewa inquired whether the Board of Trustees would sponsor a $50 ad for the Library System on WIRY Radio, as the Board has done for several years.  It would be good library advocacy.  Gary Alexander motioned, seconded by Tom Mandeville, for the Board to support Rotary Radio Day with a $50 donation made through the trustees’ discretionary fund.  Motion carried unanimously.

Comments and Questions Directed to Ewa Jankowska

Barbara Stowe inquired about declining use of the CEFLS website as shown on a graph contained in Betsy Brook’s Automation Report for the month of March.  Ewa Jankowska responded that recently Betsy has not had much time to include a new Health LibGuide or other new information due to all the work she has been doing for the server migration.  Another possibility is that people are learning to go directly to individual library websites, thus bypassing the CEFLS website.  One of our projects for this year is to purge the website of older and less pertinent information.

Barbara Stowe inquired about NoveList.  Ewa explained that it is a database used together with the catalog and it was brought to us by PPL.  Simply stated, after inputting the name of a book, NoveList can provide suggestions to other similar books. 

Nicky Bryant requested clarification of trustee funds.  There is the annual Leadership Campaign for which trustees are encouraged to make a donation to the System in any amount affordable.  Funds can be designated for the purchase of books of any specified type or for the operation of the System.  Thank you letters are provided for this 501c3 tax deductible donation.  The other type of trustee fund is the Staff Discretionary or Sunshine Fund that is used for such things as gifts or cards for trustees for specific events or food for a trustee event.  Lisa Minnich stated that, theoretically, this fund is about $20 per year or whatever amount can be afforded, and if expenses run more, an additional request for donations can be made.  By general consensus, these two funds will now run January to January, and a reminder note will be provided as January nears.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Anne de la Chapelle, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library, reported:

The Community Technology Center (CTC) opened April 1.  The old Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant paid initially for computers and other technology related items, and now with money from NNYLN the computer lab has been regenerated with 12 computers and some new iMacs.  A library card is required to use the CTC. 

The reference collection is being weeded with a lot of help from Elizabeth Rogers.  Three big bookcases have been removed which has opened up the solarium area.

Anne will be traveling with Elizabeth Rogers to NNYLN’s archive conference on May 2 in Hogansburg.

A graduate intern from Plattsburgh State is building a new website for PPL.  He is using Dream Weaver.  PPL staff will maintain it themselves after his internship is complete. 

Friends of PPL provided funds to renew the movie license and to obtain new shelving signage.

Work will begin on last year’s Construction grant projects soon.  A new elevator will be considered for a 2014-15 Construction grant request.

Committee Reports

Nominating Committee

Norma Menard of Literacy Volunteers of Clinton County has submitted her resumé for consideration of appointment to the CEFLS Board of Trustees.  Emily Castine motioned, seconded by Tom Mandeville, to send Mrs. Menard’s name to the Clinton County Legislature to request appointment. 

Emily Castine will be contacting, Sandra Weber, an author from Essex County who is interested in becoming a trustee.  There is currently one vacant Essex County seat on the Board.

Motion carried unanimously to send Norma Menard’s name to the Clinton County Legislature to request consideration of appointment.

Communications

Nicky Bryant commented that in browsing the newspaper clippings that are displayed for review at meetings, she saw one about the Dannemora Free Library recycling books and she feels that information should be shared with every library.  She asked if there has been any feedback on how well that program works.  Federal World Books accepts discarded or weeded books, even educational and text books, provides the boxes to pack them in and pays the shipping.  Donna Fulkerson stated that Saranac Lake Free Library uses this company.  Ewa Jankowska stated that for association libraries this works well because they are semi private, but for public and municipal libraries and systems it is a little more complicated; the books need to be offered first to other libraries in the System because they are public property.  Ewa stated that she will use ListServ to share information about Federal World Books with the member libraries. 

Old Business

Approval of Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy:  A motion was made by Jim Bennett, seconded by Nicky Bryant to approve the Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy.  Ewa Jankowska has learned that in addition to the annual Conflict of Interest Statement that trustees sign annually, it is necessary to have a written policy.  In researching such policies, she found the one from Westchester Library System that is very well written and reviewed by their attorney, so with permission from Westchester’s Director, she has adapted it for CEFLS.  When CEFLS puts this policy online, there will be a link to municipal code which also addresses the Code of Ethics.  Motion carried unanimously.  

Approval of Hosting Agreement:  Chris de Grandpré motioned approval of the hosting agreement with North Country Library System, seconded by Emily Castine.  Motion carried unanimously.

New Business

Approval of CEFLS 2013 Annual Report:  Barbara Stowe motioned to approve the CEFLS 2013 Annual Report, seconded by Jim Bennett.  In response to a question about State Correction Facilities aid, Ewa Jankowska explained that it is used to provide services, such as the purchase of the McNaughton collection that is used for rotating collections and to fill interlibrary loan requests.  It also funds a large portion of the outreach department positions.  State Corrections aid is an area of concern due to inmate population in our three counties decreasing with the closing of correctional facilities.  The State Corrections aid that CEFLS receives is based on inmate population in June of the previous year and is figured at $9.50 per person, less what NYS reduces State law by. 

Barbara Stowe stated that the narrative of the Annual Report is very impressive.

Motion to approve the CEFLS 2013 Annual Report was approved unanimously.

Approval of Purchasing Policy:  Ewa Jankowska stated that the Purchasing Policy has not changed.  The policy itself states that the Board of Trustees shall review it annually.  Nicky Bryant motioned approval of the Purchasing Policy, seconded by Emily Castine.  Motion passed unanimously.

Approval of Purchase of Replacement Tape Drive for File Server:  Chris de Grandpré motioned approval of the purchase of a replacement tape drive for the file server, seconded by Donna Fulkerson.  Ewa Jankowska explained that with the migration to NCLS servers, CEFLS will have only one server left in the building and that is for internal files.  It is for this server that a back-up tape drive is needed.  Its cost is covered as part of the grant that was secured for the migration; however, according to the Purchasing Policy, the Board must approve purchases above $2,000 and this purchase will total $2,463.18.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Jim Bennett questioned whether the Purchasing Policy could be amended to raise the amount that the director can authorize.  Lisa Minnich stated that would be a matter for the Finance Committee to discuss.

Discussion of Membership to the Library Trustees Association (LTA):  The System did purchase a membership one year and now the LTA is asking CEFLS to renew.  The amount of benefit received from the membership, which costs $225, was questioned.  CEFLS cannot pay for anyone’s LTA conference registration and no trustees are planning to attend this year’s conference.  Membership by the System would save $25 from the conference fee for each trustee. 

Ewa Jankowska reminded trustees that NYLTO, which is New York Library Trustees Online, is a place online that trustees can sign into to find vast amounts of information on policies and different aspects of library services in New York State, plus there is a social forum where anyone can ask questions and others provide responses.  It appears that this was created separately from LTA to meet the needs of library systems that LTA does not meet. 

Chris de Grandpré stated that school boards sometimes get legal advice from such groups and he expressed concern that sometimes when these groups are not supported, they go away or are not very effective.  Ewa stated that legal advice is very difficult to get as law firms, even those specializing in education law in Albany, decline to act as legal advisors to groups like LTA, NYLA and PULISDO. 

It was decided to table this discussion until next month after everyone has had an opportunity to go online to learn more about LTA.

Kip Thompson, who is a member of the Negotiating Committee and was not present at this meeting, asked Ewa Jankowska if she would arrange a meeting with Jaci Kelleher to ask about the present trends in library negotiations.   She was told by Ms. Kelleher that it would be more beneficial to meet with the entire Negotiating Committee, so Ewa will arrange a meeting for after June 27 with Jaci, Chris deGrandpré, Kip Thompson and Tom Mandeville. 

Summer Board Meetings at Member Libraries:  Ewa has contacted Wadhams Free Library in Essex County, Malone Wead Library in Franklin County and Rouses Point Dodge Memorial Library in Clinton County to inquire whether they would host a meeting of the CEFLS Board.  Warm invitations were received from all.  Rouses Point has a very successful arts program for seniors and they have a new, very vital Friends of the Library group that is going to have a farmers’ market in the library on Friday nights. 

Lisa Minnich suggested that the away meetings alternate with the home meetings, so by general consensus, the meetings will be:  Wadhams Free Library on June 30, Rouses Point Dodge Memorial Library on August 25 and Malone Wead Library on October 27.

Director’s Vacation:  Ewa Jankowska requested approval to take her vacation from September 24 to October 15.  She would like to go to Poland to be with her mother through cataract surgery and recovery.  Jim Bennett motioned approval of Ewa’s vacation as requested, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  Motion carried unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 5:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held February 24, 2014

 Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:34 p.m. on Monday, February 24, 2014 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President.

Roll Call

Present:  James “Jim” Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Chris de Grandpré, Donna Fulkerson, Thomas “Tom” Mandeville (entered at 4:36 p.m.) and Mary “Lisa” Minnich

Present via video conferencing with Saranac Lake Free Library:  Gary Alexander and Dr. Barbara Stowe

Present via video conferencing with Schroon Lake Town Meeting Room:  Fran Filshie

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Excused Absences:  Charles “Kip” Thompson

Others Present:  Anne de la Chapelle, Director, Plattsburgh Public Library, and Dave Minnich

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda - As distributed prior to this meeting

Approval of Minutes of December 16, 2013 Meeting

Committee Reports - Advocacy, Development, Executive, Health Plan, Negotiating, Personnel, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

CEFDA - No report

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was motioned by Nicky Bryant, seconded by Fran Filshie, to approve Consent Agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Report

Chris de Grandpré moved that the following December 2013 and January 2014 financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Emily Castine.

  • Preliminary Over and Under Report for period ending 12/31/13

  • Preliminary Accounts Payable and Receivable Quarterly Report as of 12/31/13
  • Preliminary Budget-to-Date Report from 01/01/13 through 12/31/13
  • Preliminary Balance Sheet as of 12/31/13
  • Preliminary Revenue vs. Expenditures from 01/01/13 through 12/31/13
  • Preliminary Grant/Noncurrent Aid Status as of 12/31/13
  • Over and Under Report from 01/01/14 to 01/31/14
  • Budget-to-Date Report from 01/01/14 to 01/31/14
  • Balance Sheet as of 01/31/14
  • Revenues vs. Expenditures from 01/01/14 to 01/31/14
  • Grants/Non-Current Aids Status Report as of 01/31/14

Lisa Minnich commented that expenses are high for January because there were three payrolls in the month.  Over time that will regulate itself as 26 payrolls are budgeted in a year.

Motion carried unanimously.  

Public Comment Period

Dave Minnich thanked the Board of Trustees and the CEFLS staff for serving the 165,000 people of the three counties.

President’s Remarks

Remarks made by Lisa Minnich, President, include:

  • Thank you to Nicky Bryant for volunteering to serve on the Nominating Committee.
  • Thank you to Jim Bennett for volunteering to serve on three committees, Development, Property and Strategic Planning.
  • Thank you to Chris de Grandpré for accepting a position on the Negotiating Committee, which will be important this year because the current CSEA contract expires on December 31, 2014.
  • Emily Castine has now volunteered to serve on the Development Committee.
  • Donna Fulkerson has now volunteered to serve on the Personnel Committee.
  • Ewa Jankowska has inquired whether the number of trustees from each county (five) should be revisited.  A reduction would allow for a lower number in attendance to constitute a quorum.  Ewa feels that getting full representation from Franklin County seems to be a continuous issue and is not highly regarded by the State Library.

Lisa stated that a reduction would mean more committee work for each                 trustee.  Except for Franklin County, where currently and for some time now there have been only three trustees, filling five trustee seats for Clinton and Essex Counties has been going pretty well.  

Consensus of the Board at this time is to keep the number of trustees at 15 and keep trying to recruit new members.

  • Previously, the May 26, 2014 Board meeting was moved to June 2nd because May 26th falls on Memorial weekend.  This, however, leaves only three weeks from June 2nd until the next regularly scheduled meeting on June 23rd

Fran Filshie motioned that the June 23rd Board meeting be moved to June 30th, so there will be four weeks between that one and the meetings on June 2nd and July 28th  Dr. Stowe seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Director’s Report

In addition to her written report, Ewa Jankowska reported:

Advocacy Day in Albany is tomorrow.  There is one seat available in the System’s car that will be leaving from CEFLS at 5:30 a.m. if any trustees or anyone else would like a ride.  Meetings are scheduled with Senator Little, Assemblywoman Duprey and Assemblyman Stec. 

Everyone is busy working on different paperwork for the State.  Michael Spofford is very busy with the Comptroller’s Report, our Annual Report and assisting with the Annual Reports of the member libraries which are due to NYS on March 1st.  Our Annual Report that was received only recently is 31 pages in length and due on April 1st

CEFLS is now participating in the Empire Library Delivery Plan which was initiated by the 3Rs with Northern New York Library Network paying for it.  Some of the materials for Interlibrary Loan (ILL) are now being picked up by a courier service which should generate significant savings in postage.  These deliveries are not the same as those that are being done by the System’s van.

Lake Placid Education Foundation has confirmed in writing that they are awarding CEFLS a $7,500 grant for the server project.  This award means that Clinton County will move forward with their award of $16,810 from Tobacco Settlement Money.  Ewa praised Betsy Brooks for a fantastic job determining how to resolve the precarious aging-server situation.  Today’s Board packet includes the grant application to Clinton County and a letter of understanding that outlines the cloud services that North Country Library System will provide.

Ewa feels strongly about partnering with community organizations on various projects, not only to help them, but it is good PR for CEFLS.  Recently we distributed materials on breast cancer and we are presently working with Didi Remchuk of CVPH’s Cancer Services of Clinton County on a project for colon cancer called Main Street Go Blue!  With the support of CVPH’s Cancer Services and the health departments of Essex and Franklin County, we will distribute free materials to member libraries and have a display in the foyer at CEFLS. 

Twenty-one libraries are participating in our e-book collection with Plattsburgh Public Library leading with the recent purchase of quite a large number of e-books.  We are trying to get 100 percent participation from member libraries.

Two years ago we had a grant for an e-senior project in libraries to teach seniors how to use computers and Betsy placed a little tutorial on our website.  We learned recently when we received an e-mail from a library in Alberta, Canada that we are known internationally.  We were asked if we would allow them to use the tutorial, which of course we would.

Comments and Questions Directed to Ewa Jankowska

As a result of reviewing Ewa’s goals, Dr. Stowe asked for clarification of Direct Access Plan.  Ewa explained that all libraries signed a Direct Access Plan in 1999 after the Commissioner of Education mandated it to insure that all New Yorkers have equal access to library services.  It means that everyone within the System can, with one library card, use other libraries. There are some exceptions because libraries can limit certain services to their own patrons but the idea is that you can go with your library card to any of the System’s libraries and borrow a book.  Recently, with regard to unserved areas and the fact that CEFLS no longer has a bookmobile, the State Library requested that Ewa rewrite the Direct Access Plan, which she has done, and it has been submitted to the State for their approval.  She will then request CEFLS Board approval, after which the Plan will be distributed to member libraries.  All libraries have to participate in this.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Anne de la Chapelle, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library, reported:

The new City Council has approved the City Budget, with a compromise to PPL.  Their original proposal had PPL losing $120,000.  The outcome is that they have restored $60,000, and PPL remains down $60,000 from the last couple of years.  To cope with this, some staff have been moved around internally to provide adequate coverage although one staff position remains open.  PPL has prepared carefully for this budget deficit and is compensating by using some of their fund balance. 

PPL will be actively doing more outreach with the goal of being a better Central Library.  This will include more press releases, working on the Facebook page, offering film series again and working hard to make PPL more relevant and visible.  

Keri Mack is a new PPL trustee.  She has a lot of great experience with fund raising and is very active with multiple not-for-profits.

PPL’s Annual Report was submitted early and they have submitted their application for E-rate for telephone funding. 

A Technology Committee has been formed they are hoping to have a good technology plan for next year.  They are rethinking ways to provide more computer access.

A donation from the Refus family was used to buy some furniture for a reading room, and then there was a matching grant for $5,000 so two big reading tables and chairs were purchased. 

Construction grant funds from last year will be used in the spring for brickwork that will tie into another project that is dependent on the results of this cycle’s construction grant application and help with the leaks.  The focus will be on coping around the top of the building.  They would also like to redo the whole entrance, running new conduit out to the lighting on the stairs and upgrading the remaining lighting throughout that is not LED.

Committee Reports

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee met earlier this afternoon with all members present except Charles “Kip” Thompson who is away.  Chris de Grandpré reported they would like to make some recommendations.  

A salary increase of two percent was put into the 2014 budget for Management Confidential staff (Principal Account Clerk and Administrative Assistant).  Ewa Jankowska provided the Finance committee with a brief summation of the evaluations of these two employees, giving wonderful reports on each of them.  Upon the recommendation of the committee, Chris moved that the salaries of Management Confidential staff be increased by two percent going back to January 1, 2014, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  With no further discussion, motion carried.

Ewa Jankowska provided the Finance Committee and then the full Board with a brief report on the status of the Governor’s budget.  Not only does the Governor’s budget not restore what is mandated by the Education Law, which would come to about $102 million for all libraries, but he also cut $4 million that was in last year’s budget.  Basically, $81.6 million is in his budget for libraries instead of last year’s $85.5 million.  The cuts affect the System, the Central Library, and the member libraries.  It is especially worrisome that the Governor is talking about having a surplus and is proposing new projects and programs.  It seems that it is only right to first restore what is mandated by the law.  Ewa encouraged trustees to go to the NYLA website to use the form letter provided to advocate for restoration of library funding.  The one letter will go out to numerous representatives.

Michael has prepared a spreadsheet for the basic aid budget with preliminary carryover figures from 2013 that include county, miscellaneous and automation contributions.  The analysis shows what was budgeted and what was actually spent.  There was a remaining balance of $114,754.92.  The 2014 budget has a carryover of $98,500 from 2013, so there is an additional $16,255 extra with some adjustments yet to be made by Michael, and maybe some by the auditors, that might reduce it some, at the most by $10,000.  The carryover is based on 2013 revenue figures without consideration of the governor’s cut. Some of this money, as agreed upon, will be set aside in an account to fund retirees.  Chris recapped that it is good news that we have the carry over that was planned for in the 2014 budget. 

Chris recapped that the Finance Committee had a brief discussion about planning for negotiations in view of the conclusion of the contract at the end of 2014.  Anyone who has issues for the upcoming negotiations should get them to Ewa Jankowska in the near future and at some point the trustees will have to decide who will serve as the chief spokesperson as negotiations are entered.  Ewa added that it is important that she and Michael Spofford are provided with time to prepare whatever material is submitted to Jaci Kelleher, CEFLS Attorney, in order to be as efficient and cost effective as possible.

As the result of previous interest in learning more about the Adirondack Foundation, when Kip Thompson can be present in the Spring, the Finance Committee is recommending a discussion on whether to invite Cali Brooks to explain what the Foundation does.  Kip has expressed interest in learning more about possibly investing with them.  The Finance Committee has discussed some potential issues that might preclude CEFLS from doing so.  Lisa Minnich recapped that waiting until Kip can be present would be good, and then we can move forward to get a better understanding of the Adirondack Foundation and she also suggested perhaps consulting with our attorney. 

Old Business

There was no Old Business to be discussed.

New Business

CEFLS Individuals Permitted to Conduct Business in 2014 and Individuals, Entities and Institutions with Whom to Conduct Business in 2014 and Conflict of Interest Statement

These documents were distributed for review prior to this meeting.  Ewa Jankowska explained that the Conflict of Interest Statement that trustees must sign yearly is based upon these two documents.

Donna Fulkerson motioned for acceptance of CEFLS Individuals Permitted to Conduct Business in 2014, seconded by Gary Alexander. With no further discussion, motion carried unanimously.

Emily Castine motioned for acceptance of Individuals, Entities and Institutions with Whom to Conduct Business in 2014, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  With no further discussion, motion carried unanimously.

Lisa Minnich asked that each trustee sign the yearly Conflict of Interest Statement and return it to Dawn Recore.

Discussion of possible locations for 2014 “away” Board meetings

Ewa Jankowska stated that since some libraries do not have the space to accommodate our Board meetings, it may be necessary to repeat locations that have been visited in the past few years.  Typically, there are three “away” meetings each year, with one being in each county.  Lisa Minnich asked trustees to give this some thought then send an email with suggestions to Ewa Jankowska.  Based on that, Ewa will make recommendations at a future Board meeting.  Ewa explained that the purpose of “away” meetings is to provide an opportunity for trustees to visit member libraries in all three counties and to meet the directors.

Executive Session

A motion was made by Dr. Stowe to enter into Executive Session for discussion of the Director’s evaluation, seconded by Tom Mandeville.  Executive Session was entered at 5:21 p.m.

Return to Regular Session

The board returned to Regular Session at 5:57 p.m.

A motion was made by Dr. Stowe to increase the Director’s salary for 2014 by two percent, seconded by Chris de Grandpré.  With no further discussion, motion carried.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 5:57 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held December 16, 2013

 Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, December 16, 2013 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President.

Roll Call

Present:  James Bennett, Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Judy Cobb, Chris de Grandpré, Donna Fulkerson, Thomas Mandeville, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, and Dr. Barbara Stowe

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Excused Absences:  Gary Alexander, Fran Filshie, Martha Spear and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Others Present:  Anne de la Chapelle, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library and Dave Minnich

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Amended Agenda, removing Personnel Committee from Consent Agenda

Approval of Minutes of November 25, 2013 Meeting

Committee Reports

Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiating, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was motioned by Nicky Bryant, seconded by Donna Fulkerson, to approve Consent Agenda with Personnel Committee removed.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Report

Emily Castine moved that the following November financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Judy Cobb.

  • Over and Under report for period ending November 30, 2013

  • Budget-to-Date Report from 1/1/13 through 11/30/13

  • Balance Sheet as of 11/30/13

  • Revenues vs. Expenditures from 1/1/2013 through 11/30/13

  • Grant/Noncurrent Aid Status as of 11/30/13

Michael Spofford stated that these financial reports are based on a shorter than usual reporting period that coincides with the date of this meeting being the second Monday of the  month, rather than the fourth Monday.

Motion passed unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were no comments from the public.

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich, President, thanked everyone for attending today’s luncheon and meeting, and expressed appreciation for the staff for doing a lot of the work. 

The current officers of the Board will continue to be the check signers for 2014. 

Funding for 2014 from Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties appears to be positive.  Thank you to all who have spoken to their local legislators.

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska and Michael Spofford attended the budget hearings in Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties.  Franklin County’s funding will be level, and there will be increases from Essex and Clinton Counties, respectively at four percent and two percent.

Ewa met with Michael Zurlo, Clinton County Administrator, and shared with him CEFLS’ server problems.  He advised that when the details of a contract with North Country Library System have been worked out for migrating to the cloud and additional expenses that will be incurred are known, such as for transferring data, CEFLS should apply for a grant through the county made possible with Tobacco Settlement Money.  

Staff has met to review progress on Service Priorities for 2013, and tomorrow there will be a meeting to set department and personal goals to align with Service Priorities for 2014, which have already been Board approved.  Ewa Jankowska is in the process of meeting with staff members individually to review 2013 personal goals. 

There is a group in Rouses Point that is interested in forming a Friends of the Library group.  Ewa has attended two recent meetings with them to provide input on how to begin, and she feels strongly that the formation of Friends groups is essential to getting volunteer help.  With some libraries having a staff of only one, a Friends of the Library group can provide extra staffing so that the director is not working alone.  Emily Castine elaborated a bit about positive aspects of the Friends of the Library group at Chazy Public Library. 

A brief discussion ensued regarding libraries being not-for-profit; however, some do not have 501c3 status, which affects whether donations are tax deductable.

 Comments and Questions Directed to Ewa Jankowska

Nicky Bryant commented that sometimes it is easier to find co-chairpeople for groups such as Friends of the Library, rather than a singular chairperson.  Tom Mandeville stated that at Champlain Memorial Library, where his wife is the director, there is no Friends Group, so the trustees are relied upon heavily for volunteer help. 

Tom Mandeville inquired about the tobacco grant referred to by Mike Zurlo.  Ewa responded this is tobacco settlement money collected by the county, to be distributed through a competitive grant application process.  With CEFLS’ serious server situation, this would be an opportunity to get funds to cover the expense of transferring data when the migration to the cloud occurs. 

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Anne de la Chapelle, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library, reported:

She has attended a couple of City budget committee-type meetings.  It is looking like the council will restore the $60,000 that they have been adding each year to Plattsburgh Public Library funding.  They do not know about the other $60,000 that was cut from the Mayor’s budget.  It appears that the money that PPL has been putting into reserve over time makes it appear that they might be okay without restoring the funds cut from the Mayor’s budget.

PPL has brought back their Americorp volunteer.  Joanne Weis will begin in the new year.  She will be doing constructive marketing of the computer space and making it more available to the community for structured workshops. 

Public Employee Health and Safety (PESH) training is taking place this week at PPL.

The little alley between PPL and CEFLS is designed for one way traffic entering from Brinkerhoff Street and exiting on Oak Street.  The city will be putting up a Do Not Enter sign at the Oak Street end.  CEFLS will have two signs installed, a One Way sign, plus one that will say Staff Parking Only

PPL is using the balance of their book budget to purchase e-books.  They also have a Tilson Grant that is specific for the topic of securities analysis and portfolio investment research items, such as databases, and they have checked into ordering e-books on these topics. 

Committee Reports

Nominating Committee

Judy Cobb will be stepping down from the Board of Trustees effective December 31, 2013, and there is a potential candidate.  However, the candidate works for a bank where the Library System has a relationship so there is concern that there could be possible conflicts of interest.  General consensus was that another candidate should be sought.  Emily Castine has two prospects in mind.  In the meantime, the resumé of the first prospect will be held in case the situation changes so there would no longer be a potential conflict of interest. 

Old Business

Dr. Stowe, as Chairperson of the Personnel Committee, addressed the topic of the director’s annual evaluation.  Prior to this meeting, the director’s self-evaluation report was distributed to the trustees and from that a list of questions was addressed.  Lisa Minnich stated that any questions felt to not be appropriate for open session, would warrant a motion to go into Executive Session afterward. 

Questions:

Is there a plan to address the number of libraries that are purchasing e-books?  Ewa reported that she has asked for 100 percent participation of member libraries in purchasing e-books regardless of the number purchased.  It is difficult for libraries to get any increase in their book budgets, and ownership of e-books is difficult to understand.  Basically, only access to e-books is purchased.  Libraries can make their own purchase(s) or they can ask Elizabeth Rogers to do it for them, with the library then reimbursing CEFLS.  CEFLS staff will be providing more training at member libraries to teach staff and patrons how to use e-books.  For holiday gift giving of e-readers, the Outreach Department prepared and distributed gift bags to member libraries containing instructions on how to use e-books.  Included was the suggestion that for the person who has everything, patrons can work with their library to purchase e-books that can be accessed by anyone with a library card within the System.

What are deposit collections and where are the five depositories?  Ewa responded that there are two types of collections that CEFLS moves around.  One is rotating collections.  These are the collections that are grouped and sent to libraries for three months.  Deposit collections are for places where the bookmobile used to stop.  In Newcomb for example, it is at Legislator George Canaan’s office where staff there helps to keep track of it.  There is also Beekmantown Seniors, Bright Beginnings, Roderick Rock Apartments in Morrisonville, and Lake Forest.  CEFLS does not provide library cards for individuals at these places, but the places themselves are responsible for the books in the collections.  There have been no real problems with returns or losses.

What is the new OCLC Interlibrary Loan platform?  Ewa explained that this is basically software used by Elizabeth Rogers and Kim Fletcher to search for requested books from other locations.   OCLC is used for nonfiction materials that are not available through the Northern New York Library Network (NNYLN) area, which includes our System, the System next to us, and all the universities.  It does cost money, but it is more efficient.  We have a policy that we do not borrow fiction from outside our network area.  

Is it a local policy that we do not borrow copyrighted materials from elsewhere?  Ewa stated this is local policy.  In most cases, libraries do not want to loan anything through OCLC that is defined as a new book.  When you go to OCLC worldwide website of linked catalogs, you can see that each entity has its own loaning policy. 

Dr. Stowe then stated that Kip Thompson commends Ewa and the staff on two continuing education initiatives in the last year, Affordable Care Act education and Common Core education, and including the trustees in continuing education is also to be commended.  Dr. Stowe read from Kip’s message, “If being a library user is about being a lifetime learner, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

Have we done a library advocacy workshop yet?  Ewa stated that nothing has been provided yet.  Library advocacy is a very specific, narrow topic making it difficult to find a trainer locally, and CEFLS doesn’t really have the budget to pay someone for a workshop, their hotel and their travel to get here.  Ewa is speaking with a colleague from Westchester Library System who is willing to provide a workshop.  She has also spoken with Bob Parks, the publisher of the Press Republican, then she left a message for a Press Republican staff person about speaking to libraries about how to write a press release, but so far hasn’t received any response.  Ewa is also hoping to find something on line, perhaps through NYLA.

Do we use surveys and other evaluative tools to measure member library satisfaction with CEFLS?  Ewa responded that CEFLS subscribes to Survey Monkey for one month every year and does a survey.  Responses are compiled and included in the annual report.

Dr. Stowe asked for Ewa’s thoughts on the timing for the director’s evaluation, to which Ewa responded that she was hired on October 1st so for two years her evaluation was going from October to October, and then it was changed to match the calendar year.  As a manager, her main goal is to make the Service Priorities work for the year which requires the results of the member library survey that is sent out at the end of December and compiled in January.  Evaluating the director at the end of January seems to make the whole process fall into place.  Lisa Minnich asked about the timing for setting the director’s salary.  Ewa responded that she feels the Board cannot have the whole picture unless they see the results of the survey, and she would feel most comfortable doing her self evaluation in the middle of January.  With that being the case, Lisa recapped that the Board would be able to discuss Ewa’s self evaluation in February and make their recommendations in March, providing retroactive pay if it applies.  

Chris de Grandpré asked Michael Spofford to provide him, as chair of the Finance Committee, with the current salary of the director, administrative assistant and principle account clerk.  The figures will be provided to the trustees soon, as will figures showing a two percent increase as was included in the budget, after which the Finance Committee will make recommendations to the full Board at the January meeting. 

New Business

There was no new business.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 2:18 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held November 25, 2013

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:34 p.m. on Monday, November 25, 2013 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President.

Oath of Office

Lisa Minnich administered the Oath of Office as a new trustee to James Bennett and he was welcomed to the Board.

Roll Call

Present:  James Bennett, Emily Castine, Judy Cobb, Chris de Grandpré, Thomas Mandeville (entered at 4:40 p.m.) and Mary “Lisa” Minnich

Present via video conferencing with Saranac Lake Free Library:  Gary Alexander, Donna Fulkerson and Dr. Barbara Stowe

Present via video conferencing with Schroon Lake Town Meeting Room:  Nicole “Nicky” Bryant and Fran Filshie

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Betsy Brooks, Automation Librarian, Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Excused Absences:  Martha Spear and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Others Present:  Anne de la Chapelle, Director, Plattsburgh Public Library

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Amended Agenda - As distributed prior to this meeting

Approval of Minutes of October 28, 2013 Meeting

Committee Reports

Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiating, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was motioned by Judy Cobb, seconded by Nicky Bryant, to approve Consent Agenda with the amended agenda as distributed prior to this meeting.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Report

Chris de Grandpré moved that the following October financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Dr. Stowe.

  • Over and Under Report for period ending October 31, 2013

  • Budget-to-Date Report from 1/1/13 through 10/31/13

  • Balance Sheet as of 10/31/13

  • Revenues vs. Expenditures from 1/1/2013 through 10/31/2013

  • Grand/Noncurrent Aid Status as of 10/31/13

Judy complimented Michael Spofford for having made the changes talked about at last month's Board meeting.

Motion passed unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were no comments from the public.

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich, President, commented on:

It is time to begin the Leadership Campaign which runs from October 1 through September 30.  For the 2012-2013 year, $930 was received.  Anyone who would like to make a donation can give their check to Michael Spofford written to Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System.  As trustees, it is important to support the Library System by example.

Lisa suggested that Trustee Discretionary Funds be used to buy something such as sandwich meat and buns for the holiday luncheon for trustees and staff on December 16 at noon.  Salad from Panera was also suggested. The luncheon is “potluck” so everyone is encouraged to bring something to share. 

Lisa thanked all who have made an effort in the last few weeks to speak with their county legislators as they are working on their 2014 budgets.

Trustees are asked to contribute to the Trustee Discretionary Fund which corresponds with the calendar year though donations can be made at any time.  These funds are used for such things as cards and small gifts at the time of birth of a child, illness or hospitalization, and death in the family.  A typical donation is $10 or whatever can be afforded. 

Director’s Report

In addition to her written report, Ewa Jankowska reported.

Advocacy Day in Albany will be held on February 27, 2014, and there will be a pre-advocacy day that Ewa usually attends.  They would like to have a program on the audit done by the Office of the Comptroller.  As she has mentioned previously, the Comptroller’s Office is getting more interested in libraries and library systems.  It would be interesting to know what they are looking for and also the institutions who have already had that kind of audit will share their experiences. 

New York Library Association, NYLA, has posted that they have engaged two public relations firms to advocate for libraries.

There will be a PULISDO Retreat in July.  Focus will be on finance and business offices performing human resource functions.   

Julie Wever and Ewa attended a Keeseville Free Library Board of Trustees meeting on November 19.  The village of Keeseville has been dissolved so it important for them to start working with the State Library early to avoid a quick decision regarding a new area of service.  Ewa inquired at the State Library about designating the “former village of Keeseville” as the area of service, but they were not interested in that.  The question is whether it will be the Town of Chesterfield or Towns of Chesterfield and AuSable.  The issue with a larger area of service is that there would be more requirements to fulfill; for example, the director has to have a bachelor’s degree.   

Julie and Ewa attended a very nice Thanksgiving potluck lunch hosted by Literacy Volunteers last week.  Usually people served by Literacy Volunteers are learning English as a second language so it is good to have libraries involved.  There was discussion about Mooers Library with a member of Literacy Volunteers who is also on the Board of Mooers Library. 

Michael Spofford and Ewa attended the Franklin County Budget Hearing last week, and they are going to the Essex County Budget Hearing immediately following this meeting.  Funding with these two counties appears to be level which is great news though there is no increase.  We are always worried about cuts because of the Effort of Maintenance Clause which could in turn cut us at the NYS level by 25 percent.  Ewa was able to speak with the Franklin County Manager to thank him for keeping the budget level.  She and Michael will be attending the Clinton County Budget Hearing on December 4. 

We had a very nice staff workshop in November with Bonnie Black of Employee Assistance Services (EAS), Reclaiming Your Work Mojo.

Adirondack Health Institute has held Informational sessions at many of our member libraries on the topic of the Affordable Care Act and the health insurance marketplace.  There are two or three more of these sessions coming up in the near future. 

Didi Remchuk of CVPH Cancer Screening Services approached Ewa for assistance with disseminating material on free cancer screening that primarily targets lower income women.  This is an excellent project, and when we are asked to help with things like this, we have an opportunity to talk about what our System does with those who request our assistance. 

Comments and Questions Directed to Ewa Jankowska

Dr. Stowe inquired about the status of automating Hammond Library.  Betsy Brooks feels some progress has been made and there has been some dialog with their director and Board.  Hammond Library is a school district library, and Crown Point is somewhat insulated.  The Crown Point School District is also not automated, and now studies have suggested merging their school district with Ticonderoga.  If they merge, Ewa stated that they may have to establish a special library district.  Discussion ensued regarding aspects of automation that might be attractive and aspects that are not, and possible ways to fund various components that would be required to run Horizon.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Anne de la Chapelle, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library, reported:

With no word yet on their 2014 budget, they are planning for all scenarios.  A Capital Reserve Fund has been established, they are rebuilding their general Reserve Fund, and they are looking at additional library funding models.

Filling the vacant Clerk position will be held off until the budget is finalized.  They are looking at ways to allow their librarians to be more interactive with the public.

They have a candidate who is interested in the AmeriCorps position in the Public Computing Center (PCC), with focus on workshops, training and public access to more computers.  It is a 40-hour a week position.

They are in the process of purchasing items with the NNYLN grant for the PCC, and with a memorial matching contribution, they are purchasing reading tables for the reference room.

They are hosting two Affordable Care programs with Julie Rock of Adirondack Health Institute.  The dates are December 6 from 12:00 to 1 p.m. and December 12 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

They need to do more promotion of the Ask Us 24/7 Chat reference service which started October 1. 

The Cole Historical Collection is in the process of being moved to the new second floor space.

Committee Reports

Finance Committee

Chris de Grandpré stated that the Finance Committee met on November 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with the full committee present.  They went over the proposed 2014 budget with Ewa Jankowska and Michael Spofford, requesting a few small changes.  The revised budget was provided to all trustees for review prior to this meeting. 

A motion to accept the revised budget for 2014 in the amount of $1,326,279.56 was made by Chris de Grandpré, seconded by Nicky Bryant.  Chris feels it is a very thoughtfully prepared budget.  The motion passed unanimously.  Chris stated further that the amount of State aid is unknown at this time, so in May or June when the figures are known, there will be amendments to the budget. 

Chris asked Ewa to reiterate the second topic that the Finance Committee reviewed, which is servers.  Ewa stated that CEFLS has four servers, each out of warrantee, that serve the integrated Library System with Horizon which is the circulation and catalog system and email.  These are extremely important.  Purchasing hardware for these servers would be too expensive to consider.  Our entire IT department is comprised of only Betsy Brooks, and she is researching options for maintenance of computers and servers.  Use of the cloud is a logical solution.  We have spoken with Westchester and North Country Library Systems and a representative of Horizon.  North Country is a logical solution, with their five ITs to maintain their cloud service, and they already provide cloud service to another institution.  Ewa has spoken with Mike Zurlo, Clinton County Manager, about applying for a grant through the county to assist with this migration.  In the meantime, it is necessary to move toward a server solution.  Ewa requested Board approval to pursue negotiations with North Country and talk with our attorney, and to allow expenditures up to $15,000.

Chris de Grandpré motioned to allow the director to engage in negotiations with North Country Library System to house Horizon, the catalog system, to spend up to $15,000 for CEFLS to eventually migrate to the cloud with catalog services, to draw up a contract for Board approval, and to update the Board as more is known.  Tom Mandeville seconded.  There was no further discussion.  Motion carried unanimously.  Chris is very excited about this, as there has been discussion of shared services for some time.

Chris reported that the Finance Committee had in in-depth conversation, at the suggestion of a trustee, about the possibility of investing an unspecified amount of library funds in the Adirondack Trust.  Questions and concerns were discussed and it was agreed that they would like to speak with Cali Brooks, the director, in the spring or the summer to explore this a little more.  One of the motivations for doing this, as noted by the trustee, is to get more return on the dollars that we might have available from time to time to invest.  There are questions regarding once the money is turned over it is a gift and you may not get it back.  Chris stated that after viewing the webinar, Basic Library Law for Trustees, earlier today, there are rules about how you can invest.  Discussion ensued that it might be a conflict of interest since Adirondack Trust offers grants to the Library System and member libraries.  Chris summed up that there will be more discussion in the spring when we meet with Cali Brooks, unless the Board decides they do not want to pursue this.

Chris stated that CEFLS has about $10,000 worth of Met Life stock obtained when Met Life went public.  At one point its value went down to about $6,000 and now it is back up a little bit.  This was discussed by the Finance Committee in the context of the Adirondack Trust conversation; however, he further stated that CEFLS may not even be allowed to invest with a group like Adirondack Trust. 

The Finance Committee also talked about establishing reserves for capital services, compensable leave and unemployment.  This will be looked into a little further.

The possibility of doing quarterly budgets was discussed.  With only one person to do all the financial reporting, this additional report is not warranted.

The Finance Committee is planning to meet on a more regular basis, maybe every month or every other month.

Tom Mandeville asked where CEFLS banks, to which Ewa responded Community Bank.  He stated that they have a very capable investment team.  Ewa stated that we are in a difficult situation since we cannot get determination from the state as to whether we are government or not, and if we are there are different banking rules.  We do know that we are an educational corporation and we fall under civil service.  

Nominating Committee

In light of the recent Board resignation tenured by Martha Spear who chaired the Nominating Committee, Emily Castine checked with her colleagues, Judy Cobb and Lisa Minnich, as to their agreement in asking the current officers if they would be willing to continue if indeed they are able to according to our schedule of terms.  Each was contacted and did agree.  A motion was made by Emily Castine to close the nominations for the following slate of officers for 2014:  Lisa Minnich as president, Barbara Stowe as vice president, Gary Alexander as secretary, Kip Thompson as treasurer, and Emily Castine as member-at-large.  Tom Mandeville seconded the motion.  With no further discussion, the motion to close the nominations was unanimously approved.  Tom Mandeville then motioned that the secretary cast one ballot to elect the slate of officers of Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System as presented, seconded by Chris de Grandpré.  Motion passed unanimously.  Secretary, Gary Alexander, then cast the ballot to elect the nominated officers.

Personnel Committee

Dr. Stowe commended Ewa Jankowska for doing a really great job at putting together the new Personnel Handbook.  Jaci Kelleher, CEFLS Attorney, has provided input and Judy Cobb has reviewed it and made suggestions.  It should be ready soon.  Dr. Stowe thanked Judy as well as Ewa for a very good job. 

Dr. Stowe announced that it is time to begin the Director’s evaluation process and we need to work on a timeline.  Ewa’s report will be ready in a week, though she stated that it takes a full year to work on evaluating the results of the Service Priorities.  A staff meeting is scheduled in two weeks.  Lisa Minnich suggested that Ewa’s evaluation be based on how close Service Priorities are to being fulfilled and whether progress is where it should be at this point.  Ewa agreed, and stated that she can also report on her personal goals, which are personnel manual and PR, on which she also reports monthly. 

Lisa Minnich asked that the Personnel Committee look at the evaluation procedures and the timing of them in regard to the Director not having all the facts before writing her report.  It would be good for the Director to be able to state factually after meeting with staff what has been accomplished rather than projecting accomplishments or shortcomings.  This might involve consideration of changing the timetable for the Director’s evaluation.

The Board will fill out performance criteria after they review Ewa’s report, then a meeting will be designated when the Board will meet in Executive Session to evaluate the Director’s work.  This will take place in January, giving everyone time to get their forms to Dr. Stowe before Christmas.  Dr. Stowe will have time to collate information in preparation of Executive Session in January.  Following that meeting, the president of the Board and the Director will meet to go over the evaluation, and then the Board will meet to set the Director’s salary.  Lisa stated that she and Dr. Stowe would like the Finance Committee to then meet prior to the February Board meeting to discuss what is possible and what is not so there are guidelines.      

Communications

Lisa Minnich read from two communications received at CEFLS.

A letter of resignation from the CEFLS Board of Trustees was received from Judy Cobb, effective December 31, 2013, due to an increase in hours at her place of employment as well as an increase in other volunteer work.  Discussion of filling this January vacancy for Clinton Country trustee will be postponed until the December meeting.

The second communication was an e-mail to the System on November 5, 2013 from Donna Boumil, Director at Rouses Point Dodge Memorial Library, in reference to the It Takes a Town to Raise a Reader workshop that was held the previous day at Plattsburgh Public Library.  Ms. Boumil was contacted by a teacher from a local elementary school requesting books on Native Americans.  She was able to tell her that Dodge Memorial Library does have books on the requested subject matter and she offered assistance to the teacher and the students.  The student’s Native American houses that they built will be on display at the library during the last week of November.

Old Business

There was no Old Business to be discussed.

New Business

Variance for Sherman Free Library, Port Henry

The Sherman Free Library in Port Henry is applying for a variance because they do not have a long-range Plan of Service.  Fran Filshie moved approval of the request for a variance for Sherman Free Library which would allow them to be open while preparing and seeking approval of a long-range Plan of Service, seconded by Emily Castine.  Nicky Bryant disclosed that her husband is on the Board of the Sherman Free Library, though she doesn’t think this constitutes a conflict of interest.  Motion carried unanimously.

Discussion/Approval of Service Priorities for 2014

Trustees received copies of proposed Service Priorities for 2014 for review prior to this meeting.  Motion to approve Service Priorities for 2014 was made by Nicky Bryant, seconded by Dr. Stowe.  Chris de Grandpré and several trustees agreed that preparation of Service Priorities is a lot of work.  Motion carried unanimously.

Approval of 2014 Member Library and Reading Center Contracts

Lisa Minnich stated that approval of member library and reading center contracts takes place yearly.  The contracts for 2014 are the same as those for 2013.  Motion to approve member library and reading center contracts was made by Emily Castine, seconded by Judy Cobb.  With no further discussion, the motional passed unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 5:46 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held October 28, 2013

 Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:32 p.m. on Monday, October 28, 2013 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York, by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President.

Oath of Office

Lisa Minnich administered the Oath of Office as Member-at-Large to Emily Castine. 

Roll Call

Present:  Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Judy Cobb, Chris de Grandpré, Donna Fulkerson, Thomas Mandeville (entered at 4:34 p.m.), Mary “Lisa” Minnich and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Present via video conferencing with Saranac Lake Free Library:  Gary Alexander and Dr. Barbara Stowe

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Betsy Brooks, Automation Librarian, Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Excused Absences:  Frances Filshie and Martha Spear

Others Present:  Jamie Parrott, Plattsburgh Public Library, Administrative Assistant and David Minnich

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda

Approval of Minutes of September 23, 2013 Meeting

The September 23, 2013 minutes as distributed prior to this meeting incorrectly state that meeting was held in Port Henry.  Prior to Secretary Gary Alexander signing these minutes, they will be corrected to say that the meeting was held in Crown Point.

Committee Reports

Advocacy, Development, Executive, Finance, Health Plan, Negotiating, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was motioned by Chris de Grandpré, seconded by Nicole Bryant, to approve Consent Agenda as presented with the correction to the September 23 meeting location as stated.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Report

Kip Thompson moved that the following September financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Gary Alexander.

  • Over and Under Report for period ending September 30, 2013
  • Accounts Payable and Receivable Quarterly Report
  • Budget-to-Date Report from 1/1/13 through 9/30/13
  • Balance Sheet as of 9/30/13
  • Revenues vs. Expenditures from 1/1/2013 through 9/30/13
  • Grant/Noncurrent Aid as of 9:30/13

Kip Thompson inquired whether, assuming no more will be spent on attorney fees, funds in lines 5316 and 5325 which have to do with attorneys, can be carried over to 2014 to which Michael Spofford responded that unused funds will be carried over for negotiations.  Discussion ensued regarding line item 5322, Building Expense, regarding the garage lighting project that has been completed and the side stairway project that will be held off until spring.  Funds allotted for the stairs will be carried over to 2014.  Both projects were made possible due to a 50 percent matching funds Construction Grant.   

Should there be any physical building emergencies, contingency funds for the eventual roof project would be re-appropriated as necessary.

Chris de Grandpré will be requesting for the Finance Committee to meet soon since State Aid has been received and the 2013 Budget has been approved.  Committee members are asked to become familiar with the 2014 proposed budget.

Kip Thompson asked about funds encumbered for the new server that were approved in September.  The server has been installed and its price came in under the quoted price.  Ewa Jankowska will report more on this in her Director's Report and Betsy Brooks, Automation Librarian, will answer questions.

Michael Spofford explained the issues dealing with billing cycles that are different from a calendar year.  Regarding Health Insurance, Michael explained that the System now has fewer retirees and one less spouse of a retiree, and buy-outs for 2013, which used to take place at the beginning of the year, will take place at the end of the year.

Kip Thompson asked if, starting next year, quarterly budgets could be prepared to help clarify questions related to year-to-date figures.

Motion to approve the financial reports as presented carried unanimously with the understanding that we will look into how complex it will be to prepare quarterly reports. 

Public Comment Period

There were no comments from the public.

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich recapped that a list of proposed meeting dates for 2014 was distributed prior to today’s meeting.  Meetings are typically held the fourth Monday of each month, January through November.  The May date falls on the 26th, which is Memorial Day.  Judy Cobb motioned to approve the 2014 meeting dates, moving the May meeting to June 2nd, seconded by Emily Castine.  Whether or not to have a December meeting in 2014 can be considered as time goes on.  Motion carried.

A meeting for regular business and personnel reasons has been scheduled for December 16, 2013.  The trustees will also join the staff for a holiday social with a “potluck” lunch at 12:00.  Judy Cobb motioned to schedule the Board meeting for 1:30, seconded by Dr. Stowe.  Motion carried.  

Lisa recently received a compliment from Peter Benson, Director, Saranac Lake Free Library, for all of the help provided by the CEFLS staff, especially Julie Wever.  He stated that everyone at the System takes the time to help, going out of their way to do so and if they don’t know how to help, they will find someone who can. 

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska reported that part of the construction grant projects, the lighting in the garage, has been completed.  The repair of the steps on the side of the building will be done in the spring.

Two people from DLD, which is the State Library Development Office, visited CEFLS and a couple of member libraries.  Many questions were asked of us and the member libraries in regard to Annual Reports that have already been approved.  Ewa was asked to rewrite the CEFLS Direct Access Plan which is something she already knew and plans to do quickly, and then request Board approval. 

A Sirsi Dynix representative met with Ewa and Betsy Brooks and they are talking also with people at North Country Library System.  Moving to the cloud instead of having our own physical servers sounds like a better option.  It is hoped that more will be known by the November Board meeting so quotes can be presented.  It looks like Sirsi Dynix, which would be a little more expensive, would offer much more robust and interesting cloud services and we would get one module free.  Either way, increased costs are part of the reason for requesting later in this meeting for approval to raise the annual automation fees that member libraries contribute for catalog services. 

We are preparing to present on October 30 at the Annual Conference of Northern New York Library Network.  The presentations will be on grants that have been received.  One was the e-book grant from when we first started to dabble in e-books and we received some iPads and Kindles, as well as some e-books that we used to introduce the readers to people.  The second grant was the Health Grant that has allowed us to have health information resources on the CEFLS website.  Some hardware was also received with that. 

The Creative Aging Grant is winding down.  Today Peru Free Library has their culminating Radio Theater event.  Although we cannot get further grant funds directly from Lifetime Arts, they have told us that through an AARP grant, they may be able to grant funds to three libraries.  CEFLS will also be looking for grants to enable libraries to carry on this type of program.  Rouses Point Dodge Memorial Library is already offering their second program for which they were awarded funds from a different organization.  This has been the perfect example of a pilot project where a program is started, then, the libraries find ways to continue it themselves.  Ewa is an advocate of the Creative Aging model, and is working on a presentation that she will be doing for Rotary. 

A corrected copy of the Personnel Manual has been received from Jaci Kelleher, Attorney-at-Law, and will be sent to the members of the Personnel Committee.

Ewa hopes there will be a Finance Committee meeting soon.  Health insurance, at least for the non-union members, should see a savings of $8,000 for 2014 because Excellus is offering a very similar plan for much less.  For union members, NYSHIP, whose increases were up to about 10 percent yearly, is going to increase only two percent.

Julie Wever and Ewa have been discussing the Keeseville dissolution situation in regard to Keeseville Free Library.  They plan to attend Keeseville Library’s Board meeting on November 19.  Ewa has mentioned their service area to the State Library and they are talking about Census Track.  It appears that the Keeseville residents don’t understand how the dissolution will affect other services.

Board members are asked to informally talk with their legislators, to inquire about funding, what should our concerns be, what should be addressed when speaking with the county managers, etc.  Ewa will be meeting with Mike Zurlo soon.  Nicky Bryant stated that she had a very brief exchange with Tom Scozzafava of Essex County and he told her they are not cutting contract agencies.  That is good news because cutting could affect the Maintenance of Effort issue. 

Comments and Questions Directed to Ewa Jankowska

Kip Thompson commented that Julie Wever was quick to apply to the Robert Wood Foundation to assist with funding for the new computer server.  Betsy Brooks then reported that the bill for the server will be well under budget because the number of hours was less than half of what was proposed.  It appears that the bill will be for $3,900 for the service portion, instead of $9,100, with the total for the whole project being about $8,700.  Ewa recapped that application for the total amount was made to the Wood Foundation.  If awarded the funds, CEFLS would like to use the unused budgeted funds to migrate our e-mail to an on-line service (the cloud).  Betsy stated that CEFLS is not out of the woods yet since there still is the issue of moving away from the old servers that are on-site. 

Kip Thompson inquired whether the old servers and components have value and could be sold, to which Betsy responded that they are old and not worth much, and dispensing of the hard drives in that manner would be a security issue, so they are likely to be recycled.

Dr. Stowe inquired whether cloud service would be in addition to a server for e-mail to which Ewa responded that the cloud would replace the server. 

Emily Castine commended Julie Wever and Karen Batchelder on the great job they continue to do on the Trailblazer.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Anne de la Chapelle, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library, was not able to attend this meeting.  Jamie Parrott, PPL Administrative Assistant, reported for her.

The PPL budget is in a bit of a crisis, as the mayor’s budget proposal includes at $60,000 cut and does not include the additional $60,000 that the Council had previously agreed to add in 2015, which totals $120,000 less.  There will be library council hearings and citywide budget hearings and PPL will push to have that money restored. 

A library clerk has resigned, effective October 19, 2013. Filling that position will depend on the budget. 

A $5,483 NNYLN Technology Grant was received for the Computer Center.  There will be a new teaching station, a large whiteboard and lighting upgrades.

A Construction Grant was approved for projects in 2014 to include front entrance replacement, workroom floor replacement and coping work.

Due to staffing changes, there will be only one Story Hour per week, on Thursday mornings at 10:30.

The term of the Americorps volunteer was completed.  Getting a new one is dependent on funding.

The Friends of the Library have raised funds to purchase an information board for the lobby.  On November 8 they are holding a fundraising auction from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at City Hall with wine and hors d’oeurves.  A one-day liquor license was obtained for this.  Funds raised from this auction of services will purchase a new book check (magnetic security) machine.  There is no cover charge to attend.

PPL’s librarians received training on Ask Us 24/7 Chat reference, a service that started on October 1.  The weekly commitment of three hours each to provide reference assistance on-line is rotating among librarians.

Elizabeth Rogers has been helping to weed PPL’s reference area.  A large area with new lighting will be opened up for people to sit down at tables with their laptops, rather than having people scattered about the library. 

Jamie echoed Peter Benson’s remark about CEFLS’ staff.  Jamie enjoys working with Michael Spofford with finances and Betsy Brooks with computers.  Julie Wever has been great working with Anne de la Chapelle on Construction Grants and Elizabeth Rogers is a great reference librarian.   

Committee Reports

Nominating Committee

Lisa Minnich recapped that resumés of two candidates for Clinton County trustee were distributed for review prior to this meeting.  Only one candidate can be appointed at this time.  The other name can be put on a list for future use.  Martha Spear, Chairperson of the Nominating Committee, could not be present for this meeting, so Emily Castine reported that the resumés are for Jim Bennett of West Chazy and Tracy Clark of Au Sable Forks. 

Emily stated that she doesn’t know Ms. Clark but she worked with Mr. Bennett when the Chazy Public Library was beginning renovation to their present building at 1329 Fiske Road.  He has a wealth of educational and professional experience, attends events such as ALA and NNYLN and reads professional journals. 

Michael Spofford stated that Tracy Clark is young and has worked her way up to a lending officer and bank vice president of her branch of Community Bank.  She assists Michael yearly with renewing the line of credit.  As the bank officer that handles our account, she gets quarterly and annual financial reports.  He feels she does a great job and has taught him a lot in three or four years.  She is very quick at responding when we have questions.  Emily Castine stated that she feels there would be a conflict of interest to which Michael stated that Ms. Clark would have to abstain from any votes pertaining to banking. 

Emily Castine motioned approval to send Jim Bennett’s name to the Clinton County Legislature for consideration of appointment to the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System Board of Trustees, seconded by Judy Cobb.

Tracy Clark’s name will be place on a list of potential candidates for possible future use.  Kip Thompson stated that Ms. Clark’s general expertise could be useful on the Finance Committee. 

Motion carried unanimously.

The Nominating Committee will work on a roster of officers for 2014 to be presented at the November meeting.  This will allow time for paperwork to be in place so the officers can take their Oaths of Office at the January meeting.  Martha Spear has provided notice to Lisa Minnich that she will be stepping down from the Board at the end of December when her term ends, due to time constraints and other responsibilities.  She will help search for a replacement.

Old Business

Michael Spofford thanked Gary Alexander for his role in executing a new virtual signing software program.  Michael can now send invoices as .pdf files by e-mail attachment to trustees for approval.  Trustees are able to review invoices and approve them on the designated website by adding their initials, then sending them back to Michael by e-mail attachment. This method can also be used for approving abstracts. This new procedure eliminates the need for Michael to travel to meet the approved signer at various locations around the three counties, thus saving considerable time and travel expense for both the System and the trustee.  Michael has spoken with the auditors and they will only need to know what software we are using.  Initially the cost was believed to be $180 a year, but with a $50 coupon, the first year will cost $130.  Gary reported that he found the process very convenient. Kip complimented Michael on accomplishing all this in one month’s time.

New Business

Request approval for 10 percent fee increase from member libraries for automation contracts

Ewa Jankowska is requesting on behalf of the System a 10 percent increase from member libraries for automation fees.  The automation contract stipulates one year’s advance notice so the increase would be effective for 2015, allowing time for libraries to budget.  Since the fees were raised the last time, CEFLS’ costs have risen 26 percent, so 10 percent is a small portion.  If the decision is made to go with Sirsi Dynix cloud services, we would have to sign a contract for five or seven years.  With their proposal, there would be no increases for the first two years and we would know from the beginning what their increases for the remaining years of the contract would be.  We would like to pass those increases on to member libraries automatically.  There will also be increased fees if we go with the cloud, and the 10 percent being requested will still not cover what CEFLS will have to pay.  To help put automation fees into perspective, Ewa stated that CEFLS has the lowest automation fees in all of New York State and in at a lot of libraries, automation fees cover not only the automation license but also salaries and benefits of the System’s automation department staff, which CEFLS has never done. 

Kip Thompson moved approval of a 10 percent increase in automation fees for member libraries, to take effect in 2015, seconded by Nicky Bryant.

Ewa clarified that once the decision is made to contract with Sirsi Dynix or with North Country Library System for the cloud, we will then be able to request future increases accordingly.

Motion carried unanimously.

Request to amend resolution for check signers for 2013

Lisa Minnich stated that with the recent resignation of Maiko Barcomb from the Board, her name must be removed as a check signer, and Emily Castine, as new Member-at-Large, should become a check signer.  Chris de Grandpré so moved, seconded by Kip Thompson.

The bank document to facilitate these changes will be signed following this meeting.  Michael Spofford clarified that the Board officers are the check signers.

Motion carried unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 5:42 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held September 23, 2013

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:40 p.m. on Monday, September 23, 2013 at Hammond Library, 2732 Main Street, Crown Point, by Dr. Barbara Stowe, Vice President, after which President Mary “Lisa” Minnich arrived and assumed presidential responsibilities.

Roll Call

Trustees were asked as their name was being called to state where they reside and the county they represent.

Present:  Gary Alexander, Emily Castine, Chris de Grandpré, Fran Filshie, Donna Fulkerson, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Dr. Barbara Stowe and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Betsy Brooks, Automation Librarian, Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Excused Absences:  Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Judy Cobb, Thomas Mandeville and Martha Spear

Others Present:  Diana Kahler, Connie Bishop, Becky Blaise, Robin Holmberg, Kathy Hyatt and Tatum Trombley, Trustees of Hammond Library; Wendy Terbeek, Director of Hammond Library, and David Minnich

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Amended Agenda as distributed prior to meeting

Approval of Minutes of August 26, 2013 Meeting

Committee Reports

Advocacy, Health Plan, Development, Executive, Negotiating, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was motioned by Fran Filshie, seconded by Dr. Stowe, to approve Consent Agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Report

Kip Thompson moved that the following August financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Gary Alexander.

  • Over and Under Report for period ending August 31, 2013
  • Budget-to-Date Report from 1/1/13 through 8/31/13
  • Balance Sheet as of 8/31/13
  • Revenues vs. Expenditures from 1/1/13 through 8/31/13
  • Grant/Noncurrent Aid as of 8/31/13

Kip Thompson inquired what criteria are used to determine the components of the Over and Under Report.  Discussion ensued with Kip concluding that he loves this report.

Motion carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

Wendy Terbeek, Director of Hammond Library, stated that Hammond is no longer participating in rotating collections.  She asked for consideration of what the replacement fee for lost or damaged books means to a small library’s budget.  Ewa Jankowska responded that CEFLS also struggles financially, with the book budget being cut all the time, and this fee is actually a processing fee, agreed upon by member libraries as a whole.  It defrays the expense of ordering, wrapping and shelving new books, and creating records from OCLC (Online Computer Library Center).  Kip Thompson asked if a grant might be available to assist with the fee, to which Ewa responded that there are very few grants, and though Julie Wever does spend a tremendous amount of time pursuing grants, particularly construction grants, grant capability is limited.  Wendy works without a staff and rarely has assistance from volunteers, and though she takes a driver's license as identification, tracking people down isn’t very successful because a high number of patrons are transient.  She tries to limit what they can borrow.  Ewa explained that at one time, CEFLS had around $30,000 worth of lost books so the processing fee was agreed upon to defray System losses.  Ewa said she will speak with Michael Spofford, Business Manager, and Elizabeth Rogers, Automation Librarian, to see if a request due to a special situation might be granted.  Trustees Emily Castine and Fran Filshie agree that the lost and damaged book situation exists in all libraries.  Ewa stated that one benefit of automation is that there is one record in the System for all member libraries to access, so when patrons move around within the System, the information gets updated.  Wendy stated that she spoke with Betsy Brooks at one time about possibly getting a grant to cover the cost of automation.  Ewa explained that though we are one System, each library has their own policy for obtaining cards and borrowing limitations.  A commonality across the board is that a fee cannot be charged for library cards, unless the patron is from outside of the three counties of the System.

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich thanked the director of Hammond Library for hosting this meeting and Hammond trustees for rearranging their schedules to attend it.  She also expressed appreciation for the refreshments.

Michael Spofford and Ewa Jankowska were thanked for their work on various and sundry financial issues in the recent past, including budget applications to the counties.

Martha Spear was thanked for her work with the Nominating Committee and Chris de Grandpré and the Finance Committee were thanked for their continuous work.   

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska reported that the budget applications to the three counties have been submitted.  She explained that this is the time, after budget applications have been submitted and before the counties’ budget meetings, to ask trustees to contact their local legislators for their support.  It is much more effective for trustees to do than it is for CEFLS staff. 

Ewa contacted Betty Little’s office about the bullet aid program and was told that it was given to the area that really needed money.  Due to the recent server crash at CEFLS, Ewa was hoping to be able to apply for some funding.  She is awaiting a return call from the Senator’s office.

There are three extra major programs with which CEFLS will be helping libraries deal.  One is the Common Core Curriculum, which will require more nonfiction materials in libraries.  CEFLS will try to build up the collection because neither school libraries nor public libraries have received extra funding to do so. 

Next is the Affordable Care Act.  Libraries will be asked to help people find reliable information, so Betsy Brooks is working on developing a website with helpful links.  There is still much yet to be determined with health care reform.

The third item is a webinar scheduled for mid December on upcoming e-Rate changes.  E-Rate is a federal program that provides assistance to libraries with their telephone/internet connection. 

Due to a medical emergency for a staff member, everyone pitched in for two week to help cover responsibilities.

CEFLS did not receive the NNYLN grant for the kiosk where we had planned to post    2-1-1 and e-Government information.  We still intend to continue working with United Way to help explain 2-1-1 to people and to make 2-1-1’s services more accessible. 

Julie Wever has spent an enormous amount of time recently on construction grant applications, visiting the libraries who are applying, to gain a thorough understanding of their requests. 

Comments and Questions Directed to Ewa Jankowska

In response to an inquiry by Dr. Stowe, Ewa explained that she spoke with Sharon Henderson, Special Projects Coordinator in Senator Little’s office, letting her know that we are aware of bullet aid having been distributed to libraries in other areas.  Ewa was told that Ms. Henderson would speak with Senator Little and return Ewa’s call.  To date, there has been no further information.  Ewa explained to the Board that bullet aid is very complicated.  Andrew Cuomo did not allow members of the House or Senate to have what they call member items in order to make everything very transparent.  In the past when there were member items, with the assistance of Betty Little and Assemblywoman Theresa Sayward, CEFLS applied for and received funds for the  servers.  Recently it was learned that the House did not have any member items, but the Senate got money and awarded bullet aid to a lot of libraries from other districts.  Chris de Grandpré suggested that a list of items for which CEFLS could use assistance be put together and sent in a letter to Betty Little requesting that CEFLS be remembered if there are any funds available.  Assistance might not happen for this cycle, but might for the next cycle.  Fran Filshie suggested adding a cc to Sharon Henderson, then placing a call to advise her of the crisis we are experiencing, letting her know she will be receiving a cc of our letter to Senator Little.

Ewa suggested to Wendy Terbeek that if automation of Hammond Library is being considered, she should also write to Senator Little. 

In response to an inquiry by Dr. Stowe about the Wild Center’s USDA/RUS Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant program that appears in Betsy Brooks’ department report, Ewa explained that the Wild Center would like to become a site for distance learning and applied for a grant to do so.  A letter of support was sent by CEFLS.

Kip Thompson commented that since the matching construction grant percentages have changed from 50-50 to 75-25, it appears that the number of grant applications has increased.  Ewa responded that libraries are encouraged to make use of this opportunity, though the application process is becoming more cumbersome and directors must get quotes.  CEFLS is very fortunate to have Adirondack Community Trust and Charles R. Wood Foundation who are involved in funding technological requests.  Potentially, libraries can ask to refurbish a room or whatever is allowable within the construction grant, then place computers in the room and they will pay for it. 

The library director in Peru got solar panels at no cost when construction grants were 50-50, and received 50 percent through an energy grant with New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

A brief discussion ensued regarding the benefits of having a Friends of the Library group, to which Emily Castine of Chazy and Fran Filshie of Schroon Lake both attested.

Kip Thompson asked about a chart in the Board packet that depicts Downloadable Audio Usage.  It shows CEFLS’ collection continually being increased though downloads and active users are not increasing.  Betsy Brooks explained that this is a subscription service so it doesn’t cost CEFLS any more to increase the collection.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Ewa Jankowska presented a brief report of PPL activities on behalf of Anne de la Chapelle who could not be present.

  • PPL is applying for a NYS Public Library Construction Grant to replace their front entrance and workroom floor and to repair building coping.
  • They are reviewing their print reference collection to keep it current with the help of CEFLS.  Upon completion, new reading tables will be added to the reference room, paid for through a bequest.
  • The contract of the AmeriCorps staff person is coming to an end.  This person manages the Public Computing Center and offers workshops for the public and individual groups.  Funding sources are being researched to continue with this great service.
  • Budget time is here.  The city is cutting department budgets for 2014.

Committee Reports

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee met at 3:30 today.  Chris de Grandpré recapped that currently there is a situation causing concern with the servers.  Ewa Jankowska explained that there are five servers at CEFLS with three being dedicated to serving Horizon, the integrated library (circulation and catalogue).  One server is for e-mail and one server administrates all the computers in our building, giving permissions, and regulating traffic.  On September 11, the administrating server crashed.  A technician did a temporary repair but replacement is desperately needed. 

One option is to extend the warrantee on the old server and replace the drive, which may or may not work or may work for a short period because of the age of the server. 

The next option is to get quotes for a new server, so quotes were obtained for:

  • Dell server for $4,851 from Novatec, a Plattsburgh-based company.  CEFLS had a negative experience with this company in 2004 when a firewall was set up that never worked properly and had to replace it the following year.
  • Hewlett Packard server for $5,144 from Symquest, a Vermont-based company.  In 2008, Symquest set up two servers in CEFLS’ then new server room. 

On top of these server quotes, there will be additional cost for assistance for configuration and installation, which could be between $5,000 and $10,000, based on hourly rate.  Symquest estimated $8,450 but they were also willing to bill for actual time which could be more or less.  Their hourly rate is higher, $200 per hour compared to about $100 for Novatec.  Novatec, however, has not provided a quote or estimate of how many hours they will require to set up a new server. 

A third option is to delay and obtain more estimates of both the equipment and service portion, and then to discuss it again at a future meeting.  To protect data and productivity short term, extended warranties and “Safety Net” service (for two months) from Symquest could be purchased, at a total of $1,174, after which, a new server would still be needed.

To avoid such emergency costs in the future, consideration is being given to hosting the three automation servers elsewhere, and also outsourcing e-mail to the cloud, leaving CEFLS with only one server (the one currently needing replacing), with plans for replacement approximately every five years.  Such proposals will be prepared in the near future to protect from the sudden large costs that maintaining new servers can entail.

CEFLS has $6,000 budgeted this year to replace a server; however, with staging costs and a needed upgrade in the operating system from Windows 2003 to Windows 2008, additional funds will be needed.  Ewa requested permission to transfer about $10,000 from a reserve fund for the building roof to cover the fixed price of $8,450 to stage a new server. 

Chris de Grandpré recapped the recommendation of the Finance Committee in a resolution to purchase one HP server and labor to install, from Symquest, with the equipment and hardware part totaling $5,144 and installation at a fixed price of $8,450, and to transfer from budget code 5306 to code 5317 an amount not to exceed $10,000.  Emily Castine seconded. 

Further discussion ensued pertaining to the total amount and the future plans of CEFLS to avoid such emergency situations by moving to the cloud.

Motion carried. 

Nominating Committee

Emily Castine reported for Martha Spear who could not be present for today’s meeting.  Currently, there is a vacancy for a trustee to represent Clinton County due to the recent resignation of Maiko Barcomb.  It was agreed that resumés will be requested from the first two people on the list of several potential Clinton County candidates and action will be considered at the next meeting.  There are also two Franklin County Board vacancies at this time, with no potential candidates.  Kip Thompson stressed the importance of having a continuous list of potential trustee candidates to alleviate lengthy vacancies.

Lisa Minnich stated that it is time for the Nominating Committee to begin looking at a slate of officers for 2014 and due to Maiko Barcomb’s recent vacancy from the office of member-at-large, Emily Castine has expressed interest.  Dr. Stowe motioned that Emily Castine be sworn in as member-at-large, with Chris de Grandpré seconding the motion.  The Oath of Office will be administered at the October meeting.  Motion carried.

Old Business

There was no Old Business for discussion.

New Business

Julie Wever submitted information prior to the meeting on construction grant applications from six member libraries.  A motion to approve the construction grant applications was made by Kip Thompson, seconded by Fran Filshie.  The total of System funds to allocate is $318,512, with the total cost of the member library projects at $198,300.  Lisa Minnich expressed thanks to Julie for all of her hard work and is pleased that Julie visited the potential construction sites to have an accurate understanding of the projects.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 5:46 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held August 26, 2013

Prior to the start of this meeting, Emily Castine introduced Tina Trombley, President of Chazy Public Library Board of Trustees, who extended a warm welcome to the CEFLS Board of Trustees and staff.  A tour of the library and refreshments were provided. 

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, August 26, 2013 at Chazy Public Library, 1329 Fiske Road, Chazy, New York by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President. 

Roll Call

Present:  Nicole “Nicky” Bryant, Emily Castine, Judy Cobb, Chris de Grandpré, Fran Filshie, Donna Fulkerson, Thomas Mandeville (entered at 4:31 p.m.), Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Dr. Barbara Stowe and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant and Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Excused Absences:  Gary Alexander, Maiko Barcomb and Martha Spear

Others Present:  George Brendler, Debbie Powers and Tina Trombly, Trustees of Chazy Public Library; Francie Fairchild, Director of Chazy Public Library, and David Minnich

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda

Approval of Minutes of July 22, 2013 Meeting

Committee Reports

Advocacy, Health Plan, Development, Executive, Negotiating, Nominating, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was motioned by Dr. Stowe, seconded by Kip Thompson, to approve Consent Agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Report

Chris de Grandpré moved that the following July financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Emily Castine.

  • Over and Under Report for period ending July 31, 2013

  • Budget-to-Date Report from 1/1/13 through 7/31/13

  • Balance Sheet as of 7/31/13

  • Revenues vs. Expenditures from 1/1/13 through 7/31/13

  • Grant/Noncurrent Aid as of 7/31/13

Motion carried unanimously.  

Public Comment Period

There were no comments from the public.

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich thanked everyone involved in the preparation of the proposed 2014 budget for their hard work.

Lisa likes the inclusion of additional staff information in the monthly Board packets.  The use of graphs is also a welcomed addition and in the future she hopes to see more information in graph format.  Kip Thompson commented that trends are easier to follow with visual aids.

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska hand delivered the Essex County 2014 Budget Application to Daniel Palmer’s office.  He was not available so she spoke with his secretary with hope that their conversation will be shared with him.  Nicky Bryant, who resides in Essex County, volunteered to contact Mr. Scozzafava about our funding.

Clinton County’s budget application is due on September 18.  Michael Zurlo, County Administrator and Clerk of the Legislature, has inquired why we had money left over at the end of 2012.  It will be explained when the budget application is hand delivered that we do not get our funding from the State until well into the year, so we have to carry funds over to carry us through.  For example, we still do not have 2012 funding.  Chris de Grandpré will accompany Ewa when the completed application is delivered to Mr. Zurlo.

Ewa has spent some time in Albany talking with colleagues from public library systems and school library systems and we will be working on some projects with them.  Julie Wever went to Denver where she attended a training on Muslim Journeys, which is a grant received for books presenting to people of Muslim culture that some of the libraries get.  Karen Batchelder attended a conference in Albany on Common Core Curriculum, for which she provided a report that was distributed prior to this meeting.  At some time in the future, we would like to provide a very brief presentation on what Common Core Curriculum is and how it will affect libraries.  It is apparent that every year libraries have more responsibility and less funding.

The draft of the Staff Handbook has been sent to Jaci Kelleher, CEFLS Attorney.  We do not expect it to be reviewed by the October Board meeting.  In the meantime, Ewa will review policies to see if they need to be updated. 

When we start meeting again in our Board room, Ewa has prepared a graphic presentation with some color charts focusing on trends to show what we do.  Discussion can follow as to whether this is the outcome desired of the Board. 

An evaluator of the Creative Aging program from Minnesota met recently met with Ewa, then with a Focal Group of two member library directors who are or did participate in the current round of projects.  This has been a very successful program and it is hoped that it will be able to continue, maybe with different venues and different grants but still helping libraries with adult programming.    

Comments and Questions Directed to Ewa Jankowska

Kip Thompson inquired how we are doing with the health information on the Affordable Care Act in regard to last month’s report that we are working with PPL to develop an information kiosk.  Ewa responded that we are continuously working on two related things.  We have the Consumer Health Website with LibGuides, and Betsy and Ewa are working on two new topics, Healthy Aging and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Librarians will be able to point to the ACA LibGuide to connect people with health care reform information.  It is possible that many trustees may not be thinking yet about librarians who do not have health insurance and how they will be directly affected by ACA.

Tom Mandeville asked if his understanding is correct that Senator Little has distributed money to other districts but not to ours.  Ewa responded that neither the System nor the member libraries have received any bullet aid for the past two years.  Previously, when there were member items, there was an application process, and we were getting some money.  Ewa will schedule an appointment with Senator Little to discuss library funding, then notify the trustees to see who can accompany her.

In light of next month’s Board meeting at Hammond Library in Crown Point, Kip asked about the recent meeting that Betsy Brooks held with Essex County member library directors.  Hammond is a school district library and is not automated.  Hammond patrons can borrow e-books through neighboring libraries with a valid and barcoded card.  Ewa commented that in 2010, the Hammond director did a fantastic job in speaking on behalf of the System at an Essex County Board of Supervisors meeting.  The trustees of Hammond Library will be invited to attend the September CEFLS Board meeting which will be held in Crown Point. 

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Ewa Jankowska presented a brief report of PPL activities on behalf of Anne de la Chapelle who could not be present.

  • Submitted NNYLN Technology Service Improvement Grant to upgrade computer classroom to a Community Technology Training Center
  • Working on State Construction Grant to cover replacement of concrete entryway and workroom floor
  • Expect to begin repairs to brickwork soon which was funded by 2012 State Library Construction grant
  • Welcomed new trustees Jen Creedon and Jesse Feiler to the Board this month
  • Working with Elizabeth Rogers to weed print reference collection
  • Updated library brochure and working on a new website

Committee Reports

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee met just prior to this Board meeting.  Chris de Grandpré stated that in light of the fact that distribution of State aid has not taken place, and with some obligations to take care of in the next couple of weeks, it has been decided that the System should use $20,000 of $50,000 that is in reserve to avoid borrowing or using the line-of-credit, either of which would incur interest charges.  It is a definite advantage to use internal funds for two or three weeks, or even a month until the State aid is received. 

PPL, as the System’s Central Library, receives additional State funding which is funneled through CEFLS.  Michael Spofford recapped that CEFLS trustees received prior to this meeting a copy of a letter to them and to PPL trustees explaining a part of the application process for State aid 2013-2014 that was just implemented this year.  It requires assurance that the System has on file and available to the public for inspection a signed Central Book Aid (CBA)/Central Library Development Aid (CLDA) annual Expenditure Plan that has been approved by the Central/Board of Trustees and the Library System’s Board of Trustees.  Because on August 7 the amount of funding for 2013 was not known, the 2012 level of funding was used.  Ewa Jankowska explained that t his year the State is requiring that we be very specific about how we use State aid and also the aid that is given to member libraries, and budgeting must be approved by both the CEFLS and the PPL Boards before we can receive our aid or the aid that we give to member libraries.  In the past, CBA was used for non-fiction reference books.  Now we are using it for databases that are available to all, at all times.  CLDA is to be spent on staffing and salaries, presuming that the Central Library is also assisting other libraries when needed.

Chris de Grandpré motioned approval of the Central Library budget using 2012 figures and the plan for budget 2013, seconded by Fran Filshie.  With no further discussion, motion carried unanimously.

The Finance Committee reviewed the Independent Audit for 2011 and 2012 and was pleased with the outcome.  Chris de Grandpré congratulated Ewa Jankowska, Michael Spofford and everyone involved for the nice, clean audit. 

Emily Castine motioned acceptance of the Independent Audit for 2011 and 2012, seconded by Judy Cobb.  Lisa Minnich recapped from the auditor’s letter that Michael has done a fine job.  Motion carried unanimously. 

The IRS Form 990 was also reviewed by the Finance Committee.  Chris de  Grandpré motioned approval of Form 990 as presented to the Board, seconded by Dr. Stowe.  Ewa Jankowska stated that for Form had to be submitted to the IRS by August 15, 2013.  Motion carried unanimously.

Chris de Grandpré stated that a preliminary 2013 budget in the amount of $1,314,614.78, was prepared several months before the end of fiscal year 2012, without the benefit of knowing what amount of aid would be received in 2013.  Now that some information from the State has been received with some idea of what the carryover will be, a 2013-01 amended budget, in the amount of $1,339,863.39 has been prepared.  Chris motioned approval of the 2013-01 amended budget, seconded by Kip Thompson. 

Ewa Jankowska recapped that a 4 percent increase was expected, but we received 4.91 percent, which is still behind what is in NYS Education Law.  Originally we were cut 21 percent.  Some of the amendments in the 2013-01 budget are:

  • Some expenses are a little higher than expected.

  • Automated system revenue was increased.

  • Revenue for the server that serves the automated libraries was increased.

  • Less was paid for medical insurance due to two retirees and the spouse of a retiree passing away.

  • Some money was moved to travel, which is always a big issue.

  • Building equipment was increased by $4,000.  A construction grant was received requiring 50 percent participation from our side.  This will be used to replace some lighting in the garage and also repair the crumbling steps of an entrance used by some staff and delivery people.

Kip  Thompson noted that the amended budget reflects more focus on purchasing databases and e-books, beefing up the firewall, and working toward e-signatures to be used for abstract approvals.

Chris de Grandpré stated that the Finance Committee talked about setting up a reserve for unemployment insurance as an item and the retirement bill looks like it will be higher than expected. Kip Thompson pointed out that next year’s audit will reflect the write-off of the bookmobile which was given to the county. 

Motion carried unanimously.

Old Business

Dr. Stowe motioned approval of Maiko Barcomb as Member-at-Large.  Maiko was not able to be present at this meeting, so she will take her Oath of Office at September’s meeting.  Judy Cobb seconded the motion.  This position became vacant when Gary Alexander was sworn in as Secretary of the Board in July. Motion carried unanimously. 

Approval of June’s Financial Reports was tabled in July due to three concerns.  Michael Spofford explained that in the Revenue vs. Expenditure Report two line items are grouped, but the same items are reported separately in the Budget-to-Date Report (telecommunications - phone and cell phone, and utilities - water, sewer and electricity).  Beginning next month you will see utilities/phone so you will know it is two items in that line item in the Revenue vs. Expenditure Report.

Also pertaining to the Budget-to-Date Report and the Revenue vs. Expenditure Report, the State grant to member libraries line item does not show the same dollar amount.  The $31.998 was a partial payment for 2012 State Aid and is not a part of the 2013 Aid which has not been received yet.

The third concern is the big difference between what we paid in 2012 for health insurance and what we expensed in 2013.  The money for both union and nonunion health insurance has always been expensed the month before so in June 2012 we were showing seven months of expenses.  We also had three people who took a buyout ($10,146) in 2012, which was done in the beginning of that year. In 2013 it will be done at the end of the year.  Also different for 2013, Michael took health insurance out of prepaid but forgot to book May, so next month May will be booked.  And again, because three retirees/spouses passed away in 2013, 2012 health insurance expenditures are greater by $1,175.74.

Lisa Minnich recapped that the June 2013 Financial Reports were motioned for acceptance at the July meeting by Chris de Grandpré, seconded by Gary Alexander, then it was agreed to table the vote so they could be discussed further at this meeting due to concerns, so at this time only a vote is needed for approval.  Motion carried unanimously.

New Business

There was no new business.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 5:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held July 22, 2013

 Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:08 p.m. on Monday, July 22, 2013 at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President. 

 Roll Call

Present:  Nicole Bryant, Emily Castine, Chris de Grandpré, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Present via video conferencing with Saranac Lake Free Library:  Gary Alexander, Donna Fulkerson and Dr. Barbara Stowe

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; Elizabeth Rogers (left at 4:30 p.m.)

Excused Absence:  Maiko Barcomb, Frances Filshie and Martha Spear

Absent:  Judy Cobb

Others Present:  David Minnich

 Swearing In of New Trustee

The Oath of Office was administered by Lisa Minnich, President, to Thomas Mandeville, new trustee representing Clinton County. 

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Agenda

Approval of Minutes of June 24, 2013 Meeting

Committee Reports

Advocacy, Health Plan, Development, Executive, Finance, Negotiating, Nominating, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was motioned by Kip Thompson, seconded by Nicole Bryant, to approve Consent Agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Report

Ewa Jankowska stated that Michael Spofford was not present at this meeting because he is on vacation.  She commented that we still have not received the charts from NY State so we do not know yet exactly how much funding we will receive or when.

Chris de Grandpré moved that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Gary Alexander.

Over and Under Report for period ending June 30, 2013

Budget-to-Date Report from 1/1/13 through 6/30/13

Balance Sheet as of 6/30/13

Revenues vs. Expenditures from 1/1/13 through 6/30/13

Grant/Noncurrent Aids Status as of 6/30/13

Kip Thompson questioned some of the figures in the Revenues vs. Expenditures Report, specifically the figures for Health Insurance, Grants - Member Libraries, and Utilities, which then affect the totals.  Michael will be asked to redo this report and resubmit it for approval at the August meeting.

Lisa Minnich stated that since changes are required on the Revenue verses Expenditures report, she would like to have the motion for approval of the June 2013 financials tabled.  Thomas "Tom" Mandeville motioned to table approval of the June financial reports until they are amended and resubmitted for the August Board meeting, seconded by Chris de Grandpré.  Motion carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were no comments from the public.

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich thanked Martha Spear and Ewa Jankowska for creating a trustee-search poster specific to Franklin County.  Donna Fulkerson has a person from Saranac Lake who is interest in becoming a CEFLS trustee.  However, the individual is employed by a member library so serving on the CEFLS Board would be a conflict of interest.

Ewa Jankowska and System people were thanked for the preparation that went into submitting the proposed 2014 budget to the Franklin County Legislature.  The letter, brochure and additional paperwork included a proficient graph to corroborate the facts and figures presented.  It is hoped that each Legislator clearly understands what has been happening to our funding.

For the benefit of the newer members of the Board, Lisa asked each trustee to introduce themselves and briefly summarize their background including the county they represent.

Lisa Minnich:  Retired teacher from Saranac Lake, representing Franklin County

Emily Castine:  Retired librarian from Chazy Central, served 35 years on the Board of Chazy Public Library, served 15 years in the 1990s on the CEFLS Board before accepting the current appointment, representing Clinton County

Chris de Grandpré: Retired school administrator, residing in Rouses Point, representing Clinton County

Donna Fulkerson:  Retired English professor, residing in Saranac Lake for 12 years now, representing Franklin County

Gary Alexander:  Retired, originally from out of the area, now residing in Tupper Lake having moved into the Adirondacks in 2008, representing Franklin County

Barbara Stowe:  Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychologist, residing in Lake Placid, representing Essex County

Kip Thompson:  Retired investment manager after a 27-year career in New York City having moved into the Adirondacks in 2003, residing in Elizabethtown, representing Essex County

Nicole Bryant:  Retired three years ago after 32 years as Director of Mental Health in Essex County, residing in Moriah, representing Essex County

Tom Mandeville:  Professor teaching American History at Clinton Community College and State and Local Government at SUNY Plattsburgh, originally from Port Huron, Michigan, residing in Champlain, representing Clinton County

Lisa then stated that Tom Mandeville’s teaching schedule conflicts with the 4:00 Board meeting time, so she asked everyone to think about whether they would have any strenuous objection to moving the start time to 4:30.  Further discussion will follow later in this meeting.

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska welcomed Tom Mandeville to the Board.  She met with him earlier today to talk about the System.

A letter with an official application for funding for 2014 was hand delivered by Ewa to Franklin County.  She will adjust the application, emphasizing different aspects of the System’s services as appropriate for Clinton and Essex Counties.  So far Mike Zurlo of Clinton County has only asked for the proposed budget; we do not know yet if we will have to submit an official letter as in the past.  Essex County has not provided a due date for 2014 budget requests as of yet, but they usually are a little later.

Michael Spofford has been very busy with the audit.  The auditors will file the Form 990 which must be done by August 15, which means there will be no opportunity before the next Board meeting for Board approval.  A copy of the completed Form 990 will definitely be sent to trustees beforehand.  Any discussion can take place at a later meeting and by that time hopefully the audit will be done and we will know the outcome.

Ewa is now including in her monthly written report any travel, webinars and training sessions done by Dawn Recore and Michael Spofford, as well as her own, to provide a better view of what is done by the Management Confidential team.

Ewa and Julie Wever are working now with a budget application to NNYLN for another technology grant and they are hopeful to partner with United Way.  We would like to add e-government information to United Way’s 211 Directory, which is a little-known community directory.  211 really could use our help to make itself known and hopefully the partnership will benefit CEFLS also.  Currently, we have a health information grant going and with an e-government grant and by joining forces with 211, we could combine some of the issues that libraries might have with providing information on Obama Care and its schedule.  One idea is that we might want to have a kiosk outside PPL, and working with the City of Plattsburgh who already has some kiosks and is skilled with the software, we could add additional information.  Not only would the kiosk serve the public in front of PPL, but the 211 information could be added also to the City’s other four kiosks.  In the future, that particular model could be expanded upon to other counties and other locations. 

Ewa and other staff members went to Plattsburgh Public Library to learn about Ask Us 24/7 which is a 24-hour reference service for which Anne de la Chapelle is advocating.  It is a virtual chat service that connects people with reference librarians who will help find answers to questions by using a wide range of Internet sources and specialized databases.  PPL will have to provide three hours of coverage per week and about $2,000 a year in Central Book Aid money which is to be used for reference services anyway, so there is nothing better than having a reference service available 24 hours a day every day of the week. 

Comments and Questions Regarding Monthly Department Reports

Kip Thompson inquired about Betsy Brooks’ recent regional meeting of the southern tier libraries that was held at Crown Point’s Hammond Library.  Ewa Jankowska responded that being a non automated library, Hammond patrons are not able to access e-books unless they have a barcoded library card from a neighboring library.  We will be determining the number of Hammond patrons who are doing so.  In order to become automated, a library would need to have some money for a computer, and their yearly automation fee would be about $600.  Automation fees in this Library System are the least expensive in all of New York State because CEFLS only recovers the fees charged by Dynix.  CEFLS staff trains the library staff and barcodes and weeds the library’s books.  There are no additional costs to be incurred. 

Kip is pleased to see in monthly department reports that CEFLS staff is attending industry conventions and receiving a considerable amount of continuing education.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Anne de la Chapelle could not be present for this meeting.  In her PPL report that was distributed prior to this meeting, she reported:

PPL has updated the author list for Automatically Yours, new book purchase program.

With support from CEFLS, PPL is moving ahead with participation in Ask Us 24/7 Online Reference that will be paid for with Central Book Aid money.  The following groups have been contacted about participation:  YMCA, Literacy Volunteers, ARC, TBI Center, North Country Cultural Arts Center, Downtown Business Group, United Way, Master Gardeners of Clinton County, and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Clinton County.

PPL has been awarded the following grants:  NNYLN Documentary Heritage Program for Archival Assessment and NYS Construction Grant in the amount of $22,500 for brickwork.

PPL’s summer calendar boasts numerous story times, Summer Reading Program, free movies, Art Opening of Hale Walters Gallery, and more, with overall participation so far being excellent.

The NNYLN Technology Grant which is due August 15, 2013 is a priority project.

Committee Reports

Personnel Committee

In reference to the drafted Personnel Handbook that Ewa Jankowska submitted to the Personnel Committee in June, Dr. Stowe stated that the committee feels that she is doing a very good job.  They would like Ewa to send it to the attorney to have its contents meshed with the recently negotiated labor contract.

Old Business

Dr. Stowe inquired why past trustees who were local librarians were allowed to serve on the CEFLS Board.  Ewa Jankowska explained that they were not employed by the System’s member libraries, but by other types of libraries.  Per System Bylaws, Article III. Board Membership, (2) “A current employee or a retired employee of the System or member library or of a reading center shall be ineligible for appointment and/or election as a System trustee.”

New Business

Kip Thompson stated that as the treasurer of another non-profit organization, he has observed that most people are not financially oriented.  If more of the CEFLS finances could be reported in color bar chart or graph format, they would be much easier to interpret, which is particularly important for the Finance Committee.  Lisa Minnich stated that this would be good if the Finance Committee is going to do it but Michael Spofford has enough to do.  Ewa Jankowska offered to work with Michael.  The majority of the Board agreed that over the course of the next four or five months they would like to see more colorful graphs and charts implemented.  Kip also feels that the charts in the monthly Automation Reports could be simplified in this manner.

Lisa Minnich asked if anyone would have objections to moving the Board meeting time to 4:30 to make it possible for Tom Mandeville to be present.  His work schedule conflicts somewhat with the 4:00 start time.  Chris de Grandpré stated that one trustee in particular has great difficulty driving after dark, to which others responded that the availability of video conferencing has lessened that situation, and that in the winter months a half hour wouldn’t make much difference since it is dark before meetings are done whether they begin at 4:00 or 4:30.  Kip Thompson motioned, seconded by Dr. Stowe, for the meetings of the Board of Trustees of the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System to move to 4:30 p.m.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Emily Castine stated that she does not foresee any problem with the August meeting starting at 4:30. It is scheduled to take place at Chazy Public Library. 

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 4:49 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held June 24, 2013

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:04 p.m. on Monday, June 24, 2013 at Wells Memorial Library, Upper Jay, New York by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President. 

Roll Call

Present:  Gary Alexander, Emily Castine, Judy Cobb, Chris de Grandpré, Frances Filshie, Donna Fulkerson, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Martha Spear, Dr. Barbara Stowe and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Excused Absence:  Maiko Barcomb

Others Present:  David Minnich and Anne de la Chapelle

Swearing In of New Trustees

The Oath of Office was administered by Lisa Minnich, President, to Nicole Bryant, new trustee representing Essex County.  Nicole was welcomed by the Board.

Consent Agenda

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Amended Agenda

Executive Session that appeared on the agenda as Item #13 is changed to:  Motion to enter into Executive Session Regarding a Personnel Member Leave Request

It was moved by Kip Thompson, seconded by Emily Castine, to approve the June 24, 2013 meeting agenda as amended verbally at this meeting.  Motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Minutes of May 20, 2013 Meeting

It was motioned by Kip Thompson, seconded by Emily Castine, to approve the minutes of the May 20, 2013 meeting.  Motion carried unanimously.

Committee Reports

Advocacy, Health Plan, Development, Finance, Negotiating, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was motioned by Martha Spear, seconded by Fran Filshie to approve Consent Agenda, with the above mentioned amendment to today’s Agenda.  Motional carried unanimously.

Financial Report

Gary Alexander moved that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Judy Cobb.

  • Over and Under Report for period ending May 2013
  • Budget-to-Date Report from 1/1/13 through 5/31/13
  • Balance Sheet as of 5/31/13
  • Revenues vs. Expenditures from 1/1/13 through 5/31/13
  • Grant/Noncurrent Aids Status as of 5/31/13

Ewa Jankowska stated that at the last PULISDO telephone conference call on June 11, 2013, it was stated that the charts that show how much State Aid is to be distributed to us have not been made.  This is reportedly because there are so many new people in the State Office of the Budget who are learning how to make the charts.  Therefore, it is unknown how much State Aid will be received for 2013.  Michael Spofford stated that if  no large bills are received, there should be enough money to carry through to mid August if necessary.

Motion carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were no comments from the public.

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich expressed appreciation to the Wells Memorial Library for hosting this meeting.  The library is very beautiful and they have recovered well from the flooding of 2011.

Congratulations to all the member libraries and the System people who helped them to get their Annual Reports submitted and accepted. 

Kudos to Julie Wever on the two recent grants that were received. 

Lisa was glad to see in Ewa Jankowska’s written report that brochures and other public relations items are being developed.  The trustee-search posters that were previously distributed throughout our three-county area are getting results.  People are showing interest and they are contacting us.

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska is now including in her written report any training sessions attended by Dawn Recore and Michael Spofford.

A very good training on Digital Literacy was recently held at CEFLS, arranged by Ewa.  There were 15 participants from member libraries, plus some of our staff participated.  This was training for librarians to learn how to teach digital literacy and was made possible by a grant obtained by a trainer from NYLA. 

Ewa attended an opening on a Saturday of a new Senior Housing in Willsboro.  She brought new CEFLS brochures to be distributed, some that were made especially for seniors, on topics such as e-books, and large print materials. 

Betsy Brooks went to a conference on broadband last week.  Efforts are underway to bring more broadband to the North Country and we are sharing this new information with member libraries.

Elizabeth Rogers and Julie Wever attended a NNYLN annual conference that featured a very well-known speaker in library technology, Helene Blowers.

As NNYLN announced a new grant for 2014, we are trying to develop a plan for a technology grant on e-government.  It is important for us to partner with another local agency and we will be meeting with United Way next week.  Not only does this help when applying for grants, but it helps other agencies to better understand what CEFLS is. 

The construction grant to repair the stairs and the lighting in the garage at CEFLS has been approved. 

Regarding the development of a library in Lewis as mentioned in Elizabeth Rogers’ Technical Services Report, Kip Thompson inquired whether CEFLS has any role in rationalizing or supporting this plan.  Ewa Jankowska stated that CEFLS really doesn’t have any administrative oversight over any of the libraries or reading centers.  Discussion ensued, and CEFLS will be available to respond to their inquiries.

Ewa suggested that a reading center in Newcomb, where there used to be a bookmobile stop, and we now deliver rotating collections to George Cannon’s office, seems to make sense.  If located in his office, there would be someone responsible for opening, closing and keeping track of books.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Anne de la Chapelle reported that on July 26 PPL is offering a version of digital literacy training that was held at CEFLS, with the a.m. and the p.m. session each covering the same material.  This way all of PPL’s staff can attend one session or the other while the library is open.  The training will also be open to the public.

PPL was a recipient of a Construction Grant in the amount of $22,500 that will be used to re-point the brickwork around the library.  The City’s Infrastructure Committee is talking about replacing PPL’s whole front entrance, though they may try to wait to tie it in with another Construction Grant.

Anne has moved her office into the History Room on the first floor with all the processing people, and all of the librarians are now together on the second floor.  Regular hours have been set up for the Cole Historical Collection, Tuesday 1 to 4 p.m. and Wednesday through Friday 2 to 5 p.m. or by appointment by calling Kelly Sexton.

Movie nights are starting again, with Oz the Great and Powerful at 6 p.m. on June 29thWreck It Ralph will be shown at 2 p.m. on July 6th, which falls on Downtown Plattsburgh First Weekend.

In August, there will be an interesting program on worm composting presented by a master gardener. 

The “Summer Reading Program: Dig into Books” will be running July 10 to July 31, with a performance or demonstration each week.  The master gardeners are scheduled for the first day.

Computer classes are being set up again in the computer center using the Americorp volunteer that will be at PPL until, at least, September.  A calendar for classes will be put on the website.  Walk-ins are welcome.

The Central Book Aid Committee will be meeting on Wednesday at CEFLS to help familiarize Anne with purchasing decisions, money, and ordering.  Central Book Aid is money that can be used by CEFLS to serve the 30 libraries with electronic databases and non-fiction or reference e-books.   

Kip Thomson asked Anne de la Chappelle how the physical moving around was received by staff, to which she responded that they are receptive and what she is doing is all mission driven.  She is asking for ideas for working as a team and she is encouraging attendance at trainings because as a public library, it is easy to set training aside due to staffing.

Committee Reports

Nominating Committee

Lisa Minnich read a letter of resignation effective May 28, 2013 from the CEFLS Board of Trustees from Jennifer Henry who has been representing Clinton County and serving as Secretary of the Board.  Jennifer has accepted employment in Potsdam, NY and will soon be relocating.

Prior to this meeting, a resumé for Thomas Mandeville from Champlain was distributed.  Mr. Mandeville has expressed interest in becoming a CEFLS trustee.  Martha Spear moved to send Professor Mandeville’s name to Clinton County Legislature for consideration of appointment to the Board of Trustees of CEFLS, seconded by Dr. Stowe. 

Lisa explained that Professor Mandeville’s interest is the result of having seen a trustee-search poster and Martha has spoken with him.  Chris de Grandpré knows of Professor Mandeville’s involvement with the Battle of Plattsburgh Association and other historical events and organizations.  Additionally, Chris stated that Professor Mandeville has offered a lot of courses at Clinton Community College where he has invited not only college-age students but older folks to partake in them.

Motion to send the name of Thomas Mandeville to Clinton County Legislature carried unanimously.

With the resignation of Jennifer Henry, who was secretary of the Board, Lisa Minnich asked for a volunteer willing to serve in this capacity.  Lisa explained that the basic responsibility of the secretary is to attend meetings and review the draft minutes that are typed up by Dawn Recore and then sent to the President and Secretary for their recommendations.  After the Board approves the minutes at the following meeting, the Secretary signs them, indicating that to the best of her/his knowledge, the minutes are an accurate reflection of the meeting.  The secretary is also one of the check signers. 

A motion to accept the appointment of Gary Alexander as secretary was made by Fran Filshie, seconded by Judy Cobb.  Motion carried unanimously.

The Oath of Office for the position of Secretary was then administered to Gary Alexander by Lisa Minnich.  Gary’s acceptance of the office of Secretary vacates the position of Member-at-Large for which he was serving.  Over the next month, Martha Spear will be seeking a candidate for Member-at-Large.

A trustee-search poster specific to Franklin County created by Martha Spear was distributed to the Board members prior to this meeting.  Video conferencing from Akwesasne Library and Cultural Center when additional sites are also video conferencing with CEFLS has not been tested, so at this time, that location cannot be listed on the poster, though video conferencing from Wead Library and Saranac Lake Free Library is viable.  When the poster is finalized, it will be distributed to member libraries and CEFLS trustees who represent Franklin County, to be posted in prominent locations.  Suggestions were the Historical Society in Saranac Lake, The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, churches, hospitals, and academia-type locations, such as North Country Community College and its satellite location in Malone. 

Finance Committee

Chris de Grandpré stated that Franklin County has requested a proposed budget for 2014 by July 15 which is six weeks earlier than in past years, so the Finance Committee met today to come up with a preliminary budget.  The committee agreed on a two percent salary increase for nonunion staff to be figured into the budget so any increases would not have to be pulled from carryover fund balances or taken from other accounts.  This will be discussed more at a later date.  Further, the three counties will be asked for a four percent increase over this 2013’s funding to cover the estimated increased expenditures, the biggest of which are retirement and health insurance. 

It was suggested that an estimated dollar amount for services provided to each county be prepared to show them what they receive from CEFLS in return for the funding they provide.  The committee also agreed that a copy of the original agreement that was signed with each county be provided along with all the other preliminary budget paperwork, as a reminder that they have a commitment to assuring the viability of the Library System. 

With the 2013 figures for NYS Aid still unknown, over the course of the next few months the committee will be meeting to refine the preliminary 2014 budget that is being proposed to the Board today.  A carryover that is smaller than this year’s is expected as we move into 2014 because the 2013 State Aid hasn’t been received and some of the reserves are being used to balance the budget. 

The Property Committee is being encouraged to look at what types of infrastructure projects might need to be addressed, roof, carpet, telephone system, and maybe air conditioning system.  Interest rates are low now making this a good time to start working on this sort of thing, rather than waiting until there is an emergency situation. 

Chris de Grandpré motioned approval of the preliminary 2014 budget with the adjustments aforementioned so that it can be forwarded to Franklin County in a timely manner, seconded by Donna Fulkerson.

Michael Spofford stated that a four percent increase in county funding would add $2,997 to the budget.  A two percent increase in expenditures, amounting to about $5000, would leave a balance of about $2,000 that would have to be adjusted or lowered in other areas. 

Motion carried unanimously.

Personnel Committee

Dr. Stowe read from a list of potential staff training topics, many revolving around stress and time management.  She encouraged the Board to come forward with names of people they may know who could talk on some of the subjects.

Gloria Volz of Saranac Lake, an organizational expert, and American Management Association were suggested though the latter would charge a fee.  Michael Spofford was asked to check the budget to see if any funds for such trainings would be available.  Free webinars are already heavily utilized, though assistance with finding good ones would be appreciated.  Dr. Nancy Church and Cerise Oberman, both former CEFLS trustees who work at Plattsburgh State, could possibly line up people who would do trainings at no cost. Tom Mandeville also might be able to offer some training or know of someone who could. 

Old Business

There is no Old Business at this time.

New Business

Kip Thompson questioned that sometimes the Board is asked to approve grants, yet for the $1,200 award for “Created Equal:  America’s Civil Rights Struggle” film set, Board approval was not obtained.  This particular award was the result of a prepackaged grant that Julie Wever obtained through the American Library Association (ALA).  The award includes a set of books plus a sum of money to get someone to speak on the topic.  It came about because one of the correctional facility librarians wanted to apply but they do not really have the ability to do so, so we assisted.  

Ewa Jankowska explained that some grants are the result of programs that we want to do and some are prepackaged, such as this one.  She suggested that in the future a policy on grants could be written to delineate when it is necessary to obtain Board approval.  Basically, when a grant is something we want to do and requires the signature of the Board President, it is brought to the Board for approval. 

To Kip’s further inquiries about grants, Ewa explained that she looks carefully at each grant to consider the time and effort they will require, versus what will be gained.  She stated that there is no money in the budget for programming, so all that we get has to be free or obtained with a grant.

Motion to Enter into Executive Session to Discuss a Personnel Member Leave Request

Emily Castine motioned to enter into Executive Session to discuss a personnel leave request, seconded by Kip Thompson.  Motion carried unanimously.  Executive Session was entered at 5:04 p.m.

Return to Regular Session

Regular Session was reentered at 5:06.  A motion to grant Ewa Jankowska’s requested vacation from September 24 to October 11, 2013 was made by Martha Spear, seconded by Chris de Grandpré.  Motion carried unanimously.

 Return to New Business

Lisa Minnich stated that with no regular Board meeting in December, plus Ewa Jankowska’s approved vacation, it will be difficult to get the Director’s evaluation completed, so the Board would like to have a meeting on Monday, December 16.  It would be in conjunction with a holiday party for the staff and the Board combined, and would assist the Personnel Committee with finishing the Director’s evaluation. 

Dr. Stowe motioned in favor of having a Board meeting on December 16, 2013, seconded by Chris de Grandpré.  Motion carried unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 5:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 Gary Alexander

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held May 20, 2013

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:04 p.m. on Monday, May 20, 2013 at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System (CEFLS), 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President. 

Roll Call

Present at CEFLS:  Maiko Barcomb, Emily Castine, Judy Cobb, Chris de Grandpré, Mary “Lisa” Minnich and Kip Thompson

Present via video conferencing with Saranac Lake Free Library:  Gary Alexander, Donna Fulkerson (entered at 4:12 p.m.), Martha Spear, and Dr. Barbara Stowe

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk; Betsy Brooks, Automation Consultant (left at 4:32 p.m.)

Excused Absences:  Fran Filshie and Jennifer Henry

Others Present:  David Minnich

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences 

Approval of Amended Agenda

Nominating Committee and Communications were removed from Consent Agenda to be discussion items.

Approval of these amendments to the agenda as stated was moved by Maiko Barcomb, seconded by Martha Spear.  Motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Minutes of April 22, 2013 Meeting

It was motioned by Maiko Barcomb, seconded by Martha Spear, to approve the minutes of the April 22, 2013 meeting.  Motion carried unanimously.

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Director’s Association – CEFDA

There is no report at this time.

Committee Reports

Advocacy, Health Plan, Development, Executive, Finance, Negotiating, Personnel, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was moved by Maiko Barcomb, seconded by Martha Spear, to approve Consent Agenda with the above mentioned changes.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Report

Charles "Kip" Thompson moved that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Chris de Grandpré.

  • Over and Under Report for period ending April 30, 2013

  • Budget-to-Date Report from 1/1/13 through 4/30/13

  • Balance Sheet as of 4/30/13

  • Revenues vs. Expenditures from 1/1/13 through 4/30/13

  • Grant/Noncurrent Aids Status as of 4/30/13

 Motion carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were no comments from the public.

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich is looking forward to hearing more about World Book Night.  From the Department Reports, it sounds like it was a big success.

Dawn Recore was thanked for compiling the list of library-related acronyms that was included in the Board packet. 

Lisa is grateful to Karen Batchelder for expanding our mailing list for the Trailblazer to a few companies as a result of networking at the Seniorama.

It is good to see that the video conferencing equipment is being used by both staff and Board members.  Its recent use saved staff members from making the long drive to Utica for a conference.

It is good to know that Horizon will continue to have technical support and development, though it is still important to continue looking at other options in case that status changes. 

There will be discussion today about the purposes and use of the various Board committees.

Seven out of twelve trustees have contributed to the Trustee Discretionary Fund, with a total of $117 in the fund presently.  Participation in the Leadership Campaign, which runs October 1 to September 30, is at 8 out of 12 trustees, with a total of $830 contributed so far.  If anyone else would like to contribute, anytime is good.

Director’s Report

Ewa Jankowska introduced Anne de la Chapelle, the new director at Plattsburgh Public Library, and she is looking forward to Anne’s reports at future meetings.

Dawn Recore was again thanked for the list of acronyms provided in the Board packet.  A list will be included in future packets with additional acronyms added as they appear in Department Reports.

Julie Wever is to be praised for having written the Family Literacy Grant which has been approved by the State.  Normally we would apply yearly for the Summer Reading Grant and the Family Literacy Grant, which were different projects.  Now what was the Summer Reading Grant is being used to finance NOVEL NY which is the database financed by the State Library.  Family Literacy is now the Summer Reading Program.  The Family Literacy Grant application now covers a three-year period rather than one year, and every library will get $200 instead of $100 as they did for the Summer Reading Grant.

As members of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, last week our staff had a free training at CEFLS on back safety.  We offered it also to member libraries and a few attended.  We have already changed how our shelves are arranged for van deliveries to minimize the risk for back injury.

Our next training will be at Feinberg Library, SUNY Plattsburgh, with a two-hour tour and introduction to some databases.  We are encouraging others to attend, especially member libraries.  Feinberg Library offers a lot that is not available from any other library in the area, and under certain circumstances Feinberg Library is open to the public.

Ewa recently went to Keene Valley to talk about a special part of Education Law 259 that allows member libraries, even association libraries, to be on school district ballets without being part of the school district budget, allowing tax payers to tax themselves for the library.  Usually it is very, very successful and other libraries need to know about this and take advantage of it.  Three libraries in the northern part of Clinton County, Mooers, Rouses Point and Champlain, are on the ballot at Northeastern Clinton Central School District; however, the school district is requesting that the libraries sign a contract to provide certain services.  This is not school district money.  It is important to understand the tenet of the law.  There could be a letter of understanding or a request for a service.

Ewa requested vacation to visit her mother in Poland after the Board meeting in September, returning in mid October.   

Betsy Brooks was asked to talk about the recent conference in Utica with SirsiDynix that she and Elizabeth Rogers attended via video conferencing.  A Product Roadmap of SirsiDynix was provided in Board packets to show trustees what is provided without charge, what services are for fee and how we may choose to proceed with the same database provider while continuing to investigate options. 

Betsy and Elizabeth were pleased to learn that SirsiDynix is going to continue with support for Horizon, our ILS System.  Most of the northern NY users of SirsiDynix who also attended are using a product called Symphony.  At some point, we might want to join forces with North Country Library System to use Symphony and perhaps have North Country host our System, since they have a larger IT staff and we would not have to buy servers and other hardware.  For now, due to the expense that would be involved with migration, it is really good news that we are continuing to receive support for Horizon.  Products that appear above the line on the Roadmap are at no cost above the regular maintenance fee of $20,000 that unfortunately increases yearly.  One new feature, which falls below the line (for fee) on the Roadmap, is a new catalog called BLUEcloud PAC.  It will have a “Did you mean?” function that will suggest something else if you input a misspelling of a word, which is a very desirable feature.  Around the beginning of 2014, there will be some new products that will work on top of both systems. 

Some of the shortcomings of the current Horizon system are:

  • Reporting capabilities are very poor and difficult to use.  An add-on to help that could be purchased, instead of a whole system.

  • The OPAC, or the public access catalogue, has become dated but will be improved by BLUEcloud PAC.

  • It is a slow system for some of our outer areas due to its structure.  The new add-on will be like accessing a website.  It will recover better from internet speed fluctuations.

The upcoming Trailblazer will feature an article on our future with Horizon.  This will also be a topic of discussion at a CEFCAT meeting at the end of the month.  One of Betsy’s goals for this year is to make sure directors understand the finances and involved considerations of supporting this automated system.  Ewa Jankowska stated that it will be important for directors to understand the increases with regard to our payment to SirsiDynix, so they will understand why CEFLS must also look at increasing fees.

Kip Thompson inquired about Wordpress-based websites.  Betsy stated that our current website is a traditional HTML website.  The program used to update it is fragile in the sense that if you make a mistake you can break the look of the layout.  Compared to Wordpress, it doesn’t have an easy ability to add functionality for things like an online calendar or a form for contacting us.  Many Wordpress.org functions are simple to plug in.  It is a robust platform for website development and is free to us because our web host is free to nonprofits.  It is very slow though so we may have to look at using a paid host, which is not expensive.                 

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Anne de la Chapelle is settling in as PPL’s new director.  She is familiar with CEFLS and how so much is done with so little.  She will have a prepared report for the next CEFLS Board meeting. 

Committee Reports

Chris de Grandpré stated that 5 of the 6 members of the Finance Committee met this afternoon and would like to make recommendations for approval by the full Board on several items. Their recommendations are based on documents prepared by Michael Spofford that were distributed to the full Board prior to this meeting.   

Ewa Jankowska would like to attend the annual convention of the American Library Association which is being held in Chicago beginning June 27 at which she has been asked to be a presenter.  A resolution to approve Ewa’s attendance at said convention was made by Chris de Grandpré, seconded by Emily Castine.  Kip Thompson stated that the Director has not attended this convention in quite some time, and while it is not too costly, it is good training and networking.  Motion carried.

Chris de Grandpré recommended on behalf of the Finance Committee the transfer of $1000, the sum of $750 from negotiations legal expense and $250 from vehicle fuel expense, to facilitate the attendance of the Director at the ALA Convention.  A motion for said transfer was made by Chris de Grandpré, seconded by Dr. Stowe.  There being no further discussion, motion carried.

A number of transfers were recommended by the Finance Committee, amounting to $11,447.99, to balance the 2012 Budget.  Chris de Grandpré motioned approval of said recommendation, seconded by Kip Thompson.  Motion carried.    

The next item, not an action item, is the Finance Committee’s review of the 2013 Budget.  When the exact amount of State Aid for the Library System is known, an amendment to the budget will be needed.  A four percent increase in aide is estimated but until we actually see the tables, the amount is unclear. 

Another topic of the Finance Committee was the need for, at some time in the future, a new telephone system.  It is their recommendation that the Director and Principal Account Clerk be authorized to look into the cost of a new system.  Additionally, the Property Committee is asked to take a look at the cost of repairing or filling in the tunnel and also to look into how much it might cost to repair the roof when it is time to do so, so that the Finance Committee can begin looking at where they will get the funds to pay for these expensive items.     

Nominating Committee

Martha Spear introduced and welcomed Nicole Bryant, a potential new trustee of the System.  Nicole has a very distinguished career and would like to help manage the strategic issues at CEFLS.  A motion was made by Kip Thompson to recommend Nicole Bryant for consideration as a trustee to the Essex County Board of Supervisors, seconded by Judy Cobb.  Pending appointment by the Board of Supervisors, Nicole will receive a letter from CEFLS inviting her to meet with Ewa Jankowska and to have a tour of the facility and meet the staff.  Motion carried.

Communications

A thank you letter to Ewa Jankowska from David Kendall Martin of West Chazy was read in regard to computer assistance provided by Betsy Brooks.

Old Business

The 2013 Board of Trustee meetings that will be held at member libraries will be as follows:

  • June 24 - Wells Memorial Library, Upper Jay

  • August 26 - Chazy Public Library

  • September 23 - Hammond Library, Crown Point

Dawn Recore will be in communication with the directors to let them know the dates and to provide further information. 

Gary Alexander inquired about the purpose of the various Board committees, stating that some seem to have little or no activity and he wonders whether there are things they should be doing.  Lisa Minnich stated that generally committees get their direction from the Board.  Ewa Jankowska agrees that some committees meet frequently; others meet when there is a need.  She reiterated from earlier in this meeting that help has been asked of the Property Committee, and due to the changes in health care that are coming into play, the Health Plan Committee will be asked for help as the Negotiating Committee begins its work again.

Ad hoc committees, as needed, were suggested, to which Ewa Jankowska stated that she prefers to also have standing committees with a chairperson to initiate addressing issues they deem appropriate.  Dr. Stowe inquired whether the Personnel Committee could be Ad hoc, to which Ewa inquired whether the Board sees that committee’s purpose as being evaluation of only the Director, or to also address issues with staff.  By general consensus, the trustees then agreed that the Director should meet with each of the committee heads before the June Board meeting to discuss their respective roles and what assistance the Director could receive from the committees.

New Business

There was no new business to be addressed.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 4:52 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary "Lisa" Minnich

President


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held April 22, 2013

Call to Order

 The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, April 22, 2013 at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System (CEFLS), 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President. 

Roll Call

Present at CEFLS:  Maiko Barcomb, Emily Castine, Judy Cobb, Chris de Grandpré, Donna Fulkerson, Jennifer Henry and Mary “Lisa” Minnich

Present via video conferencing with Schroon Lake Town Meeting Room:  Fran Filshie and Kip Thompson

Present via video conferencing with Saranac Lake Free Library:  Gary Alexander, Martha Spear, and Dr. Barbara Stowe

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk; Betsy Brooks, Automation Consultant

Amendment to Minutes of March 25, 2013 Meeting

On page one, under Approval of Agenda, the name Emily Cooper was amended to Emily Castine.

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences 

There were none.

Approval of Agenda

It was moved by Gary Alexander, seconded by Martha Spear, to approve the April 22, 2013 meeting agenda.  Motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was moved by Gary Alexander, seconded by Martha Spear, to approve Consent Agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Minutes of March 25, 2013 Meeting

It was motioned by Gary Alexander, seconded by Martha Spear, to approve the minutes of the March 25, 2013 meeting as amended.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Report

Chris de Grandpré moved that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Emily Castine.

  • Over and Under Report for period ending March 31, 2013

  • Accounts Payable and Receivable Quarterly Report

  • Budget-to-Date Report from 1/1/13 through 3/31/13

  • Balance Sheet as of 3/31/13

  • Statement of Revenues and Expenditures from 3/1/13 through 3/31/13

  • Grant - Noncurrent Aid Status Report as of 3/31/13

Kip inquired the status of the BTOP grant and the BTOP van, to which Ewa Jankowska replied that the grant has ended and CEFLS is using the van for deliveries.  On days when there are multiple deliveries, the maroon van is also used.  Clinton County now has the bookmobile which has freed up garage space, so both vans and the Equinox are housed in the garage.

Motion to approve Financial Reports as presented by Michael Spofford carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were no comments from the public.

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich thanked the trustees for their work on the poster for the trustee search and the CEFLS staff for all the work they have done on the Annual Reports for the libraries and for the System.  Lisa pointed out that there has been a nibble for a Clinton County trustee.  However, at this time there are no open slots for that county, so the person’s name will be kept on a list of potential trustees. 

Lisa asked trustees to take a look at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System Board of Trustee Information sheet that was distributed just prior to this meeting to make sure their entries are accurate and let Dawn Recore know of any corrections right away.

Trustees were asked to add Judy Cobb’s name to the Finance Committee on the new Committee List.

Library System people who worked on the grants that have been approved and received recently are to be congratulated for their hard work.

Lisa thanked everyone who worked on the Creative Aging grants for libraries.  There are a lot of very interesting projects.

Director’s Report

In addition to her written report, Ewa Jankowska reported:

Wead Library in Malone just had a very nice 80th Anniversary Celebration for being in its present building.  Ewa attended and was grateful for the invitation.

Michael Spofford is working very, very hard with the remaining five libraries that have not completed their Annual Reports and will probably travel to some of them to help them finish. 

The Creative Aging Arts program is beginning.  One library is starting May 6th, others are starting later.  They have until November to finish the programs.

World Book Night is tomorrow.  Some staff will be at Champlain Centre to give away free books and bookmarks with information about World Book Night and the CEF Library System. A new table cover bearing the CEFLS logo and an attractive, informative display board prepared by the Outreach staff will be displayed at Champlain Centré.  Other staff members will be giving away books and bookmarks at Sandy’s Deli in Rouses Point.  Trustee Emily Castine will be giving away books at a hair salon and at the Red Hat Jamboree in Altona.  We would like to continue our participation in this event year after year and it is hoped that more libraries will get involved.

The librarian at Port Henry’s Sherman Free Library, Jackie Viestenz, will be retiring at the end of May.

Lisa Minnich suggested that the appropriate place at Board meetings to address questions pertaining to department reports found in the Trustee’s packet is following the Director’s oral report.

Kip Thompson extended appreciation to Ewa her full schedule of meetings and activities during the past month, as listed in her Director’s Report.

In response to Kip Thompson inquiring what a replacement technology inventory tool is, Betsy Brooks explained that CEFLS uses an inventory tool called Tech Abbott to inventory computers.  It was free and worked nicely but has been discontinued.  She has found a substitute inventory replacement tool that she wants to do some training on later in the year.

Kip Thompson then asked about the most popular websites listed in Betsy’s report.  Several have to do with computer training and seniors.  He asked if there are additional grants available that can focus on computer training for trustees with senior status.  Betsy responded that although we have done classes under grants, right now there is a state-wide initiative to train library directors on how to teach adults in general.  Schroon Lake and Rouses Point are doing it now and many others are planning to do so that they can offer in-house adult computer classes.  Ewa Jankowska stated that in June there will be a class on digital literacy given by a trainer from the State for library directors.  CEFLS is looking for other grants, but they may be difficult to find.  We did have an e-seniors federal grant for service improvement that was through the State Library.  Due to the shortage of money on the federal level, we were told this grant would no longer be available.  Focus is now on spending money on the NovelNY databases. 

In response a question from Barbara Stowe about usage of databases, Betsy stated that usage fluctuates.  A selection committee with NovelNY evaluates databases for effectiveness as they are up for renewal.  CEFLS does not pay for some of the databases, such as Gale and NovelNY which is paid for by the State, and Plattsburgh Public Library pays for Value Line and Heritage.  Betsy stated that the CEFLS budget does not allow for promotion to make these databases better known.  Kip asked if posters might help to get the word out about them, to which Lisa suggested making conspicuous posters and sending them to schools. 

Lisa Minnich asked how the visit from the 80 plus university students from Montreal went.  Ewa provided a power point presentation assisted by Betsy Brooks, then the students broke into smaller groups and toured the Library System and Plattsburgh Public Library where respective staffs showed them around, showed them the CEFLS website, and talked about what we do.  

Not long ago, Ewa Jankowska and our consultants visited Atwater Public Library in Canada.  Ewa intends to plan more trips to public libraries outside of our own System in the future.   

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Michael Spofford attended the PPL Board meeting, which was right after the two candidates for Directorship did their presentations.  He reported that there was discussion about how the PPL staff felt the talks went.  Circulation was also discussed and PPL will be working on ways to increase it.  

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Director’s Association – CEFDA

There is no report at this time.

Consent Agenda:  Communications

There are no communications at this time.

Consent Agenda:  Committee Reports

Advocacy, Health Plan, Development, Executive, Finance, Negotiating, Nominating, Personnel, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Old Business

There is no old business at this time.

New Business

A motion was made by Fran Filshie to approve the 2012 Annual Report, seconded by Kip Thompson.

It was explained that ratios of the new stats as compared to those of the previous year are reviewed at the State Library.  Sometimes Michael Spofford receives questions from Albany involving disparities. 

Motion to approve the 2012 Annual Report carried unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 4:28 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary "Lisa" Minnich

President


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held March 25, 2013

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, March 25, 2013 at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President. 

Oaths of Office

Donna Fulkerson took the Oath of Office as a new Trustee, as administered by President Mary “Lisa” Minnich.

Roll Call

Present:  Gary Alexander, Maiko Barcomb, Emily Castine, Judy Cobb, Chris de Grandpré, Donna Fulkerson, Jennifer Henry, Mary “Lisa” Minnich and Dr. Barbara Stowe

Excused:  Frances Filshie, Martha Spear and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused AbsencesFrances Filshie, Martha Spear and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Approval of Agenda

It was moved by Dr. Stowe, seconded by Emily Cooper, to approve the March 25, 2013 meeting agenda.  Motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was moved by Dr. Stowe, seconded by Emily Castine, to approve Consent Agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Minutes of February 25, 2013 Meeting

It was moved by Dr. Stowe, seconded by Emily Castine, to approve the Minutes of the February 25, 2013 Meeting.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Report

Gary Alexander moved that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Chris de Grandpré.

  • Over and Under Report for period ending February 28, 2013

  • Budget-to-Date Report from 1/1/13 through 2/28/13

  • Balance Sheet as of 2/28/13

  • Statement of Revenues and Expenditures from 2/1/13 through 2/28/13

  • Grant - Noncurrent Aid Status Report as of 2/28/13

Motion to approve Financial Reports as presented by Michael Spofford carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were no comments from the public.

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich welcomed Donna Fulkerson to the Board and thanked her for volunteering to serve.

Lisa thanked Martha Spear, who was not able to be present at this meeting, for creating a poster to be sent to the Library System’s 30 member libraries and 3 reading centers.  Its purpose is to attract people who might be interested in serving on the Board.

Lisa thanked the trustees who have contributed to the Trustee Discretionary Fund.

Director’s Report

In addition to her written report, Ewa Jankowska reported:

Voting on the New York State Budget that was scheduled to take place last Sunday is now scheduled for this Thursday. It is hoped that there will be a four percent increase in library funding.

Work is progressing on the Annual Report.  Michael Spofford is working with the member libraries.  The CEFLS Annual Report is due April 22, 2013 which is much later than usual.

CEFLS had a very good meeting with the facility’s Correctional Services libraries.  Suzanne Orlando from Adirondack Correctional Facility applied for another part of a grant called Muslim Journeys which basically consists of a set of very nice books on various topics, including art, the Koran, and some written by Orham Pamuk.  Also included is an Oxford Islamic Database, which the inmate population will not be able to access, but we will. 

Suzanne Orlando also wants to apply for another grant which would require someone from the System go to Chicago on June 26 and 27 to be trained in cultural issues to in turn be able to propagate them.  Ewa has volunteered, as she has coincidentally been invited to speak about the Arts for Seniors grant at the American Library Association Conference that is being held on June 28. However, nothing was offered in the way of covering involved expenses, so if linking the two functions works out, then she will attend.  Lisa Minnich would like the Finance Committee to try to work something out.

Two candidates for directorship of Plattsburgh Public Library will be doing presentations at City Hall at 5:15 today.  If the timing with this meeting works out, Ewa will attend their presentations. 

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Ewa Jankowska attended PPL’s last Board meeting which was reportedly routine.  Their search for a Director continues.  

Ewa stated that there continue to be challenges while PPL searches for a Director.  For instance, on April 1 CEFLS has 80 students from Montreal coming to tour our facility and they would also like to tour PPL.  However, Ewa has not been able to get confirmation from PPL’s Interim Director who works his regular job at a school during the day and arrives at PPL the later part of the afternoon.

The Montreal students will arrive in Plattsburgh by bus and congregate at the Plattsburgh Presbyterian Church meeting room at 10:00.  Ewa will speak with them a bit about the CEF Library System, and if there is no representative from Plattsburgh Public Library she will also talk about PPL.  The students will then divide up into smaller groups, probably 20, to come to CEFLS and then to PPL.  Ewa invited Trustees to join in.  The students will be going to lunch by foot on their own downtown.  Ewa is hoping that CEFLS staff and Trustees will be able to join them.  A list of local restaurants that are open on Mondays will be prepared to hand out. 

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Director’s Association – CEFDA

There is no report at this time.

Consent Agenda:  Communications

There are no communications at this time.

Consent Agenda:  Committee Reports

Advocacy, Bookmobile, Health Plan, Development, Executive, Finance, Negotiating, Nominating, Personnel, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Old Business

Bookmobile:  Eric Day and a mechanic from the Clinton County Highway Department came to check on the bookmobile.  The mechanic will return when his schedule allows.  When he is able to start it, it will be taken to their garage for some work, then they will return it to CEFLS at an agreed upon time for a photo opportunity with Board members. 

Video conferencing:  Due to Open Meetings Law, when doing video conferencing for Board meetings, the remote locations must be announced publicly in the newspapers.  If Trustees plan to attend meetings at member libraries in Schroon Lake, Saranac Lake or Malone, more notice than previously thought is necessary.  Newspapers request notice two to three weeks prior, so that much notice must be provided to Dawn Recore.  Lisa Minnich suggested that if it is probable that Trustees will want to attend remotely, they should provide Dawn with notice.  In good faith, CEFLS will notify the press.  Then if it turns out that it is not possible or reasonable, the newspapers will be notified again to say that the remote location will not be available for video conferencing. 

Saranac Lake’s video conferencing equipment is located in their Community Room with a separate and independent door from the library.  Gary Alexander, Donna Fulkerson and Dr. Stowe are willing to learn to operate the equipment so that a library staff member would not have to be present at the time of CEFLS Board meetings.  This would allow public access, per Open Meetings Law, even if the library is not open at that time.

Communication with the three library Directors with video conferencing equipment will take place to determine whether their staff could be available at the time of CEFLS Board meetings.  The possibility of training Trustees to run the equipment will also be addressed.

Poster for Trustee search:  It would be advantageous to have a list of people who have expressed interest in serving on the CEFLS Board of Trustees.  Currently there are two open seats for Franklin County, and one for Essex County.  Following discussion at the February Board meeting, Martha Spear created a flyer to be posted in the 30 libraries and 3 reading centers of the System.  The poster’s intention is to catch the interest of those who might otherwise never be personally asked to consider serving as a Trustee.  Ewa Jankowska will address suggestions for amending the flyer and redistribute it for consensus of the Board.

There is a potential candidate for Trustee from Essex County who expressed interest quite some time ago.  At that time there was no vacancy for Essex County.  The person’s name and information will be provided to Martha Spear and she can contact her to see if there is still interest.

The long distances that Trustees have had to travel to attend Board meetings in Plattsburgh, due to the large geographic area of the three counties, may have been the biggest barrier to finding people who are willing to serve on the Board.  With the new convenience of video conferencing, it may now be easier to attract Trustees.  Lisa Minnich feels that the equipment at Akwesasne Library in Hogansburg should be tested to see whether it is compatible with the System’s new equipment, as that could be an asset for that far-reaching area of Franklin County. 

Total users and active users/borrowers:  Gary Alexander questioned the terminology total users and active users/borrowers that appears in the monthly Automation Report.  Betsy Brooks, Automation Librarian, entered the meeting at this point to offer clarification.  Total users are in the system as having used books or e-books or are preparing to use e-books.  They may have downloaded a book a year ago and haven’t downloaded one since, or maybe they have a library card but have moved out of town some time ago.  The number of total borrowers gets inflated over time.  Active users/borrowers are those who have used books or e-books during that period of time.

World Book Night, April 23, 2013:  Emily Castine signed up to participate and ordered the book that was designated to her so she could read it before she hands it out to others.  She and those from the CEFLS staff who signed up to participate will be picking up their books at CEFLS at a date to be determined between April 15 and April 22. 

New Business

There was no new business.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 4:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Henry

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held February 25, 2013

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:03 p.m. on Monday, February 25, 2013 at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York by Mary “Lisa” Minnich, President.  This meeting was also available to the public via video conferencing from Schroon Lake Town Meeting Room.

Roll Call

Present:  Gary Alexander, Maiko Barcomb, Judy Cobb, Chris de Grandpré, Jennifer Henry, Mary “Lisa” Minnich and Dr. Barbara Stowe

Present via Video Conferencing from Schroon Lake Town Meeting Room:  Fran Filshie

Excused:  Emily Castine, Martha Spear and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk; Elizabeth Rogers, Technical Services Consultant

Others Present:  Dave Minnich and Donna Fulkerson

Others Present via Video Conferencing from Schroon Lake Town Meeting Room:  Jane Bouchard, Director of Schroon Lake Public Library

Oaths of Office for 2013

Lisa Minnich administered the Oath of Office to Dr. Barbara Stowe as Vice President of the Board of Trustees for 2013.  

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused AbsencesEmily Castine, Martha Spear and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Approval of Agenda

It was moved by Fran Filshie, seconded by Judy Cobb, to approve the February 25, 2013 meeting agenda.  Motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was moved by Fran Filshie, seconded by Judy Cobb, to approve Consent Agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Minutes of February 4, 2013 Meeting

It was moved by Fran Filshie, seconded by Judy Cobb, to approve the Minutes of the February 4, 2013 Meeting.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Report

Dr. Stowe moved that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Chris de Grandpré.

·        Over and Under Report for period ending January 31, 2013

·      Budget-to-Date Report from 1/1/13 through 1/31/13

·      Balance Sheet as of 1/31/13

·      Statement of Revenues and Expenditures from 1/1/13 through 1/31/13

·      Balance Sheet – Status of Grants and Aids as of 12/31/12

 

Michael Spofford stated that New York State Aid was not received in January.   The last of the 2012-2013 State Aid, $9,559, was just received about a week ago.  Half of that amount is going to the member libraries for the Local Library Service Aid (LLSA)and the rest will be used by CEFLS.

Motion to approve Financial Reports as presented by Michael Spofford carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were no comments from the public.

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich asked those present to speak slowly and clearly, and at a volume that can be heard by those attending the meeting via video conferencing.  A short discussion ensued regarding protocol if the video conferencing link goes down.  If a meeting has a minimal quorum, such as this meeting, and the link goes down and cannot be reestablished within a reasonable length of time, there would not be a quorum and business requiring a vote could not be conducted.  It was agreed that ten minutes is a reasonable period for trying to reestablish the link, after which time the remote party/parties should then telephone the Board at the primary location to state that their effort to reconnect is futile.  If there is still a quorum without the remote location, the meeting could then continue minus the Trustees at the remote location. 

Gary Alexander asked what would happen if there is a minimal quorum and a Trustee becomes ill and has to leave to which Lisa responded that business could not be conducted.  Consideration was then given to amending the Bylaws to include such instances.  Ewa will check Open Meetings Law to see what constitutes a meeting and what would be appropriate wording for Bylaws.

Trustees are asked to let the System know as soon as possible when considering attending their first Board meeting at a remote location so that instruction on using the equipment can be arranged.  Whether the libraries at the remote locations are open at the times of the meetings must be considered.  If they are not, to comply with Open Meetings Law, arrangements must be made so that the public can attend at the remote location.  Dawn Recore will check the hours of operation for Saranac Lake Free Library and Wead Library in Malone.  Currently, there are no Trustees from the northwest area of Franklin County, so the Akwesasne Library location is not of concern at this time.  Once trained on the use of the video equipment, Trustees planning to attend at remote locations should let Dawn know by the Thursday prior to the meeting date so that documents that will be distributed at the meeting can be faxed to the Trustee for prior review.

Chris de Grandpré has accepted the position of chairman of the Finance Committee.  Lisa Minnich will be addressing membership of some committees that are a little weak.

A letter regarding the Leadership Campaign has been sent out.

Trustees are asked to please let the System know as soon as possible whether or not they will be able to attend Board meetings.  Determining a quorum is crucial so that if a meeting needs to be cancelled, Trustees can be notified in a timely manner.  Several Trustees travel lengthy distances to attend meetings and leave their homes two or three hours early.  Once they are on the road, there is sometimes no way to contact them.

Trustees are reminded that there is coffee available at Board meetings, purchased with Trustee Discretionary Funds, and a Keurig coffee maker is in the kitchen. 

Director’s Report

In addition to her written report, Ewa Jankowska reported:

Three people from CEFLS, in addition to Ewa, will be attending Library Legislative Day in Albany on March 5th.  Jane Bouchard, Schroon Lake’s Library Director, will call Ewa to discuss transportation for two people from that library.  The group is scheduled to meet with Senator Betty Little, Assemblywoman Janet Duprey and Assemblyman Daniel Stec. 

The Creative Aging Grant is a wonderful program that was offered last year.  The three libraries who participated really liked it and are applying again this year.  Seven libraries are needed for 2013. 

Work on the Consumer Health Grant continues.  It would be appreciated if Trustees would check out the link that they received and provide comments.  Fran Filshie requested that the health information be broadened to include Essex and Franklin Counties.  She offered to help with information for Essex County resources. 

The number of Trustees accessing the NYLTO website for Trustees has been low.  Ewa is encouraging Trustees to log in.  No additional work is required, and there is much information to be gained for Trustees and Library Directors. 

Promotion of public relations continues.  Each month a different data base is featured on the CEFLS Facebook page.  Interesting new library information is being added to the page continuously. Ewa encourages Trustees and Directors to “friend” CEFLS on Facebook. 

Rotating collections are being delivered to three former bookmobile stops, Newcomb Town Hall where it is hoped that in the future there will be at least a reading center, Roderick Rock Apartments in Morrisonville and Lake Forest Senior Living in Plattsburgh. 

Jaci Kelleher, CEFLS Attorney, has approved the written part of the CSEA Contract.  There is some question about how the salaries are presented in the Contract because what was received from the Union did not include updated salaries.    

This month two people from the retiree list of CEFLS have passed away.  Genevieve Blaise, age 90, worked at CEFLS for a very long time. The second person, Lawrence Liberty, was the spouse of retiree Lettie Liberty.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Russell Puschak, Interim Director of Plattsburgh Public Library, was not in attendance.  Ewa Jankowska attended PPL’s last Board meeting which was reportedly routine.  PPL’s search for a Director continues. 

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Director’s Association – CEFDA

There is no report at this time.

Consent Agenda:  Communications

There are no communications at this time.

Consent Agenda:  Committee Reports

Advocacy, Bookmobile, Health Plan, Development, Executive, Finance, Negotiating, Nominating, Personnel, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Old Business

There was no Old Business for discussion.

New Business

A brief bio and a resumé for Donna Fulkerson were distributed prior to this meeting.  She is a retired English professor and among other things a member of the Saranac Lake Free Library Board of Trustees.  She is interested in becoming a CEFLS Trustee.  Gary Alexander motioned, seconded by Dr. Stowe, to submit Ms. Fulkerson’s name to the Franklin County Legislature to request that she be considered for appointment as a Trustee of the Board of CEFLS.  Motion passed unanimously.  She will receive a letter regarding her appointment once Franklin County has acted on our request.

A yearly survey of member library Directors has been completed and summarized by Julie Weaver.  It will be provided to Trustees via e-mail very soon.  The survey was completed by library directors because CEFLS does not the capability to survey patrons directly.  A large part of the CEFLS Annual Report is based on this survey, plus there are additional questions included that are not required on the New York State Annual Report.

Lisa Minnich reported on a suggestion made by Dave Minnich that a small, eye-catching poster on how to become a Trustee of the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System could be posted in the 30 libraries of the System.  This might catch the interest of someone who might otherwise never be asked to consider serving as a Trustee.  Any creative member of the Board who is interested in volunteering to make such a poster should contact Lisa.  Once it is created, it can also be used on the CEFLS website and on Facebook.  At the present time, there are Trustee vacancies for both Franklin and Essex Counties. 

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Trustees, Lisa Minnich adjourned the meeting at 4:34 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Henry

Secretary


CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM

Minutes for Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Held February 4, 2013

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, February 4, 2013 at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, New York by Christopher de Grandpré, President.

Chris de Grandpré welcomed Board Member Fran Filshie and Jane Bouchard, Director of Schroon Lake Public Library, who participated in this meeting via live video feed from Schroon Lake.

Oaths of Office for 2013 Officers and Reappointed Trustees

Christopher de Grandpré administered the Oath of Office to Mary Elise “Lisa” Minnich as the new President of the Board of Trustees for 2013.  As the newly installed President, Lisa then presided over the remainder of the meeting by first administering the Oath of Office to:

            Jennifer Henry, Secretary

            Gary Alexander, Reappointed Trustee and Member-at-Large

            Charles Thompson, Treasurer

            Frances Filshie, Reappointed Trustee

            Emily Castine, Reappointed Trustee

Dr. Barbara Stowe, who was not able to be present, will take her Oath of Office as Vice President at the next meeting.

Roll Call

Present:  Gary Alexander, Maiko Barcomb, Emily Castine, Nancy Cooper, Chris de Grandpré, Fran Filshie, Jennifer Henry, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Martha Spear, and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant; Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk; Betsy Brooks, Automation Services Consultant

Consent Agenda:

Approval of Excused Absences:  Judy Cobb and Dr. Barbara Stowe

Approval of Agenda

It was moved by Martha Spear, seconded by Nancy Cooper, to approve the January 2013 meeting agenda, as amended for the February 4, 2013 meeting.  Motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Consent Agenda

It was moved by Martha Spear, seconded by Nancy Cooper, to approve Consent Agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Minutes of November 26, 2012 Meeting

It was moved by Martha Spear, seconded by Nancy Cooper, to approve the Minutes of the November 26, 2012 Meeting.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Report

Chris de Grandpré moved that the following financial reports be approved as presented by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, seconded by Martha Spear.

·         Over and Under Report for period ending November 30, 2012

·         Budget-to-Date Report from 1/1/12 through 11/30/12

·         Balance Sheet as of 11/30/12

·         Statement of Revenues and Expenditures from 11/1/12 through 11/30/12

·         Status of Grants/Aids as of 11/30/12

·         Preliminary Over and Under Report for period ending December 2012

·         Accounts Payable and Receivable Quarterly Report

·         Preliminary Budget to Date from 1/1/12 through 12/31/12

·         Preliminary Balance Sheet as of 12/31/12

·         Preliminary Revenues vs. Expenditures from 12/1/12 to 12/31/12

·         Preliminary Grants/Non-Current Aid Status as of 12/31/12

Questions were raised on the following financial topics:

The increase in the number of e-books in the Automation Department Report does not correspond with Budget-o-Date figures for e-books.  Ewa Jankowska explained that grant monies have to be spent by a certain date and budgeted funds can be carried over to a new year.  In 2013, it is not expected to receive a grant such as Northern New York Library Network's, so NNYLYN's Grant was spent first, and some of the budgeted funds for 2012 were carried over into 2013.  This allows the purchase of e-books to be more evenly dispersed over time, especially now that we are involved with the Health Information Grant and need to buy e-books on health information.  The OverDrive subscription also provides for $3,000 worth of e-book non-fiction purchases and that will be spent before budgeted funds.

In the Over and Under Reports, Contingency Fund for Integrated Library Software was questioned, to which Ewa Jankowska commented that funds are slowly building for a new system to replace the present Horizon Cataloging System.

In Preliminary Budget-to-Date from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012, All Other Salaries, Basic Aid, appears to be overspent.  Michael Spofford explained that included in that line item there are also adjusted State Corrections, adjusted Coordinated Outreach, and the raises that were not budgeted for in the original budget or Revision 01.  Michael will prepare a Reconciliation that will reflect the various factors.

In Preliminary Budget-to-Date from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012, under State Correctional Grant, travel appears to be overspent.  Ewa Jankowska explained that several items are included in this category.  Salaries, which comprise the largest portion, and benefits, plus some book purchases are also expensed in this grant.  With other items under spent, the State Correctional Grant is balanced.

Motion to approve Financial Reports as presented carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

There were no comments from the public.

President’s Remarks

Lisa Minnich thanked Chris de Grandpré for his service and dedication during his two years as Board President.

The Finance Committee is in need of a new member and a new chairperson. One person has volunteered, and anyone else who is interested should let Lisa Minnich know.

Board members were asked to look at the Committee List to see if there are any committees that appear to be understaffed or if their skills meet the need.  Committee participation might be easier now with video conferencing capabilities.  The Finance Committee works on the budget and is very important, requiring more frequent meetings. Their meetings are generally held just prior to full Board meetings, which makes travel less frequent.

A new date has been set for the May 2013 Board meeting because the fourth Monday of the month conflicts with Memorial Day.  The meeting will be held on the third Monday, May 20th.

We have a continuous need for trustees, particularly in Franklin County, so if anyone knows of anyone who might be interested, please talk with them and ask if they might be willing to have their name put on a list so when openings occur in their county they can be contacted.  With video conferencing capability in Schroon Lake, Saranac Lake, Malone and Akwesasne, a lot of travel can be eliminated, making meeting attendance more convenient.

At this time, 4 of 11 trustees have contributed $550 to Leadership Campaign, for 36.4% participation. The campaign runs from October 1 to September 30.  Support in any amount demonstrates the sincerity of trustees to help to support the Library System.  Letters will be mailed to trustees explaining options for designating the use of their donations.

The Trustees Discretionary Fund is used to send cards and/or small gifts on occasions such as that of illness, to thank or congratulate, or to offer condolence.  At this time, there is $80.56 in the fund.  Donations in any amount are appreciated.

A letter of resignation from the Board of Trustees from Nancy Cooper was read by Lisa Minnich.  Nancy will be moving to the western part of New York State.  She thanked everyone for the experience of working with this very talented group of dedicated individuals.  Lisa expressed appreciation for Nancy’s years of service.

Director’s Report

In addition to her written report, Ewa Jankowska reported:

Lynn Dufort, who served for a number of years on the CEFLS Board of Trustees, recently passed away.  Ewa attended the visitation at the Funeral Home in Malone which was very well attended.

Senator Betty Little participated in a meeting at CEFLS on January 25, organized and attended by John Hammond of Northern New York Library Network (NNYLN).  Attending were Francie Fairchild and Liz Rapalee, the Directors from Chazy and Wadhams Libraries, Russell Puschak, Interim Director, and Ginny Brady, Trustee, from Plattsburgh Public Library, Chris de Grandpré, CEFLS Trustee, Jennifer Henry, School Library System Director and CEFLS Trustee, Ewa Jankowska and Dawn Recore from CEFLS, Jesse Feiler, author and library patron, and Glenda Smith Rowe, retired school librarian from Saranac Central School District. Mr. Hammond reiterated Betty Little’s support for libraries.  The primary focus of discussion was the request for reinstatement of library aid to what is due to libraries and library systems per education law.

Leg Day in Albany will take place on March 5.  The System’s Equinox will be used to transport people from the System’s area.  Fran Filshie is likely to attend with the Director of the Schroon Lake Public Library, and Ewa will be in Albany a day early for meetings so she will attend.  John Hammond of NNYLN offered to pay half the cost of a bus, but perhaps due to our spread-out geographic area, there isn’t enough interested to warrant the expense of a bus.  It is more difficult to drive to designated pick-up points than to drive directly to Albany.

Ewa Jankowska is anxious to meet Dan Stec, the new Assemblyman from Essex County who replaced Theresa Sayward   He has an office in Elizabethtown, and is active on many committees including Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development and Social Services.  He is originally from Queensbury so she is hoping Southern Adirondack Library System has reached out to him and she will do so soon.

Bonnie Black of Employment Assistant Services (EAS) recently provided an interesting seminar for staff on the topic of communication. We pay for services from EAS and two free seminars per year on topics of our choosing are included.

A request from Professor Savard of Université in Montreal, was received. He wants to bring 80 students to Plattsburgh to visit the CEFLS facility and Plattsburgh Public Library. They will meet at the Presbyterian Church in Plattsburgh then will divide into smaller groups.  Ewa would like to publicize this event.

Recently Ewa and the CEFLS consultants visited Atwater Library in Montreal.  Atwater is a private, English-speaking library.  Kip Thompson commented that he feels it is beneficial to meet people from different libraries and systems across the border to talk about their endeavors and issues.  Emily Castine stated that it would be nice to form a relationship with the library in Hemmingford, Quebec.  Ewa would like to have sister libraries for our member libraries. 

There is more interest in the Creative Aging Grant for this year.  Creative Aging is the arts program for seniors.  More artists are expressing interest in becoming teachers for the program, and Ewa is hopeful that there will be more than seven libraries who want to participate. 

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Russell Puschak, Interim Director, of Plattsburgh Public Library, was not present at this meeting.  Ewa Jankowska commented that PPL’s last Board meeting was very routine. She will be meeting with a PPL trustee soon to learn about their search for a new director using the services of ETS.      

Consent Agenda:  Communications

There are no communications at this time.

Consent Agenda:  Committee Reports

Advocacy, Bookmobile, Health Plan, Development, Executive, Finance, Negotiating, Nominating, Personnel, Property, and Strategic Planning Committees have no reports at this time.

Old Business

Disposition of the Bookmobile - It was moved by Emily Castine, seconded by Maiko Barcomb, to adopt the following resolution:

            WHEREAS, the Library System has discontinued its bookmobile services, and the bookmobile is now surplus equipment; and

            WHEREAS, the Board has determined that the bookmobile is of limited financial value for resale; and

            WHEREAS, the Clinton County Legislature has authorized the Director of Emergency Services to accept ownership of the bookmobile from the Library System for use as a mobile command center; and

            WHEREAS, Essex and Franklin Counties have indicated that they do not have interest in obtaining the bookmobile; now, therefore

            BE IT RESOLVED, that the Director be authorized to be take all necessary steps to transfer the bookmobile from the CEF Library to the Clinton County Director of Emergency Services, in a “as is” condition, without warrantee, and without cost to the Library System.

Regarding the value and transfer of the bookmobile, it currently needs a battery, so the resolution is worded “as is” condition.  Car dealers and M.A. Jerry, where the bookmobile was routinely serviced, do not know of anyone locally who is interested in purchasing it.  A place in Wisconsin wanted $2,500 to come here to evaluate it, then they wanted 10% of the final negotiated sales price.  The biggest problem was that they already had 18 bookmobiles in stock.  Ewa Jankowska stated that signing it over to Clinton County, who was a large contributor when it was originally obtained, makes the most sense.  Further, resolutions were received from Essex and Franklin Counties relinquishing their claims to the bookmobile, though we are being assured that as a mobile command center, it will be available to Essex and Franklin Counties in times of emergency.   Appreciation is extended to Bob Butler, Eric Day and Kelly Donoghue who helped people to understand the complexity of the situation.

Ewa Jankowska is hoping that in the future libraries can act as disaster information preparedness centers. 

Motion carried unanimously.

Discussion of the GMC Van – The System’s older GMC van that has over 236,000 miles on it has a Kelly Blue Book value of about $4,000.  It has always been well maintained and is in very good condition.  It was used for deliveries to member libraries and correctional facilities.  When CEFLS obtained a newer van that had been used in Essex County for a digital literacy program and purchased with the BTOP Grant that CEFLS facilitated, the future of the older GMC van was uncertain.  With bookmobile service having been discontinued in December 2011, there were unserved areas, such as seniors’ homes and communities like Newcomb, so additional deliveries with the System’s Equinox have been implemented.  However, the Equinox does not really have the cargo space required and is often needed for other purposes.  Ewa Jankowska proposed that CEFLS keep the older van for the additional deliveries and rescheduled deliveries that follow inclement weather. There are also times when multiple trainings, meetings, consultant visits, etc. are scheduled for the same day and an additional vehicle is beneficial. With the pending disposition of the bookmobile, the older van could be housed in the garage. 

Chris de Grandpré motioned to continue to insure the older van, have it inspected, purchase new tires, and keep it for a period of one year, then revisit the viability of keeping it longer.  Motion was seconded by Kip Thompson.  Motion carried unanimously.

New Business

Service Priorities 2013 – Kip Thompson moved to approve a resolution to accept Service Priorities 2013, as distributed prior to the meeting for review, seconded by Martha Spear. Motion carried unanimously.

Member Library/Central Library/Reading Center Contracts for 2013 – Jennifer Henry motioned to approve a resolution to accept Member Library/Central Library/Reading Center Contracts for 2013, as distributed prior to the meeting for review, seconded by Nancy Cooper.  Ewa Jankowska explained that the only change in the contracts from 2012 is that CEFLS is no longer able to offer free copying service.  A rate schedule that was approved by the Board in 2012 will be mailed out with the contracts. Motion carried unanimously.

Individuals, Entities and Institutions with Whom to Conduct Business in 2013 – Martha Spear moved to approve a resolution to accept Individuals, Entities and Institutions with Whom to Conduct Business in 2013, seconded by Jennifer Henry.  Motioned carried unanimously. 

Individuals Permitted to Conduct Business in 2013 – Jennifer Henry moved to approve a resolution to accept CEFLS Individuals Permitted to Conduct Business in 2013, as amended to include the names of those currently on the Board, seconded by Fran Filshie.  Trustees must be on the Board for one year before they are permitted to conduct business as outlined in this document.    Motion carried unanimously.

 2013 LSTA Summer Reading Mini-Grant Program - Nancy Cooper moved to approve 2013 LSTA Summer Reading Mini-Grant Program, seconded by Gary Alexander.  Approval of this grant for the yearly Summer Reading Program is being required earlier than in the past and the program will take place earlier this year.  Motion carried unanimously.

 Family Literacy Library Services Grant Program 2013-2016 – Emily Castine moved to approve Family Literacy Library Services Grant Program 2013-2016, seconded by Gary Alexander.  Motion carried unanimously.

Adult Literacy Library Services Grant Program 2013-2016 – Kip Thompson moved to approve Adult Literacy Library Services Grant Program 2013-2016, seconded by Chris de Grandpré.  Motion carried unanimously.

Conflict of Interest Statements – Trustees were asked to sign this yearly document and return it to Dawn Recore. 

Possible Locations for 2013 Away Board Meetings – Each year three Board meetings are hosted at member libraries.  Ewa Jankowska recommended Hammond Library in Crown Point; they are the only member library that is not automated, Chazy Public Library; they are settled into their new location, and Wells Memorial Library in Upper Jay; they have recovered from Hurricane Irene’s devastating flood in 2011.  Fran Filshie and Jane Bouchard volunteered to host a Board meeting at Schroon Lake Public Library. The Directors of the first three libraries will be contacted and if scheduling difficulties arise, Schroon Lake will be next on the list.

Adjournment

 There being no further business to come before the Trustees, Emily Castine motioned to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Nancy Cooper.  The meeting was adjourned at by Lisa Minnich at 5:00 p.m.

 Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Henry

Secretary




 

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