Monroe County Library System,  Monroe, MI 48162



1. At a Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Monroe County Library System held on May 16, 2005 at the Maybee Branch Library, Maybee, the meeting was called to order by Vice-Chairperson Larry Gregory. Roll call by Secretary Elizabeth Taylor follows:

Present: Larry Gregory, Vice-Chair; Elizabeth Taylor, Secretary; MaryAnn Bourque and Fred Lux, Trustees; Nancy Colpaert, Director; and Diane Fetterly, Recording Secretary. Catharine Calder, Chair arrived a few minutes later.

Staff: Nancy Bellaire, Marie Sowa, Sue Hartford

A quorum being present, the Board proceeded to transact business.

2. Motion by Trustee Lux, supported by Trustee Bourque, to accept the agenda as presented. Motion carried.

3. Motion by Secretary Taylor, supported by Trustee Lux, to accept the minutes of the regular board meeting April 11, 2005 as printed. Motion carried.

4. Consent Agenda

Motion by Trustee Lux, supported by Trustee Bourque, to accept the items on the consent agenda, including the April 2005 Financial Report, and place on file. Motion carried.

5. Committee Reports

Finance Committee

Chair Calder reported that the committee met on May 3 rd and many items discussed are on tonight's agenda for action.

Facilities Committee

Trustee Bourque said the committee met on April 21 st . The Ellis Phase III project is complete except for Dryvit. Library directional sign installation by the Monroe County Road Commission is complete. Bedford Township is wrapping things up with the contractors on the Bedford Library expansion project. Erie Branch Library's south entrance is now open and handicap accessible. The Milan Public Library has asked board members with the Tecumseh District Library to talk to them about becoming a district library.

Policy and Personnel Committee

Chair Gregory said the committee reviewed the Internet Service Policy. MCLS staff will provide summer programming in Milan and London Township . Direct deposit is being tested this pay period with three employees.

Community Partnering Committee

Secretary Taylor said the committee will meet on May 24 th .

Technology Committee

Trustee Lux said the committee met on the 20 th of April. The major item of discussion was Internet access in the small study rooms at Bedford . The Technology Committee formulated some recommendations and passed them on to Policy and Personnel. Rachel Braden updated the committee on implementation of the 2005 Technology Plan. The committee will meet again in July.

Woodlands & Legislative Update

Vice-Chair Gregory, Trustee Lux, and Director Colpaert attended the retreat for Woodlands Cooperative. Funding ideas were discussed. Right now in the state legislature one senator has proposed cutting library funding by 1.3 million which would severely impact the co-op and the services it provides for us. In your packet is information for board members to write letters to legislators to prevent action on the cuts. State aid would go from $.436 down to $.3925. We need to let our elected officials know what the impact will be on programming, purchasing of materials, etc. Every dollar counts. Staff is encouraged to get library supporters, friends, family to write letters too.

6. Unfinished Business

There is nothing new to report on the reciprocal borrowing agreement with Milan Public Library .

7. New Business

Motion by Trustee Lux, supported by Chair Calder, to approve payment of the bills for the month ending April 30, 2005 in the amount of $545,744.98. Motion carried.

Motion by Chair Calder, supported by Trustee Bourque, to amend the board expense line item by $300 to allow for payment of a stipend for MCLS representatives serving on the Woodlands Cooperative board. There is nothing in the law establishing library co-ops that allows paying a stipend to board members. MCLS policy provides its board members a $50 stipend per meeting when representing MCLS on another board. Motion carried. Chair Calder commented that it is wonderful that Vice-Chair Gregory and Trustee Lux are willing to give up their time to serve on Woodland 's Governing board.

Motion by Trustee Lux, supported by Chair Calder, to adopt an amendment to the Internet Service Policy which incorporates suggestions from the Technology Committee and MCLS attorney Bruce Laidlaw. The highlighted draft contains two additions: 1) Public computers are placed so that staff can monitor them for compliance with the Acceptable Use Policy and strike out PA 212; and 2) Patrons wishing to use small study rooms wired for Internet access must ask staff to activate the connection and must comply with Section 397.606 of the Michigan Compiled Laws for Minors. Access to printers from these rooms are not available. Motion carried.

Motion by Secretary Taylor, supported by Chair Calder, to revise the Personnel Policy to allow a merit step for new employees upon completion of their orientation period of six months, but merit steps will be limited to one per calendar year. Motion carried.

8. Director's Report

Director Colpaert reminded the board that All Staff Day is Thursday, May 19th , and the theme is "Kick It Up A Notch". Board members are invited to attend workshops, stay for lunch and assist in handing out certificates during the Employee Recognition segment of the day.

The Finance Committee approved placing ads in the white and yellow pages of the Monroe County SBC phone book. $134 a month is well worth it because nearly everyday patrons call Ellis requesting branch phone numbers. With this complete listing the phone numbers will also available if a patron does a Google search.

Subject specialists are undertaking a systematic weeding project at branches as outlined in our Strategic Plan. Maybee Branch was completed first and then Dorsch and Petersburg were next. It makes more space for displays of materials and allows us to replace outdated materials with more up-to-date ones.

A grant proposal has been submitted to the Library of Michigan for digitization of our collection of War of 1812 materials. We propose to partner with the Historical Museum Commission on this project. The software and equipment would allow us to do additional digitization projects in the future.

MCLS is partnering with the Migrant Council in Adrian to provide programming and materials at the Petersburg branch. A staff member at the council is translating some of our brochures into Spanish.

9. Board Comments

Chair Calder thanked Vice-Chair Gregory for conducting tonight's meeting. She thanked Policy & Personnel and Technology committees for their work on the Internet Policy. It is important to sort through this issue carefully so that we can provide our patrons with the very best service. She encouraged board members to attend All Staff Day. She thanked Sue Hartford and the Maybee library staff for hosting tonight's meeting. The activity tonight here is impressive.

Trustee Lux thanked the board members for their work on the Technology Internet Policy. He thanked Maybee for hosting. He said, "I can only underscore comments made earlier by Larry about the importance of not only board members writing congressmen in Lansing pertaining to the potential budget cuts, but to getting friends, relatives, family members, neighbors, whomever to do the same thing. It's the number of communications legislators receive as well as the content of the communication that will sway this one way or the other. If we do nothing, we are going to get the cut, which will have a very long range impact on us."

Chair Calder added that "an important point to stress with state reps and senators is that in financially difficult times the last thing that should be cut is the public library because that is a resource for people who do not have income, certainly not excess income, to get services that may help them to find a job."

Trustee Bourque, agreed and said it is a very important point to be made. She thanked the Maybee staff for their hospitality and friendliness as she walked in and browsed around prior to the meeting.

Secretary Taylor thanked Mrs. Hartford for having the board, "it is delightful to come to Maybee."

Vice-Chair Gregory said it is nice to be here in Maybee where I live. He announced that two board members who have served the library system very well are celebrating their anniversaries: Cathe' her 10th year and Fred his 5th year. He personally thanked them both for their help and input, because that is what makes the library system work so well, people like them who make time and effort. He and Marie Sowa attended yesterday's Tiger baseball game, benefiting Michigan libraries. He said it was nice to support something like that and hopes it will be repeated again next year.

10. Public Comment - Sue Hartford, Librarian of Maybee, thanked the board for coming to Maybee. She said people are happy with the weeding and the addition of new materials and displays. She noted that the back parking lot is being fixed.

11. Announcements

Date of Next Board Meeting - Monday, June 13, 2005 @ 6:00 p.m., at the Summerfield-Petersburg Branch Library, 60 E. Center St., Petersburg, MI.

12. Adjournment

Motion by Secretary Taylor, supported by Trustee Bourque, to adjourn the meeting at 6:36 p.m. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Elizabeth J. Taylor, Secretary

Catharine Calder, Chairperson

Click here to go back to Board of Trustees Meetings for 2005

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