Meeting Minutes

Board Meeting Minutes

Approved 12/14/2017

TETON COUNTY LIBRARY BOARD MEETING

Thursday, November 16, 2017

 

Board Member Attendance

Present:  Ari Goldstein, John Hebberger, Jr., Carol Peck, Susan Scarlata

Absent:  Mark Hendrickson

 

Audience:  Valerie Maginnis, Library Director; Isabel Zumel, Assistant Director; Rebecca Huntington, Communications Manager; Madeleine Sturmer, IT Manager; Jessica Johnson, Acting Adult Services Manager; Mary Jo Pollard, Library Operations Coordinator; Pauline Towers-Dykeman, Teton County Library Foundation Executive Director; Smokey Rhea, Teton County Commissioner.

 

Board Chair John Hebberger, Jr. called the meeting to order with a quorum present.

 

Public Comment

No public comment.

 

“Get to Know” TCL Staff – Jerry Bilek, Library Assistant Senior, Youth Services

Jerry introduced himself and said that he started working at the library in January 2017 on the Youth Services team.  In addition to working with the public, Jerry’s responsibilities include collection development.  He orders Beginning Readers through Young Adult fiction, YA nonfictions and Youth nonfiction to the 300s.  His whole life has been in books, working at a press and owning an independent book story.  He formerly was on a library board in Minnesota.

 

Susan asked which press Jerry worked for.  Jerry responded that he worked for the Minnesota Historical Society Press, the largest historical society in the U.S.  He also opened his bookstore the same time that the Kindle reader launched.  One in three bookstores survived.    John asked Jerry what the biggest change has been for him coming to the library.  Jerry said that there is a lot for him to learn because this is the first library in which he has worked.  He enjoys that he does not have to sell anything, unlike his other positions.  He has enjoyed his role with others in being caretakers of the library.  Valerie noted that Jerry is a reader’s advisory expert and that he has a following among young readers who ask him for suggestions. 

 

Consent Agenda:  Minutes from 10/19/2017 Board Meeting, Correspondence Report, October 2017 Financials, Director’s Report, Library Supporting Organization Reports – Teton County Library Foundation and Teton County Library Friends

 

Susan asked to pull the Director’s Report and John asked to pull the October Financials.

 

Action Item:  Carol moved to approve the Consent Agenda.  Ari seconded.  All voted in favor.

 

Regarding the Director’s Report, Susan asked about the One Book Program with the Teton County School District (TCSD) and if the program would incorporate other schools outside of the district.  Valerie described that the program idea lifted up in talking with Deputy County Attorney, Keith Gingery, who is also a School Board Member.  He had posed the question of a school district-public library project to strengthen relationships.  Valerie said that it is a given that the program would be inclusive of other schools.  She will meet a week after Thanksgiving with Gillian Chapman, TCSD Superintendent, Keith and the teachers involved in the project.  It appears that the book to be selected will be for readers from 5th-8th grade and their parents.

 

Carol noted a recent news article that anticipated increased enrollment numbers in TCSD.  She asked how this filters into library services in the Youth Wing, especially afterschool numbers.  Valerie said that we work with the school librarians to ensure that our collections complement those provided by the school libraries.  Our afterschool numbers have settled, we have capacity, and we’ll continue to assess as time goes on.

 

Regarding the October Financials, John had a question about our Assets and Liabilities/Balance Sheet.  This was the first report in which the library collections were included as an asset.  He asked if there was a difference between depreciation of books versus accumulated depreciation.  Mary Jo said that after the board packet was sent, she and our accountant finalized the Balance Sheet with the auditor’s numbers.  She shared this balance sheet with the board.  They also cleared up the order of the items under depreciation so that the depreciation for building, equipment and furniture was distinct from the library collections depreciation for greater clarity.

 

Action Item:  Susan moved to approve the November 2017 Director’s Report and the October 2017 Financials.  Ari seconded.  All voted in favor.

 

Payment of Library Vouchers

Ari said that he looked at the library vouchers and this month there were no anomalies. 

 

Action Item: Ari moved to approve payment of monthly vouchers. Susan seconded. All voted in favor.

 

TCL Policies Review 2017

Valerie described that annually, the management team and library board review our library policies.  We are bringing forward a new policy proposal – a Social Media Policy – and amendments to our Library Circulation Policies.

 

Regarding a Social Media Policy, many public and academic libraries have implemented Social Media Policies in recognition of social media being an increasingly popular communication tool.  The proposed policy was reviewed by the Deputy County Attorney.  It establishes parameters for use of social media by staff and the public to minimize risks.  In drafting the policy, we reviewed a number of social media policies of peer libraries.  We have not experienced complications with our use of social media, but felt it was appropriate to be prepared and proactive.

 

Carol asked about risks the policy would minimize.  Valerie responded that the Deputy County Attorney advised not making it possible for individuals to post anything they want, but to have the library reserve the right to take down or edit posts that we deem abusive, defamatory, or violate trademark/copyright, etc.   Carol asked about the use of the term “interoperability” as something that our social media facilitates.  Valerie said that this was a term that we saw in other peer library policies.  Madeleine added that the IT team also looked at social media policies last year, using the same approach that Valerie described of basing the language on other known social media policies and then consulting with the Deputy County Attorney on the final language.   John asked whose liability the policy refers to.  Valerie said that the intention was to signal a sense of responsibility in using social media and informing social media users that the library has discretion to take action on posts. 

 

Action Item:  Susan moved to approve Public Notice of a 45 day public comment period for the TCL Social Media Policy.  Ari seconded.  All voted in favor.

 

Regarding proposed amendments to the Library Circulation Policies, Valerie said that we review these yearly to ensure that they are consistent and relevant.  We now have several new items for checkout and we recommend an update to the policies to reflect these items and associated fines.  Other new items will be circulating in the coming months, such as WiFi Hotspots.  We are also proposing a $5 processing fee for items not returned or returned damaged.  This speaks to cost recovery and is a practice of many of our peer libraries.  The library board approves assigned library fines so we are bringing the proposed amendments for the board’s consideration.

 

Carol said that we have had a discussion in the past about fines and fees that don’t get paid and asked how this plays into this discussion.  Isabel said that we did a large database clean up of card members when we began accepting credit cards to pay fines and fees.  Many card members did come back to the library and paid their outstanding fines.  John asked if having no cap for fines on some items is realistic.  Isabel responded that not having a cap on fines on items that are in-demand encourages patrons to return the items.  An example is game consoles that are popular and expensive to replace.  When a patron’s fines total $10, they are unable to check out additional items, so there is a point that they know they need to resolve their fines.  Valerie added that the intention is to induce patrons to return items by creating something that will compel them to bring it back. 

 

Susan asked if there is precedence of patrons paying for the full retail cost.  Valerie replied that there is and that this practice is in alignment with other public libraries, especially now that more libraries are circulating “things” like devices and technology.  John asked if we have had issues with patrons being asked to pay the full retail cost.  Isabel said that this has not been an issue recently, and that we work with patrons on things like payment plans if they are unable to pay the full cost at that moment.  John suggested that this topic can be subject to further review, along with no caps on fines for some items.    Carol said that it would be good to see overdue item statistics.  Valerie said that we could look into that and that we will bring to the next library board meeting any public comment received on the proposed amendments to our circulation policies.

 

Action Item: Carol moved to approve Public Notice of a 45 day public comment period for the Revised TCL Circulation Policies.  Susan seconded.  All voted in favor.

 

Wyoming Library Endowment Challenge Agreement

Valerie updated the board on the Wyoming Library Endowment and that some libraries are completing their fundraising for their endowment matches from the State.  Our library has completed endowment fundraising and received our state match.  However, we recently received an endowment gift for the Alta Branch.  With this gift, we are in a position to assist other public libraries in the state with completing their endowment fundraising by partnering with them to leverage our recent gift.  We are seeking the approval to enter into agreements with public libraries that are interested.

 

Pauline said that the endowment matching funds for public libraries was made available through a state legislated program.  A second piece of legislation allowed partnership agreements between public libraries to complete their fundraising.  Partner libraries would then split the endowment matching funds 50/50.  Partnership agreements would extend our Alta gift to help other libraries complete their fundraising.  We would provide more than a 50/50 split of the matching funds.  We would only ask the libraries for legal costs and costs for Pauline’s time.  There are potential partnerships with Washakie, Platte and Sweetwater County Libraries.  Niobrara may also benefit.

 

John asked that if the endowment gift specifically for Alta would be considered differently.  Pauline said it wouldn’t; that even though the gift was designated for Alta, it is still an endowment gift to the library.  If the partnerships come to fruition, the State Librarian would be excited to go into the 2018 legislative session being able to report that all but one public library system has completed their fundraising.  Carol and Ari both said that this is a wonderful opportunity for these Wyoming libraries. 

 

Action Item:  Susan moved to approve Teton County Library entering into Wyoming Library Endowment Agreements with partnering libraries.  Ari seconded.  All voted in favor.

 

TCL Board Financials Workshop – Related to Board Responsibilities

Valerie said that to fulfill the library board’s request for a financials workshop, we developed a write-up addressing all of the library board’s fiduciary responsibilities and now we can address the board’s questions.  The write-up starts with general fiduciary responsibilities; then covers bidding and purchasing; the budget development process and how we manage the budget; and information on our monthly financial reports.  This is an important piece for overall library board and library manager understanding of our financials.  John said that a primary responsibility of the library board is fiduciary oversight.  He highlighted the important and key role the Board Treasurer plays in reviewing the financials and the vouchers monthly. 

 

Susan asked about SPET funds and what we mean by encumbering these funds by June 30, 2018.  Valerie replied that we are moving in a positive direction to do this, and that this means the money is spent or allocated by the deadline.  John asked if the SPET reporting will disappear from our financials after June 2018.  Valerie responded yes.

 

Carol asked if fiduciary was broader than financials.  Ari said that with regard to statute, fiduciary refers to money, ethics and transparency.  It may also get into the realm of investments.  Ari continued that it may make sense to look at how we can have a portion of the $2 million in our checking account go further.  We have fixed monthly costs, and with a clearer understanding of variable costs and our needs for readily accessible working capital, a next step is to look at safe investments.  Mary Jo commented that First Interstate Bank can propose a portfolio with a laddered bond strategy.  She added that it would be safe to have 3-4 months operating capital.  If we have a large emergency expense, this would likely be covered by insurance. 

 

John asked who maintains an asset inventory.  Valerie said that our Facilities Maintenance Coordinator maintains an inventory and our IT team maintains a technology inventory.  This is reviewed and updated annually for insurance.  John asked if the auditor reviews our inventory list.  Mary Jo replied that they do.  She continued that we are required to maintain an inventory of items at $5,000 and over, and that our inventory starts at $500.

 

Carol asked if our assets were higher this month than last month with the addition of our books and collections.  Ari said that our assets and liabilities need to balance.  Books and collections as an asset is then offset either as a liability or as an increase in book value/equity of the library.  We will talk to our auditor. 

 

John asked if we had received a schedule for operating budget development.  Valerie said that we have not received it yet.  She anticipates that the library board will likely review our FY 2019 budget proposal in February instead of March.  Pauline said that it may be helpful to include the Foundation budget request process so that board members understand that that the operating and foundation budget requests are built in tandem.    John said that it could be helpful to have that process summarized briefly.  Valerie said we can add that, and that in January 2018 we can explain our budget process, both for operating and foundation requests.

 

John asked where salary savings is reflected in our financials.  Ari explained that it will show in our Income Statement under payroll.  It will also be reflected on the Balance Sheet in our checking account under assets.

 

Carol asked what would be red flags.  Ari recommended that we keep an eye on the Balance Sheet and cash; examine the vouchers monthly; look monthly at the Profit & Loss statements to keep track of income and expenses so that nothing snowballs.  Ultimately, we are trying to avoid instances of fraud.

 

John said that it would be useful to hold a financials workshop review annually, in July or August when new library board members are on-boarded.  Carol requested that we send the financials workshop write-up as a PDF.

 

Other Items

John shared that he met with Commissioner Mark Newcomb.  He updated Commissioner Newcomb on the library’s Strategic Plan and how it is being used as a tool to establish directions, budget and staffing.  He apprised Commissioner Newcomb of our Housing Assistance strategies as tools for staff retention and recruitment.  John reminded library board members to meet with their County Commission contacts.

 

Pauline updated that the Library Foundation B0ard approved $15,000 to replenish the housing assistance fund.  The initial donor to the fund will be approached for this gift.  The Foundation Board is aware that the housing assistance fund usage is now a standing report to the Library Board.
 

Action Item:  John moved to adjourn the library board meeting.  All voted in favor.