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05.15.19 - EB Meeting Minutes

 EXECUTIVE BOARD MINUTES

BERGEN COUNTY COOPERATIVE LIBRARY SYSTEM

Montclair Public Library (Branch)

May 15, 2019

  

 

PRESIDING:                 Kurt Hadeler                              Mahwah 

PRESENT:                    Dave Hanson                            BCCLS

Stephanie Bellucci                     Cliffside Park

Gerry McMahon                        Franklin Lakes

Jennifer Breuer                          Glen Ridge

                                    Ellen O'Keefe                            Glen Rock

Mimi Hui                                   Hasbrouck Heights

Sai Rao                                    North Bergen

Sally Diaz                                 Norwood

Dave Marino                             Waldwick

Laura Leonard                           Wyckoff

 

NOT PRESENT:            Matthew Latham                        Ramsey 

 

ALSO PRESENT:         Darlene Swistock                      Recorder of Minutes

 

GUESTS:                      Eric Lozauskas                          BCCLS

                                    Christine Zeni                            BCCLS

Holly Belli                                  Bloomfield

Chelsea Coleman                      Bogota

Louise Yan                                Elmwood Park

Tara Franzetti                            Hackensack

Monica Smith                            Hawthorne

Laurence Bergmann                  Livingston

Amanda Eigen                          Maplewood

Peter Coyl                                Montclair

Leonard LoPinto                       Paramus

Thomas Madru                          Park Ridge

Jennifer Overton                        Roseland

Samantha McCoy                      West Caldwell

Molly McKenney                        Upper Saddle River 

 

Kurt Hadeler called the meeting to order at 9:38 am.  

He reminded everyone to sign in on the sign-in sheet.  He thanked Peter Coyl for hosting today's meeting.  In an effort to follow parliamentary procedure, he asked guests to wait to be to recognized and identify themselves before speaking and to limit their comments to the Public Portion and Membership Hearing parts of the meeting.  He advised that there will be an Executive Session/Closed Session to discuss the Executive Director's probationary evaluation at the end of the meeting.

  

1.     Minutes of the Meeting on April 15, 2019

It was MOVED BY:  Laura Leonard                     Seconded by:  Stephanie Bellucci

To approve the minutes. 

All in favor.

Motion carried. 

 

2.     Public Portion

None 

 

3.     Treasurer's Report 

The Budget vs Actual and Check Register were previously distributed to the membership.  Dave Hanson provided additional detail on the following:  

  • 6282 - Technology and Related Costs (BCCLS & Colo) - 292% over – This is higher for the month because of one-time technology purchased for the new office (new training room PCs, projector, digital display, etc.)  This line is still on track.
  • 6502 - PC Upgrades – The PCs have shipped and arrived.  This line will only go slightly higher and is almost done for the year. 

Sai Rao explained that these were 1-time expenses.  Dave Hanson also provided a Delivery Expense Report for expenses incurred year-to-date.  There were no questions about the financial reports.

 

It was MOVED BY:  Ellen O'Keefe                      Seconded by:  Gerry McMahon

To accept the Treasurer's Report.

All in favor.

Motion carried. 

 

4.     Correspondence

Len LoPinto's response to Dave Hanson's White Paper will be discussed when the Bergen County grant is discussed. 

 

5.     President's Report 

Kurt Hadeler's report was previously distributed to the board members and the membership.  He, Stephanie Bellucci and Dave Hanson met with 3 of the Bergen County Freeholders to thank them for the grant and try to gain support for additional grant money.  They are supportive of BCCLS libraries and excited about eContent and delivery.  Unfortunately, the county budget is already in place for 2019-2020, but they will look to meet with the freeholders again in early January and continue to build relationships.  He also mentioned that the auditor will be coming to explain the audit process.  He is concerned that the auditors are correcting their own work, adding journal entries to correct financial misstatements, and the continuing problems with internal controls and preparation of the financial statements.  Mimi Hui asked if the rest of the Executive Board would receive a copy of the audit.  (Kurt Hadeler thought it had already been sent; Dave Hanson will send it this afternoon).  There were no questions from the membership about his report. 

 

6.     Executive Director's Report

Dave Hanson's report was previously distributed to the board members and the membership.  He also mentioned the freeholders' meetings and that he would be meeting with a grant writer at the end of the month.  Dave Hanson, Jennifer Breuer and Amanda Eigen visited BookOps to discuss world language materials and possible partnerships in the future.  He and several members of the BCCLS office attended the IUG (Innovative Users Group) Conference in Phoenix.  They plan to meet with the relevant committees to discuss some of the new offerings available.  There were no questions from the membership about his report. 

 

7.     Committee Reports

a)    Policies & Procedures Committee – Recommendation

       Jennifer Breuer, co-chair, reviewed the recommended changes to existing policies for the following.

  • Lend & Send > Delivery:  Delivery Service, Sending Materials via Delivery, Inter-Library Loan Requests, Emergency Closings, Lost In-Transit, Material via Delivery.  It is important to use Closing Alerts to keep delivery drivers up-to-date on conditions that affect the ability to make deliveries.
  • Lend & Send > Loan Periods
  • Fines and Bills > Lost Items and Paid > Unpaid Lost Items
  • Fines and Bills > Four-Month Bill > Collecting on Four-Month Bills
  • Fines and Bills > Four-Month Bill > Refunds
  • Collection Development > Replacement Cost 

She also reviewed the proposed new policies for World Language Collection Development and eBCCLS Collection Development. 

Kurt Hadeler suggested having 3 separate votes for the recommended changes:  1 for changes to the existing policies, 1 for World Language Collection Development and 1 for eBCCLS Collection Development.

 

It was MOVED BY:  Stephanie Bellucci               Seconded by:  Sai Rao

To approve the recommend changes related to delivery, lost in transit, fines and bills, collection development policy and replacement costs as presented. 

All in favor.

Motion carried.

 

A discussion followed:

  • Kurt Hadeler, speaking as a member of the Executive Board, is concerned that BCCLS is fundamentally changing its role by becoming a collection and development agency and management service.
  • Jennifer Breuer feels it is important to have policies to protect the organization while offering these services until the organization decides otherwise.
  • Mimi Hui agrees to codifying this while the service is offered.
  • Ellen O'Keefe asked how this differs from guidelines for collection development.  Kurt Hadeler explained that existing collection development was member initiated cataloging decisions being vetted by BCCLS rather than BCCLS making collection development decisions on behalf of the membership.
  • Laura Leonard also felt the policies were good to have in place since the service is already being offered and she asked if Section 1.2 could be modified; Kurt Hadeler recommended using BCCLS “offers” instead of “provides”.
  • Stephanie Bellucci asked about making a distinction between BCCLS owned/selected vs library owned.
  • Jennifer Breuer would like to have a mechanism in place to respond to patron challenges of its subscription service.
  • Jennifer Breuer confirmed the change of “provides” to “offers” in Section 1.2 in both policies.
  • Laura Leonard asked to delete the word “unlikely” in Section 3.1.

 

It was MOVED BY:  Stephanie Bellucci               Seconded by:  Ellen O'Keefe

To approve both the World Language Collection Development and eBCCLS Collection Development policies as revised and these will go onto System Council for approval in June.

All in favor.

Motion carried.

 

Jennifer Breuer also mentioned that P&P held Small Group Meetings to discuss uniform loan periods and renewals.  Kurt Hadeler advised that it can be formally introduced at System Council in September with a vote at System Council in October, or it could be introduced and voted at the September System Council since October is usually reserved for the budget vote.  The committee will prepare an information packet that directors can share with their boards to explain this change since libraries would be limiting their ability to set their own policies concerning loan periods and loan renewals if they vote to unify loan periods.  

 

b)    Advocacy Committee – Mission Accomplished:  Communicating Your Library's Value – Event Evaluation.  Kurt Hadeler commented that this was a phenomenal program with great comments, and he complimented the Friends & Trustees Committee for their efforts. 

Ellen O'Keefe, co-chair of the Friends & Trustees Committee, mentioned the upcoming program, Foundations 101, on June 11.  She is in the process of finalizing the speaker for the Friends Breakfast on October 22. 

 

8.     Old Business

a)    Delivery

Dave Hanson provided an update.  A lease has been signed for the warehouse.  Delivery vans are in the manufacturing line; until the vans are ready, rented vans will be used for approximately 2-4 months.  He also met with LLNJ to discuss the transition process.  There will be a week when TForce makes deliveries only as delivery transitions to BCCLS.  LLNJ does not yet have the cost-share figure for FY20.  Since a BCCLS delivery driver will be passing by the TForce warehouse in Teterboro, BCCLS asked about picking up and dropping off items directly, but LLNJ has not yet responded.  74 of the 77 member libraries participated in delivery training.  Kurt Hadeler asked about libraries who are not providing early access to their buildings.  There are a few.  Dave Hanson mentioned adding signatories to the insurance for delivery locations.  Delivery bins are shipping today.  Test runs are scheduled for the first week of June, and 3 of 5 delivery drivers have been hired.  Delivery will be up and running by June 30.  Dave Hanson talked about the importance of cost containment and that is why the test runs have been pushed to June.  Routes will be shared with the membership next week.  Kurt Hadeler asked which libraries will receive early delivery and that will also be shared; this will allow libraries to shift and schedule staff accordingly.  Laura Leonard asked if LLNJ agreed to BCCLS having 1 depot stop (yes).  Kurt Hadeler expressed frustration how unresponsive LLNJ has been during this process.  Jennifer Breuer asked when Leap will be used to generate receipts.  Dave Hanson replied that there will be a test week and the BCCLS office will advise when delivery will start.  Gerry McMahon asked what county systems are charged for 1 depot-style pickup.  Dave Hanson answered that is it currently $500, but LLNJ had no idea of the cost share going forward. 

 

9.     New Business

a)   Bergen County Grant Recommendation

Dave Hanson conducted Small Group Meetings in February and March to discuss the use of the Bergen County grant.  Based on those discussions and the data, he shared a White Paper.  It indicated that Net Lending is not correlated with borrowing and the metric is not working anymore.  In his experience, libraries with inter-library loans usually loan 2 items and borrow 1.  Net lending reimbursement helps libraries with scarce items.  The needs of the libraries are very fragmented and they have different ideas of how to spend the grant money.  He recommends distributing the grant money using a formula which is based on each library's funding (60%) and population (40%).  This is after each Bergen County library receives $1,000 from the grant which was approved at System Council in October.  It is also important to consider the opportunities to grow funding.

 

A discussion followed:

  • Kurt Hadeler asked if other consortia (PALS, LMXAC) compensate for lending.  Mimi Hui, co-chair of the former Reciprocity Task Force, replied that the RTF looked nationally at compensation for net lending and found a few consortia/systems in Connecticut and Texas that do.  Library funding is handled differently in those states.
  • Kurt Hadeler noted that the smaller, lesser-funded libraries, felt that delivery costs impacted them more dramatically.
  • Dave Marino commented that the formula is clear and simple.  It helps smaller libraries, the proposal is easier to sell to library boards and he appreciates that work that was done. 
  • Gerry McMahon noted her board would not agree with the change and would restrict walk-in borrowing.  Since all libraries are charged evenly for delivery, she recommended that the grant be divided evenly among the 62 Bergen County libraries. 
  • Len LoPinto asked what is the definition of scarce items?  Dave Hanson advised that it is less than 30.  Len LoPinto is opposed to the change and said it would also inhibit reciprocal borrowing.  He also pointed out that his library lends 170,000 items and borrows 30,000 items.  They lend 30,000 children's items and borrow 5,000 children's items.
  • Ellen O'Keefe noted that her library receives a small check.  Local high-demand DVDs are available to non-residents after 6 months, but they are immediately available to walk-ins.  She agrees with Dave Hanson to use the grant to help all Bergen County libraries.
  • Dave Hanson pointed out that Paramus is in the top 25% of borrowers.  There is some concern if 40% of a library's circulation is from out-of-town borrowers and they are dependent on non-residents.
  • Laura Leonard commented that RTF has struggled reciprocity for several years.  Seven libraries get 50% of the grant and the current policy affects 4-5 libraries out of 62 libraries.  Paramus is a unique situation.  She also pointed out that net lending compensation is only for print, what about eBCCLS?
  • Kurt Hadeler asked if we were starting a consortium today, how would a grant be used.  Would it be used for net lending?
  • Stephanie Bellucci stated that the new formula used to distribute the Bergen County grant can be used as a guide for distributing possible grants from other counties.
  • Ellen O'Keefe noted that if a new consortium distribution according to the formula is considered fair, we are looking out for the smaller libraries. She likes the new formula, but it will be easier to sell an even distribution to her board.
  • Mimi Hui reminded everyone that they heard it all in RTF and the grant is not guaranteed.  She asked if we are now subsidizing smaller libraries.  She thanked Dave Hanson for his efforts and putting this on paper.  There was no formula to determine the delivery charge for each library, why is there a formula to distribute the grant?  She asked what happens if non-residents use more than 50% of a library's collection.  What if mayors and councils look at the difference in services provided by neighboring towns when consider funding their own libraries?  The political ramifications needed to be considered.  What about minimum standards?
  • Kurt Hadeler noted that the formula provides some additional relief for smaller libraries.  He noted that RTF was not able to come to a consensus after 2-1/2 years and they had no interest in minimum standards.  Smaller libraries feel the crunch and it is difficult to address some of the other factors that affect circulation like parking, computers, hours of availability and programs.  Walk-in traffic also affects net lending.
  • Dave Hanson advised that distribution of the grant money can be dependent on meeting certain conditions like attending training.
  • Laura Leonard asked what is the definition of smaller libraries.  She noted that the formula balances things out and considers population and funding.
  • Gerry McMahon pointed out that Teaneck and Hackensack have generous budgets and it will be hard to justify their proposed allocations to her board.  Also, unmediated loans affect everyone across the board.
  • Monica Smith asked if ILS will help with geographically-mediated loans.  Kurt Hadeler advised that ILS will try to pick from libraries on the same route.
  • Sally Diaz said her library is happy to receive any money.  Programs are limited if they do not charge or services/supplies are not donated.
  • Jennifer Breuer asked about distributing the money based on per capita and Kurt Hadeler advised that the smaller libraries would then receive minimal funds.  
  • Len LoPinto suggested pursuing more funds and recognizing the factors that create net lenders (location, parking, collection size).  His board and council do not want to subsidize other towns.  Net lending reimbursement benefits all libraries.
  • Dave Hanson replied that if lending is restricted, higher-use libraries will be affected the most with a loss in circulation.  Most items are circulated by opportunity and what is on the shelf.
  • Samantha McCoy stated that 8-10% of her collection is borrowed by patrons of Caldwell (through REBL) and there is no reciprocal charge.
  • Kurt Hadeler asked about moving this discussion to System Council to hear the will of the membership.
  • Stephanie Bellucci asked if only Bergen County libraries will be voting.
  • Jennifer Breuer commented that all libraries in BCCLS have a vested interest in the financial health of the organization.  It would be a new precedent to exclude non-Bergen County libraries and it would send the wrong message.
  • Kurt Hadeler agreed philosophically that only Bergen County libraries would be impacted by the vote, but BCCLS has moved towards being more inclusive over past few years and he would like to continue that progress.
  • Jennifer Breuer commented that this creates the framework for other counties and makes the ask easier since a model would already be in place.  67% of her collection is circulated to Bergen County libraries.
  • Ellen O'Keefe thought that if the new recommendation moves forward, an even split of the grant should be considered.  What about the burden of net lending on non-Bergen libraries?
  • Kurt Hadeler and Jennifer Breuer suggested giving the membership the chance to determine the split.
  • Kurt Hadeler liked the idea of linking training attendance (for example, completing a minimum number of training hours per year) to the distribution of the grant funds.  Ellen O'Keefe said that we can tell future potential sponsors that funds will be used for continuing education for staff.

 

It was MOVED BY:  Ellen O'Keefe                      Seconded by:  Laura Leonard

To move this to System Council in June and offer the membership 2 options to distribute the Bergen County grant:  use the formula outlined by Dave Hanson or equal distribution among the 62 Bergen County libraries.  In addition, disbursement of the grant would be tied to attendance at continuing education.

7 in favor, 1 opposed and 1 abstention.

Motion carried.

 

b)   Strategic Plan Update

Dave Hanson shared a draft of the update on the Strategic Plan.  Chelsea Coleman, chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, noted that the results of the survey were not surprising, except that many of the staff do not understand what BCCLS represents based on their suggestions.  56 libraries were represented at the focus group meetings for directors, staff and trustees.  Dave Hanson advised that feedback will be shared with the committee as it will have budget ramifications.  Chelsea Coleman will update the membership at System Council in June. 

 

c)   BCCLS Scholarship Winners

Scholarships were awarded to 10 applicants who were accepted at an ALA accredited library school who either live or work in a BCCLS community and agree to work in a public library for 2 years after completion of their MLS degree.  Kurt Hadeler read the list of winners which was included in the meeting packet:  Paul Brennan (Montclair Public Library and Wood-Ridge Memorial Library), Valerie Coughlin (Montclair Public Library), Deborah Davidowitz (Upper Saddle River Library), Erin Douglass (Upper Saddle River Library), Michelle Ferreira (Johnson Public Library), Elizabeth Gheduzzi (Montvale Public Library), Gavin Godbolt (Johnson Public Library), Cheryl Locastro (Bloomfield Public Library), Leanne Ly (Edgewater Public Library) and Riley McArthur (Wyckoff Public Library and Mahwah Public Library).  He congratulated the winners and noted that the scholarship awards will be presented at System Council on June 27.  The BCCLS Scholarship Committee is excited about the future of libraries after meeting with the scholarship winners. 

 

10.     Membership Hearing 

  • Kurt Hadeler advised that the date of the August Executive Board meeting will change due to the unavailability of several board members.  Darlene Swistock will poll the Executive Board to check their availability. 
  • Ellen O'Keefe mentioned her staff recommendation of buying BPA-free receipt paper.  Kurt Hadeler advised that this is not a BCCLS issue to educate and inform libraries.  She asked if it would be appropriate to include something in Cobalt; Kurt Hadeler agreed and also suggested sending a message to DIRECTORS. 
  • Monica Smith suggested educating drivers what to do if something goes wrong with the alarm and alerting the police about the new delivery process. 

 

11.     Executive Session – Executive Director – Probationary Evaluation

It was MOVED BY:  Mimi Hui                 Seconded by:  Laura Leonard

To go into closed session to discuss the probationary evaluation of the Executive Director.

All in favor.

Motion carried.

 

The Executive Board went into closed session at 11:47 am.

The Executive Board returned to open session at 12:38 pm.

 

It was MOVED BY:  Jennifer Breuer                    Seconded by:  Gerry McMahon

To accept the Executive Director's probationary evaluation as presented during the closed session. 

 

The executive Board suggests the following changes for future evaluations:

  • That question in III (18) be removed as only the President would be in a position to answer this meaningfully;
  • That III (19) be reworded to "works effectively with officers and committee chairs to set and accomplish goals";
  • That staff be asked to provide anonymous input on personnel issues such as office morale, timeliness of evaluations, setting appropriate goals for staff, etc.;
  • And that for the annual evaluation, trustee members who are completing their one-year term be asked to complete the annual evaluation. 

 

All in favor.

Motion carried. 

 

Jennifer Breuer and Kurt Hadeler will meet with Dave Hanson on Monday, May 20 at 10:30 in Mahwah to review his evaluation.  

 

12.     Next Meeting               Executive Board:  Wed, 7/17/19 @ 9:30 am – Norwood

System Council:   Thu,  6/27/19 @ 9:30 am – Hasbrouck Heights 

 

13.     Adjournment   

It was MOVED by:  Mimi Hui                  Seconded by:  Jennifer Breuer

To adjourn at 12:40 pm

Unanimously approved.

 

 

 

dms:  5/18/19

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