19 JANUARY 2005

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Webster Groves Public Library was held at the Library House at #5 Mason Avenue on Wednesday, January 19, 2005. President Jon Furst presided and Acting Library Co-Director Elise Fortman kept the minutes. Present: Library Board Trustees Stacy Deleste, Christine Krueger, Tom Reedy, and Gladys Tolley. Absent: Trustees Debra Fortney, June Gill, and Charles Maas, and Acting Co-Director Michelle Haffer.

Call to Order

Mr. Furst called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

Public Agenda

There were no items for the Public Agenda this month.

Minutes of the November and December Meetings

Minutes from the November meeting were unavailable for review, and will be sent out at a later date. There were no minutes to review from December as the Board of Trustees did not meet that month.


Mr. Furst reported that he received an invitation from the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners to attend a meeting on February 3rd regarding the steps necessary for placing measures on the ballot for public vote. Mr. Furst said he planned to attend and invited any other interested Board members to join him.

Mr. Furst also said he received a holiday card from the Ittner Architectural firm (with whom the Advance Planning Committee is working), and was pleased to note they are staying in touch.

President's Report

Mr. Furst reported that he has been informally speaking with prominent members of the business community to pave the way for later discussions about services the Library can offer local businesses, and how the community can support the Library. These issues will be taken up in future Advance Planning Committee meetings.

Mr. Furst also reported that it has come to his attention that the Library’s current alarm system has not recently been fully activated. There had been an incident some time ago that raised questions of altering the present system to one which would allow for all the after-hour comings and goings of staff and various service people. Mr. Furst spoke with a representative of the alarm company which installed the system and with a company recommended for the proposed alternative system. There are apparently several options and systems to review, and Mr. Furst suggested that the co-director(s) meet with Mr. Reedy to look into the next step to take.

Librarian's Report

The Children's Department's calendar for February was distributed, along with a report from Michelle Haffer, who was unable to attend this evening. Ms. Fortman reported on the installation of the new Horizon system, and the staff’s satisfaction with how well the transition has gone. There is still much adjusting to do, but the Consortium’s network administrator, Marlene Johannes, has been on-site or accessible by phone each day to walk the staff through problems, glitches, and assist with ongoing training. By and large, the public has been patient and appreciative of the changes being made.

Ms. Fortman reported that the Library’s longtime building manager, Bill Kampelman, has officially retired, and the Library has hired a replacement, Sam Uka. Mr. Kampelman has worked with Mr. Uka to familiarize him with the building and property maintenance requirements, and has also offered to return on an as-needed basis to help with any problems that might arise. Mr. Uka will have a three month probationary period, after which time both he and the Library will evaluate his situation. Ms. Fortman said the staff was eager to show its appreciation and affection for Bill by throwing him a party and presenting him with a token of gratitude. Ms. Fortman asked for the Board’s approval, and it was agreed this would be an appropriate expenditure. A date has not yet been set for this event, and Ms. Fortman wondered if it should be combined with the previously proposed appreciation party thrown for the staff by the Board. It was decided that they should be separate events, and the Board would see if the staff could attend a brunch held at Ms. Krueger’s home on Sunday March 6th or 13th. Ms. Fortman will canvass the staff and give Ms. Krueger the results in a couple of days.

Ms. Fortman reported that the Consortium purchased the “Enriched Text” feature for Horizon’s public catalog. Additional information such as reviews, pictures of book jackets, contents, etc. will appear on the catalog. Horizon’s “Web Reporter”, a behind-the-scenes tool for staff to use to create customized statistical reports, was also purchased.

Ms. Fortman reported that she has received premium estimates for the Library’s insurance policy renewals. These quotes show increases for the Workers’ Compensation and the overall package policies, with the prospect of the Workers’ Comp premium decreasing after the payroll audit in February. This would be due to Mr. Kampelman’s leaving the Library, thus having fewer hours at the higher rate. The renewals for these policies are due February 23rd, and will be presented for approval at the Board’s next meeting.

Ms. Fortman asked the Board to pass a resolution authorizing Mr. Furst as the Library’s representative to negotiate and sign financial agreements. The Library will need to renew its Line of Credit with Cass Bank this spring, and possibly enter into another loan to cover this year’s budget deficit. Mr. Reedy moved that the Board pass this resolution. Ms. Deleste seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Ms. Fortman called the Trustees’ attention to the updated listing of Board members, and reminded those members whose terms expire this year (Fortney, Furst, and Reedy), to submit letters to the Library Board and to City Council stating their intention to resign or their request for reappointment for another three year term.

Ms. Fortman also reminded the Trustees that as members of a City Board, they are eligible for family passes at the Webster Groves Recreation Center.

Ms. Fortman distributed the Library’s Annual Report for the Fiscal Year 2003-2004.

Advance Planning

There was no report from this committee this month.


There was no report from this committee this month.

Building and Grounds

Mr. Reedy reported he had been contacted by the Webster Park Association regarding the replacement of the large Red Oak on the Orchard parking lot. Mr. Reedy explained the Library was in a budgetary crunch and was looking at several options for that space.

Mr. Reedy reminded the Trustees that they should doublecheck their homeowners policies to make sure they are covered under an umbrella policy for their Board activities.


Ms. Tolley reviewed the financial reports and disbursements for November and December. Mr. Reedy moved that the bills be approved as presented. Ms. Tolley seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Human Resources

There was no report from this committee this month.


Ms. Krueger reported that she and Mr. Furst met with the Friends Group in November. There will be another meeting with the Friends on Friday, January 21st at 9 AM. Again, a topic of interest will be how the Board can work with the Friends to strengthen their organization, or assist with the formation of a new and separate foundation. There seems to be some concern as to the ongoing viability of the current active members of the Friends Board as it has been virtually the same small group in office for years.

Ms. Krueger said that there would be a meeting of the Policy Committee scheduled in the near future to further explore these and other fund-raising issues.

Old Business

There was no old business before the Board this month.

New Business

Mr. Reedy brought up the necessity of making decisions on how the Library House would be used, so that the Board could determine whether or not o use the property to secure financing to carry the Library until such time as a tax levy or bond issue could be passed.

There being no further business, Ms. Krueger moved to adjourn. Mr. Reedy seconded the motion, which carried unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 PM.

The next meeting of the Library's Board of Trustees will be held on Wednesday, February 16, 2005 at the Library House at #5 Mason Avenue at 7:00 PM.