January 18, 2006

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Webster Groves Public Library was held at 7 pm on January 18th. President Jon Furst presided, and Library Director Tom Cooper kept the minutes. Present: Library Board Trustees Gladys Tolley, Celia Bouchard, Stacy Deleste, June Gill, Christine Krueger, Angela Birke, and Tom Reedy. Absent: Charles Maas.

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:05.

Public Agenda

There was no public agenda

Minutes of the December 14, 2005 Meeting

Christine Krueger suggested that where the minutes mentioned ‘non-renewals,’ in the Friends of the Library report, it should have said ‘lapsed renewals.’ Jon Furst mentioned that where the minutes noted his meeting with Ellen Chapman, it should more properly note that he had contacted her.

Gladys Tolley moved that the minutes be accepted as amended, Christine Krueger seconded, and the minutes were approved.


Tom Cooper presented a letter from St. Louis County Councilman Kurt Odenwald, which accompanied a $3000 check from Lutheran Senior Services. The money is a voluntary donation paid in lieu of property taxes on the Village of Laclede Oaks. The letter noted that in the past this money went to St. Louis County, which then distributed it through the Collector of Revenue. From now on, it will be paid directly to the Library.

Mr. Cooper also presented a letter from the Jerry J. Wilson Foundation, which accompanied a check for $1500. The money is an unrestricted gift from the Foundation. The library had been selected by Tom and Carolyn Wilson and the Foundation’s Board of Directors to receive this money.

President’s Report

Jon Furst introduced new board trustee Celia Bouchard.

Mr. Furst led a discussion of board recruitment procedures. There is some concern that the library board does not exercise sufficient influence within the city of Webster Groves to either recruit board trustees or to make sure candidates we recommend are appointed. Suggestions for improving this situation centered mostly on maintaining contacts with the mayor and council members, thinking of ways to keep them informed of what we are doing and what our current goals are, and perhaps planning a meeting or event specifically to meet with and discuss our priorities with these city officials.

Mr. Furst passed around a copy of a library use study that had been done by Bond Wolfe architects prior to designing new construction for Maplewood Public Library. He explained that there was a meeting coming up soon with UMSL Political Science Professor Terry Jones, who would advise us on the upcoming tax levy campaign. But Mr. Jones was most interested in knowing that we had selected an architect for any proposed expansion plan. Susan Pruchnicki of Bond Wolfe is the architect who will be present at the meeting, which was tentatively set for Wednesday, January 25th at 7 pm.

Librarian’s Report

Mr. Cooper showed the statistics sheet for December 2005, comparing the library’s circulation for the same month in 2004. It shows a slight increase in circulation, mostly accountable to increased juvenile circulation. Also, there was an increase in items circulated to both St. Louis Public and St. Louis County reciprocal patrons.

He spoke about gathering figures for Diane Vaughan of Webster Groves Public Schools to use in figuring an appropriate amount to ask for in a tax levy campaign.

He asked board trustees to look at the Library Board Roster prepared by City Hall and note any changes or corrections to it.

Mr. Cooper then mentioned that there was some concern about our insurance coverage. We had just been notified that our policies were being non-renewed by the carrier. He would be checking into that as soon as possible.

Advance Planning

Christine Krueger mentioned that she and Jon Furst will soon meet with local entrepreneur Robert Camenzind. They are hoping he will want to work with the library in some capacity, such as using his properties for a fundraiser, donating to the library, etc. Interested trustees were invited to attend the meeting as well.


There was no report from this committee.

Building and Grounds

Mr. Cooper told the board that a new drinking fountain had been installed, since the old one was out of order and irreparable. He is going to ask the Friends of the Library if they’d like to cover this expense.

Mr. Cooper also described the impact of the ongoing sewer project on Lockwood Avenue. In the upcoming months there will be street closings that will impact the library. Library staff have already printed and made available to the public instructions about expected closings and proposed detours.


Ms. Tolley reviewed the financial report and disbursements for December, 2005. Tom Reedy moved that the financial report be approved as presented, June Gill seconded, and the report was approved.

Human Resource

There was no report from this committee.


There was no report from this committee.

Old Business

There was no old business.

New Business

Mr. Cooper presented a letter from Helmut Starr, City Attorney for Webster Groves. The city’s Tax Increment Financing Commission will hold a public hearing on a proposal for the Lockwood/Jefferson Redevelopment Area. Library Board trustees and staff are invited to attend as representatives of a concerned taxing district. The meeting will be at 7 pm on February 9th.

Mr. Cooper also noted a brochure everyone was given announcing the upcoming library legislative day in Jefferson City. After some discussion, it was decided Mr. Cooper and Mr. Furst would attend.


Ms. Gill moved to adjourn, Ms. Tolley seconded, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:20.

The next meeting of the Library’s Board of Trustees will be held on Wednesday, February 15th at 7 pm.