January 16, 2008

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Webster Groves Public Library was held at 7 p.m. on January 16, 2008. President Jon Furst presided, and Library Director Tom Cooper kept the minutes. Present: Library Board Trustees Tom Reedy, Liz Walsh, Peter Ruger, Christine Krueger, Stacy Deleste, Bob Herdler, and City Council Liaison Jeanne Kirkton. Absent: Trustee Angela Birke

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m.

Public Agenda

There was no public agenda

Minutes of the November 14, 2007 Meeting

Ms. Krueger moved to approve the minutes as written, Mr. Reedy seconded, and the minutes were approved.


Mr. Furst presented two pieces of correspondence. One was a thank you note from library employee Dianne LeBeau thanking the board for the gift received upon going into semi-retirement. The other was a letter from Rev. John Kotovsky, the new president of Lutheran Senior Services, which accompanied their annual voluntary contribution of $3,000 to the library.

President’s Report

Mr. Furst drew everyone’s attention to the report issued by Sue Pruchnicki of Bond Wolfe on the public engagement meetings held in mid-November of last year. It was agreed that while some good information was generated, the poorly-attended meetings did not offer the sort of broad-based public input we had hoped for.

He also noted that Ms. Pruchnicki had given us a proposal for hosting another such meeting. After some discussion there was a motion by Ms. Deleste to accept the proposal. Mr. Ruger seconded, and the motion passed. Key to the success of this additional meeting will be a stronger attempt to publicize the meeting to the public.

Mr. Herdler suggested that a timeline be established to get the planning process moving forward. Mr. Ruger suggested that several trustees form an ad hoc planning committee to come up with a workable timeline. Mr. Furst, Ms. Krueger and Mr. Herdler discussed several likely dates for that meeting. They will also try to involve Ms. Pruchnicki for her input on the steps in such a timeline.

Librarian’s Report

Mr. Cooper told the board about some new innovations in library service such as self-check stations and telecirc service that uses automated phone calls to notify patrons of reserves. Several local libraries have implemented the use of one or more of these, and report few patron complaints. He expressed a general dislike of these things, preferring human-based customer service wherever possible, but suggested that if the board should be interested, he would investigate further. Not much interest was expressed.

He showed the trustees a certificate the library had given the WG High School Band for its fundraiser last November. It was an offer to excuse a patron’s library fines. Of four certificates given, only one was purchased. That patron was delighted to use it. It seems like a good idea to use for future fundraisers, as a way of involving the Library in community activities.

He read a few comments that users of the Library’s new computers have made on user surveys. Response to the computers has been overwhelmingly positive.

There will be a program on Saturday, March 1st introducing a book written by recently deceased local radio personality Don Corey, about the early days at KSHE radio. The program will offer readings from the book by friends of Don’s, which it is hoped will include other well-known DJs.

Advanced Planning

There was no report from this committee.


The Library’s Horizon automation system will be updated on Wednesday, January 30, an update that will result in an outage of most of the system’s functions from opening until about noon that day.

The server which houses the Horizon system for the Municipal Library Consortium will soon come to the end of the period where the manufacturer will service it. The MLC will need to look into purchasing a new server soon. There is a chance that they can mitigate the expense by obtaining a State Grant similar to the one WG just used to buy computers.

Building and Grounds

Mr. Cooper reported that in early January a neighbor’s tree fell into the garage at #5 Mason and poked a hole in the roof. Also, Karen Smith has suggested that if she is to find a tenant for the house, it may need some updating, particularly newer flooring. She has removed the older carpeting from the master bedroom and bath and from the stairs. The hardwood floors are not bad, but probably should be refinished.


Mr. Herdler reviewed the financial report and disbursements for December, 2007. Ms. Walsh made a motion that the financial report be approved as presented. Ms. Deleste seconded, and the report was approved.

Mr. Herdler reviewed the financial report and disbursements for November, 2007. Mr. Reedy made a motion that the financial report be approved as presented. Ms. Krueger seconded, and the report was approved.

Mr. Herdler discussed the status of the Library’s tax anticipation loan. There will be no more money borrowed this fiscal year, and with tax revenue flowing in over the past few months, we should soon begin to pay back the loan. He will be urging Tom and Elise to pay back as quickly as is practical.

Human Resource

Ms. Deleste reported that at the Library’s Holiday luncheon this year three employees were given service awards for their years of service. This is a new program we hope to do from now on, recognizing employees as they hit 5-year increments in service.

Ms. Deleste also asked for some clarification on current committee assignments, since the list is not up to date and she may need to convene the Human Resource committee. The main oversight was that Ms. Walsh had not yet been given committee assignments. She agreed to serve on the Human Resource and Policy committees.


The audit report from Hochschild and Bloom contained three recommendations they would like to see implemented for next year. Two of them are new written policies; a capital assets policy and a fraud prevention policy. Mr. Cooper said he and other staff would work on those policies and present their drafts to the board.

While taking bids for insurance coverage, Mr. Cooper learned that some providers will offer premium deductions for employee liability practices coverage to companies that have written Internet and e-mail policies. Also, some insurers insist that a company’s personnel policy include a definition of sexual harassment and a well-defined complaint procedure. Mr. Ruger mentioned that he is working with some interns on similar issues, and would like to take a look at that policy.

Old Business

There was no old business.

New Business

Daniel and Henry Company has submitted its proposal for renewing the library’s insurance coverage. Three other providers have been asked to submit proposals. Mr. Cooper asked if an ad hoc committee could convene when the bids are in to consider which is the best, preferably prior to the next board meeting, which comes too close to the day (February 23) when most of our current policies expire.

Everyone received a copy of the FY 2006-2007 Audit Report from Hochschild, Bloom. Mr. Cooper suggested that at the next meeting, after everyone had a chance to look at it, we could see if there were any questions.


Mr. Reedy moved to adjourn, Ms. Deleste seconded, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

The next meeting of the Library’s Board of Trustees will be held on Wednesday, February 20 at 7 p.m.