February 15, 2006

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Webster Groves Public Library was held at 7 p. m. on February 15, 2006. President Jon Furst presided, and Library Director Tom Cooper kept the minutes. Present: Library Board Trustees Angela Birke, June Gill, Gladys Tolley, Stacy Deleste, and Celia Bouchard. Absent: Christine Krueger, Tom Reedy, Charles Maas.

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:10.

Public Agenda

There was no public agenda.

Minutes of the January 18, 2006 Meeting

Gladys Tolley moved to approve the minutes of the January 18 meeting; June Gill seconded, and the minutes were approved.


There was no correspondence.

President’s Report

Jon Furst reported that he had assigned new board members Angela Birke and Celia Bouchard to standing committees.

He reported on the meeting with political science professor and consultant Terry Jones and architect Susan Pruchnicki. Mr. Jones advised the board on message mapping, polling, focus groups, and other things pertinent to the upcoming tax levy campaign. He has offered to assist by writing a campaign plan. He has advised the board to hire a campaign manager, and to think about how many volunteers they might expect to recruit to work on the campaign. Ms. Pruchnicki offered her insights on why certain campaigns she has monitored failed.

Mr. Furst also reported on the meeting of the Advanced Planning Committee which took place Monday the 16th to consider an appropriate amount to ask for in a tax levy campaign. The amount the committee is recommending is 25.2 cents per 100 dollars of assessed valuation – which is 5.2 cents over our current voted amount of 20 cents. This is also 9.5 cents over the 15.7 cents we currently collect under the Hancock Amendment.

Mr. Furst asked about the insurance renewals for the library and the Mason house. Since Mr. Reedy was absent from the meeting, Mr. Furst wondered if we should wait until he could look at them. But due to the fact that the payment for the renewal is due well before the next board meeting, he proposed that the board vote to approve the payment, pending Mr. Reedy’s approval. Ms. Gill moved to approve the insurance payment according to this plan, Ms. Bouchard seconded, and the payment was approved.

Librarian’s Report

Mr. Cooper reported on the progress of the sewer project, specifically the problem of people driving the wrong way down the library’s exit drive, rather than using the recommended detours.

He spoke about working with several library department heads to improve service in the library.

He noted that the insurance company has advised us that there is wiring in the Mason house that needs to be changed or they will not renew our policy next time. It was suggested that here too we should get Tom Reedy’s advice on an appropriate response – which may be to seek a new insurance carrier.

Mr. Cooper talked about Library Legislative Day, which he attended earlier in the month with Jon Furst.

Advanced Planning

In the absence of Ms. Krueger, Mr. Furst reported on the past month’s Advanced Planning activities.

February was declared Library Lover’s Month. Mayor Gerry Welch visited the library to sign a proclamation. The Friends are conducting a fundraising campaign by asking people to order special bookmarks for their loved ones. In the library, people can fill out a form telling their story of how they love their library; prizes will be given for the best entries.

Jon, Christine and Tom had a meeting with Gerry Welch to advise her of the library’s plans and hear her thoughts on how best to conduct a campaign.

The same group also met with Lee Falk, a local political consultant, to solicit her thoughts on the upcoming tax levy campaign. She offered much good information, and will help some in the planning; but she is too busy with other campaigns to commit to doing more for the library at this time.

Jon and Christine met with local developer Bob Camenzind. He has offered the old Reliable Life building, which he owns, as a site for the Friends book sale. He is also considering using the opening of one or more of his restaurant properties as a chance to do some kind of marketing or fundraising for the library.

At this point there was further discussion of the proposed amount for a tax levy. Stacy Deleste moved that the library put a measure on the June 6, 2006 ballot asking to raise the library’s tax rate from .20 per $100 of assessed valuation to .252 per $100 dollars of assessed valuation. The motion was seconded by Angela Birke, and passed unanimously.


There was no report from this committee.

Building and Grounds

Mr. Cooper reported that Karen Smith, the leasing agent for the Mason house, has shown the house twice to one couple, who seem fairly interested in it.


Ms. Tolley reviewed the financial report and disbursements for January, 2006. Stacy Deleste moved that the financial report be approved as presented, Celia Bouchard seconded, and the report was approved.

Human Resource

Stacy Deleste mentioned that she is planning to visit the library in a day or two to review newly created evaluation forms and job descriptions. She also plans to convene this committee soon for the purpose of evaluating the library director.


There was no report from this committee.

Old Business

Mr. Cooper mentioned that a planned TIF Commission meeting, which was discussed at the last library board meeting, has been cancelled, since the project it was to look at has been cancelled.

New Business

There was no new business.


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

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