20 APRIL 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, April 20, 2005. President Jon Furst presided and Acting Library Co-Directors Michelle Haffer and Elise Fortman kept the minutes. Present: Library Board Trustees Stacy Deleste, Debra Fortney, June Gill, Christine Krueger, Pam Mahoney, and Tom Reedy. Absent: Charles Maas; Gladys Tolley arrived at 7:45 PM.

Call to Order

Mr. Furst called the meeting to order at 7:10 PM.

Public Agenda

There were no items for the Public Agenda this month.

Minutes of the March 2005 Meeting

Ms. Krueger moved that the minutes from the March 16, 2005 Board Meeting be approved as submitted. Ms. Deleste seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.


Mr. Furst read a letter from Mr. Edward Barnidge, Jr. of Webster Groves. Mr. Barnidge enclosed a donation to the Library in honor of his cousin Mary Grashoff on the occasion of her retirement as Director of the Library.

Mr. Furst also reported that he had received a letter from Robin Carnahan, Missouri Secretary of State reminding Board members of the upcoming Trustees’ Academy being held in Kansas City May 20 and May 21. Mr. Furst passed along application/registration forms for any who are interested in attending.

President's Report

Mr. Furst shared a copy of “Missouri Libraries – Your Lifetime Connections” Marketing Manual which is published by the Missouri State Library. This is essentially an informational marketing tool designed for Library Boards. Mr. Furst asked that Trustees look it over. Ms. Fortman will get additional copies from the State Library.

Mr. Furst also shared a book he received through Interlibrary Loan called “Winning Library Referenda Campaigns: A How-To-Do-It Manual. It deals with strategies for expanding a library, and getting tax levy increases and bond issues passed. Again, he recommends each Board member take a look at this material.

Librarian's Report

Ms. Haffer distributed the Children’s Department calendar for May, and informed the Board that the Summer Reading Program would kick off with a program on June 3 at 3:30 PM. This event will feature a visit from a knight in full armor, and ties in with this year’s theme: “Dragons, Dreams & Daring Deeds”.

Last week the Children’s Room held a contest to celebrate National Library Week. Youngsters guessed the total number of lollypops contained in a jar at the desk. The winner received the jar, contents, and a copy of the Harry Potter book coming in July.

Ms. Haffer reported she attended a meeting with the School District’s librarians to discuss a new campaign called “Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library”. This program would make kits available to families who don’t ordinarily use the libraries and give information on library services offered, as well as how to get a child’s first library card. These kits could be distributed to new community residents through City Hall or the Chamber of Commerce, or to new parents at hospitals or pediatricians’ offices.

Ms. Haffer reported she and Ms. Fortman attended the Municipal Library Consortium of St. Louis County board meeting on April 7, 2005 at the Rock Hill Library. The MLC is currently discussing the possibility changing delivery service from the County Library’s to another option that operates statewide at a cheaper cost. The delivery contract with County expires at the end of July this year, and the cost is expected to rise at least 6% for the next year or two.

Ms. Haffer reported that she is continuing to work on the staff evaluations, and will have them completed by the end of the fiscal year. She is also in the process of selecting nametags for the staff, and will have those ready in the near future.

Ms Fortman noted that the monthly Circulation Report (green sheets) normally distributed to the Board is missing this month. The statistics for this report are now being tabulated by the Horizon system’s new program “Web Reporter” which was recently installed. This program categorizes the statistics differently than the previous method, and Ms. Fortman must learn how to work with this program and customize these statistics to reformat this report in the future.

Ms. Fortman said she is working on the budget and will need to ask the Finance Committee to meet before the next Board meeting to look over the preliminary figures.

Ms Fortman reported that in the next few weeks, the Library would receive information and quotes on the renewal of the Directors and Public Officials Liability policy.

Ms. Fortman said there continue to be a few patron complaints about the inability to place requests for materials through the County Library system. Most of these people just need to have the situation and procedures explained to them.

Advance Planning

Ms. Fortney reported that the Advance Planning Committee met again with Seth Langton of Langton Associates to view drawings of possible expansion which would use the Mason property. This plan would depend on the City’s interpretation of the Mason lot’s setbacks. It may not be possible to add on to the current building in this manner.

Ms. Fortney said the committee met with architect Susan Pruchnicki of Bond & Wolfe Architects in Clayton. Ms. Pruchnicki emphasized the importance of including the community in the planning stages of expansion and of determining what features might be most important to the users of the services. The process by which the Library arrives at the proposed facility is as important as the resulting design. Ms. Fortney suggested that Ms. Pruchnicki attend a meeting and speak to the entire Board.

Mr. Reedy suggested that the City Council’s Liaison to the Library be included in the process so that the Library has a voice in the city government when the time comes to put the Library’s plans in the public eye.


There was no report from this committee this month.

Building and Grounds

Mr. Reedy said the current usage of the alarm system is adequate for now, and will be reviewed over the next year when funds become available to make changes.

Mr. Reedy reported that he was reviewing options for obtaining the permit for the Mason property. He pointed out again that the permit will depend on the type of use made of the of the house. After some discussion, it was decided to focus on 3 options: lease of the property as a private residence, use by the Library and Friends Group as a meeting place, programming site, and storage/sorting facility, and rental to public/private groups for social functions/parties, etc.

Mr. Reedy noted that the Library is rarely mentioned when the City discusses future plans for the City. He said there would be a public meeting on the 26th of April to kick around ideas for future City developments. He would like for the Library to be considered in this process.


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

Human Resource

Ms. Gill reported that only 5 applications had been received to date for the Director’s position, but there were still a few days remaining until the deadline. The initial ad ran in the Sunday Post-Dispatch on April 3rd, on the online site of the Missouri Library Association, and on the Library’s own website. Ms. Gill asked the members of the Human Resource Committee to come into the Library and read the applications before meeting to decide whether or not to extend the deadline, or to select candidates for interviewing.


Ms Krueger reported that she attended the meeting of the Friends Group, and they reported a very successful Book Fair grossing approximately $9,300. They currently have about $38,000 in funds, and a general membership of about 211which netted $5,680 in dues. Ms. Krueger also noted that the Friends denied the Library’s request for funding of a subscription to Audio E-Books, but were considering a request for materials purchase from a local artist who wants to volunteer her services to paint a mural in the Children’s Room.

Old Business

There was no old business before the Board this month.

New Business

There was no new business before the Board this month.

There being no further business, Ms. Tolley moved to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Gill seconded the motion which carried unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 PM.

The next meeting of the Library's Board of Trustees will be held on **Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at the Library House at #5 Mason Avenue at **6:30 PM.