April 19, 2006

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Webster Groves Public Library was held at 7 pm on April 19, 2006. President Jon Furst presided, and Library Director Tom Cooper kept the minutes. Present: Library Board Trustees Gladys Tolley, Tom Reedy, Angela Birke, Stacy Deleste, Christine Krueger, Celia Bouchard. Absent: Charles Maas, June Gill.

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:05.

Public Agenda

There was no public agenda.

Minutes of the March 22, 2006 Meeting

Stacy Deleste said that the March 22 minutes should reflect the concern she expressed at that meeting that we should decide how many meetings a trustee may miss in a row without any explanation before losing a seat on the board.

Ms. Tolley made a motion to accept the minutes as amended; Mr. Reedy seconded, and the minutes were accepted.


There was no correspondence

President’s Report

Mr. Furst noted that we have some expiring trustee terms coming up in May. He has heard from June Gill, who will leave the board at that time. Ms. Tolley has signed up for another term, and Ms. Krueger still needs to do so.

He reported on efforts to restart the campaign process. He had communicated with Lee Falk, whose last message to him stated that her window of opportunity for helping the library had passed, and she would now be busy with other things. There are indications though that Mayor Welch is still interested in advising the library on any upcoming campaign, and Mr. Furst is working on getting a meeting together with her when she is available.

Librarian’s Report

Mr. Cooper reported that he has been looking into a grant from the state library that would help fund a formal strategic planning process. He thought the money would best be spent to pay for a professional survey of the community. After the survey, a committee could be convened to decide directions for the library based on the information gathered. Considering that the process meant a lot of work, he asked whether it was the sense of the board that he should apply for the grant. There was general consent that he should.

He also presented the board with a new draft mission statement, and explained that the wording represented the direction the library should be moving in the next few years. There was some discussion of the draft, and at Ms. Krueger’s suggestion it was refined a little. Ms. Deleste made a motion that the mission statement be approved as revised, Ms. Bouchard seconded, and the mission statement was approved. It reads:

‘The mission of Webster Groves Public Library is to anticipate and meet the information, education and recreation needs of our patrons, and to build and maintain an institution strong enough to provide these services for years to come.’

Advance Planning

Ms. Krueger said that the Friends of Webster Groves Public Library had won an award through FOLUSA (Friends of Library USA) for their recent recruitment brochure.

She had a conversation with Maggie Sowash, currently president of the Webster Park Association, in which she urged her to consider our recent $100 donation as a tribute to Webster Park residents who have been loyal and active supporters of the Library Friends group, and not Park Association dues. Ms. Sowash seemed to be interpreting it as a move to curry favor. She also asked questions about the tree that died in the west parking lot, the library’s ownership of the house on Mason Avenue, and other long-standing issues. There was some discussion of what might be a good forum for trying to work out these problems.

There was also a discussion of whether the library would plant a tree to replace the one that had died. Ms. Krueger said she would see if she could find someone willing to donate a tree. But Mr. Reedy cautioned once again that he recently spoke with a representative of Trees, Forests and Landscapes who doubts that any tree planted in the same place will live.


Mr. Cooper said that there is a newer version of the library’s Horizon automation system available. It should improve the speed of the circulation process, offer new features in the catalog, and be more resistant to outages. The MLC has agreed as a group that they will wait until spring 2007 to order it, putting off the bill until fiscal year 2007-2008.

Building and Grounds

Mr. Reedy has spoken to Janet Fitzgerald, our agent with Daniel & Henry Company. He has asked if there are any alternatives to SafeCo Insurance Company, who will not renew our insurance for the Mason house next year because it contains older ‘knob and tube’ wiring. This non-renewal triggers a non-renewal of our whole commercial package. He does not think it wise to wait too long in seeking other coverage, if Janet Fitzgerald is not forthcoming with alternatives.


Ms. Tolley reviewed the financial report and disbursements for March 2006. Ms. Krueger made a motion that the financial report be approved as presented, Mr. Reedy seconded, and it was approved.

Mr. Cooper also mentioned that the finance committee would have to meet sometime before the next board meeting to finalize a Fiscal Year 2006-2007 budget to present to the board.

Human Resource

Ms. Deleste said that there had been a meeting to discuss the director’s evaluation. She will be e-mailing some follow-up communications to the human resources committee, and then they will arrange a meeting with Mr. Cooper to discuss the evaluation.


There was no report from this committee.

Old Business

There was no old business.

New Business

There was no new business.


Ms. Bouchard made a motion to adjourn, Ms. Deleste seconded, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:20.

The next meeting of the Library’s Board of Trustees will be held on Wednesday, May 17 at 7 pm.