4 AUGUST 2004 (Postponed from 21 JULY 2004)

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Webster Groves Public Library was held in the Director's office in the Library on Wednesday, August 4, 2004 at 7:00 PM. President Jon Furst presided and Acting Library Co-Director Elise Fortman kept the minutes. Present: Library Board Trustees: Stacy Deleste, June Gill, Christine Krueger, Charles Maas, Tom Reedy, Julie Schaper, and Gladys Tolley. Absent: Debra Fortney. Also present: Acting Library Co-Director Michelle Haffer.

Call to Order

Mr. Furst introduced newly appointed Trustees Stacy Deleste, Charles Maas, and Julie Schaper, welcoming them to their first meeting.

Mr. Furst reported that Library Director Mary Grashoff had resigned effective July 19, 2004, and that the Board has asked staff members Elise Fortman and Michelle Haffer to serve as Acting Co-Directors while the Board conducts a search for a new Director.

Public Agenda

There were no items for the Public Agenda this month.

Minutes of the June Meeting

Ms. Gill moved that the minutes of the June 16, 2004 meeting be approved as submitted. Ms. Tolley seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Mr. Reedy asked if the monthly meeting minutes could be made available on the Library's website. Ms. Gill suggested that it be password-protected for viewing by Board members only. Ms. Haffer said she would look into the feasibility of the request.


Ms. Fortman reported that the Library had received a request from the Webster Park Association for $50 annual dues to be paid for the #5 Mason property. These dues support maintenance of common areas in the subdivision and fund social events for Park residents. Mr. Furst gave new Trustees some background on the history of the Library's relationship with the Park, including their continuing request that the Library replace a large Red Oak which died after construction of the Library's new parking lot. Ms. Gill stated payment of dues would be a show of good will, and Ms. Krueger offered to speak to Friends member Jane Romines to see if the Friends Organization would underwrite this expense.

President's Report

Mr. Furst distributed copies of Committee assignments, pointing out the change in number of committees to comply with the Board's current By-laws. As the Committees had been formed before the new Trustees were appointed, there are still some vacancies to be filled. Mr. Furst asked new members to consider which Committees would fit their interests, and to let him know their choices.

Librarian's Report

Ms. Haffer distributed the Children's Department's calendar for August, and reported that more than 900 children participated in the Summer Reading Program. Of these participants, over 70% of them have reached their reading goals.

Ms. Haffer reported a patron complaint received during one of the Children's Department's programs recently. A gentleman working at a public Internet station was bothered by the noise level of the program and wondered why we didn't use the Mason property for such events. Mr. Reedy suggested patrons be told the Library is waiting for use permits to be issued. Mr. Reedy said the Building and Grounds committee would investigate the current status of the permits.

Ms. Haffer reported that she and Ms. Fortman met with Consortium Board President Jeanette Piquet at the Richmond Heights Library to sign the agreement which marked Webster Groves becoming a member of the Municipal Library Consortium of St. Louis County. As a result of this membership, Webster is now ready to move ahead with the installation of the new automation system shared by the nine Consortium members. Ms. Haffer passed out the tentative timetable for this migration to the Dynix Horizon software. Training for staff will begin in November with "going live" scheduled for December 15, 2004. It is recommended that the Library be closed on Monday, December 13 and Tuesday, December 14 while the data is moved from one system to the other. Ms. Krueger moved that the Library be closed those dates. Ms. Deleste seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Ms. Haffer informed Trustees that the Library would be purchasing at least 5 new workstations to replace obsolete "dumb" terminals, and several expanded memory cards to upgrade other stations. These are necessary to make existing computers compatible with the new Dynix software. Recently, the Library's firewall needed to be replaced, and the new one is now up and running after 5 days interruption of public Internet service.

Ms. Fortman reported that the Library sustained some tree and window damage during the storms of July 5th. The insurance company has sent out an adjustor and covered repairs based on his estimates. Window repair estimates are being sought and trees have been trimmed back.

Ms. Fortman also reported that major repairs to the main building's air conditioning units have been completed, and restoration of air conditioning at the Mason property is scheduled for the upcoming week.

Ms. Fortman said that the Webster Groves City Council will be proposing a parking restriction on Orchard Avenue for the hours of 8-9 AM and 2-3 PM on school days. This ordinance comes before the Council on Tuesday, August 3rd for 1st and 2nd readings. Ms. Fortman warned that this may impact parking on the Library's Orchard parking lot, but may relieve congestion at certain times of day.

Advance Planning/Automation

Mr. Furst reported the Committee will resume work on planning for a tax increase and/or bond issue for expansion of the Library in the near future.

Building and Grounds

There was no report from this committee this month.


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

Human Resources & Policy

There was no report from this committee this month.

Old Business

There was no old business before the Board this month.

New Business

Mr. Furst asked the Board Trustees and Acting Co-Directors to introduce themselves to the new members and each other, giving a brief account of their background and association with the Library.

There being no further business, Ms. Gill moved to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Tolley seconded the motion, which carried unanimously. The regular meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM.

Executive (Closed) Session

The Trustees met in closed session to consider a personnel matter. [MO Statute 610.021 (3)]

The next meeting of the Library's Board of Trustees will be held on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 at the Library House at #5 Mason Avenue at 7:00 PM.