20 JULY 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, July 20, 2005. President Jon Furst presided, and Acting Library Co-Director Elise Fortman kept the minutes. Present: Library Board Trustees Stacy Deleste, Christine Krueger, Charles Maas, Tom Reedy, and Gladys Tolley. Absent: Debra Fortney, June Gill, and Pam Mahoney. Also present: Acting Library Co-Director Michelle Haffer, City of Webster Groves Assistant Manager Janet Watson and Library Director candidate, Thomas Cooper.

Call to Order

Mr. Furst called the meeting to order at 6:35 PM.

Public Agenda

Ms. Janet Watson, Assistant City Manager of Webster Groves, addressed the Board of Trustees to explain the process used by City Hall to set the annual tax rates for the Library. Ms. Watson discussed the roles of the Hancock Amendment and the Consumer Price Index in determining these rates, and there was some general discussion of local reassessments and their impact on the tax rates. Ms. Watson said she would be available to answer any future questions the Board might have regarding the tax rate.

Minutes of the June 15, 2005 Meeting

The minutes from the June meeting were not available and will be presented for approval at the next meeting.


There was no correspondence this month.

President's Report

Mr. Furst reported that the Board of Elections will require the Library Board to designate an official contact person who will be authorized to call for an issue to be placed on the ballot. Mr. Furst suggested that the Board wait for its new Director to be in place before naming that contact person. Mr. Furst said the Library would not miss a deadline prior to an election by waiting another month.

Mr. Furst also said that work on a proposed tax increase would hinge on having the new Director make an assessment of the Library’s needs over the next five to ten years.

Mr. Furst asked the members to be aware that there are one or two vacancies on the Board, and to be thinking about people who might be able to bring a strong interest in serving the Library and the community to the table.

Librarian's Report

Ms. Haffer distributed the Children’s Room calendar for August, and reported that the Children’s Department registered more than 925 participants in the Summer Reading Program.

Ms. Haffer reported that she would host a Scrapbooking program or “Crop” on Saturday, July 23rd from 5 PM to 10 PM. She has someone from Red Lead Paperworks craft store in Warson Woods coming to present a demonstration to the group.

Ms. Haffer told the Board that the Library’s former automation vendor, SIRSI, has recently purchased Dynix which supplies the Library and the Consortium with its current Horizon automation system.

The Consortium’s new delivery carrier, “Get Connected”, is set to begin on Monday, August 1st, and preparations to switch to the new service are underway.

Ms. Fortman reported that as of the end of the fiscal year, she had needed to borrow from the line of credit established at Cass Commercial Bank. The money available to carry over to the new fiscal year is made up entirely of borrowed money. However, Ms. Fortman was able to report that the anticipated budget deficit was pared down from the original estimate.

Advance Planning

There was no report from this committee this month.


There was no report from this committee this month.

Building and Grounds

Mr. Reedy reported that he discussed with local real estate agents the potential income-producing possibilities of creating a residential rental unit from the Library’s Mason property. The consensus seemed to be that the property might bring $2,000/month.

After further discussion of rental versus sale of the Mason property, Mr. Furst asked the Board to postpone any final decision on its disposition until the new Library Director has been hired and had a chance to evaluate the Library’s financial situation.

Human Resource

In the absence of June Gill, Committee Chair, Mr. Furst introduced Mr. Thomas Cooper, currently employed by Richmond Heights Public Library, as the Committee’s selection to fill the Library Director position, pending full Board approval. Mr. Cooper gave the Trustees a brief synopsis of his career path to this point, and answered a few questions about his interests in collection development, staff management, programming, and customer services. Mr. Furst told Mr. Cooper that the Board would be in touch with him in a few days after final discussions and checking of references. Mr. Cooper thanked the Board members for the opportunity to meet with them.

It was decided that if confirmed, Mr. Cooper would be asked to begin working at Webster Groves on Monday, August 22nd.

Ms. Krueger moved to change the August Board meeting from August 17th to August 24th so that the new Director would be able to attend. Ms. Deleste seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.


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


There was no report from this committee this month.

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 before the Board, Mr. Reedy moved to adjourn the regular meeting, and go into executive session. Ms. Krueger seconded the motion, which carried unanimously. The regular meeting was adjourned at 8:55 PM, and the Board then went into closed session.

The next meeting of the Library’s Board of Trustees will be held on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 at the Library House, #5 Mason Avenue, at 7:00 PM.