August 15, 2007

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Webster Groves Public Library was held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 15. President Jon Furst presided, and Library Director Tom Cooper kept the minutes. Present: Library Board Trustees Bob Herdler, Tom Reedy, Stacy Deleste, Peter Ruger and Christine Krueger. Absent: Trustee Angela Birke, City Council Liaison Jeanne Kirkton.

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:08 p.m.

Public Agenda

There was no public agenda.

Minutes of the June 20, 2007 Meeting

Mr. Herdler moved to approve the minutes as presented, Mr. Reedy seconded, and the minutes were approved.


Mr. Cooper read a note from Representative Kathlyn Fares, congratulating the library for its successful food drive in April.

He read a memo from Webster Groves City Clerk Katie Nakazono, in which she asked him to distribute copies of a new ordinance to board trustees. The ordinance states that the City Council may remove any member of a city-appointed board who has more than 4 unexcused absences per year.

President’s Report

Mr. Furst distributed copies of the new committee assignments for 2007.

Librarian’s Report

Mr. Cooper mentioned that the library’s staff in-service day would be held August 23, and that any board member who would like either to meet or address the staff was welcome.

He noted that the city council was looking at a tax rate of 13.3% for the library this year – a significant drop in the rate, but because of reassessments it should yield close to the amount we budgeted for this year.

He noted that the yearly circulation for FY 2006-2007 was 4,553 items higher than the previous year. Also that Webster Groves checked out 3,531 more items to St. Louis County patrons than in the previous year.

The problems that an insurance inspection noted at the Mason house have been taken care of – installing fire extinguishers and trimming overhanging trees. While the tree trimmer was here, several other tree problems around the library were taken care of as well.

Advanced Planning

The Advanced Planning Committee met on July 16 to discuss the draft of the Strategic Plan and to add a vision statement to it. The draft was approved, with minor changes, and should be ready to print soon.

There was some discussion of how to proceed with plans for the building. It was suggested that we talk again with Susan Pruchnicki of Bond Wolfe, to get a feel for how or if we could merge aspects of the two different plans we currently have been given in a satisfactory RFP. Ms. Krueger will try to set up that meeting.


The library has submitted an application for a ‘Technology Ladder Grant’ to the Missouri State Library. It is meant to fund a $25,000 project to improve the library’s public access computers and Web site reliability. The grant would supply about 60% of the money, with the library liable for the balance. The grants are announced after October 1.

There is no news on the development of a product to replace our current Horizon automation system.

Building and Grounds

The library’s main parking lot was paved the first week of August, and the three gravel spots in the west parking lot were paved. The work went well, and now we are only waiting for the company to put the parking bumpers back in place.

We are taking bids to refinish the library’s front doors, a project the Friends of the Library have expressed interest in funding.


Bob Herdler reviewed the financial report and disbursements for June, 2007. Mr. Reedy made a motion that the financial report be approved as presented. Mr. Ruger seconded, and the report was approved.

Bob Herdler reviewed the financial report and disbursements for July, 2007. Ms. Deleste made a motion that the financial report be approved as presented. Mr. Furst seconded, and the report was approved.

Human Resource

The library is working to replace a few part-time positions lost due to current staff members going away to college.


There was some discussion about the City’s new ordinance on excessive board absences, concerning whether this was an infringement on the Library Board’s status as an independent governing body. It was decided that the best thing to do was add a similar provision to the Library Board’s by-laws, and Mr. Ruger will work on the text of that.

Mr. Cooper presented a library code of conduct which he plans to post in the library and on the library’s Web site, meant to codify several rules of conduct for library visitors, and help to ensure the safety of all visitors.

Old Business

There was no old business.

New Business

There was no new business.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

The next meeting of the Library’s Board of Trustees will be held on Wednesday, September 19 at 7 p.m.