September 21, 2006

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Webster Groves Public Library was held at 7 pm on September 21, 2006. President Jon Furst presided, and Library Director Tom Cooper kept the minutes. Present: Library Board Trustees Celia Bouchard, Gladys Tolley, Bob Herdler, Tom Reedy, Angela Birke, Peter Ruger and City Council Liaison Jeanne Kirkton. Absent: Trustees Christine Krueger and Stacy Deleste.

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:07 p.m.

Public Agenda

There was no public agenda.

Minutes of the August 16, 2006 Meeting

Mr. Reedy moved to approve the minutes, Ms. Bouchard seconded, and the minutes were approved.


There was no correspondence.

President’s Report

Mr. Furst introduced and welcomed new board trustee Peter Ruger.

Librarian’s Report

Mr. Cooper asked to the board to consider our policy on employee health insurance. We currently subsidize 100% of a full-time employee’s coverage. But since we have not had an employee who needed family coverage for several years, we do not have a stated policy about how much of the family coverage the library will subsidize. He pointed out that the City of Webster Groves subsidizes 50% of family coverage for full-time employees, and suggested that since we follow the city’s lead in most such cases, we should here too.

Ms. Bouchard moved that we adopt the policy of subsidizing 50% of family health insurance coverage for a full-time employee, to be consistent with the city’s policy. Mr. Reedy seconded, and the motion passed.

Mr. Cooper mentioned that the Christmas holidays this year fall on a Sunday and a Monday (24th and 25th), and that this would necessitate extending a floating holiday to all full-time staff to compensate for one missed holiday, unless we decided to remain closed on the 26th. He pointed out that City Hall would be closed that day, for similar reasons. The board agreed this would be the best way to handle this.

Mr. Cooper described a meeting he had recently with David Greenhaw, President of Eden Seminary. Mr. Greenhaw noted that since Webster University moved its library collections to its new building, Luhr Library on the Eden campus is an underutilized building. Knowing that Webster Groves Public library has outgrown its space, he suggested several ways in which the two libraries might cooperate for the betterment of both institutions.

The board heard these ideas with interest but significant reservations, the greatest reservations being a perceived public attachment to the present library building, and the likely great expense involved in purchasing or leasing and renovating the Luhr building to our needs. There was some discussion of the suggested scenarios, which concluded with the suggestion that the board should tour the facility. Mr. Cooper will work to arrange that.

Advance Planning

Mr. Cooper reported on the first meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee on August 28th, which had been chaired by Ms. Birke. There was good attendance, and a good level of interest shown by most committee members, though nobody in attendance had volunteered to chair the committee. After that meeting, Ms. Kirkton had spoken with and secured the help of Margaret Eaton, a Webster Groves resident with experience and expertise in conducting such meetings. Mr. Cooper has met with Ms. Eaton, and she is ready to lead the committee’s next meeting on Monday the 25th.

There were also two meetings with Terry Jones, who will be conducting the public survey portion of the planning process. Several board members and members of the Strategic Planning Committee worked with Dr. Jones to assemble a survey questionnaire. Mr. Cooper recorded a ‘robocall’ with the phone service, to give prior notice to families who would be called, and sent press releases to local papers about the upcoming survey. The survey was started this week, and should be finished by the first week of October. At that time Terry Jones will report on the findings to the Strategic Planning Committee, and efforts will be made to make the results available to the public.


There was no report from this committee. Mr. Cooper did mention that the Consortium directors were in the very early stages of thinking about switching their automation software from the current Dynix Horizon system to an Interactive Interfaces Incorporated (Triple I) system. The reason for the switch would be to be able to participate in the Mobius system, a statewide lending system among academic libraries. If it were to come to fruition, the MLC would be one of the first public library systems to join Mobius.

Building and Grounds

Mr. Reedy reported that the question about insurance coverage on the Mason house had been resolved for now. Safeco, the present insurer, will maintain its current policy until its expiration in February, 2007. Sometime prior to that our agent at Daniel & Henry will seek new coverage, either from an insurer who would like to write our whole package, or from a different company who will cover just the house.


Ms. Tolley reviewed the financial report and disbursements for August, 2006. Ms. Bouchard moved that the financial report be approved as presented. Ms. Birke seconded, and the report was approved.

Mr. Cooper showed the board an itemized breakdown of income and expenses for the Mason House, and asked whether the board would like to see such an itemization each month. Though they did not feel the need to see this detailed coverage, they were concerned that the income was not being shown in monthly financial report. Mr. Cooper assured them that by next month it would be.

Human Resource

There was no report from this committee.


There was no report from this committee.

Old Business

There was no old business.

New Business

There was no new business.


Ms. Tolley moved to adjourn, Mr. Reedy seconded, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:07.

The next meeting of the Library’s Board of Trustees will be held on Wednesday, October 18th at 7 pm.