September 19, 2007

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Webster Groves Public Library was held at 7 p.m. on September 19, 2007. President Jon Furst presided, and Library Director Tom Cooper kept the minutes. Present: Library Board Trustees Tom Reedy, Peter Ruger, Bob Herdler, Stacy Deleste, Christine Krueger, Angela Birke, and City Council Liaison Jeanne Kirkton.

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:05.

Public Agenda

There was no public agenda

Minutes of the August 15, 2007 Meeting

Mr. Ruger moved to approve the minutes as written; Mr. Reedy seconded and the minutes were approved.


A letter from the City Plan Commission invited the Library Board to comment on a proposed Bed and Breakfast to be added to the residence at 227 E. Lockwood. That Plan Commission meeting has already occurred; Mr. Cooper attended and voiced the Library’s only concern that the business not use our parking lot.

President’s Report

There was no president’s report.

Librarian’s Report

Mr. Cooper noted that the library’s annual report had been printed and distributed to all trustees. He said that the full text of the Strategic Plan is now available on the library’s Web site, for handy reference. He distributed a list of his main goals for 2007-2008, and spoke about what steps were under way to implement some of them. He mentioned that it was probably a good time to start talking about seeking alternative bids for our insurance coverage. Finally, he reported on the Building Maintenance and Planning class he took a few weeks ago.

Advanced Planning

Ms. Krueger reported on a recent meeting with Sue Pruchnicki, a principal architect with Bond Wolfe, and members of the Library’s Advanced Planning Committee. Most members found it a very informative meeting, especially as concerns the process not only of planning a building, but of working to maintain community engagement and gain support for acquiring the funding for a building project.


There was no report from this committee.

Building and Grounds

Mr. Cooper noted that volunteers from Webster University would visit the library on October 3rd, as part of their Webster Works Worldwide project, and help with landscaping for a day.

He also pointed out that the lighting in front of the library was in need of repairs, and he would be pursuing options to deal with that.


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

Mr. Herdler noted that we have already been borrowing from our line of credit, and that with a few more slim months for tax collection, we would need to borrow more. He reiterated that such borrowing should be limited to strictly what is necessary. He also suggested that since the prime rate was cut recently, the library should contact Cass Commercial Bank to find out whether our rate went down as well.

Human Resource

The library has hired two new part-time employees. Jan Petorak is a front-desk assistant, and Laurene Franco is a Children’s Room Assistant. Both are still in training.


Mr. Cooper reviewed the policy whereby the library insists that it is the duty of parents to determine what materials their children may check out. This is consistent with the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement. One thing it means, in practice, is that the library does not prevent minors from checking out R-rated movies. Though in practice this doesn’t happen frequently, there was an instance recently of a parent angry about his teenaged son checking out R-rated movies.

There was some discussion of the policy. It was suggested that the library try to monitor this for a while, to get a good sense of how frequently it does happen.

Old Business

Mr. Ruger presented his draft version of an amendment to the Library’s by-laws. Mr. Herdler suggested one change, and the revised version reads:

Any Library Board member who is absent, without good cause, from four (4) or more regularly scheduled Board meetings within a consecutive 12-month period shall be subject to removal from the Board. An affirmative vote by a majority of the Board shall be required to remove a Board member. Prior to such action, the Board President shall contact the Board member to determine the reasons for the absences and the Board member’s interest in remaining on the Board.

Ms. Krueger moved to accept the amendment to the by-laws, Ms. Deleste seconded. The votes were recorded as follows:

Mr. Furst – Aye Mr. Ruger – Aye
Ms. Krueger – Aye Mr. Herdler – Aye
Ms. Deleste – Aye Mr. Reedy – Aye
Ms. Birke – Aye

New Business

Ms. Kirkton noted that the City Council had just appointed a new board trustee, Elizabeth Walsh.


Ms. Krueger moved to adjourn, Mr. Reedy seconded, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

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